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October 2014 Archives

Guardrails Creating Serious Car Accident Injury - Settlement $525 mil

Guardrails are designed keep to protect you if your car hits one, but cost savings measure at one of the nation's largest guardrail suppliers have put drivers at serious risk of injury or death.

Whistleblower's Lawsuit Against Guardrail Company Nets $525 Million

October 23, 2014 A jury ruled on the False Claim lawsuit filed by certified guard rail engineer Joshua Harmon against Trinity Industries, Inc., for defrauding the federal government. You probably have never given much thought to the guardrails that line U.S. roads and highways. They're not just metal strips.Guardrails are designed keep cars on the road during a collision, and to protect you if your car hits it head-on. The car's energy should force the guardrail to flatten, and stop your vehicle. Joshua Harmon, a guardrail engineer, noticed a lot of highway guardrails had been crushed in collisions--many more than he would usually see.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty In Company's Purchase / Sale

This financial advisor's breach is similar to an attorney breach of fiduciary duty.

Financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting a company board’s breach of fiduciary duty

March 10 2014.

On March 7, the Delaware Court of Chancery published a post-trial opinion in In Re Rural Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation (Rural Metro) finding Rural/Metro’s financial advisor RBC liable for aiding and abetting the Rural/Metro’s board of directors’ breach of its fiduciary duties in connection with the acquisition of Rural/Metro by Warburg Pincus. The decision is the latest in a series of Delaware opinions concerning conflicts of interest of banks and investment firms in advising companies in buy-out transactions.

CitiGroup Alledged Fraud in Mexico

Unusual fraud case where the victim of theh fraud, CitiBank, is fined for not having better fraud protection in place. 

Mexican Regulator Fines Citigroup’s Banamex Over Alleged Fraud

Banamex Fined About $2 Million for Failing to Prevent Alleged Fraud Against Bank by Oceanografía

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s banking regulator said Wednesday it has fined the local unit of Citigroup Inc. a little more than $2 million for failing to prevent an alleged fraud against the bank by a client, oil-services firm Oceanografía.

Citigroup said in February that its Mexican unit, Banamex, had been duped in an alleged accounting fraud by Mexican firm Oceanografía, which resulted in a pretax loss of about $400 million for the bank.

Legal Malpractice, Lawyers, Fraud: Many to be Deposed in Squire Patton Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

Squire Patton, large law firm, allegedly helped a CEO illegally funnel money out of his company and out of the company's employee stock plan and to his own account, among other frauds.

Longtime Client Sues Squire Patton for Malpractice, Fraud

October 15, 2014: Legal malpractice, lawyers, fraud

A Pennsylvania company has filed a nine-count complaint against its longtime outside general counsel, Squire Patton Boggs, over allegations the firm was conflicted in representing the company and its sole founder and allegedly helped that founder inappropriately benefit from the company's stock plan to the tune of millions of dollars.

Clemson Coaches Respond To Hazing Lawsuit And The Traumatic Brain Injury Of A Former Player

Three Clemson University soccer coaches deny condoning the hazing ritual as a mandatory team activity. 

Clemson Coaches Respond To Hazing Lawsuit

September 22, 2014

Three Clemson University soccer coaches have responded to a lawsuit in which a former player alleges she was seriously injured in a hazing incident, denying that they condoned the hazing ritual. The case also was transferred to federal court. Lawyers for head coach Eddie Radwanski and assistant coaches Siri Mullinix and Jeff Robbins moved the lawsuit filed by former soccer player Haley Ellen Hunt from state court in Pickens County to U.S. District Court in Anderson because it "raises allegations arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States," according to a document filed Monday at the county courthouse in Pickens. Hunt sued the coaches, as well as former Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips and several other university officials because of injuries she alleges she suffered by running into a brick wall while blindfolded during a hazing episode in August 2011. She alleged that she was "kidnapped" from her dorm room during the night by upperclassmen teammates and forced into a car trunk along with other freshman players. They were driven around blindfolded for about 30 minutes and forced out of the vehicle several times "to participate in embarrassing and humiliating acts" before being taken to Riggs Field for a "secret ritual," the lawsuit alleges. After being spun around in circles to impair her balance, the upperclassmen students "commanded her to sprint down the field while wearing a blindfold," the suit alleges. She ran face first into a brick wall and suffered "significant and severe physical, psychological and emotional injures, including a traumatic brain injury," the suit alleges. The coaches, in their answer, deny the "characterization" of the incident and acknowledge that Hunt was injured but say the injurious "damages were caused by the greater negligence and/or willfulness of the Plaintiff." The answer, filed by attorneys from the Greenville firm of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, denies Hunt's allegations that the hazing ritual was "a mandatory team activity" and that the coaches encouraged it and granted permission for it. The answer also says a two-year statute of limitations on the case had elapsed before Hunt filed her complaint Aug. 15. Answers for the other Clemson officials and former soccer players hadn't been filed by late Monday. Originally posted on by Ron Barnett Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer - Ball Bonholtzer Trial Lawyer

SEC Payment Tops $30Mil to Whistleblower - Business Litigation Malpractice

SEC payments on the rise since 2013 reach new height of $30 million plus - that's 30 million reasons for whistleblowers to report violations as soon as possible

September 29 2014

On Monday, September 22, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an award to an anonymous foreign whistleblower of an estimated $30 million-plus payment that more than doubles the largest previous amount. The underlying securities case is undisclosed but stems back to at least before July

Medical Malpractice Attorney Names Doctor In Another Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Groping doctor has been named again in the latest of dozens of sexual harassment lawsuits against him. 

August 7, 2014 Amanda Ward filed a lawsuit July 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Hope Clinic PLLC, Dr. John H. Pellegrini, The ERx Group, PmP Services Inc. and PPPFD Inc., citing civil assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligence, premises liability, intentional/negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, negligent failure to train and/or sup ervise and medical malpractice,. Ward claims Pellegrini sexually harassed and battered her after she began treatments with him. In October 2012, Pellegrini instructed the plaintiff to lie upon her stomach on the examination table, the suit states. Her face was level with his penis when the defendant rubbed his erect penis on her hand, according to the filing. In addition, Pellegrini told Ward she was one of the most beautiful patients he had ever had. Uncomfortable with Pellegrini's actions, Ward told a DEA agent about them. The agent merely smiled and said, "Shame on you, doc," the complaint says. After she told a different inquiring DEA agent about Pellegrini's actions, the doctor cut her medication in half and continued to decrease her prescribed dosage, Ward claims. Because of Pellegrini's actions, Ward suffered severe emotional and mental distress, endured humiliation and anxiety and sustained embarrassment and aggravation, according to the complaint. She blames the remaining defendants for contributing to her injuries, saying they breached their duty by failing to properly supervise Pellegrini, giving him the opportunity to attack and sexually assault her. Pellegrini received a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1990, and he was licensed to practice in Ohio starting in 1991. In 1997, the State Medical Board of Ohio gave notice to Pellegrini of an intent to take disciplinary action based on allegations that he had sexual contact with four patients. "Following hearings conducted in June 1997, it was determined that defendant Pellegrini's accusers were not credible witnesses, and the allegations against him were dismissed by an order entered on October 9, 1997," one of the earlier complaints against Pellegrini states. Pellegrini was licensed by the WVBOM to practice in West Virginia beginning on Nov. 10, 1997. In April 2000, he voluntarily retired or surrendered his Ohio certificate, saying he would not apply for reinstatement there. "No action was taken by the WVBOM to revoke or otherwise refuse to renew defendant Pellegrini's license after he surrendered his license in Ohio, notwithstanding the requirements of West Virginia Code ...," a previous complaint states. In 2010, the civil complaints against Pellegrini began. Those include one filed in Wayne County on behalf of 20 women incarcerated at Lakin Correctional Center. Pellegrini was arrested in Raleigh County in 2011 on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. Since 2010, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Pellegrini involving claims that he sexually abused and harassed patients. In November 2012, the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine suspended Pellegrini's license. In 2001, Pellegrini was the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in federal court. The lawsuit stemmed from allegations that Pellegrini negligently performed a hysterectomy on the plaintiff. A 2012 WVBOM order found probable cause to believe that Pellegrini engaged in unprofessional and unethical conduct. The Board also issued a Statement of Charges that alleged Pellegrini committed repeated acts of an unethical exercise of influence within a doctor-patient relationship for the purpose of engaging a patient in sexual activity. The Board also found that Pellegrini was likely to continue his practices of unethical and inappropriate behavior unless it took immediate action. The Board then suspended Pellegrini's medical license based on a finding that Pellegrini's continued practice of medicine and surgery would constitute an immediate danger to the public. In 2013, at least one lawsuit was filed against Pellegrini, Hope Clinic and other entities involving allegations that Pellegrini sexually abused, sexual harassed his patients and subjected them to other inappropriate conduct. Other suits have been filed earlier this year in Raleigh Circuit Court and Kanawha Circuit Court. A complaint filed in June claims the state violated laws by allowing him to continue to hold his medical license. That suit accuses the WVBOM of negligence and violation of state code, claiming it should have known his license to practice was voluntarily retired or surrendered in Ohio in 2000. "The WVBOM is prohibited from issuing, renewing or reactivating the license of an osteopathic whose license has been revoked or surrendered in another state until such time as that physician becomes eligible for licensure in the state where the action was taken," the complaint states. "WVBOM was negligent in that it breached its duty to plaintiff by failing to revoke and/or refuse to renew defendant Pellegrini's license to practice osteopathic medicine after his license was surrendered in the state of Ohio." The complaint also claims the WVBOM knew or should have known about the lawsuits filed against Pellegrini in 2010 and 2011 and "took no action to protect the public generally and plaintiff specifically from defendant Pellegrini." In the latest lawsuit against Pellegrini, Ward is seeking a judgement of permanent injunction ordering Pellegrini to cease from engaging in unlawful conduct. She also seeks compensatory damages, out-of-pocket damages, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just, plus costs. She is being represented by medical malpractice attorney Matthew S. Criswell and Mark L. French of Criswell French in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer F. Bailey. Originally posted on by Kelly Holleran

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