Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  June 24, 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


Hip Settlements: Past, Present and Future




Pulmonologist at VA Facility Copied Old Patient Notes Into New Files

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A pulmonologist with the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System copied old notes onto new charts for more than 1,200 patients at the Montgomery VA facility, according to a report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. The investigation showed a whistleblower's report that a pulmonologist copied prior provider notes into current patient records was true and that the action "likely resulted in inaccurate patient health information being recorded."
Leada Gore, 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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NTSB: Flight Crew 'Over-Relied' on Automated Systems

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Federal investigators began reviewing their report Tuesday about the fatal crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco, saying they would make numerous recommendations to prevent future crashes. "Our goal in this investigation is to help prevent similar accidents in the future," said Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "In this instance, the flight crew over-relied on automated systems that they did not understand."
Bart Jansen, USA Today 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Jury Says Splash Mountain Accident not Substantial Factor in Injury

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Steven Wilson of Anaheim said in a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court that he fell while trying to evacuate the Splash Mountain ride after it became stuck. The lawsuit claimed that Disneyland employees overloaded the vehicle, causing it to be stuck midway through the ride, and then workers tried to unload the passengers without tying off the vehicle to keep it from moving. Wilson asked for about $1.3 million to pay for past and future medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering, according to his attorney. The jury Friday found that Disneyland was negligent in the accident but that the fall was not a substantial cause of Wilson's back injury.
Hugo Martin, LA Times 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Neb. Police Department Releases Rape Case Files

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The police department of Lincoln, Neb. has agreed to settle a lawsuit by a woman who reported being raped 10 years ago. As part of the settlement, the department will allow the woman to review the case files of the investigation which did not lead to an arrest. After being denied access to the investigation files ten years after her attack, the woman asked a judge to force the department to release them for her review. Before a decision in the case was reached, the department agreed to release the files, which include the findings of the rape kit in her case.
Lori Pilger, Lincoln Journal Star 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Officials Deny Causing Missouri River Floods

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shouldn’t be blamed for causing major flooding along the Missouri River that has affected five states regularly since 2006, the federal government says in its initial response to a lawsuit. More than 200 landowners claimed in their March lawsuit that they should be compensated for the extensive damage they experienced — particularly during the extended 2011 flooding that devastated hundreds of thousands of acres of mostly farmland in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
Associated Press, The Washington Post 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Yeager Airport Added to Lawsuit Over Freedom Spill

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Yeager Airport has been added to a lawsuit that now claims the airport’s poor management of a construction project contributed to the January chemical leak that left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without usable water for more than a week. In a consolidated class-action complaint filed Friday in federal court, plaintiffs allege the airport’s runway extension project, which began in 2004, caused stormwater runoff to disturb the Freedom Industries tank farm and eventually led to the failure of the tank that leaked MCHM.
Kate White, The Charleston Gazette 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Attorney General Appeals $1.2M Whistleblower Verdict

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The office of AG Greg Abbott is appealing a whistleblower's lawsuit and $1.2 million verdict, arguing that an El Paso jury was wrong when it decided that the agency fired an employee in retaliation for alerting supervisors to internal wrongdoing. The jury awarded damages last year to Laura Rodriguez, a veteran employee of the agency who argued that she was fired after blowing the whistle on alleged insurance fraud by a coworker. Abbott’s office says there is a “complete lack of evidence” that she was fired in retaliation.
Edgar Walters, Texas Tribune 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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County Sues Industrial Cleaner After Multiple Violations

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On Monday, Harris County and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that they have sued Texas Industrial, alleging violations of the Texas Clean Air Act, Health and Safety Code, Water Code and state environmental rules. County records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show neighbors complained about sickening gases coming from Texas Industrial Box 29 times dating back to 2003, shortly after the business incorporated. Inspectors themselves reported burning eyes and throats, and coughing, when they followed up on complaints, the lawsuit says. The most recent alleged violation, on April 14, occurred even as county attorneys were in discussions with the company.
Ingrid Lobet, Houston Chronicle 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Fraud Allegations Bubble up in Eagle Ford

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Apache Corp. alleges it was the victim of a "massive fraud" committed by principals of two San Antonio oil field services companies operating in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin. Apache has sued various parties in Bexar County District Court claiming they've stolen more than $1 million through various schemes, including a "work ticket shell game" where a work ticket was submitted multiple times under different invoices for payment. In addition, Apache says, the services firms billed it for work never done, overstaffed projects and "played fast and loose" with monies intended for subcontractors.
Patrick Danner, Houston Chronicle 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Generic Versions of Toprol XL, a Heart Drug, Are Recalled

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For years, Dr. Harry Lever, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, has been warning nearly anyone who would listen of his growing suspicions about generic versions of a heart drug, Toprol XL. Patient after patient would visit his office complaining of chest pains or other symptoms after switching from the brand-name version to a generic product, often one made in India. Now, Dr. Lever is feeling a sort of sad vindication. Two large Indian manufacturers, Wockhardt and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, have announced recalls over the last two months totaling more than 100,000 bottles because their products were not dissolving properly — therefore probably not working as they should. The recalls are the latest in a string of recent problems involving generic drugs, especially those made in India.
KATIE THOMAS, The New York Times 06/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over Hit-and-Run Accident

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The family of a man from Evans, N.Y., who was fatally injured in a hit-and-run accident, has filed a lawsuit against the bar owner who police say was the "owner and operator" of the vehicle which hit and killed the man. The wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed in State Supreme Court on Monday, alleges that the bar owner was intoxicated and speeding when she hit the victim and left him to die in the snow. The family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
Dan Herbeck, Buffalo News 06/23/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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