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  August 4, 2014 Like TTLA on Facebook Follow TTLA on Twitter


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Litigating Testosterone Therapy Cases: An Overview
New Horizons: Lifetime Damages - New Factors for Future Damages for Mild, Moderate & Severe Disabilities
Jail and Jailer Liability
The Emerging Consensus on TBI and How You Can Use It To Achieve an Adequate Award
Arbitrating Class Actions
Don't Miss the Boat: Basics of Maritime Personal Injury Law
How to Handle a Class Action Case
Technology: Taking Your Paperless File from the First Interview to Trial

Dicky Grigg: 24 scholarships awarded by TTLA - Want to be part of it?
As we wrap up the fundraising for the 2014 TTLA Scholarship Program, we hope you will consider making a contribution. In April, 24 worthy applicants were selected to receive a one-time $1000 scholarship. If you would like to help these students achieve their educational goals, please join other TTLA members and send a contribution payable to: TTLA Scholarship Fund, ATTN: Mona Fults, P.O. Box 788, Austin, TX 78767. Please click on the headline to learn more about the program.  

Texas Tribune Daily Brief

The Brief for August 4
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Compilation of Texas news by John Reynolds at the Texas Tribune.
John Reynolds, Texas Tribune 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Texting Bans Work: Cutting Teen Traffic Deaths by 11%, Study Finds
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Texting bans can reduce teen traffic fatalities by as much as 11 percent, according to a new study of the effect of such state laws. Not all texting bans are alike, of course. But ones aimed at teens and that allow primary enforcement of the law - i.e. they don't require officers to have another reason for the traffic stop - had the most dramatic effect, a team of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health found in a study published in the August American Journal of Public Health.
Niraj Chokshi , The Washington Post 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Ohio Water Crisis a Warning for Texas, Other States
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The harmful toxin found in Lake Erie that caused a water crisis in Toledo, OH this weekend has raised concerns nationally. That's because no states - including Texas - require testing for such toxins, which are caused by algal blooms. And there are no federal or state standards for acceptable levels of the toxins, even though they can be lethal.
Neena Satija, Texas Tribune 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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EPA Showdown: Who in Texas Wants Tighter Refinery Regulation?
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At a public hearing in Galena Park, TX this week, the EPA will hear from residents who live near refineries and from the industry in hopes of determining how much more needs to be done to curb toxic emissions. At issue: new EPA rules that would make oil refineries invest in better equipment to reduce pollution emissions from storage tanks and to improve the efficiency of flares that burn emissions during plant "upsets". Refineries would also have to increase fence-line monitoring to track exactly what pollution is blowing into adjacent communities.
Dave Fehling, KUHF News/StateImpact Texas, Texas Tribune 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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R.J. Reynolds Fights $23.6 Billion Verdict
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R.J. Reynoldsis following through with its vow to fight a court verdict totaling $23.6 billion in punitive damages. The co. filed for a post-trial hearing in a Florida federal appeals court to challenge a July 19 lawsuit verdict for a widow whose husband who was a longtime smoker. The case was originally a part of the class-action Engle-Progeny lawsuit against big tobacco companies in 1994. The Florida Supreme Court rejected the jury's verdict, however, and said that plaintiffs could only file for lawsuits individually.
Cameron Saucier, USA Today 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Mother Files Suit Over Bullied Teen's Suicide
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A lawsuit has been filed against the Polk County School Board in Florida and one of its students who allegedly bullied a student who later committed suicide. The lawsuit was filed by the mother of a 12-year-old girl who jumped to her death at an abandoned cement plant in Lakeland in Sept. 2013. The lawsuit contends that the school failed to discipline the student who tormented the girl for a year before she committed suicide. The student is accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress and the cement plant has also been named in the lawsuit for negligence in allowing the girl to access its abandoned plant. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.
David Breen, Orlando Sentinel 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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L.A. Jury Finds in Favor of Widow in Cigarette Lawsuit
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A Los Angeles Superior Court jury has found in favor of a widow who filed a lawsuit alleging that Lorillard Tobacco Co.'s cigarettes were responsible for the death of her husband. The jury ruled that the cigarette company contributed to the death of the plaintiff's husband who died of lung cancer in July 1998. However, the amount owed to the plaintiff has not yet been decided as the payout is determined by a complicated formula. The plaintiff had also filed suit against other cigarette manufacturers, but those lawsuits were dismissed shortly before trial.
Bill Hetherman, Daily Breeze 07/30/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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GM's Faulty-Ignition Fund Taking Victims' Claims
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A fund set up by General Motors to pay for deaths and injuries caused by its vehicles with faulty ignitions is accepting claims. The five-month filing period that began Friday is part of the fallout from General Motors' recall of 2.6 million small cars beginning in February.
Associated Press, Detroit Free Press 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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GM Help Site as Defective as the Switches, Feds Say
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Federal safety regulators say that not only are General Motors ignition switches defective, so is GM's website for determining if you are driving one of the defective cars. People who use the GM "VIN look-up" site are told their cars aren't part of an active recall if the repair parts aren't yet available, even when the cars are, in fact, being recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late Friday that it "determined that owners of some recalled GM vehicles are receiving incorrect and misleading results" using the automaker's VIN look-up system. NHTSA said it told GM to fix the system and tell owners about the problem.
James R. Healey, USA Today 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Why Recalled Cars Stay on the Road
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The WSJ examined federal data on 279 vehicle recalls since 2000 that were spurred by a NHTSA probe. In more than a third of the cases, it took at least 12 months to investigate, recall and start fixing those vehicles, the data show. In about 10% of the cases, it took at least two years. Many of those investigations involved serious safety concerns. The auto recall process can be prolonged if auto makers fight the NHTSA's claims. Even after auto makers agree to fix vehicles, some repairs are delayed by problems getting needed parts, and regulators rarely impose a strict deadline for finishing the job. Some car owners never find out about the recall because they fall through cracks in the notification process, which requires auto makers to send letters only to the last known registered owner or buyer.
Mike Spector and Andrea Fuller, Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Texans Paying More for Home, Auto Insurance
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Homeowners and drivers across the state are feeling the pinch of higher insurance premiums this year. Average rates for both have jumped by double digits. New figures submitted to the TDI and analyzed by The Dallas Morning News show that rates charged by 30 home insurers in eight selected ZIP codes across the Dallas area have typically increased from 9% to 12%. Auto policies have become costlier as well, up an average of 11% for the 53 largest insurers in the metropolitan area. Until this year, auto premiums had been more stable than homeowners insurance costs.
TERRENCE STUTZ, The Dallas Morning News 08/04/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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