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VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

Texas Man Injured By E-Cigarette Blast Files Lawsuit

A Houston man whose e-cigarette exploded in his face a year ago, leaving him with serious facial and bodily injuries, has filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the lithium-ion battery that allegedly caused the blast and the vape shop that sold it to him. According to the SE TexasRecord, plaintiff Dunta White, a resident of Harris County, claims that H Town Vape Inc., the vape shop where he bought the allegedly defective lithium-ion battery, and LG Chem Ltd., the Korean electronics company that made the battery, are liable for the injuries that the exploding e-cigarette caused. When ... Read More

California Whistleblower Case Against BP Recovers $102 Million

BP has agreed to pay $102 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought under California’s False Claims Act alleging the oil company intentionally overcharged the state for natural gas for more than a decade. The law firm representing the whistleblower in the case said it is the largest whistleblower settlement involving an oil company in California’s history, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case started on July 3, 2012, when former BP employee Chris Schroen filed a whistleblower complaint with the state alleging BP was knowingly quoting and charging the state gas prices above the contractual price cap. The ... Read More

Auto Safety Advocates Seek Release of Goodyear Tire Death Documents

Auto safety advocates are heaping pressure on federal authorities to divulge documents relating to Goodyear’s G159 tire, which has been linked to hundreds of tire-blowout crashes involving motorhomes, causing dozens of injuries and deaths. According to Arizona’s The Republic, the Center for Auto Safety, the nation’s leading auto safety advocacy group, has filed a request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the Freedom of Information Act seeking death and injury claim information, tire-testing results, and other information concerning the Goodyear tires. Litigation involving Goodyear’s G159 tires has been ongoing for years, but the manufacturer’s lawyers successfully lobbied ... Read More

Equifax Data Breach Victims Try to Reclaim Their Identities

Most U.S. citizens have heard by now of the massive Equifax data breach that exposed the personal information of about 145 million Americans. For those fortunate enough to have gone unharmed so far, the breach may be little more than an occasional concern for some bad things that could happen. But for Katie Van Fleet, the Equifax data breach has been and continues to be a nightmare. Ms. Van Fleet, who told her story to CBS News, said her troubles began with a single notification for a credit card she never applied for. Within weeks, identity thieves with her personal ... Read More

Team of lawyers to assist with lawsuits targeting opioid makers

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster approved a team of 22 lawyers to oversee the more than 180 lawsuits against companies accused of helping to fuel the national opioid epidemic. The team includes many of the same attorneys who helped land the $246 billion settlement with Big Tobacco. The proposed slate is broken down into various committees and working groups, and has room for more attorneys. The groups would be overseen by a plaintiffs steering committee, which has yet to be decided. A larger and much more detailed system for tackling the opioid litigation is needed because it is too large ... Read More

Feds raid bodybuilding supplement manufacturing plant

Buffed up former bankruptcy lawyer, online personality, and owner and operator of Enhanced Athlete Inc., Charles Anthony Hughes, a.k.a. Dr. Tony Huge, drew more than 100,000 followers on his YouTube channel where he touted the benefits of SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) like ostarine. “I use them all the time in mega doses, and I’m huge,” one of his videos claimed. But recently, his company’s California facility was raided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of its crack down on dietary supplement makers that peddle SARMs, calling them unapproved drugs that have been linked to life threatening ... Read More

Conductor Injured In Washington Derailment Sues Amtrak

An Amtrak conductor on a training run of the Cascades 501 that derailed in DuPont, Washington, Dec. 18 is one of the first people to sue the railroad as a result of the accident. Garrick Freeman, a 48-year-old Amtrak conductor, was among the 80 people injured when the train derailed as it sped into a downward curve at more than twice the speed limit. Thirteen of the train’s cars leaped the tracks on an overpass and landed on cars and trucks on Interstate 5 below. Three people were killed. Mr. Freeman, who was with the train’s engineer in the lead ... Read More

Equifax Data Breach Lawsuits Consolidated For MDL in Georgia

Lawsuits against the credit reporting company Equifax over last year’s data breach have been consolidated in a Georgia federal court for multidistrict litigation (MDL). The lawsuits that have been centralized in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia include class actions filed by consumers who claim the breach violated their privacy and exposed them to identity theft and by banks and other financial institutions that have racked up considerable expense in responding to the breach on behalf of their customers. The Equifax data breach occurred in mid-May 2017 and continued undetected through at least June, exposing the data ... Read More

Christmas Eve Plane Crash Kills Five Near Lakeland, Florida

Federal authorities are investigating a Christmas Eve private plane crash in Bartow, Florida, that killed all five people aboard. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters that the Cessna 340 crashed about 7:15 a.m. as it was taking off from Bartow Municipal Airport, just south of Lakeland, Florida. The plane was headed to Key West for a Christmas Eve day trip. The plane crash killed Lakeland lawyer John Shannon, 70, who was piloting the plane, his daughters Victoria Shannon, 26, and Olivia, 24, Victoria’s husband Peter Worthington Jr., 27, and family friend Krista Clayton, a 32-year-old schoolteacher and mother of ... Read More