Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  June 20, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


The Top 10 Rules of Jury Selection


Effective Use of Powerpoint Presentations in Trial


Da Vinci Robot Litigation


Private Outside Counsel for State Attorney Generals in Major Civil Litigation Cases


Preparation of Plaintiff's Expert Witnesses


Power Tips and Tricks for Using Your List Server


Litigating an Auto Case: From Investigation to Trial



Texas Among Nation's Worst Water Polluters

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Texas polluters released about 16.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 2012, second only to Indiana, according to a report released Thursday by Environment Texas, an environmental advocacy group based in Austin. And in terms of a measurement that compares pollutants according to how toxic they are, Texas is without rival. According to the report, Texas produced 34 million “toxicity-weighted pounds” in 2012 — 30 times more than the next state, and more than double the rest of the country combined. Almost all of that toxicity comes from one source: the Dow Chemical Company plant in Freeport.
Gilad Edelman, Texas Tribune 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Methane Inquiry Closes, but Questions Linger

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In a report released last month, the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates oil and gas, rejected that argument and effectively shut the door on its investigation. The move came as independent geoscientists remained divided about the cause of the rapid increase of methane in the neighborhood’s water, with some fearing that the Railroad Commission was too quick to dismiss potential evidence of groundwater contamination from oil and gas drilling.
Jim Malewitz and Neena Satija, Texas Tribune 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Family Files Suit Over Inmate's Restraining Death

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The family of a Colorado inmate who died while being restrained by prison officials has filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the guards who restrained the mentally ill man ignored his medical needs and continued to restrain him as he suffered seizures. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday and says that the guards "treated [the inmate's] condition as a behavioral problem instead of a medical emergency and put him in chains and shackles." Three employees were fired after an investigation into the incident.
Wire Report, The Washington Post 06/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Houston Man Sues CVS Pharmacy, Claiming Loss of Vision from Wrong Prescription

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A 65-year-old Houston man claims he lost vision in one eye after a CVS pharmacist mistakenly filled his prescription for eye drops with ear medication. Claudis Alston filed a lawsuit against CVSCareMark Corp Tuesday. His attorney says Alston was given a prescription in June 2012 for eye drops to treat a case of pink eye.
Phil Archer, Click2Houston 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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5 Exonerated in Central Park Jogger Case Will Settle Suit for $40 Million

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The five men whose convictions in the brutal 1989 beating and rape of a female jogger in Central Park were later overturned have agreed to a settlement of about $40 million from New York City to resolve a bitterly fought civil rights lawsuit over their arrests and imprisonment in the sensational crime.
BENJAMIN WEISER, The New York Times 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower

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GM’s problems went beyond diffuse inaction. Management wasn’t just distracted or confused; speaking up was actively discouraged, and workers saw that pointing out safety flaws could derail their careers. When a GM employee did blow the whistle, the nation’s largest automaker shut him down.
Tim Higgins and Nick Summers , Bloomberg 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Could Face Another Fine for Impala Recall

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An old e-mail from a General Motors employee warning of a "serious safety problem" could help trigger another government fine against the automaker. The Aug. 30, 2005, e-mail surfaced Wednesday during a House subcommittee hearing on GM's delayed recall of 2.6 million small cars with ignition switch problem. This email outlined a similar issue with a larger car. Employee Laura Andres wrote that she was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Impala home from work when she hit a bump and the engine stalled on busy Interstate. A GM mechanic told her the cause was likely a faulty ignition switch. Yet it wasn't until Monday that GM recalled the Impalas, Buick LaCrosses and other models with the same switch, almost nine years after Andres' e-mail. Safety regulators received dozens of similar complaints about the cars during that time.
TOM KRISHER and DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers, Yahoo News 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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New Tests for Helmets Proposed in Concussion Fight

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There is no concussion-proof football helmet, but manufacturers may soon have to meet new testing standards against certain concussion-causing forces — a step in the quest for more protection. It is part of a movement to try to make contact sports safer, as concern about concussions is growing. There's even a new smartphone app to help parents and coaches recognize right away if a player may have a brain injury.
LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP, Yahoo News 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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How Dying Became A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

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What once was a collection of mostly small, religious-affiliated nonprofits is now a booming, $17 billion industry dominated by national chains. These large companies have proved tremendously effective at expanding hospice’s reach. More than 1 million people die each year while receiving hospice services in the U.S., according to the major hospice trade association. But mounting evidence indicates that many providers are imperiling the health of patients in a drive to boost revenues and enroll more people, an investigation by The Huffington Post found.
Ben Hallman, The Huffington Post 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Top Loss Leaders in the Oil Patch? Commercial Auto, Workers’ Comp

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For the insurance industry, an increase in commercial auto losses and an uptick in workers’ compensation claims are unfortunate side effects of the oil boom. TXDOT data shows 3,430 fatal and serious injury crashes and 236 traffic fatalities in the Eagle Ford Shale region in 2013. That’s a 7 percent increase in fatal and serious injury crashes over the previous year for the region. In the Permian Basin in 2013 there were 4,371 traffic crashes that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, according to TXDOT. The 358 auto-related fatalities last year in the Permian Basin represent an increase of 13 percent over 2012. Richard Gergasko, CEO of Texas Mutual Insurance Co., said his company certainly is seeing an increase in motor vehicle incidents coming from oil and gas operations.
Stephanie K. Jones , Insurance Journal 06/20/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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