Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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October 16, 2013

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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.

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.


Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit Settled

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Two men who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 25 years have reached a settlment in their lawsuit against the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The two plaintiffs sought compensation for the years they spent in prison for a crime a judge ruled they did not commit. The two men were indicted in 1977 for the shooting death of a retired police captain at a car dealership. In 2003 it was discovered that prosecutors were guilty of misconduct including hiding evidence and the two men were released. The details of the settlement are uncertain as a judge ordered them to be sealed.
David Pitt, DesMoines Register 10/14/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit Continues in Case of Woman Possibly Declared Dead Prematurely

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A judge has ruled that the lawsuit over the death of a woman participating in Pennsylvania's 2009 Polar Bear Plunge can continue. In his ruling, the judge determined that the woman may have still been alive and suffering from hypothermia when she was pronounced dead in Sea Isle City. According to the lawsuit filed by the woman's parents, "a doctor with Atlantic Emergency Associates pronounced [the woman] dead over the phone, although neither the city's ambulance corps nor the doctor ever examined her." The claims of negligence and civil rights violations filed against the police officers were dismissed by the judge in addition to the claims of civil rights violations against the ambulance corps and its assistant chief. However, the judge says the case against the doctor can proceed and a punitive damages claim may also go forward against the doctor, the city and its police.
Trudi Gilfillian, Press of Atlantic City 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Settlement Reached in Case of Shackled Mom

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A $490,000 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by an immigrant in the United States illegally who was shackled to a hospital bed when she gave birth to her child. The sheriff of Tennessee's Davidson county enforced the federal deportation law, which is no longer enforced in the country, after the woman was arrested during a traffic stop. During the deportation proceedings, the woman went into labor and was taken to the hospital where she was chained to her bed. The five-year lawsuit reached an end when Nashville officials agreed to settle. The woman will receive $100,000 in the settlement, with the rest going to pay off attorneys' fees.
Staff Report, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Six Flags Responds to Fatal Accident: We Don't Design or Build Rides

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Responding to a lawsuit brought by the family of a passenger killed on its roller coaster, Six Flags Over Texas said it didn't build or design the ride and points to independent contractors as being responsible for the passenger restraint system. On Sept. 10, representatives of the estate of Rosa Esparza filed suit against Six Flags Entertainment Corp. in Tarrant County's 342nd State District Court.
Craig Hlavaty , Houston Chronicle 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Ex-Halliburton Manager Pleads Guilty

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A former Halliburton manager pleaded guilty Tuesday to destroying evidence in the aftermath of the deadly rig explosion that spawned BP's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Anthony Badalamenti, 62, of Katy, Texas, faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine after his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence.
Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press, Houston Chronicle 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Against Gun Maker Remington Settled

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A Battle Creek woman has settled a lawsuit she filed claiming that a faulty trigger assembly on a popular Remington rifle led to her husband's death during a hunting trip in Wyoming in 2011. Terms of the settlement are confidential. Court documents show the wrongful death suit against Remington alleged that a faulty trigger-assembly design on a 2005 Remington Model 700-270 bolt-action rifle caused the weapon to inadvertently fire without the gun's trigger being pulled.
Rex Hall, Jr., Michigan Daily 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Victoria Trucking Companies Settle Case for $9.5M

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AW Trucking and Jet Maintenance agreed to a $9.5 million settlement in Victoria district court. Calvin Stovall, 44, of Victoria, sued the companies and one of its truck drivers, Johnny Raymond Rodriguez, after Rodriguez rear ended him March 24, 2012, at the U.S. 59 and Upper Mission Valley Road intersection. Stovall has undergone numerous surgeries to his back and continues to be treated for a head injury. Armando and Maria Olachia and their children, a Corpus Christi family who was also hit by Rodriguez in the same wreck, were added to the lawsuit later. They will receive $4.1 million.
Jessica Priest, Victoria Advocate 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Report Tallies Texas Nuclear Plant Violations

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An unreleased report says two Texas nuclear power plants each experienced more than 150 lower-level safety violations from 2000 through 2012. The data were included in a GAO report obtained by The Associated Press. It is intended to show that safety violations at nuclear plants vary from region to region, in part because of differing rules interpretations. The West region, which includes Texas, had 2 ½ times the Southeast's rate of lower-level violations per reactor.
Associated Press, Austin American Statesman 10/16/2013 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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