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lawyers 445 articles

Head injury risk in childrens sports a growing debate in family court

The debate about whether to let children play football due to the risk of repeated concussions which could have detrimental, lifelong consequences, has become a growing debate in divorce proceedings in family court. “You always heard it sometimes, when one parent would say ‘I don’t want him doing that because he might get hurt,’” said Allen E. Mayefsky, a leading divorce lawyer and former president of the New York chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “Usually we thought the parent was just overprotective. Now, it’s more of a real medical issue.” That’s because scientific evidence has emerged in ... Read More

Appeals Court Revives Defective Seatbelt Lawsuit

A federal appeals court is allowing a wrongful death lawsuit to move forward against an automotive supplier that is accused of manufacturing defective seatbelts for Mazda. The decision by a three-judge panel on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a lower court’s judgment to toss the suit against Autoliv Japan Ltd. According to Law 360, the Eleventh Circuit will allow two of the lawsuit’s three claims to proceed after finding that a manufacturer such as Autoliv can still face liability claims even when it was not “actively involved” in the design of the seatbelts it manufactured for other parties. ... Read More

Takata Whistleblowers Split $1.7 Million Award

Three whistleblowers who were instrumental in alerting U.S. authorities to the risks of Takata’s deadly airbag inflators will share an award of $1.7 million, a sum that could grow substantially larger once legislators determine the mechanics of a new auto whistleblower law passed in 2015. The whistleblowers were all former employees of Takata Corp., the Japan-based automotive supplier that manufactured tens of millions of airbags with highly unstable inflators. The dangerously defective airbags were installed in cars, trucks, and SUVs made by 19 automakers Lawyers for the three whistleblowers said the men provided extensive assistance and information that prompted the ... Read More

Hawking Sealed Whistleblower Lawsuits Gets DC Lawyer Prison Sentence

A former U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) lawyer who pleaded guilty to charges related to his stealing and selling copies of whistleblower lawsuits has been sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. Jeffrey Wertkin, 41, left his Justice Department job in 2016 and joined a prominent Washington D.C. law firm, taking with him copies of 40 whistleblower complaints that were under seal. At the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin worked in a division that handles civil whistleblower complaints filed under the False Claims Act. The lawsuits, filed by informants who allege fraud against federal programs and agencies, remain under ... Read More

West Virginia’s Opioid Crisis The Focus of Congressional Investigation

The opioid epidemic in West Virginia is a focus of a Congressional investigation seeking to determine why three major opioid distributors flooded the state with more than 780 million hydrocodone and oxycontin painkillers in a recent six-year period – about 433 opioid pills for every West Virginia resident. According to The (Huntington, West Virginia) Herald-Dispatch, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce had mailed inquiries to drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen looking for answers about their involvement in opioid pill dumping in the state. The inquiries, which The Herald-Dispatch says present more than 70 questions and 40 ... Read More

Hankook Tire Settles Church Bus Crash Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by the victims of a deadly church bus crash and their families against Hankook Tire has been settled for an “undisclosed confidential amount” after years of litigation. The case centered on the Oct. 2, 2013, crash of a Front Street Baptist Church bus in Statesville, North Carolina, that killed six church members, the driver of a tractor-trailer, and a passenger in an SUV. The bus was returning to North Carolina from a yearly Fall Jubilee at the Gatlinburg Convention Center when the left front tire blew out, causing driver Randolph “Randy” Morrison to lose control of the ... Read More

Jury Awards Whistleblower $1 Million in Retaliation Case

A federal jury in Portland, Oregon awarded a former whistleblower $1 million in a retaliation case against a now out-of-business telemarketing firm. According to The Oregonian, Max Zweizig of New Jersey worked as the information technology director for the Oregon-based Northwest Direct Teleservices Inc. from 2001-2003. In 2004, he filed a lawsuit against Timothy Rote, the company’s owner and president, alleging he was fired in retaliation for alerting law enforcement authorities that the company was overbilling some clients. Mr. Zweizig’s whistleblower complaint originally went to arbitration and he was awarded $75,375 for lost wages and damages, but the judgement hasn’t ... Read More

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

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

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