Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  May 21, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


Cross-Examination with the Rules of the Road


Med School for Lawyers: Spinal Injuries


How to Use Social Media in Your Case


How to be Successful At Obtaining and Maximizing Non-Economic Damages


Medicare Set Asides in General Liability and Medical Malpractice Cases


Da Vinci Robot Litigation


Neuropsychological Diagnosis in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury





COLLABORATE! Join TTLA President Mike Guajardo at TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference in Austin, June 11-13. ALL MEMBERS are invited and encouraged to attend a very important meeting of our Board of Directors Meeting on June 12th. In addition, the CLE Committee has once again planned three dynamic programs. We’ll start things off with The Jury Bias Model™ - From Car Wrecks to the Complex Case presented by Greg Cusimano and David Wenner on June 11th, followed by a ½-day CLE on June 12th with some of TTLA’s brightest stars sharing their best tips. The conference will wrap up with our Annual Med Mal program with all the latest updates and insights, before closing with an evening of Magic and Music. Click here to see all we have planned for you! Two days. Three great seminars. TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference. Click on the headline for more information and to register.  





New Mexico: 500 Barrels of Questionable Nuke Waste Packed with Kitty Litter

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New Mexico environment officials say more than 500 barrels of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory were packed with the kitty litter suspected of causing a chemical reaction and radiation release at the government's underground nuclear waste dump. In addition to 369 containers at the dump, environment officials say 57 more are still at Los Alamos and more than 100 are in storage in West Texas. The waste was packed with kitty litter to absorb moisture. Officials are investigating whether a switch from inorganic to organic litter is to blame for a leak in February that contaminated 22 workers.
JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press, El Paso Times 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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West Disaster Spurs Legislators to Reconsider County Fire Codes

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More than a year after the West Fertilizer Co. catastrophe, about two-thirds of ammonium nitrate facilities in Texas remain in areas without fire codes, a Texas Senate committee learned Monday. State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy told the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security that state law barring smaller counties from passing fire codes stands in the way of improving safer storage at such facilities. Under the Texas Government Code, counties can adopt fire codes only if they have a population of 250,000 or more or sit next to a county of that size. In a firefighter fatality report issued last week on the April 2013 West disaster, the State Fire Marshal’s Office recommended removing those restrictions.
J.B. SMITH , Waco Tribune Herald 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Drilling and Water Interests Clash on Disposal Wells

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Marathon Oil Company — backed by its industry peers — will argue in front of the Railroad Commission of Texas that groundwater conservation districts should not be allowed to challenge disposal well permits. Marathon says that the districts have no such authority under Texas law and are creating regulatory uncertainty. Districts say they fear that losing their ability to protest would mean less scrutiny for wastewater wells that could contaminate future drinking water supplies. Thousands of such disposal wells exist in Texas today, and they are proliferating; in 2013, the Railroad Commission approved 668 permits for disposal wells, doubling the number of approvals in 2009. Groundwater district managers have long worried about the potential impact of those wells on both brackish and freshwater aquifers.
Neena Satija and Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Families of Firefighters Killed in Shooting File Lawsuit

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The families of two firefighters who were killed in a shooting in Webster, N.Y. in Dec. 2012, along with two of the shooting's survivors, have filed suit against the store which sold the weapons used in the shooting. The lawsuit names Gander Mountain Co., the store which sold the weapons, the woman who bought the weapons, and the shooter as defendants. On Christmas Eve 2012, the shooter set fire to his home and then ambushed the emergency responders as they arrived, killing two firefighters and injuring two others. The lawsuit is seeking "damages and a court order that Gander Mountain reform its policies, procedures and training on the sale of firearms."
David Riley, USA Today 05/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Apple Facing Class-Action Suit Over Lost Text Messages

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Apple Inc. is facing a lawsuit filed by a former iPhone user who alleges she lost text messages after switching to an Android-based smartphone. The lawsuit contends that after the plaintiff switched from an iPhone to an Android phone, she was unable to access text messages sent from other users of Apple devices on her new Android-based phone. The complaint alleges that people who replace their iPhones with other smartphones are "penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts." The lawsuit seeks class-action status and undetermined damages.
Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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BP Oil Spill Lawsuit in U.S. Wins Class-Action Status

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(Reuters) - A U.S. judge has allowed a group of BP Plc shareholders to pursue a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of misleading them by understating the severity of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Tuesday's decision by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in Houston could add to BP's clean-up and litigation costs for the spill, which followed the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Reuters, The New York Times 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Another Student's Family Sues FedEx in Deadly Bus Crash

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The family of a Los Angeles student killed last month when the charter bus he was in was hit by a FedEx truck in Orland, Calif., is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Ismael Jimenez, 18, was among 10 people killed April 10 when a FedEx truck crossed the highway into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into the charter bus that was carrying students. In the lawsuit to be filed in Los Angeles County, Jimenez's family lays blame for the crash on the FedEx truck, its manufacturer, Volvo, and its driver, who was among those killed. The charter bus company, Silverado Stages, is also named in the suit.
Joseph Serna, LA Times 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Safety Commission Recalls Bed Handles After Deaths

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Tuesday announced the first recall of adult portable bed handles, devices that are designed to help patients get in and out of bed. The metal handles are widely used in care facilities for older adults and people with disabilities. The handles are manufactured by Bed Handles of Blue Springs, Mo., which is recalling about 113,000 of the devices after they were linked to the deaths of three women.
RON NIXON, The New York Times 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Overhauling Legal Office to Prevent Recall Delays

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GM is overhauling its legal department as the automaker tries to break down silos that delayed the recall of millions of cars for a defect linked to 13 deaths, according to people familiar with the matter. Transforming GM’s legal culture won’t be easy because in-house lawyers have spent their careers battling to keep potentially incriminating safety information out of the hands of trial lawyers. In one case, lawyers tried to bury an internal memo that calculated the cost to the automaker of fuel-fed fire deaths, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg News.
Tim Higgins and Jeff Green, Bloomberg 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Recalls 218,000 Aveos, Optras for Fire Risk

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GM recalled another 218,000 cars today because they might catch fire. And the automaker says it has no immediate way to fix the problem. The recall of 218,000 Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Optra subcompacts from 2004-2008 model years is because they have potentially faulty light control modules that can overheat inside the dashboard, melt and ignite.
James R. Healey, USA Today 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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