Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  January 2, 2013

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The Plaintiff's Resource

Upcoming Online CLE


Utilizing a Qualified Settlement Fund: what are they, how they work, and when they should be considered


How the Defense Values a Case


Medicare Secondary Payer Workshop: 2012 Update




FDIC Capping Amount of Money Insured in IOLTA Accounts Starting Jan. 1, 2013

Excerpt from Texas Lawyer: Starting on Jan. 1, lawyers need to take extra steps to protect clients’ money in their Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA). Lawyers holding more than $250,000 for a client in such an account need to research the bank to ensure it won’t fail or consider depositing the cash in multiple IOLTA accounts at separate banks. For the past two years, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has insured an unlimited amount of money in IOLTA accounts, but starting in the New Year, the FDIC will only insure up to $250,000 per client per bank, says Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the administrator of the IOLTA program in Texas. Click on the headline to learn more.  





Class-Action Suit Filed Against Instagram

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco against the photo sharing service Instagram over recent changes to the terms of service agreement on the site. The lawsuit claims the new language paves the way for Instagram to sell user photos without compensation or permission. The suit also states that users who do not agree to the new terms will lose all rights to photos previously shared on the service.
Dan Levine, Reuters 12/24/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Court Revives Remote Cybertheft Lawsuit

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A U.S. appeals court has revived a lawsuit filed by a Denver chemical company against a former employee accused of stealing trade secrets. The court ruled that even though the defendant committed the alleged theft from her home in Ontario, Canada, the company could still seek civil damages because the servers she accessed are in Connecticut. Experts say the ruling will make it easier for U.S. companies to cut down on theft that occurs from remote locations outside the country.
Jonathan Stempel, Denver Post 12/27/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Calif. Court to Rule on Suit Against Amusement Park

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The California Supreme Court will decide this week if amusement parks in the state can be held liable for injuries patrons suffer on rides at the park. The issue stems from a lawsuit filed by a woman who broke her wrist on a bumper car ride at the Great American amusement park, but park owners say all patrons assume responsibility when getting on rides with inherent risks involved. The woman, however, says the accident could have been avoided by making the bumper cars safer without compromising the integrity of the ride.
Maura Dolan, LA Times 12/30/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Pennsylvania Files Suit over Penn State Sanctions

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Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett has announced that the state will file a lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions filed against Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Part of the sanctions include a $60 million fine, which Corbett says in the suit should be distributed to causes around the state. NCAA President Mark Emmert has been criticized for "bypassing typical investigative protocols to punish the university" in the issuance of the unprecedented sanctions.
Jessica Tully, USA Today 01/02/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit Filed over 'False' Ford Hybrid MPG Claims

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Ford Motors has been hit with a federal lawsuit over the MPG claims of its Fusion Hybrid. The suit says the company's marketing of the car's fuel economy is "false and misleading" and that it is almost impossible to maintain the 47 MPG advertised for the hybrids. Recently, automakers Hyundai and Kia have faced similar claims and were eventually ordered by the EPA to correct their advertised figures.
Antony Ingram, Christian Science Monitor 01/02/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Toyota to Pay $1.1B in 'Unintended Acceleration' Cases

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After years of litigation and probes, Toyota announced a $1.1 billion settlement to resolve lawsuits alleging "unintended acceleration" in some Toyota and Lexus models. Toyota will create a fund for retrofitting 3.2 million Toyota and Lexus cars with technology that makes them easier to stop in a panic situation, as part of the settlement in a U.S. District Court case that sought class-action status. Owners of models that can't be retrofitted will receive cash payouts. And those who sold their vehicles in late 2009 and all of 2010 will be eligible for compensation due to lowered resale value due to the issue.
Chris Woodyard, USA Today 01/02/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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TX High Court to Decide if Dogs Have Sentimental Value Under the Law

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The Texas Supreme Court will decide whether the owners of a dog accidentally euthanized by the Fort Worth pound can sue for the sentimental value of the family pet or merely for the replacement value of the mixed-breed animal. The answer could have long-lasting implications for pet ownership in Texas, leading to divided loyalties among a long list of animal lovers who have weighed in on the legal battle.
Chuck Lindell, Austin American Statesman 01/02/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death



Connecticut Jury Awards $2.3 Million in Traffic Death

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A Connecticut jury has awarded $2.3 million to the family of a local man who was hit and killed while riding his bicycle in West Haven in September 2008. The jury found the driver 58 percent liable in the accident, accusing him of negligence. Witnesses testified to seeing the defendant driving at speeds upwards of 40 mph in a 25 mph zone just before striking the victim.
Randall Beach, New Haven Register 12/22/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Another Suit Filed in Fatal Texas Train Crash

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A second wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over a fatal crash at a railroad crossing in West Texas that occurred in November. Four military veterans died while riding on a parade float when it was struck by a train. The lawsuit accuses Union Pacific of failing to properly maintain a safe crossing and proper working signals.
Wire Report, San Francisco Chronicle 12/28/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Tasing Death Suit in Utah Settled

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The city of Hurricane, Utah, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of a man who died when tased by a police officer in 2009. The man, who was bipolar, was shocked twice by the officer in the chest and died on the scene. Shortly before the man had become agitated due to his condition, his wife had pulled over to the side of the road to get him some medication; after realizing the medication would not take effect fast enough to calm him down, she called 911 for assistance.
Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune 12/29/2012   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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