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  July 9, 2014 Like TTLA on Facebook Follow TTLA on Twitter


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Private Outside Counsel for State Attorneys General in Major Civil Litigation Cases
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Litigating an Auto Case: From Investigation to Trial
Hip Settlements: Past, Present and Future
Becoming an Evidence Master
Litigating Testosterone Therapy Cases: An Overview

Investigation: Is Your Insurance Company Paying Fairly?
A KXAN investigation into insurance companies uncovered information which had never been released. Records obtained from the TDI showed more than $27M was paid out to consumers in 2013 after they went through department's consumer complaint process. That came after insurance carriers initially refused to pay. The data KXAN obtained from TDI also detailed which companies were forced to pay back money to consumers over the past five years. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance has had to pay back more than $4.9 million in 761 cases from 2009 through 2013, the most of any auto insurance carrier. Click on the headline to learn more.  

Center For Public Integrity: Arsenic levels in groundwater across the U.S.
Arsenic is known to cause a variety of cancers as well as being linked to heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Recent research has found an association between arsenic below 10 parts per billion and IQ deficits in children. This inter-active map is based on arsenic readings from 45,000 wells collected by the United States Geological Survey throughout the country going back four decades. In addition, the states of Texas and Minnesota provided data gathered on arsenic in private wells. In several other states, few readings were available. Click on the headline to access the map.  

Texas Tribune Daily Brief

The Brief for July 9
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Compilation of Texas news by John Reynolds at the Texas Tribune
John Reynolds, Texas Tribune 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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CDC survey Says One-Fifth of W.VA Residents Reported Health Issues After Spill
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A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says more than one-fifth of households surveyed in the Kanawha Valley reported health effects that residents believed were related to toxic exposure following the January chemical leak from the Freedom Industries facility on the Elk River. Like previous reports, the new CDC data says that most of the health effects involved rashes and skin irritation, with smaller numbers reporting respiratory illnesses, nausea or diarrhea.
Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Texas Work Safety Hotline Upgraded
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More than 20 years after the TX Legislature passed a law establishing a 24-hour work safety hotline, real people are answering the telephone calls around the clock. The decision came after The Texas Tribune, as part of a months-long investigation of the Texas workplace, reported that callers to the state-run hotline were being turned away after normal business hours because of a glitch in the voicemail system. The Texas Division of Workers' Compensation, which operates the bilingual hotline so Texans can report unsafe working conditions, quickly fixed the snafu the same day it was revealed late last month.
Jay Root, Texas Tribune 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Watchdog: Retaliation Complaints Jump at VA
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A federal investigative agency is examining 67 claims of retaliation by supervisors at the VA against employees who filed whistleblower complaints - including 25 complaints filed since June 1, after a growing health care scandal involving long patient waits and falsified records at VA hospitals and clinics became public. The complaints were filed in 28 states.
Associated Press, The Washington Post 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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OSHA Fines Freedom $11K in Chemical Spill
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A federal agency has fined the company that spilled chemicals into West Virginia's largest drinking water supply $11,000 for a pair of workplace safety violations. The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Freedom Industries $7,000 for keeping storage tanks containing crude MCHM behind a diked wall that was not liquid tight. On Jan. 9, roughly 10,000 gallons of MCHM leaked from one of the tanks and through the riverside diked wall and left 300,000 residents without clean water for days.
From staff, wire reports, The Charleston Gazette 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Mass. Man Files Lawsuit Over Wrongful Conviction
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A Massachusetts man who spent 40 months in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder has filed a lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, cites Massachusetts state law which states "compensation up to $500,000 is available to people who, like [the plaintiff], were erroneously convicted of a felony, maintained their innocence, and served part of their prison sentence." The plaintiff was wrongfully convicted in 2010 of a shooting murder two years prior. The lawsuit seeks $500,000 for the wrongful conviction and the "years of lost liberty."
Buffy Spencer, Mass Live 07/08/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Lawsuit Targets Air Force F-35 Base Near Homes
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Seven residents of Burlington, Vermont have filed a lawsuit challenging the Air Force's plan to base 18 new F-35 fighter jets near their neighborhood in 2020. Due to a federal home buyout program initiated in reaction to increased noise levels due to the Burlington International Airport, many of the neighborhood's residents have sold their homes and relocated. The lawsuit filed Monday at U.S. District Court in Burlington hopes to prevent the Air Force from adding more noise pollution by creating a nearby base for the F-35 fighter jets. The lawsuit names as the sole defendant Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.
Sam Hemingway, Burlington Free Press 07/07/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Sheriff's Deputies Accused of Crash Cover-Up
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A lawsuit has been filed against the Milwaukee County sheriff and four of his deputies over an incident in which a sober driver was arrested for drunk driving after a severe car accident in February of 2013. The lawsuit alleges that a sheriff's deputy T-boned the plaintiff's car and proceeded to arrest her for driving intoxicated. The plaintiff suffered a broken neck as a result of the accident. Her lawsuit contends that she was sober before the crash and that the sheriff's department has attempted to cover up its involvement in the accident.
Katie DeLong and Bryan Polcyn, FOX6 News 07/07/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Wis. Laws Prevent Who Can Sue in Malpractice Suits
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In an end-run around state laws that limit who can sue for medical malpractice, a lawyer for the estate of a Kiel woman who died after errors were made in the emergency room is claiming the woman endured pain and suffering during her treatment. The lawsuit, posted this week on the state's online court records system, was filed by the estate of Colleen Daniels. The estate is taking an unusual legal route because Wisconsin law prevents her three adult children - including a daughter who was 18 years old and still in high school when Daniels died - from seeking damages for the loss of companionship of their mother. The Daniels case was profiled last month in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the difficulties that victims face in filing medical malpractice suits.
Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Class Action

Settlement Reached in Suit Over Remington Rifles
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Remington Arms Co. has reached a settlement in a nationwide lawsuit claiming a popular hunting rifle has a defective trigger mechanism that can cause injury and death. Ian Pollard sued the co. in 2013, claiming problems with its Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifle. An agreement in the class-action case was reached on July 2, though terms are still being worked out. A federal judge in Kansas City, Missouri, gave both sides until Oct. 30 to secure a formal agreement. The preliminary settlement does not say if the company agreed to a recall or if it will make financial reparations.
Associated Press, The Washington Post 07/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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