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Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  December 11, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


Medicare Set Asides in General Liability and Medical Malpractice Cases


Understanding ERISA


Depositions and Your Discovery Plan


Top 10 Things Attorneys Need to Know About E-Discovery

Texas Tribune Daily Brief



The Brief for Dec 11

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Compilation of Texas news by the Texas Tribune.
John Reynolds, Texas Tribune 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Most Insurance Companies Not Complying with Billing Transparency Law

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New state regulations meant to protect Texans from unfair medical bills largely have been ignored by many health insurance companies, and state officials have done little about it, according to public records. The new rules require insurance companies to submit reports to the Texas Department of Insurance detailing the adequacy of their health care networks. According to insurance department records, however, reports for only 25 of the 140 preferred provider plans offered in Texas were submitted by an April 1 deadline. And after more than seven months in which regulators have not levied any sanctions, only three more providers have submitted reports.
Brian M. Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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They Know the Medications You Buy and They Want to Sell You More

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Drugmakers and Internet companies are quietly joining forces to link U.S. pharmacy records with online accounts to target ads to people based on their health conditions and the prescription drugs they buy. In a little-known process, third-party companies assign patients unique numerical codes based on their prescription-drug records, a practice websites also rely on to track their registered users. The two sets of data can be linked without names ever changing hands, allowing pharmaceutical companies to identify groups that use a specific medicine and send them tailored Web ads.
Jordan Robertson and Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Work Hour Limits for Doctors in Training Don't Improve Patient Safety

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Two studies published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. examined the effects of new work rules that limit the number of hours interns and residents can spend caring for hospital patients. In both studies, researchers found little to no evidence that patients fared better or worse after the new rules went into effect in 2011. The controversial rules, set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, were designed to reduce the risk of medical errors by overworked and tired interns and residents.
Karen Kaplan, LA Times 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Arguments Heard on Law to Kill 'Big Oil' Lawsuit

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A federal judge heard arguments Wednesday over the constitutionality of a law passed by the Louisiana Legislature this year that was designed to kill a lawsuit brought against oil and gas companies by a regional flood board over wetlands damage. U.S. District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown did will not rule at Wednesday's hearing. She did not say when she would rule but indicated she might wait for the Louisiana Supreme Court to issue its own ruling on the matter. That court is weighing the constitutionality of the law and the suit.
Cain Burdeau, Associated Press, USA Today 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Nissan Agrees to Settle Faulty Brakes Lawsuit

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Nissan has agreed to pay some customers up to $800 each to settle claims that certain vehicles had faulty brakes. A judge still has to approve the proposed settlement, which was filed on Friday. The claims come from a 2011 lawsuit that said the brakes on the 2004 to 2008 models of the Nissan Titan, Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56 failed suddenly. Nissan said the settlement will cover about 350,000 vehicles. Both current and previous owners who replaced or repaired the brakes will be able to receive a refund between $20 and $800. The amount depends on how much mileage was on the vehicle
Associated Press, The Washington Post 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Sandy Hook Families Preparing Wrongful Death Lawsuits

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The families of 11 children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 are laying the groundwork to file wrongful death lawsuits. The families recently filed the paperwork to create estates for the children, with the parents as administrators. This is one of the first steps for the families to file wrongful death lawsuits over their childrens' deaths. While the paperwork does not indicate who the families will be filing against, they could be filing suit against the manufacturer of the gun used to kill the children, or the estate of the mother of the shooter, who was also killed that day.
Amanda Cuda, Danbury News-Times 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Airbag Compound Has Vexed Takata for Years

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For nearly two decades, Takata has struggled to tame an inexpensive but unstable compound thought to play a central role in airbag ruptures that are linked to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries. As far back as June 1995, a patent application filed by Takata expressed concern over using the compound, saying that it was so vulnerable to temperature changes that its casing, under excessive pressure, “might even blow up,” a review of patent documents by The New York Times found. Still, Takata said that it could stabilize the compound, ammonium nitrate, according to the patent document. By 2001, Takata had started to use ammonium nitrate in its propellant, which generates the gases to inflate the airbag.
HIROKO TABUCHI, The New York Times 12/11/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Class Action



Proposed Settlement of Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Lawsuit

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A settlement of a class action lawsuit over an oil spill in the Kalamazoo River has been proposed and is awaiting approval by a federal judge. The oil spill took place in July 2010 and was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history. The lawsuit accuses Enbridge Inc. of spilling 843,000 gallons of crude oil into the river due to a pipeline leak. If the settlement is approved, it would provide compensation "to people living within 1,000 feet of the river, donations to certain organizations that benefit the community or support recreation on the river, and a general fund to reimburse people who incurred expenses because of the July 2010 spill."
Rosemary Parker, MLive 12/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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