Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  February 26, 2013

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


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




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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.  





Jury Orders J.& J. to Pay an Implant Patient

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A jury said on Monday that Johnson & Johnson should pay a South Dakota woman $3.35 million for failing to warn her doctor adequately of the potential dangers of a vaginal mesh implant made by the company’s Ethicon subsidiary, and for misrepresenting the product in brochures. It was the first verdict among some 1,800 vaginal mesh cases pending in New Jersey against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson, and it could affect thousands of lawsuits against other manufacturers of similar product.
Reuters, The Washington Post 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Police Brutality Suit in Alabama Settled

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The city of Montgomery, Ala., has agreed to settle a suit filed by two local residents who say they were roughed up by police officers. The residents both claim they were roughly handled and spoken to by officers on separate occasions; one plaintiff alleged police stole $700 from his wallet during an arrest. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.
Scott Johnson, The Montgomery Advertiser 02/25/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Kentucky Nursing Home Settles Federal Care Suit

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A nursing home in Erlanger, Kentucky, has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the federal government accusing the center for providing "worthless services" that led to the death of five residents. The suit claimed the nursing home violated the False Claims Act by defrauding Medicare and Medicaid over reimbursement bulls for poor resident care. As part of the settlement, the home will document its care improvements with the government and pay a $350,000 fine.
Brenna R. Kelly, The Cincinnati Enquirer 02/25/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit: Ohio Scout Leader Abused Boy

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A lawsuit has been filed against a Boy Scout leader in Warren County, Ohio, by a former troop member who claims to have been sexually abused by the leader in the late 1990s. The suit claims the Scout leader was spending "substantial time alone" with the boy, a violation of organization policies, and that the Scouts were negligent in failing to protect the child and discipline the leader. The suit is seeking damages of more than $25,000.
Janice Morse, The Cincinnati Enquirer 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Safety Agency Investigating 725,000 Fords

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening or upgrading investigations into about 725,000 Ford cars and sport utility vehicles, almost 88,000 Honda Pilots and an undisclosed number of Graco child restraints, according to reports posted on the agency Web site over the weekend. Two of those investigations were generated by defect petitions filed by consumers.
CHRISTOPHER JENSEN, The New York Times 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Deaths of Teen Drivers Jumped in Early 2012

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Deaths of younger teen drivers increased sharply in the first six months of last year, reversing a decade-long trend, according to a report released Tuesday by state highway safety officials. Deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2012 were up a combined 19 percent over the same period in the previous year, according to the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. There were 107 drivers aged 16 who died between January and June of last year, compared to 86 drivers during the first half of 2011. The report is based on preliminary state data that sometimes changes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to release more definitive data later this year.
Associated Press, Houston Chronicle 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Ways EHRs Can Lead to Unintended Safety Problems

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In spring 2012, a surgeon tried to electronically access a patient’s radiology study in the operating room but the computer would show only a blue screen. The patient’s time under anesthesia was extended while OR staff struggled to get the display to function properly. That is just one example of 171 health information technology-related problems reported during a nine-week period to the ECRI Institute PSO, a patient safety organization in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., that works with health systems and hospital associations in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and elsewhere to analyze and prevent adverse events.
Kevin B. O'Reilly, American Medical News 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Missed Diagnoses Common in the Doctor's Office

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Missed or wrong diagnoses are common in primary care and may put some patients at risk of serious complications, a new study suggests. Although mistakes during surgery and in medication prescribing have been at the center of patient safety efforts, researchers said less attention has been paid to missed diagnoses in the doctor's office. Because of how common they are, those errors may lead to more patient injuries and deaths than other mistakes, according to Dr. David Newman-Toker from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, who co-wrote a commentary on the new study. "We have every reason to believe that diagnostic errors are a major, major public health problem," Newman-Toker told Reuters Health.
Genevra Pittman, Reuters, Yahoo News 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



Police Shooting in PA Prompts Lawsuit

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A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the fatal shooting of a Winola, Penn., man by local police last November. Police were serving a mental health warrant at the home of the victim when the shooting occurred; the suit claims officers charged into the home with shields and guns instead of waiting for the victim to come out "peacefully." Most of the officers had Tasers drawn to subdue the victim, but one officer pulled his firearm and shot the man twice. The suit is seeking $50,000 in damages.
Robert L. Baker, The Scranton Time-Tribune 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Police Negligent in Fatal Shooting, Suit Says

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A lawsuit has been filed against the Kauai police department and the county over the fatal shooting of a local man last year. Police said the man barricaded himself in his home with weapons, but after he was killed police found no guns or weapons of any kind inside. The lawsuit accuses officers of "assault and battery, unlawful search and seizure, unnecessary use of deadly force, negligent training, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death."
Wire Report, Honolulu Advertiser 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Texas Supreme Court - Health Law

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A patient sued a nurse staffing service. The court of appeals held that because the expert reports support a theory of vicarious liability against the staffing service, the lack of a description supporting direct liability is not fatal to the claimant's maintaining her cause of action. When a health care liability claim involves a vicarious liability theory, either alone or in combination with other theories, an expert report that meets the statutory standards as to the employee is sufficient to implicate the employer's conduct under the vicarious theory. And if any liability theory has been adequately covered, the entire case may proceed. The court of appeals' judgment is affirmed. Certified EMS Inc. v. Potts, Texas Supreme Court, No. 11-0517, 02-15-2013.
Texas Lawyer, Texas Lawyer Opinions (TTLA Members Only) 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: Torts

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The appellant sued after he was struck by a train while driving across railroad tracks. The district court award summary judgment to the railroad company. An expert's testimony that the crossing was "ultrahazardous" is transparently subjective and the district court did not abuse its discretion by excluding his testimony. The district court's judgment is affirmed. Brown v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11-60654, 01-28-2013.
Texas Lawyer, Texas Lawyer Opinions (TTLA Members Only) 02/26/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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