Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  May 29, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


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


Essential Rules and Industry Standards to Live and Drive by in the Big Truck or Bus Case


Neuropsychological Diagnosis in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


The Top 10 Rules of Jury Selection


Effective Use of Powerpoint Presentations in Trial


Da Vinci Robot Litigation




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.  


CPI: Texas Fracking Verdict Puts Industry on Notice

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking. Click on the headline to learn more.  





Report: Methane in Parker County Water Can’t be Tied to Drilling

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The amount of methane in several Parker County water wells is increasing, but the Texas Railroad Commission says in a report that it still can’t link the contamination to nearby gas drilling activity. The agency will not investigate further and suggested that residents “properly ventilate and aerate their water systems.” The report also contradicts findings by independent scientists who have done fingerprint like analysis of the methane and compared it with gas being produced from nearby wells. They have said the methane likely originates from a well once operated by Range Resources. Rob Jackson, a Duke University professor who specializes in isotopic analysis and has conducted this fingerprint testing on the water in the neighborhood, said he is surprised that the commission decided against further testing.
Jim Fuquay, Star Telegram 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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‘Troubling’ VA Report

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An independent review has determined that Department of Veterans Affairs officials falsified records to hide the amount of time former service members have had to wait for medical appointments, calling a crisis that arose in one VA hospital in Phoenix a “systemic problem nationwide.” The report found that 1,700 veterans using a Phoenix VA hospital were kept on unofficial wait lists, a practice that helped officials avoid criticism for failing to accommodate former service members in an appropriate amount of time.
Wesley Lowery and Josh Hicks,, The Washington Post 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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VA Inspector General Confirms Texas Probes

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The VA's inspector general confirmed that his office is investigating reports of patient waiting-list fraud at clinics in San Antonio, Austin, and a Temple hospital. In a letter to House members, the agency's inspector general confirmed investigators were looking into allegations of misconduct at the VA's North Central Federal Clinic, the Austin Outpatient Clinic and the Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center in Temple. The allegations at those Texas facilities are similar to charges of waiting-list manipulation at the Phoenix VA Health Care System.
Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express News 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Why Do These Tank Cars Carrying Oil Keep Blowing Up?

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While the recent surge in domestic oil production has raised concerns about fracking, less attention has been paid to the billions of gallons of petroleum crisscrossing the country in "virtual pipelines" running through neighbor­hoods and alongside waterways. Most of this oil is being shipped in what's been called "the Ford Pinto of rail cars"—a tank car whose safety flaws have been known for more than two decades.
Michael W. Robbins, Mother Jones 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Texas City Mistakenly Demolishes Home

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A lawsuit was filed this week in Texas accusing the city of Fort Worth of mistakenly tearing down a home. The lawsuit was filed in district court by a Fort Worth man who alleges that he received a "partially illegible letter" last May informing him that his house was scheduled for a teardown. Even though the county clerk's office assured him that it was a clerical error, the plaintiff's house was later demolished. The lawsuit names the city of Fort Worth and seeks $50,000 in damages. This is the third instance of the city mistakenly demolishing a home over the last year and another recent lawsuit was settled for $62,500.
Wire Report, Houston Chronicle 05/28/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Florida Governor to File Suit Against VA Hospitals

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The governor of Florida says he plans to file a lawsuit seeking access to VA hospitals in the state after they have repeatedly blocked state officials from inspecting them. According to the lawsuit, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials have repeatedly told the state that it has no legal authority to inspect federal hospitals. The lawsuit comes amidst much controversy surrounding VA hospitals and the treatment of their patients. On Wednesday, the governor announced that he planned to file suit against the VA "to establish AHCA's right to inspect and regulate health facilities in Florida."
Scott Powers, Orlando Sentinel 05/28/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Boehringer to Settle Pradaxa Lawsuits for $650M

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German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim said on Wednesday it would pay about $650 million to settle U.S. lawsuits that claimed the company's blood thinner, Pradaxa, had caused severe and fatal bleeding in patients. Boehringer said it expected to resolve about 4,000 claims with the settlement. The claimants had accused the company of not issuing sufficient warnings of the risks associated with Pradaxa. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said he was hopeful that claimants would receive compensation within a year as lawyers move to implement the settlement.
Reuters, Reuters 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Court Won't Stop BP Oil Spill Claims Payments

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BP must resume paying claims while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review its settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court panel said Wednesday. The judgment said the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not put a stop to payments while BP appeals the court's earlier ruling that businesses, under the settlement, don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.
Associated Press, USA Today 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Jury Awards $172 Million in Verdict Against New York City

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A girl who suffered brain damage while waiting for an ambulance won a $172 million judgment against New York City on Wednesday when a Bronx jury determined that Fire Department paramedics could be held liable for giving her mother bad advice.
JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr., The New York Times 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Woman Gets $11.6M Bill After Death of Disabled Brother in NYC Facility

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Two years after a 33-year-old mentally disabled man died at a state institution in Queens, and one year after his sister filed a lawsuit accusing the staff of killing him, NY officials have sent her an $11.67M bill. The claim against Rasheen Rose's estate cited his total Medicaid assistance from Aug. 6, 2002, through Aug. 6, 2012, the day he died. A spokeswoman for the center, said officials were following federal Medicaid obligations in seeking reimbursement. But an attorney who has filed lawsuits against the state after others died in state care, said other claim notices recently have been sent to families suing.
MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press , ABC News 05/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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