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July 2014 Archives

$190 Million Settlement for Personal Injury Cases due to Malpractice

Johns Hopkins Hospital will pay one of the largest settlements ever for personal injury cases and trauma from malpractice

Physicians and photography don't mix

July 29, 2014. Via lexology.com.   A gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped women's bodies in the examining room will cost one of the world's leading medical institutions $190 million.  In a damaging blow to its reputation, Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to a settlement with more than 8,000 patients of Dr. Nikita Levy, who wore a pen-like camera around his neck to secretly record videos and photos of his patients, including 62 girls.  Dr. Levy, a 25-year physician with Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, Maryland, had seen approximately 12,600 patients during his tenure.  He was fired in February 2013 after a co-worker spotted the camera and alerted authorities.  Investigators discovered roughly 1,200 videos and 140 images stored on his home computer.  Dr. Levy committed suicide days after his termination.

Business Litigation, Breach of Fiduciary Duty re Tulia

Law firm focused on shareholder cases is investigating potential breach of fiduciary duty claims against Trulia, Inc.'s Board of Directors and seeking more money for shareholders.

July 28, 2014. Post originally appeared on californialegalmalpractice.net, o the sale of the Company to Zillow, Inc. ("Zillow"). On July 28, 2014, the two companies announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Zillow will acquire Trulia in a merger valued at roughly $3.5 billion. As a result of the merger, Trulia shareholders are only anticipated to receive 0.444 shares of Zillow Class A common stock in exchange for each share of Trulia. Andrews & Springer's investigation focuses on the insufficient consideration that Trulia shareholders are expected to receive. Following the merger, Trulia shareholders are expected to be substantially diluted, owning only 33% of the combined company. Additionally, the 0.444 fixed exchange ratio restricts the value that Trulia shareholders are expected to receive by exposing Trulia shareholders to the volatility of Zillow's share price. Andrews & Springer is investigating whether Trulia directors are breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to adequately shop the company and maximize shareholder value. Andrews & Springer is also investigating the fairness of the sales process conducted by J.P. Morgan.  

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Investigation Re Trulia

A law firm focused on shareholder cases is investigating potential breach of fiduciary duty claims against the Board of Directors of Trulia, Inc. The firm is seeking more money for shareholders.

July 28, 2014. Via Wall St. Journal online.

Andrews & Springer LLC, a boutique securities class action law firm focused on representing shareholders nationwide, is investigating potential breach of fiduciary duty claims against the Board of Directors of Trulia, Inc. ("Trulia" or the "Company") (NYSE: TRLA) relating to the sale of the Company to Zillow, Inc. ("Zillow"). On July 28, 2014, the two companies announced the

Tobacco, Serious Personal Injury Lawsuit, Multi Billion Damage Award

RJ Reynolds vows to appeal of course, but the giant damage award sends a strong message.

Florida jury slams RJ Reynolds with $23.6B in damages

Jury slams tobacco company with $23.6 billion in punitive damages in widow's lawsuit

July 19 2014. Associated Press.
MIAMI - A Florida jury has slammed a tobacco company with $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths. The damages a Pensacola jury awarded Friday to Cynthia Robinson after a four-week trial come in addition to $16.8 million in compensatory damages.
Robinson individually sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in 2008 on behalf of her late husband, Michael Johnson Sr. Her attorneys said the punitive damages are the largest of any individual case stemming from the original class action lawsuit. "The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes," said one of the woman's attorneys, Christopher Chestnut. Reynolds' vice president and assistant general counsel, Jeffery Raborn, called the damages in Robinson's case "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law." "This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented," Raborn said. "We plan to file post-trial motions with the trial court promptly, and are confident that the court will follow the law and not allow this runaway verdict to stand." The lawsuit's goal was to stop tobacco companies from targeting children and young people with their advertising, said Willie Gary, another attorney representing Robinson. "If we don't get a dime, that's OK, if we can make a difference and save some lives," Gary said. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away cigarette manufacturers' appeals of more than $70 million in court judgments to Florida smokers. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. had wanted the court to review cases in which smokers won large damage awards without having to prove that the companies sold a defective and dangerous product or hid the risks of smoking. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Serious Brain Injury Lawsuit Filed Against Charter School

Improper supervision may be at the heart of this case.

Serious Brain Injury Lawsuit filed against school and event company after girl seriously injured

Girl suffered brain injury after sumo wrestling game at Mater Academy Charter School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla.

Jul 22 2014. By Amanda Batchelor via local10.com.

Serious Personal Injury Lawsuit at Community College

Reasonable care and precaution surrounding safety is at the heart of this serious personal injury case.

LCCC Student Sues College for Welding Class Injury

July 22, 2014. By Aerin Curtis, Wyoming Tribune Eagle A former Laramie County Community College student is suing the college for damages related to an injury he suffered on equipment in a welding class in 2011.In the recently filed lawsuit in Laramie County District Court, Michael Plemens said the college was negligent in its care of machinery and had removed a safety device, which led to his injury. A visit by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services to the shop classrooms after the accident found eight serious and eight non-serious OSHA violations in the classrooms, including that the machine's safety device was improperly installed. "The nature of OSHA's safety hazard findings demonstrate defendants' and each of their disregard for the safety of its/their students and their ignorance and/or apathy regarding normal and routine safety procedures necessary to protect students from serious injury while in the shop classroom," according to court documents. LCCC lawyer Tara Nethercott said the college does not comment on pending litigation. He is suing the school for not maintaining safe machinery and equipment operated in classes in September of 2011. "Defendants, including, but not limited to, defendant (instructor Rob) Benning, knew of the risk and danger that such mechanical power press presented to its students as a result of such safety device being removed, but nevertheless knowingly operated and allowed such mechanical power press to be operated in a manner that placed (Plemens) and others in harm's way and at serious risk of injury," according to court documents. The suit is against members of the LCCC Board of Trustees, college President Joe Schaffer, vice president of administration and finance Carol Hoglund, instructors or employees Rob Benning, Robert LaFaso, Larry Van Why and Jared Cooper, as well as several unknown college employees. Plemens, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, had started the auto body course as a therapeutic program. Because he "enjoyed working with his hands, he and his (Veterans Affairs) counselor agreed that the auto body program offered by (LCCC) might help (Plemens) find a way to get out and participate once again in normal life activities," according to court documents. He was taking part in a welding class when the injury occurred. A machine used in the class amputated the tips of two fingers on his left hand and caused permanent injury to the hand, according to court documents. Plemens "continues to experience numbness, pain and discomfort in his injured extremities and has difficulty grasping small or fine objects with his injured hand," according to court documents. In the lawsuit, Plemens says a mechanical power press used in the class was missing the safety feature that would have protected his hand. And the college should be responsible for damages caused by the metal cutting machine, the lawsuit says. The instructors should have acted with "reasonable care" to not place students in a "dangerous and compromised situation," according to court documents. Additionally, the lawsuit says the college failed to properly train employees regarding safety procure on the machine, according to court documents. A previous claim was filed with the college in August of 2013. But the claim was denied in December, according to court documents. That claim asked for $1.75 million, along with legal costs and damages. The lawsuit is asking for coverage of several items, include medical expenses; loss of earning capacity; permanent physical impairment; emotional distress; shock, fright and worry; discrimination and attorney fees. After the incident, Plemens contacted the school's insurance administrator and was told that the school does not cover student injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Settlement for High School Football Player

A dispute arose regarding whether the plaintiff had actually accepted the settlement. Attorney says "a deal is a deal."

Judge enforces $300K settlement in Montana high school traumatic brain injury lawsuit July 9, 2014. By Whitney Bermes via bozemandailychronicle.com. A Gallatin County District Court judge has enforced a $300,000 settlement in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit between the Three Forks School District and a former high school football player. Michael Rouchleau and his parents, Kim and Joseph Rouchleau, sued the district in 2012, claiming that Michael had suffered a life-altering traumatic brain injury while playing football for Three Forks. Three Forks School District attorneys asked District Judge John Brown to enforce the settlement agreement. At a May hearing before Brown, three of Michael's attorneys testified that the Rouchleaus had agreed to the proposed settlement, but that outside interference and pressure from Michael's mother had changed his mind. Michael denied that accusation, arguing instead that he had never agreed to the settlement. In his order, however, Brown said he didn't find Michael's testimony credible and said the settlement was valid. Per Brown's order, the claims will be dismissed once the Three Forks School District pays $300,000, of which Michael will receive $200,000. The lawsuit said that during an August 2009 football practice, Michael and another player suffered concussions and were vomiting on the field after a head-to-head tackle. It was the second head collision for Michael that day, the lawsuit said. Later that day, Michael was diagnosed with a concussion and ordered to not play football for 11 days, the lawsuit said. However, six days later coaches told him to run plays, during which he was knocked unconscious and carried off the field, according to the lawsuit. The settlement will be paid for by the school district's insurance, attorneys said. "We were pleased that the judge enforced the settlement. Judge Brown did the right thing," said Michael Sand, Michael's attorney. Sand said that testifying against Michael was a unique situation. "It really puts us at odds with our client," he said. But, he added, "a deal is a deal." David Dalthorp, attorney for the Three Forks School District, agreed with Sand and said he also believed Brown made the right call. However, Dalthorp added that he wouldn't have minded taking this case to trial. "I think there's reasonable probability that the school district would have prevailed on liability," Dalthorp said.

Tippit Hedren Uses Insurance Lawsuit to Collect

Sometimes winning a successful legal malpractice lawsuit isn't enough. In this case, Tippi Hedren wins her legal malpractice suit, is awarded a judgement but is now filing an insurance lawsuit against the companies responsible for making payment for disregarding their responsibility.

Tippi Hedren sues to collect on 2011 court judgement

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Meriter Health

Class members suing Meriter Health Services re their pension fund have had part of their claims barred, but the breach of fiduciary duty claim stands.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty  Claim Stands While Court Kills Most Claims Against Meriter Plan

July 7, 2014. By Matthew Loughran via bna.com A federal judge in Wisconsin has determined that almost all claims by a group of 11 subclasses representing more than 4,000 participants in the pension plan of Meriter Health Services Inc. are barred by the applicable statute of limitations.In a July 3 opinion, Judge William M. Conley granted partial summary judgment to Meriter, finding that the majority of claims against the administrator accrued in 2003 at the latest, making the class action untimely as it was filed in 2010, well beyond the six-year statute of limitations. The court did, however, refuse summary judgment on the claim that the administrator breached its fiduciary duties to act solely in the interest of the plan participants by concealing potential violations of tax code Section 417(e) when calculating lump-sum payments to participants. That claim will be the subject of a trial before Conley scheduled for July 28. Read the full article 

Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Stands Against Meriter

Even though numerous members of a class suing regarding alleged mismanagement of the Meriter Health Services pension fund have missed the statute of limitations on significant parts of their claim, the breach of fiduciary duty claim stands.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty  Claim Stands While Court Kills Most Claims Against Meriter Plan

July 7, 2014. By Matthew Loughran via bna.com

A federal judge in Wisconsin has determined that almost all claims by a group of 11 subclasses representing more than 4,000 participants in the pension plan of Meriter Health Services Inc. are barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

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