Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  February 22, 2013

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The Plaintiff's Resource

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


Overcoming the Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act Privilege in Medical and Hospital Negligence Cases




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We appreciate our 2013 preferred partners and are grateful for their support. We encourage our members to support these companies when they are in need of legal services and products. Click on the headline to learn more!  


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.  





$10.5M Awarded in Death of Woman Crushed by Monster Truck

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A Dallas jury has awarded $10.5 million to the family of a woman who was killed when she was run over outside a topless club in 2011. The woman, 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie, was crushed under the wheels of a ‘monster truck’ driven by Eric Brent Crutchfield, a patron who had been drinking heavily at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club near Walnut Hill Lane and the Stemmons Freeway. The verdict against the club came in the trial of a civil suit alleging that employees of the Spearmint Rhino continued to serve drinks to Crutchfield over a period of three or four hours, “even though it was or should have been apparent … that Crutchfield was intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others.”
Bruce Tomaso, The Dallas Morning News 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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In $100M Disbursement, Lawyer Taps 9/11 Special Master

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Last month, checks began arriving in the mail for more than 100 victims of the 2011 Reno Air Races disaster — an incident in which a World War II plane crashed into an audience of spectators, killing 10 people and leaving many more injured. While the settlement was handled out of court, which was unusual enough, it also had a "settlement administrator" who helped the lawyers determine how much compensation each of the victims received from a limited pool of insurance funds.
John Council, Texas Lawyer 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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FAMU Still Negotiating to End Hazing Lawsuit

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Florida A&M University, which had a previous settlement offer rejected, is still trying to resolve a lawsuit filed by the family of a drum major who died following a hazing ritual. The university board held an emergency meeting on Thursday night to discuss the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Robert Champion. Champion died in November 2011 after he was hazed on a band bus parked outside an Orlando hotel. Most of the meeting held by telephone was closed to the press and public because it involves an ongoing lawsuit.
GARY FINEOUT, AP, Miami Herald 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Gulf Coast Oil Spillers About to Face Day in Court

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The trial over the worst U.S. offshore oil spill is set to start Monday in New Orleans before a federal judge and without a jury. Few expect the case, seen lasting several months, will be decided by the judge. An eleventh-hour settlement this weekend is a possibility, but legal experts expect a resolution, at least with the U.S. Department of Justice, in the coming months. Early testimony is likely to set the tone for any settlement talks, depending on how damaging the evidence is, they said.
Kristen Hays & Braden Reddall, Reuters 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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ExxonMobil Witness in Trial Says MTBE Raised Cancer Risk

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New Hampshire’s last witness in a trial alleging Exxon Mobil Corp. contaminated the state’s drinking water with the gasoline additive MTBE told jurors studies indicated the chemical raised cancer risks in rodents. Robert Biles, a retired Exxon Mobil toxicologist who was ordered to be a witness for the state, said in videotaped testimony today that several studies of MTBE on mice and rats showed an increased risk of reproductive problems as well as cancer. “There was some evidence of severe toxicity in some of the studies,” Biles said.
Sarah Earle & Don Jeffrey, Bloomberg 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Man's Suicide in County Jail Sparks Lawsuit

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A Hays County, Texas, woman has filed suit against a local jail over the death of her son while he was in custody. The boy hung himself in a solitary cell in 2011; the suit claims he was bipolar and wasn't given his medication and that guards ignored his threats to harm himself. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.
Staff Report, KVUE-TV 02/21/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Feds Warn Fort Worth Drug Manufacturer of Safety Violations

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The FDA cited several cold medicines that Sovereign Pharmaceuticals has manufactured for business partner Capellon Pharmaceuticals, including Certuss, Trexbrom, Tekral, Rescon and Liquibid. Additionally, the variety of Rescon pictured here “is missing important warning information” that should tell people not to use it under certain conditions “unless directed by a doctor.” Sovereign also committed “significant violations of current good manufacturing practice” when making the anti-spasm prescription drug Symax, the FDA said. Further, Sovereign failed to test “for adequacy of mixing to ensure uniformity” among tablets of the widely used prescription painkiller hydrocodone.
Brooks Egerton, The Dallas Morning News 02/22/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



Suit: Psychologist to Blame for Toddler's Death

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The death of a 15-month-old boy while on a court-ordered visit with his father has prompted a lawsuit against the psychologist who sanctioned the visits. The suit says the psychologist's report was "instrumental" in convincing the judge to allow the boy's father to have unsupervised visits with the child. Authorities say the man drowned the boy in a bathtub in order to collect life insurance. The lawsuit is seeking $20 million in damages.
Wire Report, The Washington Post 02/19/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Man Crushed by Newsprint Roll, Lawsuit Filed

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A lawsuit has been filed against Philadelphia Media Network and Philadelphia Newspapers, among others, over the death of a man who was crushed by a large roll of newsprint. The man had opened the doors of a rail car when two rolls fell out. One of the rolls, weighing over 1,500 pounds, landed on top of him and killed him. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of failing to "properly secure the newsprint rolls in the train, causing them to shift during transport."
Carolyn Davis, Philadelphia Inquirer 02/21/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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