Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  February 20, 2013

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Arbitration - How to Defeat Arbitration Clauses


Settling Medicare Claims After The SMART Act of 2011: Progress Or Platitudes?




2013 TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar, April 25-26

TTLA is proud to present its first-ever seminar dedicated solely to Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation. Join highly experienced and successful mass tort lawyers, including many who serve in leadership roles on plaintiff steering committees, as they discuss the hottest topics in this dynamic and ever-changing area of law. TTLA legends and panels of Texas plaintiff attorneys will gather in Houston to discuss and debate a wide-range of mass tort topics, from marketing and pre-litigation to voir dire and trial. So join us in Houston on April 25-26, 2013 to learn from some of the best Pharmaceutical and Medical Device lawyers in the country. Click on the headline to learn more.  





Glendale Officer Files Retaliation Lawsuit

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A police officer in Glendale, Calif., has filed a lawsuit against the city and his department, alleging he was retaliated against after reporting work-related health violations. The officer said he and a co-worker were exposed to "blood-borne pathogens" while on duty, and that the department failed to comply with state OSHA regulations. Due to his reporting, the plaintiff was allegedly "ostracized" by co-workers and subjected to an internal investigation.
Veronica Rocha , LA Times 02/17/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Writer Cornwell Awarded $51 Million in Lawsuit

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A federal jury in Massachusetts has awarded nearly $51 million to writer Patricia Cornwell in her lawsuit against financial company Anchin, Block & Anchin. In the suit, Cornwell accused the company of wildly mismanaging her money and being "negligent of their fiduciary duty."
Beverly Ford and Bill Hutchinson , New York Daily News 02/19/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit: NOLA Police Beat Cuffed Man During Mardi Gras

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An Alabama man has filed suit against New Orleans police, claiming he was beaten unconscious while handcuffed to a bench near Bourbon Street by police during Mardi Gras 2012. The plaintiff also claims that officers attempted to cover up their actions by destroying surveillance video and writing a "false and misleading" report. The man was taken to a local hospital and diagnosed with a concussion, requiring further medical treatment.
Naomi Martin, New Orleans Times-Picayune 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Abuse Suit At Hawaii School Settled

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A federal judge in Hawaii has approved a preliminary $5.75 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the state over sexual abuse of students at Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. The suit claimed the state knew for years that younger students at the school were being abused by older classmates but did nothing to halt the abuse.
Nelson Daranciang, Honolulu Advertiser 02/19/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Judge Weighs Claim that TMB Abuses its Power

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A long-running lawsuit that accuses the Texas Medical Board of abusing its power was left on Tuesday in the hands of U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who said he faces a tough decision. The suit is part of a continuing challenge of the medical board’s authority by doctors who say they have been harassed or treated harshly during disciplinary proceedings. While the court fight continues, some state lawmakers who are sympathetic to the doctors are moving in the Legislature to restrict the board’s investigative methods. Texas has a moderate record for punishing physicians, ranking 30th among the states in its rate of serious disciplinary actions from 2009 and 2011, according to Public Citizen, a watchdog group that analyzes data from the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Mary Ann Roser, Austin American Statesman 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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BWM Recalls 570,000 Vehicles in the U.S., Canada

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German automaker BMW has issued a recall of 570,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada due to a faulty battery connecter cable that can cause engines to stall. The recall covers various 3-Series, 1-Series and Z4 vehicles, model years 2007 through 2012. The company said the cable connectors can degrade over time, causing a break in the electrical connection between the battery in the trunk and the fuse box in the front.
Wire Report, Detroit Free Press 02/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Hundreds of Miles of Gas Lines Corroding, Experts Warn

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In the summer of 2011, three people were critically injured when their Oak Cliff home exploded as a light switched on. Initially blamed on a lightning strike, an investigation by the Texas Railroad Commission ended with the state issuing a notice of violation to Dallas-based Atmos Energy. That family now personifies a criticism raised by public safety experts: More than 800 miles of Atmos piping is made of cast iron, a material that a federal agency advised gas providers to phase out as far back as 1973, citing issues with deterioration and corrosion. The violation given to Atmos Energy said the company did not have a “cast-iron replacement program in place.”
Brett Shipp, 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Steffy: Cruise Passengers are Sunk Before They Ever Sue

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Maritime law experts say passengers waive most legal rights when they buy cruise tickets. The fine print in ticket contracts basically requires any lawsuits be subjected to arbitration in a federal court in Miami. That's going to be inconvenient for the ship's predominantly Texas-based passengers. Only cases involving personal injury, illness or death can be heard in court. The squalid conditions or allegations of gross negligence described in some of the lawsuits may not be enough to get around the arbitration clause. What's more, Carnival's ticket contract, available on its website, shows that passengers waive their rights to a jury trial and to joining in a class-action lawsuit. That means for most potential plaintiffs, the legal costs would exceed any amount they could reasonably hope to recover.
Loren Steffy, Houston Chronicle 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit over Navy Vet Suicide Settled

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A Navy veteran in Virginia has reached a settlement in a medical malpractice suit she filed against the Hampton Veterans Administration Medical Center over the suicide of her twin sister. The suit claimed the victim overdosed on antispychotic medication prescribed by doctors at the center. The lawsuit claimed doctors were made aware the victim had attempted suicide, but failed to reduce or stop her prescribed dosage. Records show that doctors prescribed over 5300 pills to the victim over the course of one year.
Kate Wiltrout, Virginian Pilot 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



Wrongful Death Suit Settled over Mother's Murder

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A wrongful death lawsuit has been settled over the murder of a Kansas woman in November 2009. The suit was filed by the woman's children against their father, claiming he conspired with two others to have their mother killed. No charges have been filed against the father, but another man allegedly involved in the crime has been convicted of murder. While the exact terms of the settlement were undisclosed, it has been reported the settlement could be in the $200,000 range.
Wire Report, San Francisco Chronicle 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Southwick: Losing My Leg to a Medical Error

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I lost my leg because of a preventable error. The loss of a limb is traumatic, and I experience waves of sorrow and regret. My work as a physician has been put on hold. For the past two decades I have been studying how to prevent errors in health care, and the irony of my present predicament strengthens my motivation to continue the quest. No one should ever have to experience such preventable harm. And yet many people do. Exactly how many, we can’t say, because there is no national registry for injuries or deaths caused by medical errors. Over a decade ago, in the best study of its kind, the Institute of Medicine estimated that there were 44,000 to 98,000 deaths per year because of preventable errors in the American health system. For every death there are likely to be at least 10 serious injuries, so we can assume that roughly a million patients are seriously injured each year.
FREDERICK S. SOUTHWICK, The New York Times 02/20/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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