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Houston Personal Injury Blog

Minorities in the Legal Field

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In a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Labor statistics, researchers found that law is one of the least racially diverse professions in the nation with 88 percent of lawyers being white. Recent diverse appointments on the Supreme Court, the attorney general's office, and in the executive branch seem to suggest that this field is growing more diverse, but the facts suggest otherwise. In a profession which intersects so often with representative government, it is important that it be as inclusive as the nation it serves.

General Motors Hit with Racketeering Allegations in Faulty Ignition-Switch Litigation

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Plaintiffs suing General Motors Co in connection with faulty ignition switches in its cars have added civil racketeering (RICO) allegations in an amended complaint recently filed in federal court in Manhattan. The plaintiffs accuse the company of conspiring with a law firm and a claims-management company to conceal the defect, which has been linked to 114 deaths.

Balcony Tragedies

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Although balcony calamities are rare, they usually end traumatically. Tuesday June 16, 2015, a birthday celebration quickly turned into a tragedy when a balcony collapsed in apartments near the University of California, Berkley. Thirteen students were thrown fifty feet from the air onto the pavement below. Six students lost their lives that night and seven are fighting to survive. Investigators believe that the collective weight of the thirteen victims overpowered the balcony. Others believe that there was a defect in the design of the balcony allowing rain to damage the supporting wood over the years. The firm that built the apartments has been sued before for similar mishaps in a different project. They are likely to be sued again.

Patient Loses Appeal of Lawsuit Over Prostate Surgery

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David Antoon, a retired Air Force colonel, has tried multiple times to recover from the Cleveland Clinic for complications he experienced after surgery for prostate cancer. A federal appeals court has rejected his lawsuit. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Mr. Antoon had no legal standing to bring allegations of fraud against the Cleveland Clinic and his surgeon, Dr. Jihad Kaouk.

Fracking Issues in Oil and Gas Production

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of removing oil and gas from shale by pumping high-pressure liquid, chemicals and sand into the rock to open it up so that the oil or gas can be extracted. Several Texas cities tried to prevent this method of obtaining oil and gas from shale deposits, citing pollution concerns.

Litigation Is Being Prepared Against Xarelto

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Litigation is being prepared against Xarelto, a drug intended to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, due to its linkage with uncontrollable internal bleeding. Since 2011, the anticoagulant has not been approved to reduce blood clots in patients with coronary artery disease. The lawsuit focuses on the failure to warn patients of the side effects of Xarelto, including uncontrollable internal bleeding which might be able to be reversed as easily as with other anticoagulants.

Hospitals Cheat Uninsured Patients

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Forty-six million Americans are at risk daily. Not members of the military or police, but people who do not have health insurance. According to the Health Affairs Journal, uninsured patients are charged up to 10 times more than insured or government assisted patients for care. In a recent article, Health Affairs listed the top 50 hospitals that engage in the excessive charging practice. Of the 50 hospitals on the list, 5 are right here in Texas. Lake Grandbury Medical Center, South Texas Health System, Dallas Regional Medical Center, Laredo Medical Center, and Texas General Hospital all made the list of hospitals that bill the maximum prices to patients who can afford it least. In some instances, uninsured patients have been charged nearly $20,000 for X-ray images that would only cost insured or government assisted patients $500.00. The term given to this unfair practice is "price gouging".

Walmart's Low Wage Violation Could Cost Millions

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In California, Walmart was sued by its truck drivers in 2008 for not adequately compensating the drivers for non-driving tasks. In the ongoing case, the drivers argue that minimum wage hasn't been met for activities outside of delivering. Walmart pays its truckers only for miles driven and a set few activities, not by the hour. Such tasks that weren't compensated for were vehicle inspections, miscellaneous maintenance, and the constant weigh-ins for cargo. These are responsibilities performed by truck drivers on a regular basis but have been unpaid for, despite many being mandatory by state law. United States District Judge Susan Illston ruled in favor of the truckers, holding Walmart in violation of the California minimum wage laws. An estimation of over 100 million dollars of back pay is on the line, with damages to be discussed by the trial court next April.

Police Chase

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News accounts report that, on Sunday evening, suspects believed to have stolen a vehicle in the northwest portion of our county began to flee from police. Evidently, the vehicle was stolen from a fast food restaurant. A deputy constable spotted it, and then tried to pull it over. At that, the driver, with two passengers, began to flee. The suspect was chased by the deputy in his patrol car, and he was assisted by a helicopter and a K-9 unit. The good news is that the chase was brief, two suspects were apprehended, and no one was injured during the chase (though the escaping suspect was reportedly bitten by the K-9 dog, as was one of those arrested).

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