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December 2010 Archives

Father Dies in Crash of Ford Windstar Van After Ford Resisted a Recall

Sean Bowman's family alleges that due to a serious, hidden flaw in Windstar vans that Ford took years to do anything about, the 28-year-old Massachusetts father was killed on his way to pick up his two young daughters.

Madoff Settlement

On December 17, 2010, the trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, Irving Picard, and the Manhattan US Attorney's office announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower. Picower, who died in October of last year, was one of the wealthiest Americans and a Madoff investor for over 35 years. The lawsuit against him alleged that he had had benefited from Madoff's fraud more than anyone else, to the tune of $7 billion. The settlement represents a $5 billion recovery for the trustee and a $2.2 billion forfeiture to the federal government. The entire settlement will go toward making Madoff's victims whole. When counting this settlement, the trustee has recovered more than one-third of the principal lost in the ponzi scheme.

Arrow International Recalls its IAB Catheters

On December 21, 2010, Arrow International announced a recall of its 5800 Series Intra-Aortic Balloon (IAB) Catheters with Super Arrow-Flex Sheath Introducer. Arrow International is a subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated, a global provider of medical technology products.

"Auto Liability Minimum Limits to Increase on January 1st"

The minimum amount of automobile insurance coverage Texans must buy will be going up Jan. 1. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, coverage must increase because liability limits no longer pay for all expenses after a crash. On Jan. 1, the limits become $30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. This change in the law was made possible by the hard work of trial lawyers across Texas like Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.

Minimum Auto Liability Limits to Increase in Texas

On January 1, 2011, the minimum amount of automobile liability insurance coverage for Texans is going to increase. Under current Texas law, a driver must carry liability insurance limits of at least $25,000.00 for each injured person, $50,000.00 limits per accident, and $25,000.00 for property damage per accident. This particular coverage is often referred to as 25/50/25 coverage. The new law will require Texas drivers to carry 30/60/30 coverage.

"Hospitals to be Required to Report ICU Infections"

Hoping to erase a troubling legacy of preventable infections and deaths, most U.S. hospitals on Jan. 1 will begin reporting the number of patients who contract bloodstream infections following their treatment in intensive-care units. The information about infections involving catheters will be made public on a government website later in 2011, giving consumers a fast, easy way to see which hospitals best protect patients from one of the most lethal, yet avoidable medical conditions.

A "Bogus" Medical Check System for Truckers Leaves Medically Unqualified Drivers on the Road

As you pass semi trucks on the roads, have you ever wondered exactly what it takes to be qualified to drive an 18-wheeler? The answer may surprise you.

Toyota Recall Ruling

The court overseeing the class actions brought against Toyota arising out of its recall of over 8 million vehicles due to unintended acceleration recently released two rulings favorable to the plaintiffs, which allow the cases to proceed.

Man Injured When Droid Phone Explodes

A Texas man was injured when his Motorola Droid exploded as he talked on his cell phone. The man had just finished a call when he heard a loud "pop" and felt blood start trickling down his face. The screen had burst outward, causing lacerations by his ear. He was immediately taken to the emergency room where he received stitches to close the wound. Motorola is currently investigating the incident. This is not the first time an exploding phone has caused injuries. A 23-year-old man was killed in August when his phone exploded, and a similar incident took the life of a 27-year-old woman in January. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued warnings for cell phone users, advising users to keep their phones away from metal objects and liquids. These warnings were issued in response to a 19-year-old Wyoming woman who suffered third-degree burns while she slept because her phone caught fire as it was charging.

Mobile Phone Use While Driving

The Texas Transportation Institute recently surveyed 1,167 licensed drivers at ten different Texas Department of Public Safety drivers' license stations and concluded that 52% of Texas drivers would support a law prohibiting mobile phone usage while driving. This survey comes in advance of the 2011 Texas legislative session, which begins in January.

Fatal Crash Causes the National Transportation Safety Board Suggests Changes to Helicopter Design & Maintenance

As noted by the New York Times and Associated Press, on November 24, 2010 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended a redesign and modification of some portions of the Sikorsky S-76C helicopter, as a result of a January 4, 2009 crash which resulted in numerous fatalities.

Driving While Texting (DWT)

A recent survey by the Texas Transportation Institute found that 52% of drivers in Texas would support a law banning mobile phone usage while driving. Additionally, about 85% of Texas drivers felt that texting or talking while driving is worse than it was just five years ago. The survey included nearly 1200 licensed drivers and was conducted at 10 different driver license stations operated by Texas DPS in September and October of this year.

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