Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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October 10, 2013

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The Plaintiff's Resource

Upcoming Online CLE


The Evolution of Rules of the Road to Rhetorical Questions


Maximizing Damages in Wrongful Death Cases


The Do's and Don'ts of Private/ERISA, Medicaid, and Medicare Lien Resolution and Set-Asides


2013 Making a Difference Award

TTLA is now accepting nominations for the Making a Difference Award which is periodically awarded at the discretion of the TTLA Executive Committee and recognizes a client (past or present) of a TTLA member whose actions demonstrates the critical role of the civil justice system in protecting the rights of Texas families. Nominees should demonstrate a desire to promote the public good through the civil justice system and best exemplify the attributes of a true advocate. Nomination deadline is November 1, 2013. Click on the headline to download the nomination form.

2013 Legends CLE: "Tales From the Crypt" October 30 - 31 in Austin

Back by popular demand, our Second Annual Legends Seminar brings you "Tales From the Crypt," October 30 - 31, 2013 in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year's underwriters - Fibich, Hampton, Leebron, Briggs & Josephson; The Gallagher Law Firm; Payne Mitchell Law Group and Watts Guerra - dug deep to bring you the power of over 800 years of legal experience to add to your cauldron of trial strategies. Click on the headline to learn more and register.


Doctor Awarded $3.7 Million in Discrimination Lawsuit

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An Ohio doctor who filed a civil lawsuit alleging he was discriminated against because he is black was awarded $3.7 million by a jury last Friday. The lawsuit filed against Mount Carmel Health Systems and three physicians alleged that the hospital discriminated against him when they suspended his privileges for an offense that white doctors were not disciplined for. The lawsuit further alleged that the other three physicians conspired to push him out so that he would not compete with them. The plaintiff was awarded $700,000 for defamation and tortious interference charges, $1.5 million for the discrimination charge and $1.5 million for the conspiracy charge.
Kathy Lynn Gray, Columbus Dispatch 10/08/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Horse Rider Hit by Car and Paralyzed Files Lawsuit

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The guardians of a woman who was paralyzed when she was hit by a car while riding her horse have filed a lawsuit against a teenage driver and Summit County in Utah. In 2011, the woman and her horse were struck by the car which caused the woman to suffer a traumatic brain injury that left her permanently paralyzed. At the time of the accident, the woman did not have health insurance and has since had to pay extensive medical bills out of pocket. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to be used to move the woman to a rehabilitation center closer to her home and to provide her with better care than Medicaid can offer.
Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune 10/09/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawyer's Negligence Killed Surgery-Sponge Case, Woman Claims

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A Houston-area women is suing a Pasadena lawyer, alleging he was negligent by failing for months to file a medical-malpractice suit on her behalf, then withdrawing from representation without giving her time to find another attorney to file suit for her. The lawyer's inaction and conduct fell below the standard of care for an attorney handling this type of case, and his negligence barred Plaintiff from her rightful recovery," Bettie Conner alleges in her Sept. 30 petition filed in the 127th District Court in Harris County.
Brenda Sapino Jeffreys , Texas Lawyer 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Mother Sues City of Dallas After her Son Died Following Confrontation with Officers

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The mother of a 43-year-old man who died following a confrontation with Dallas police last year has sued the city in federal court, alleging, among other things, that officers used excessive force when subduing her son.
Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Morning News 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Chicken Sold by Foster Farms has Been Linked to a National Salmonella Outbreak

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Five salmonella cases in Texas appear to be part of the national outbreak related to a West Coast poultry producer, a state health official said Wednesday. The Texas cases have the same strain of salmonella, but we don't know if they have eaten the Foster Farms chicken, said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. State health workers are interviewing the victims about what they had eaten in recent weeks and months that would explain how they contracted salmonella Heidelberg, he said.
SHERRY JACOBSON , The Dallas Morning News 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Needless Stents

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Stents, metal mesh devices that prop open clogged blood vessels, have been implanted via catheters in seven million heart patients over the last decade -- perhaps as many as one-third of them needlessly, according to David Brown, a cardiologist at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York. In all, 11 hospitals have agreed to settlements with the Justice Department, resolving civil allegations of needless stenting and related wrongdoing. Most of these federal lawsuits, typically filed by whistle-blowers under seal, have slowly been made public since 2009. They, along with dozens of interviews with patients and doctors, reveal that hospitals benefited financially while overlooking -- or even encouraging -- allegedly inappropriate stent use.
Sydney P. Freedberg, Bloomberg 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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OSHA Fines West Fertilizer

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is fining the parent company of the West fertilizer plant that exploded $118,300 for 24 workplace violations, including unsafely handling and storing two dangerous chemicals. West Fertilizer Co.'s stockpile of one of those chemicals, ammonium nitrate, is what fueled the deadly and destructive explosion after a fire broke out after a workday had already ended. State fire authorities have not been able to determine a cause of the fire. OSHA found that West Fertilizer Co. failed to train and license its forklift operators, didn't pressure test replacement hoses on chemical tanks, had inadequate relief valves, did not have an emergency response plan and also didn't have required fire extinguishers.
Brandon Formby, The Dallas Morning News 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Special Report: U.S. Builders Hoard Mineral Rights Under New Homes

In golf clubs, gated communities and other housing developments across the US, tens of thousands of families in recent years moved into new homes where their developers or homebuilders, with little or no prior disclosure, kept all the underlying mineral rights for themselves, a Reuters review of county property records in 25 states shows. In dozens of cases, the buyers were in the dark. The phenomenon is rooted in recent advances in extracting oil and gas from shale formations deep in the earth. Horizontal drilling and the controversial practice of "fracking," have opened vast swaths of the continental US to exploration. As a result, homebuilders and developers have been increasingly - and quietly - hanging on to the mineral rights underneath their projects, pushing aside homeowners' interests to set themselves up for financial gain when energy companies come calling.
Michelle Conlin and Brian Grow, Reuters 10/10/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

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