Family of Virginia Man Killed by His Own House in a Tornado wins $1.7 Million Jury Award

A jury in Virginia awarded $1.7 million in a construction defect case to the family  of a Gloucester, Virginia man who was killed when a tornado dropped his own modular house on him.

Richard Ingram, 53, was killed on April 16, 2011, when a tornado lifted his home off of its foundation and crashed it into a nearby garage where he was working.  Robert J. Haddad, the attorney representing Ingram’s estate, argued that Ingram’s modular home had not been properly anchored to its foundation.

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[/sws_yellow_box]Circuit Court Judge Frederick B. Lowe instructed the jury that the contractor which installed Ingram’s home, Custom Builders Express, had violated several portions of the building code.  Judge Lowe said the only thing for jurors to decide was whether the contractor’s negligence was a proximate cause of Ingram’s death.

The tornado had a nearly continuous damage path ranging in width from around 200 yards to as much as a half mile wide in Gloucester county, according to the National Weather Service. Over 200 homes were damaged with many of these homes severely damaged. Numerous trees were downed or sheared off.

Defense attorney C. Jay Robbins IV, representing Benchmark Insurance Co., argued that the EF-3 tornado was so powerful that Ingram’s home would have been ripped from its foundation even if it had been anchored.  Robbins also told jurors that the garage where Ingram was working had already been destroyed by the tornado, and that Ingram was likely killed before the house was blown onto the garage.  After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ingram’s estate, which had sought $2.4 million in damages.  Robbins has appealed the verdict.

 

A Lawyer and Partner, and Also Bankrupt

New York Times; January 24, 2014

Anyone who wonders why law school applications are plunging and there’s widespread malaise in many big law firms might consider the case of Gregory M. Owens.

The silver-haired, distinguished-looking Mr. Owens would seem the embodiment of a successful Wall Street lawyer. A graduate of Denison University and Vanderbilt Law School, Mr. Owens moved to New York City and was named a partner at the then old-line law firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood, and after a merger, at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Today, Mr. Owens, 55, is a partner at an even more eminent global law firm, White & Case. A partnership there or any of the major firms collectively known as “Big Law” was long regarded as the brass ring of the profession, a virtual guarantee of lifelong prosperity and job security.

But on New Year’s Eve, Mr. Owens filed for personal bankruptcy.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/business/partner-in-a-prestigious-law-firm-and-bankrupt.html

Neiman Marcus Hacked, Class Action Claims

Courthouse News Service; January 14, 2014

BROOKLYN (CN) - Neiman Marcus waited for weeks to tell its customers their credit and debit card information may have been stolen, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Melissa Frank claims her debit card information was stolen in December and fraudulent charges were run up on it-but Neiman Marcus did not tell its customers about the hack attack until Jan. 10.
And, as in the well-publicized Target fiasco , Neiman Marcus did not publicize the attack, but a blogger was the first to alert the public, Frank says in the lawsuit.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/14/64502.htm

Insurer Wants No Part of Attorneys’ Brawl

Courthouse News Service; January 14, 2014

CHICAGO (CN) - State Farm wants no part in defending a public defender who allegedly jumped on a prosecutor's back, twisted his neck, slammed him to the ground and sat on him.
State Farm Fire & Casualty Company sued Henry Hams and Michael McCormick in Cook County Court.
The insurer claims policy exclusions allow it to bow out of the affair that began 3½ years ago between Hams, a Cook County public defender, and McCormick, an assistant state's attorney.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/14/64499.htm

Slain Dad’s Texting to Daughter Cited as Motive in Shooting

ABC News; January 14, 2014

A retired Tampa police captain is expected to appear in court later today, accused of fatally shooting a man and injuring his wife during an argument over cellphone texting in front of horrified moviegoers.

"Someone throws popcorn," eyewitness Charles Cummings said Monday after the shooting inside the theater, according to ABC News Radio. "I'm not sure who threw the popcorn and then bang, he was shot. He staggered two seats over and fell on my son and I.

"The guy who was shot said something; 'I just was texting my … three-year-old daughter,'" Cummings added.

To read the complete article and watch a video report, please click here: https://abcnews.go.com/US/slain-dads-texting-daughter-cited-motive-shooting/story?id=21523732

NCAA’s Supreme Court Petition Is an Air Ball

Courthouse News Service; January 13, 2014

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court battle over college athletes' image rights may be over before it even started after the justices rejected key motions Monday.
Brewing since 2009, the case at hand involves a group of former student-athletes challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association's use of their images in video games, merchandise and other promotional materials.
Former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon filed the first complaint in the case, alleging that the NCAA violated his and other athletes' right to make money off their likenesses.
The NCAA's licensing arm, Collegiate Licensing Co., and the video game company Electronic Arts were also named as defendants.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/13/64478.htm

Two Drugs Linked to Stevens Johnson Syndrome


Lawyersandsettlements.com; January 13, 2014

Toronto, Canada: Two drugs have recently been linked to a potentially fatal condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome. One of the drugs, capecitabine, was linked to SJS in a letter by Hoffman-La Roche and Health Canada (similar to the US Food and Drug Administration) following reports by the drug’s maker that Stevens Johnson syndrome symptoms had been seen in patients using the drug.

Capecitabine (Xeloda) is a drug used to treat certain cancers. In a Dear Healthcare Professional letter dated December 3, 2013, and sent out by the drug’s maker Hoffman-La Roche, with an endorsement by Health Canada, the pharmaceutical company noted that “very rare cases of severe cutaneous reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), in some cases with fatal outcome, have been reported during treatment with XELODA.”

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/sjs/stevens-johnson-syndrome-sjs-85-19421.html#.UtRd8rRiCmE

Investigation Confirms Water Contamination in PA, OH, WVA & TX linked to Fracking

News Inferno; January 8, 2014

An Associated Press (AP) investigation has confirmed complaints about well-water contamination from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other oil and gas drilling in four states.

The boom in hydraulic fracturing in the last ten years has produced an accompanying increase in concern about water contamination and other forms of pollution. The AP examined data on drilling-related water-contamination complaints in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, states with numerous fracking sites, Aljazeera America reports.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.newsinferno.com/investigation-confirms-water-pollution-in-pennslyvania-ohio-west-virginia-and-texas-linked-to-fracking/

Class Action Lawsuit Filed by W.Va. Businesses over Contamination from Chemical Spill

News Inferno; January 13, 2014

Freedom Industries, Inc., the West Virginia chemical company responsible for the January 9th chemical spill that contaminated the water in nine counties, has been named as a defendant, along with West Virginia American Water Company, in a class action lawsuit by businesses affected by the spill.

The suit was filed on January 10 in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia (Civil Action No. 14C55). According to the lawsuit, businesses located along the Elk River, were subjected to toxic water when the hazardous substance, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, spilled into the river. The chemical is used in coal processing. The “Material Safety Data Sheet” for 4-methylcyclohexane methanol indicates that it is harmful if swallowed and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.newsinferno.com/class-action-lawsuit-filed-by-west-virginia-businesses-over-water-contamination-from-chemical-spill/

The Trial Lawyers Summit Starts This Sunday!

It’s almost here!  The third annual Trial Lawyers Summit begins this Sunday, January 19 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and continues through Wednesday, January 22.  We hope you’ve made plans to join us at what promises to be our biggest and best Summit ever!  For more information or to register, go to https://ntlsummit.com.  For a schedule of events, go to https://ntlsummit.com/agenda/.  For conference materials and information, go to https://ntlsummit.com/conference-materials/.  Please note that if you’re planning to bring a guest, you must register and pay for them. No guests will be admitted to events without a badge. Please call our office to register your guest (866)665-2852.

The Trial Lawyers Summit provides great networking opportunities, even if you don't need the CLEs.  There are last minute, limited on site opportunties with full room block and conference capacity.  A small number of rooms have been held for last minute attendees.  Register and reserve your room today!  Only five days remaining until the 2014 Trial Lawyers Summit begins!  We’ll see you at the Summit this Sunday!

US Legal Market Hit by Better Technology

Financial Times; January 13, 2014

The US legal market may be out of the doldrums, but a fundamental shift since the financial crisis means its old ways of working must be jettisoned to survive.

Better technology and more sophisticated purchasing of legal services by large companies are squeezing firms’ profit margins across America – the world’s largest legal market – even as the demand for their advice is beginning to increase, the findings of Citigroup and Hildebrandt Consulting’s annual survey of the biggest US firms show.

To read the complete article, please click here:https://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ef7a9478-7a24-11e3-8211-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2qI5UhFWT

Novartis Can't Dodge $2.2M Jaw Injury Verdict

Law360, New York
(January 02, 2014, 8:24 PM ET) -- A California federal judge on Monday upheld a
$2.2 million verdict against Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.
in a woman's lawsuit over a jaw injury allegedly caused by the bone drugs
Aredia and Zometa, holding the drugmaker had a duty to warn of the risk of
injury.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero denied Novartis' motion for judgment as a
matter of law as well as a new trial. Plaintiff Adriann Georges sufficiently
showed that Novartis had a duty to warn her of the jaw injury risk and that her
injury was caused both by her use of the drugs and the drugmaker's failure to
warn, according to the judge.

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.law360.com/articles/498203/novartis-can-t-dodge-2-2m-jaw-injury-verdict