Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  December 18, 2014

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Texas Watch: Safe Texas Agenda

As our state’s economy thrives and our population booms, Texas families and communities face new threats to their physical and financial safety. We call on lawmakers to take steps during the 84th Legislature to help Texans thrive in our Texas economy by adopting a Safe Texas Agenda. Click on the headline to learn more.  





Sprint Faces Lawsuit Over 'Cramming'

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On Wednesday, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Sprint alleging that the phone company illegally collected tens of millions of dollars on unauthorized charges. The lawsuit alleges that Sprint participated in the practice known as 'cramming,' which occurs when "other companies push unauthorized charges onto phone bills by deceiving consumers or by simply feeding them into the wireless companies' billing systems." The lawsuit contends that Sprint has retained about 40 percent of the revenues acquired through the practice. Last year, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile agreed to stop the practice which charged customers for premium text messages such as flirting tips and horoscopes.
Mark Davis, Kansas City Star 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Judge Allows Paralyzed Teen's Lawsuit Against Pop Warner

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A Los Angeles judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit by a teenager who was paralyzed while making a tackle during a Pop Warner football game. City News Service says the judge on Wednesday rejected a motion to dismiss the negligence suit filed by Donnovan Hill and his mother. The boy was 13 in 2011 when he fractured his spine during the Midget Orange Bowl championship game. The suit argues that coaches knew players taught to make head-first tackles would get hurt. It names the national and local Pop Warner organization and the coaches. Lawyers for the volunteer coaches and Lakewood Pop Warner contend that the coaches are immune from liability and the plaintiffs must show they were reckless.
Associated Press, Houston Chronicle 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Judge Rejects $75 Million Settlement in Lawsuit Against N.C.A.A. on Head Injuries

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A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a proposed $75 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against the N.C.A.A. over its handling of head injuries. In a 21-page ruling, the judge, John Z. Lee of United States District Court, questioned the scope of the agreement, whether the amount was sufficient and whether the N.C.A.A. had the power to enforce the proposed medical changes.
BEN STRAUSS, The New York Times 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Painkillers Lawsuit Against NFL Dismissed; May Be Appealed

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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by 1,300 former players against the NFL, writing that the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union was the appropriate forum to resolve claims that teams damaged the players' by routinely dispensing painkillers. "In ruling against the novel claims asserted herein, this order does not minimize the underlying societal issue," Judge William Alsup of the U.S. Northern District in California wrote Wednesday. "In such a rough-and-tumble sport as professional football, player injuries loom as a serious and inevitable evil. Proper care of these injuries is likewise a paramount need."
Associated Press, ABC News 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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14 Charged in Meningitis Outbreak that Killed 64

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Federal prosecutors charged 14 people in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide in what authorities called the largest criminal case ever brought in the U.S. over contaminated medicine. The co-founders, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy are accused of using expired ingredients and failing to follow standards for cleanliness at the now-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which is blamed for tainted steroids that caused the deadly outbreak. According to an indictment announced Wednesday, mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers’ gloved fingertips. Pharmacists were accused of failing to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics.
Associated Press, The Washington Post 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Six Indicted in Chemical Spill that Fouled W VA River

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Six executives of a chemical company that spilled a coal-cleaning agent into a major W VA river in January, leaving 300,000 people without safe drinking water, were charged by federal authorities Wednesday with violating the Clean Water Act. The charges came almost a year after a Freedom Industries chemical tank ruptured, dumping up to 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM into the Elk River and contaminating drinking water for nine counties in and around Charleston, W.Va. More than 400 people were treated at hospitals for symptoms they blamed on drinking tainted water, according to health authorities.
DAVID ZUCCHINO, LA Times 12/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Class Action



Lockheed Martin Settles 401K Lawsuit

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Lockheed Martin has decided to settle a class action lawsuit filed eight years ago over 401k funds the day before the case was scheduled for trial. The lawsuit alleged that about 120,000 of the company's employees lost about $1.3 billion from their 401k funds. According to the lawsuit, Lockheed Martin did not properly manage the retirement plans and paid higher administrative fees than was necessary. The lawsuit was scheduled for a bench trial Dec. 16 before U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan in East St. Louis.
Paul Brinkmann, Orlando Sentinel 12/17/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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