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  July 16, 2013

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Future Medicals and the MSP Act: The Treacherous Descent Towards Final Rules


Handling and Winning a Railroad Case: Evidentiary Tips of Practice


Dealing with Treating Providers and Experts (yours and theirs) on Traumatic Brain Injury Cases


Social Media and Discovery


Supplemental Security Income Basics




Justice Denied: 71 ALEC Bills in 2013 Make It Harder to Hold Corporations Accountable

Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch: At least 71 bills introduced in 2013 that make it harder for average Americans to access the civil justice system resemble "models" from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy. Click on the headline to learn more.  





El Paso Diocese Settles Priest Abuse Lawsuit

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The El Paso Diocese and a local church have settled a lawsuit with a former alter boy who claimed to have been sexually abused by a priest when he was a child. The lawsuit alleged church officials were aware that the priest "was a sexual predator who targeted children," but covered up his actions instead of reporting them to the police. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times 07/14/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Cheerleader Awarded $338K in Defamation Suit

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A former cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals has been awarded $338,000 in a defamation lawsuit against the website The woman filed suit in 2009 after the website posted comments saying she had sexually transmitted diseases and had slept with many members of the Bengals football team. Earlier this year, a district judge ruled the site was not shielded from liability under the 1996 Communications Decency Act because of the nature of the comments, which allowed the suit to go forward.
Jim Hannah, USA Today 07/11/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit: Police Beat Man Enough to Break His Spine

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A Hattiesburg, Miss., man has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department, claiming a group of officers "beat him hard enough to break his spine." Police were responding to a call about possible domestic violence in a local neighborhood, and, when they arrived, the victim allegedly "used profanity" toward the officers. The lawsuit says the profanity enraged the officers, and they handcuffed him, threw him on the ground, and began kicking and stomping him, breaking his spine. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Jesse Bass, Hattiesburg American 07/14/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Trial Scheduled in ATM Fee Class-Action Suit

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A class-action lawsuit is proceeding against a bar in Bloomington, Ind., over the failure to post notices regarding an ATM fee at the establishment. The ATM at the bar charged users a $1.50 transaction fee and, at the time, federal law required there be a notification sticker on every ATM regarding additional fees. A similar lawsuit was settled with an Indiana minor league baseball team and its ATM vendor last year for $50,000.
Wire Report, USA Today 07/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit: Texas Teacher Had Sex with Student

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A lawsuit has been filed against a teacher in Willis, Texas and the local school district, claiming the teacher had oral sex with a female student and school officials ignored the behavior. The suit claims the teacher befriended the student and began sexually harassing her through text messages and physical gestures; the suit says the teacher eventually forced the victim to have oral sex against her will. The suit also alleges school officials "turned a blind eye" to the teacher's behavior.
Robert Stanton, Houston Chronicle 07/15/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Experts: Civil Case Against Zimmerman May be Tough

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Experts in the Justice Department have said that civil rights charges against George Zimmerman could be "extremely difficult [to bring] and may not be possible." Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has vowed to continue investigating Zimmerman on possible hate crime charges, but experts say making those charges stick will be tough because "it’s not clear that [Zimmerman] killed Martin because of his race." The Justice Department would have to go beyond simply showing that Zimmerman followed Martin because of his race, but also prove that he attacked and killed him for that reason, experts say.
Philip Rucker and Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post 07/15/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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How An Overhaul of Eminent Domain Law Failed In Texas

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This is part two of a three-part series devoted to looking at efforts to overhaul eminent domain in Texas and what may come next for landowners, pipeline companies, and the oil and gas industry.
Mose Buchele, StateImpact Texas, Texas Tribune 07/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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State Agency to Hold Hearing on Waste Disposal

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The spreading of human waste as fertilizer on about 200 acres near Springtown by a Fort Worth company is raising so much of a stink that a state agency is planning to hold a public hearing to allow residents to air their complaints. Parker County officials announced Monday that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has tentatively scheduled a “stakeholders meeting” for Aug. 13 at the Springtown Senior Center, 1070 N. Main St. where individuals who live near the fields can speak out. Parker County Judge Mark Riley said the smell from the “ human biosolids” being spread on the farmland near Springtown by Renda Environmental Inc. of Fort Worth is simply unacceptable. Read more here:
Terry Evans, Star Telegram 07/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Plano Neurosurgeon Suspended After Patient Deaths

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The Texas Medical Board has temporarily suspended the license of a Plano neurosurgeon whose practices have led to "significant risk of harm and resulted in at least two patient deaths" over the past 18 months. The order issued this week against Dr. Christopher Daniel Duntsch, 42, cites numerous mistakes in four surgical cases, from diagnostic breakdowns to failures to recognize and respond to complications. It also said he is unable to practice medicine with "reasonable skill and safety due to impairment from drugs or alcohol." The board said, "Dr. Duntsch's lack of competence, impaired status and failure to adequately care for his patients poses a continuing threat to the public welfare."
MILES MOFFEIT , The Dallas Morning News 07/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Leah Binder: Bone-Chilling Mistakes Hospitals Make

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Claire was detained by security at the airport when the metal detector went off. Guards couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, they let her board the flight, but when she arrived home she immediately asked her doctor to order an X-Ray. The result: There in Claire’s abdomen, clear as day, was a retractor, a surgical instrument the size of a crowbar, somehow left behind from her recent surgery. Here’s the kicker: Though I don’t know Claire, I bet the offending hospital billed her for the surgery to remove the crowbar. They probably weren’t brazen enough to bill her to replace the missing retractor in the operating room, but stranger things have shown up on hospital bills.
Leah Binder, Leapfrog Group, Forbes 07/16/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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