Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  May 22, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


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.  





U.S. Ammonium Nitrate Oversight Lax, GAO Says

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According to a GAO report, the government has no way of fully knowing which U.S. chemical facilities stock ammonium nitrate. Outdated federal policies, poor information sharing with states and a raft of industry exemptions point to scant federal oversight, says a new report obtained by The Associated Press. Without improved monitoring, federal regulators “will not know the extent to which dangerous conditions at some facilities may continue to exist,” concluded the report by the Government Accountability Office.
Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Texas Ranks 41st in Seniors’ Health

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Texas ranks 41st among the states for senior health this year, compared with 40th last year, according to a report published today by the United Health Foundation. The negatives are a high percentage of seniors living in poverty, a low percentage of quality nursing home beds and high prevalence of food insecurity, the report said.
Pamela Yip, The Dallas Morning News 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Los Alamos Says Waste Containers Isolated

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Wednesday told the state it has isolated and is closely monitoring nuclear waste on its campus that was packed with a type of cat litter suspected in a radiation leak at the government's underground nuclear waste dump. Officials have linked a Feb. 14 radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico to a waste container from Los Alamos that was packed with organic cat litter to absorb moisture. Officials are investigating whether a chemical reaction in the containers caused the breach. More than 100 other suspect containers are being stored temporarily at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas.
Associated Press, El Paso Times 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Survey: Many Reported Sickened after WV Chemical Spill


The release of the Kanahwa County report last week renewed calls for research on the long-term health effects of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol that leaked out of a storage tank into the Elk River. West Virginians across nine counties were told not to drink or use the water because the short-term health effects were unknown. Charleston was the largest city affected, as well as the source of the spill. And according to a recent survey of about 500 people in the area, a third of the respondents said someone in their household became sick after their water was contaminated.
Matt Pearce, LA Times  05/22/2014  Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

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Food Supplier Settles Lawsuit for $297 Million

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A lawsuit filed against U.S. Foods over their allegedly inflated prices has been settled for $297 million. The lawsuit claimed that the food supplier wrongfully inflated prices for its customers, mostly hospitals and food chains. The lawsuit was settled when the United States Supreme Court declined to review a federal appeals court opinion in April. The lawsuit covered about 300,000 of the food suppliers customers.
Corilyn Shropshire, WKYC 3 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Asks Texas Supreme Court to Consolidate Injury Suits

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General Motors and Delphi Automotive Systems have asked the Texas Supreme Court to merge four driver-injury suits tied to faulty ignition switches into one state case, just as it earlier moved to combine litigation over the loss of value tied to the recalled cars. U.S. companies make such arguments when they seek to combine similar suits into one. Detroit-based GM cited efficiency in its bid to consolidate litigation in federal courts over economic injuries tied to more than 2.59 million U.S. vehicles recalled for faulty ignition switches. The cases covered by GM’s most recent request involve claims of physical injuries or wrongful deaths to Texans.
Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Linda Sandler, Bloomberg, Star Telegram 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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BP Will Take Gulf Spill Settlement Fight to Supreme Court

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BP said Wednesday it will take the courtroom fight over its multibillion-dollar oil spill settlement to the Supreme Court. BP has argued that it has paid potentially hundreds of millions to claimants who were not affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, violating its interpretation of the $9.2 billion settlement it reached with plaintiffs’ attorneys in 2012. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied BP’s request for a rehearing on its settlement dispute before the entire court. The vote was 8 to 5.
Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Jury Rules Against 3 Port of Brownsville Companies


Noble Drilling Services, Keppel AmFELS and Fire and Safety Specialists at the Port of Brownsville will have to pay $1.3 million to four electricians injured on the job. The men suffered serious brain injuries in 2012. A jury on Friday agreed that the companies were negligent. The four electricians were working on an oil rig when the room they were in began to fill with carbon dioxide. The men were deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes and suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Staff, KRGV  05/22/2014  Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

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State Admits ‘Failure’ in Assisted Living Center Abuse Investigation

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A KXAN investigation digs deep in to a case of alleged sexual abuse at Longhorn Village, a retirement community and assisted living center created by the University of Texas Alumni group, Texas Exes. During our investigation, KXAN had many questions policies and procedures for investigating abuse and neglect allegations. A state agency admitted to breaking the law and now the state is conducting a larger investigation.
Brian Collister, KXAN Austin News 05/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



$2.6M Settlement Reached in School Shooting Lawsuit

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A $2.66 million settlement has been finalized in a wrongful death lawsuit over the deaths of three Ohio high school students during a school shooting. The lawsuit was filed by the families of the victims against the shooter, a then-17-year-old student, and his family members. The lawsuit was originally filed in Lake County Common Pleas Court and claimed negligent supervision on behalf of the shooter's family members, including his grandparents with whom he lived.
Staff Report, WKYC 3 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Filed Over Death of "Midnight Rider" Crew Member

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The family of a camera assistant who was killed during the filming of a Gregg Allman biopic called "Midnight Rider" has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the woman's death. The 27-year-old's parents filed the lawsuit after she was killed, and six others were injured, when a freight train crashed into the crew as they were filming in Doctortown, Ga. The lawsuit claims that the filmmakers "operated without minimum safety precautions and contrary to standard industry practices for productions of this scale and for productions involving dangerous filming conditions." The lawsuit was filed in Chatham County State Court in Georgia on Wednesday and seeks unspecified punitive damages.
Richard Verrier, LA Times 05/21/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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