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September 2015 Archives

Judge In Infant Disappearance Case Steps Down Due To Conflict Of Interest

When attorney who worked with her former firm became involved in Lonzie Barton disappearance case, Judge Marianne Aho stepped down due to conflict of interest.

The judge who was hearing the case of William "Ruben" Ebron, the man accused in the disappearance of 21-month-old Lonzie Barton, has stepped down.

DOJ Exposes Corporate Fraud By Software Giant SAP

Former SAP official pleads guilty to conspiracy to violate FCPA; committed corporate fraud in deal to secure Panamanian government contracts.

SAP has been added to a growing list of high-tech companies targeted by the DOJ for FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) enforcement actions. A former SAP official, a US citizen, has entered a criminal plea to conspiracy to violate the FCPA. The SAP official bribed Panamanian officials to secure a series of government technology contracts. The conspiracy included an advisor and two consultants, and one of SAP’s channel partners, to pay two foreign officials and an agent of a third foreign official in exchange for the contracts. The SAP official also settled an SEC enforcement action for bribery and books and records violations.

United Airlines Bribery Scandal Shines Spotlight On Senior Executive Misconduct

United Airlines bribery scandal highlights need for corporate boards to monitor conduct in the C-suite.

United Airline's CEO and two senior executives hastily resigned following the revelation of a bribery arrangement between United executiveds and the head of the New York Port Authority.

Federal Class Action Lawsuit Filed By Volkswagen Diesel Owner

Days after Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal became public, Texas woman files federal class action lawsuit alleging breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

Holly Harris, who purchased a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta diesel in 2014, filed a federal class action lawsuit seeking certification of a nationwide class and a Texas subclass. She seeks temporary and permanent court orders to enjoin Volkswagen Group of America from "continuing the unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, unfair business practices;" injunctive relief in the form of a recall or free replacement program; and costs, restitution, actual and punitive damages, disgorgement and interest. In addition to the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act cause of action on behalf of the class, Harris brings breach of contract, fraud by concealment and unjust enrichment causes of action against Volkswagen on behalf of the Texas subclass. Harris alleges the class includes hundreds of thousands of current or former owners or lessees of Volkswagen vehicles including 2009-2015 VW Jettas, 2009-2015 VW Beetles, 2009-2015 VW Golfs, 2013-2015 VW Passats and 2009-2015 Audi A3s. Andreas Lampersbach, head of corporate and business communications for Volkswagen, did not immediately respond to an email request for a comment on the allegations in Harris v. Volkswagen Group of America. Plaintiff's attorney Robert Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Munoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking a comment. However, in a press release, Hilliard wrote that Volkswagen "deceived" millions of people. "It engaged in a widespread marketing campaign to promote vehicles containing what Volkswagen claimed was 'Clean Diesel' technology all the while knowing that it cheated the system," Hilliard wrote. As alleged in the complaint, the Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 18 issued a notice of violation finding that "defeat devices" in Volkswagen vehicles would "bypass, defeat or render inoperable" parts of the vehicle emission control systems intended to comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. The defeat device, according to the EPA, is a switch that will put the emission system into operation when it is being tested, but deactivates it when not being tested. "Despite knowingly and purposefully installing the 'defeat device' in these diesel vehicles, Volkswagen continued to market and sell the vehicles as though they were fully compliant with the applicable EPA laws and regulations," Harris alleges in the complaint. "Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act, defrauded its customers, and engaged in unfair competition under state and federal laws when it manufactured and sold these vehicles with 'defeat devices," she alleges. Harris alleges Volkswagen aggressively marketed its "clean line" of diesel vehicles in the United States, and charged a premium for the vehicles. Originally posted by Brenda Sapino Jeffreys on Federal Class Action Lawsuit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

Class Action Lawsuit Against Blue Shield Claims Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Lawsuit claims breach of fiduciary duty by Blue Shield for refusal to cover artificial cervical disc replacement surgery.

Artificial cervical disc replacement surgery, a treatment for degenerative disc disease, is the subject of a federal class action lawsuit in which Blue Shield is accused of

New Xarelto Lawsuit Alleges Wrongful Death

Xarelto lawsuit filed by Florida widower claims the drug caused husband's severe internal bleeding and death.

A Florida woman filed the Xarelto lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on June 23, 2014 against Xarelto manufacturers Bayer AG and Janseen Pharmaceuticals. In the suit, she alleges her husband's use of the blood thinning drug led to severe internal bleeding, causing serious injury and death. The lawsuit details that the plaintiff's late husband was prescribed Xarelto by his primary care physician on January 10, 2012 to treat his atrial fibrillation and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. After he began to take the drug, the deceased suffered a subdural hemorrhage, or a bleed outside of the brain. He was hospitalized for several days where he underwent several procedures to try to stop the severe subdural bleeding. On June 28, 2012, the plaintiff's husband died as a result of internal bleeding complications. The plaintiff alleges that Xarelto was the cause of the hemorrhage and that if her and her husband were made aware of the real risks associated with Xarelto usage, they would have chosen to use one of the safer alternatives that were on the market at the time. Xarelto is considered to be a more dangerous drug than other traditional blood thinners on the market, such as Warfarin, because Xarelto does not have a corresponding antidote. This means that there is no way to reverse the anticoagulant effects of the drug in an emergency so if a patient suffers from an internal bleeding event while taking Xarelto, the bleeding cannot be stopped. In contrast, if a patient is taking Warfarin and suffers from an internal bleeding event, a doctor simply has to administer vitamin K and the patient's blood will clot again. In the case of the deceased, since there is no antidote to Xarelto, the bleeding could only be curbed through very extreme measures such as a bur hole in his skull and a transfusion of new blood to remove the drug from the system. Recently, many of the federally filed Xarelto lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation, MDL, in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The MDL will enable cases to move quickly through the system and regardless of the consolidation, these are still cases brought individually by each plaintiff and settlements may be different for everyone if they are reached. Originally posted by Marc Goldich on Xarelto Lawsuit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

Kwame Kilpatrick Claims Attorney Conflict Of Interest Led To Conviction

Former Detroit Mayor sentenced to 28 years in prison for public corruption is fighting for new trial; claims ineffective counsel due to attorney conflict of interest.

Kwame Kilpatrick, having been denied a new trial by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last month, is now asking for an "en banc" review, in which all judges on the 6th Circuit would hear his case.

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