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The results obtained here were excellent and the plaintiff's counsel is to be complimented for his overall effectiveness, efficiency and professionalism.”

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Trinity Industries Inc., manufacturers of a highway guardrail safety system tied to at least nine deaths, was ordered by a judge to pay $663 million for defrauding the U.S. government.

As reported in The Insurance Journal, the decision on June 8 by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Marshall, Texas, caps a three-year legal battle between Trinity and a small competitor in a case that raised doubts about highway safety across the country. The penalty is $138 million more than that imposed last year in a federal trial in which jurors found that Trinity cheated the government by selling its ET-Plus guardrail system without disclosing changes made in 2005. The company plans to appeal.

“We believe the evidence clearly shows that no fraud was committed,” Jeff Eller, a Trinity spokesman, said in an e-mail after the ruling. “The trial court made significant errors in applying the federal law to the plaintiff’s allegations and, therefore, the judgment is erroneous and should be reversed.”

Home Depot is being sued by a customer alleging she was injured when loading bags of mulch into her car.

As reported by The Louisiana Record Maria Tregle filed suit against Home edit USA Inc. and an unknown employee in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 17, 2014.

Tregle claims that on that date she was a customer at the Home Depot located at 2625 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie, LA when she purchased several bags of mulch. The plaintiff alleges that she requested help from an employee loading the mulch into her car, but when assistance never arrived she decided to move the bags of mulch on her own. Tregle claims that when she attempted to move the bags of mulch she injured herself.

A man whose daughter was injured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival when a man fleeing police drove his car into a crowd claims the incident was preventable.

As reported in Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit filed in Travis County, TX Court comes after five previous lawsuits and one federal lawsuit stemming from the incident. It alleges gross negligence and premises liability.

Arthur Zamarripa sued SXSW Holdings and SXSW LLC, which operate the South by Southwest festival. Also sued were Transportation Design Consultants LLC and Rashad Owens, the alleged driver SXSW is a music and film and festival held in Austin every March. According to its statistics for 2014, SXSW had a total attendance of 376,600 people and generated $315.3 million for the Austin economy.

An Allentown, PA man recently sued a Michigan foreclosure firm alleging negligence in 2014, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

Rene Rodriguez filed a lawsuit on April 24, 2015 against Five Brothers Inc. of Warren, Mich., in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, claiming personal injury.

The defendant provides hands-on foreclosure services, entering foreclosed properties to remove personal belongings on behalf of mortgage holders and/or financial institutions.

Investigators of the private-jet crash that killed Lewis Katz discovered that the billionaire’s personal pilots rarely performed the required pre-flight safety checks when flying their boss around the country.

As reported in the Insurance Journal, only on two out of the last 176 trips of Katz’s Gulfstream IV did the pilots bother to fully test the flight controls before takeoff, according to preliminary reports released by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

While the NTSB has not yet assigned definitive blame for the cause of the crash, the hundreds of pages of documents it released indicate a scenario where two pilots repeatedly failed to follow basic safety procedures. That includes on their final voyage May 31, which ended with the plane skidding off a Boston-area runway and bursting into flames, killing the pilots, a flight attendant, Katz and three other passengers.

As reported in the Louisiana Record, a customer at Deanie’s Seafood asserts that he ingested a spider while eating a platter of seafood.

Lee Taylor filed suit against Chifici Enterprises Inc. and Deanie’s Seafood in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Feb. 18.

On Feb. 23, 2014 Taylor was dining at Deanie’s Seafood in New Orleans when he ordered and consumed a platter of seafood which allegedly contained a spider. Taylor claims that he did not become aware of the spider until he ate a portion of it. As a result, Taylor contends he became extremely ill and distressed.

McDonald’s french fries are cooked in vegetable oil heated to more than 335 degrees F. The hamburger grill is coated with hot grease.

Not surprisingly, burns are the most common injury in fast food restaurants.

Seventy-nine percent of workers were burned in the past year, most more than once, according to a Fast Food Workplace Safety survey by Hart Research Associates, released on March 16.

Nina Pham, a nurse who contracted Ebola while treating a fatally infected patient, has sued the Dallas hospital where she worked, according to her attorney.

Pham and another Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas nurse, Amber Vinson, developed Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who died in October from the disease that causes severe hemorrhaging and organ failure.

Almost 10,000 people have died from Ebola in the past year in the western African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.More than 14,000 people who were infected have survived. On average, the disease is fatal to about 50 percent of those who get it, according to the WHO.

Health product retailer GNC was sued on Feb. 5, 2014 for mislabeling one of its products, according to The Pennsylvania Record

Stacey Wright sued the company in Pennsylvania federal court, alleging that its ginkgo biloba product doesn’t actually contain ginkgo biloba.

The suit comes after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman conducted DNA tests on the product, and found no ginkgo biloba in it. The attorney general issued a cease-and-desist letter to GNC, ordering the company to stop selling the product in the State of New York.

In 2006, Karan and Stan Eriksson’s 17-year-old daughter Mia was competing in an equestrian event. Kristi Nunnink was Mia’s riding coach. The horse struck a hurdle during the cross-country portion of the event at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. Mia fell off her horse and the horse then fell on Mia, killing her. The Erikssons sued Nunnink for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress. They alleged that Nunnink substantially increased the risk Mia reasonably assumed by allowing her to ride a horse that ‘was unfit to ride because of prior falls and lack of practice” and concealing this condition from the Erikssons.
In an earlier appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment for Nunnink. The case was then tried, and the court granted Nunnink’s motion for entry of judgment. The court relied, in part, on a release of liability entered into between Nunnink and Mia about six months prior to Mia’s death. The Erikssons appealed. They argued that the release of liability was ambiguous and did not apply to their claims and that, based on the evidence presented and the applicable law, the court erred in granting Nunnink’s motion for entry of judgment.
In the published Court of Appeal’s opinion, it held the release was enforceable and could be asserted by Nunnink as a defense to the Erikssons’ wrongful death and NIED claims and Nunnink can therefore be liable only if Mia’s death was caused by Nunnink’s gross negligence. In the unpublished portion, the Court concluded that the Erikssons failed to establish that Nunnink was grossly negligent. The Court therefore affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

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