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December 2014 Archives

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Aims $50 Mil Lawsuit At NCAA

College Athletes Experience Life-Threatening Side Effects from Head Trauma

Over the last several years, sports coaches and athletes have gained an increased awareness that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained on the field can have serious and life-threatening consequences. Sustaining a concussion does not just mean a few days of rest before heading back onto the field. In fact, multiple concussions in a short period of time can prove deadly, resulting in diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Or, as in the case of former university players, early onset of Alzheimer's disease,  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Business Fraud Attorney: Woman Accuses Holding Company of Fraud

Woman claims company did not honor compensation agreement for surrendered stock and files business fraud lawsuit.

Ida D. Chico filed a lawsuit Dec. 2 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Chico Holding Company, Samuel A. Chico III, Don G. Killmeyer and Roger Mocross, citing breach of contract.

$15m Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

Three separate claims in this much publicized legal malpractice lawsuit.

'Real Housewives' Teresa Giudice Slaps $15M legal Malpractice Lawsuit Against Her Former Lawyer

$15m Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

Three separate claims in this much publicized legal malpractice lawsuit.

'Real Housewives' Teresa Giudice Slaps $15M legal Malpractice Lawsuit Against Her Former Lawyer

Maybe that's her plan to pay off her debts. If so, and if she wins, Teresa Giudice might even have a bit left over when she gets out of jail after serving some of her 15 months behind bars on multiple fraud charges - or not. Just over a month before she is set to start her prison time, The Real Housewives Of New Jersey star has sued her former bankruptcy lawyer James Kridel Jr. for more than $15 million. "Defendant Kridel, as a professional entrusted with the welfare of Plaintiff, committed egregious professional malpractice throughout the pendency of Plaintiff's bankruptcy case," says the 3-claim complaint filed December 2 in New York state court


Former Bernard Madoff staffer ordered to forfeit $155 billion.

That's not a typo, $155 billion.

Govt. business litigation attorney secures prison term and stunning payment for ex-Madoff Securities Director of Operations Daniel Bonventre. Bonventre sentenced to 10 years in prison by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain, calling him a 'pampered, compliant and overcompensated.'

Monday, December 8, 2014, 1:10 PM
He better set up a payment plan!Bernie Madoff's former director of operations was ordered to forfeit $155 billion and sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday -- despite his pleas that he was yet another victim of the callous Ponzi schemer. Daniel Bonventre, 67, was instrumental in maintaining fraudulent record-keeping including the Madoff firm's general ledger, financial statements and stock record. His documents understated Madoff's liabilities by billions of dollars."I was used by the ultimate conman. He was a manipulator beyond manipulator," Bonventre said before being sentenced. "Everyone was expendable ... Bernard Madoff lied to me every day and I believed and trusted him." But his claims of ignorance did not sway Manhattan Federal Judge Laura Swain, who ordered he forfeit the stunning sum of $155,158,703,200. "He was a pampered, compliant and overcompensated worker who willfully blinded himself to inconvenient truths," Swain said. Bonventre is among five ex-employees of Madoff Securities who will be sentenced this week. The order of forfeiture is to be shared by all who have been convicted in the fraud. Still, the judge added that Bonventre did not have full knowledge of Madoff's historic fraud. "(Bonventre) was not a coldly calculating, knowing participant in the Ponzi scheme," Swain said. She said that Bonventre, an employee of Madoff's for 40 years, was aware a fraud was taking place beginning in 1992. "These are, literally, devastatingly serious crimes," Swain said, referring to the countless investors screwed by Madoff. "Dreams and trusts were shattered. So many innocent lives were irreversibly upended. This is the harm you, Mr. Bonventre, and your co-conspirators have wrought." Once out of prison Bonventre will face two years of supervised release. "We all stand among the smoking ruins of literally thousands of lives," Swain said. "Your life has been shattered as well." Originally posted by by Stephen Rex Brown for the New York Daily News and on the Pasadena Law Blog Ball and Bonholtzer - Los Angeles Business Litigation Attorney

Legal Malpractice and Attorney Conflict of Interest Alleged by Archbishop

Archbishop Blaise Cupich Alleges Attorney Conflict of Interest and Legal Malpractice Against His Former Law Firm

In two weeks, Cupich is expected to return to his former Diocese, to provide a second sworn deposition in this bitter lawsuit.

Even as he attempts to get his arms around the affairs of the Chicago Archdiocese, Archbishop Blaise Cupich continues to be entangled in the bitter lawsuit he filed against his own law firm in Spokane.

Personal Injury Lawyers Help Achieve Record Settlement

Record Settlement for Maritime Jones Act Achieved By Personal Injury Lawyers.

Back and Neck Injury Plaintiff Scores Record $7.5 Million Jones Act Settlement

December 8, 2014. Edwardsville, IL: A native of Puerto Rico was recently awarded a record $7.5 million settlement in a back and neck injury lawsuit following the sudden explosion of an air tank aboard a marine vessel that was docked for repairs. Plaintiff Edward Perez-Mossetty was seriously injured in the explosion. Back and Neck Injury Plaintiff Scores Record .5 Million Jones Act SettlementAccording to an account in The Telegraph (11/19/14) of Alton, Illinois, the then-37-year-old was affecting repairs aboard the vessel on behalf of defendants American Tugs Inc. and an unnamed boat company based in Alton, Illinois. The plaintiff was in the engine room that also housed an aging air tank that was exhibiting signs of thinning and pitting. According to court records in the back injury compensation claim, the tank had been installed without a working pressure relief valve and was normally operated in an automated fashion, with the air compressor automatically shutting down when the desired pressure within the tank was reached. However, on the day of the accident, employees had been operating the compressor in manual mode as the compressor had been shutting off too soon. On the day of the accident, pressure within the tank had built up to a level that the pitted walls of the tank could not withstand. The ensuing explosion - akin to a balloon popping when the air within builds up to a force the walls of the balloon cannot withstand - caused Perez-Mossetty to be thrown into the air. He landed on his neck and sustained serious back and neck injuries from which, in spite of surgical intervention and months of rehabilitative treatment, he has failed to fully recover. The accident occurred in 2009 aboard the MV Alejandro. The back and neck injury lawsuit was brought in 2010 under the Jones Act, general maritime law and common law negligence, according to the report. An investigation by the US Coast Guard, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Illinois Boiler Inspector confirmed the pitted and weakened condition of the tank (due to water accumulation over time, according to the report), and the absence of the pressure relief valve. Officials noted that there would have been plenty of opportunity for the defendants to install the proper pressure relief valve over the many years the tank remained in the engine room of the vessel. The plaintiff's neck injury lawyer noted that Perez-Mossetty suffered a serious neck injury when he landed after being thrown into the air from the explosion. The plaintiff suffered partial paralysis and serious motor and sensory impairments. He requires assistance to walk and to maintain daily activities. Perez-Mossetty also remains in constant pain and will require assistive devices and ongoing medical care and treatment going forward for as long as he remains alive. He can no longer work. Perez-Mossetty had initially sought $46 million when the neck injury compensation claim was filed in 2010. That amount notwithstanding, the $7.5 million settlement was described in the report as a record amount. Originally posted by Gordon Gibb on Ball and Bonholotzer - Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers

Legal Malpractice Lawsuit - $33 Million Malpractice Suit Filed

Lawyers Handling the Sale of a Georgia Company Allegedly Blew The Deal and Face $33 Million Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

December 2, 2014 The onetime owners of a Kennesaw-based company are seeking more than $33 million in a legal malpractice suit against Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and four lawyers over what the plaintiffs claim was a mishandled corporate sale. The former owners of American Viatical Services (AVS) sued the Womble firm, three partners--John "Sandy" Smith, Robert Ambler Jr. and James Connelly--and former partner Bernard Coleman Jr., who left the firm in 2012. The plaintiffs claim the law firm and its lawyers botched the sale of AVS and a related entity, AVS Underwriting, by failing to include control of AVS Underwriting as collateral if the deal collapsed. When the buyers defaulted, AVS founders Philip and Sharon Loy were stripped of AVS Underwriting, said their attorney, John Stivarius Jr. Philip Loy is now the salaried president of AVS Underwriting, said Stivarius, "Today, neither Phil nor Sharon has an ownership interest in AVS Underwriting," said Stivarius, and AVS has been destroyed. He filed the complaint in Fulton County Superior Court Nov. 18 with fellow Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson partner Stanford Wilson. The defendants are represented by King & Spalding partner John Brumbaugh, who said via email that Womble does not discuss former or current clients in the media and that the firm and the lawyers will be defended "in the appropriate forum." According to the complaint, AVS and AVS Underwriting were founded in the mid-1990s, legally separate and distinct but "functionally equivalent [and] dependent upon each other for the 'business' associated with each." A viatical settlement is an arrangement in which someone sells the right to his life insurance policy to a third party for a lump-sum payment that is less than what the insured's estate would receive upon his death. Issuers of such settlements insure themselves against heavy losses resulting from viatical clients outliving their life expectancies by buying what is called "cost contingency insurance." According to court filings in an unrelated case, AVS was founded in 1994 to provide life expectancy evaluations for the cost contingency insurance market. Between 1994 and 1998, its primary business involved preparing analyses for AIDS or HIV-positive patients seeking a viatical settlement. Womble attorneys Coleman and Smith had helped in the formation of AVS Underwriting in 2004. In 2009, after fending off suitors offering as much as $31 million for the companies, the Loys retained the pair to help craft a deal selling the companies for $40 million. As detailed in the complaint, the buyer, Portsmith Securities Limited Malaysia, was to pay the Loys $7 million cash at closing and provide a secured promissory note for $12 million, payable over seven years at 8 percent interest. There were other regular payments based on AVS' working capital, annual earnout payments and post-sale employment agreements for the Loys, which included restrictive covenants and noncompete clauses. The deal also included the creation of a new company, which would ultimately be named Longevity Partners, to purchase the Loys' equity interests in AVS. The deal was worth $40 million or more over the life of the sale and purchase, the complaint said. The entire collateral for the promissory note was to be the Loys' stock and ownership interests in the businesses, which they would recover if Portsmith defaulted, the suit said. "The [letter of intent] clearly delineated the entire collateral for the Secured Promissory Note was the Loys' interests they were selling," the complaint said. "This was done to provide what was thought to be the ultimate protection of the Loys in the event of default of the promissory note by the purchaser." But in hashing out the terms of the letter of intent and in subsequent documents, Coleman and Smith failed to delineate AVS and AVS Underwriting as "legally distinct entities," even though they had helped set up AVS Underwriting years earlier, the complaint said. As the deal neared fruition, Coleman asked Philip Loy about the relationship between AVS and AVS Underwriting, and Loy explained that AVS Underwriting "was part of the business but he thought it of it more as d/b/a [doing business as] than as a separate entity company," the suit said. In an email, Loy told Coleman "AVS Underwriting does not file a tax return as no money is posted to that company even though most checks are made out to AVS Underwriting." Despite a substantial exchange of correspondence among the Loys, their lawyers and those representing the buyers, the complaint said, the Womble attorneys "failed to change the security agreement to reflect that [the Loys'] equity interests should include AVS Underwriting and failed to communicate to Philip Loy or Sharon Loy the significance on the entire sale of not including AVS Underwriting as the collateral for the secured promissory note." The deal went through and the Loys received their initial payment, Stivarius said. Then Longevity defaulted. The Loys entered into a forbearance agreement in 2011, but Longevity defaulted on that as well. In December 2012, the Loys executed their right to have the collateral reassigned to them, "under the belief that the 'business' sold to buyer would be completely returned to them," the complaint said. In arranging the reassignment, "Womble once again chose to remain silent regarding the lack of adequate collateralization of the loan, that the Loys were a risk of losing the value of the bargained transaction and that they had lost effectively all leverage to compel that the deal be cured or have the full return of their business," the complaint said. Between the time of the sale and the default, Longevity had shifted many of AVS' operations to AVS Underwriting, the complaint said, and when AVS was returned to the Loys, "it was effectively a shell of the company." They were told Longevity now owned AVS Underwriting and all of its contracts and accounts receivables and were "banned from the office and unable to participate in the operation of the companies they had founded." In November 2012, Philip Loy sued Longevity in Fulton County Superior Court, again turning to Womble for counsel: Ambler and Connelly handled that suit, with Connelly advising that, for an estimated $160,000 in fees, "he could get both companies back," the malpractice suit said. In December 2012, AVS Underwriting and Longevity sued Philip Loy and AVS in Cherokee County Superior Court. Originally posted by Greg Land for the Daily Report Full story here. Ball and Bonholtzer - Legal Malpractice Lawsuit Trial Lawyers - Los Angeles

Traumatic Brain Injury Without Concussion?

Report suggests surprising findings on 24 athletes regarding traumatic brain injury.

High-School Football Alters Brains Even Without Concussions

A single high-school football season of heavy hits, even without a concussion, led to observable brain abnormalities in a study, the latest evidence to raise questions about the long-term consequences of the popular game. The findings from 24 high-school athletes suggest that a series of small, successive blows to the head can prompt changes in the brains of young people.

The research was presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. The study didn't look at brain function, so the cognitive effect of the observed brain-structure changes remains unknown. A 2013 analysis of 80 Division I college football and ice-hockey players, though, found that the more the brain changed over a single season, the worse athletes did on learning and memory tests. "There's a lot we don't know about these changes. Do they persist over time? Do they go away? Are they associated with some subtle cognitive changes?" said Christopher Whitlow, an associate professor of radiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. "We haven't really answered those questions yet, but are planning to in the future."

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