Law Blog – Lex et Scientia

Metformin recall: diabetes drug could cause cancer

Metformin recall: diabetes drug could cause cancer

In early October, the FDA announced a recall of diabetes drug metformin hydrochloride due to the presence of a possible cancer-causing agent. In its announcement, the FDA explained that drug manufacturer Marksans detected unsafe levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen, in certain batches of metformin. Metformin helps lower glucose levels by restricting the amount of sugar the liver releases into a patient's bloodstream. Metformin itself, the drug's main active ingredient, is not toxic in itself....
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Video: The Inhumanity of Texas Tort Reform

Video: The Inhumanity of Texas Tort Reform

Legal Progress—the legal policy program at the Center for American Progress—released a new video on the damaging effects of Texas’ tort reform legislation, which makes it virtually impossible for victims of emergency room negligence to hold hospitals accountable for medical malpractice. Texas’ tort reform, established by a 2003 constitutional amendment that passed by a razor-thin margin, allowed the state legislature to place an arbitrary $250,000 cap on the damages juries could award to injured plaintiffs....
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FDA calls for breast implant warnings following cancer lawsuits

FDA calls for breast implant warnings following cancer lawsuits

In an official statement released Wednesday, the FDA requested that breast implant manufacturers impose strict warning standards on their products. The statement comes after numerous cases of lymphoma, an immune system cancer, have been linked to certain kinds of breast implants. The agency called for breast implant manufacturers to include bold, noticeable warnings on their products to alert customers to possible health risks. The agency recommends that breast implants include a boxed warning, also known...
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$9.9 million verdict against Mazda for fatal crash

A jury in Bessemer on Oct. 20, 2014 returned $9.9 million in verdicts against Mazda Motor Corporation for a crash on Ross Bridge Parkway in 2010 that killed one woman and severely burned another. Jurors in the trial before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Eugene Verin awarded $6 million in favor of Sydney McLemore and a $3.9 million verdict for John and Barbara Hurst. McLemore was burned over 15 percent of her body when the 2008...
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$10M Settlement: KC Priest Sexual Abuse

The Kansas City diocese has agreed to settle 30 sexual abuse by priests lawsuits for $10 million.
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Lawsuit filed in tragic Winchester police pursuit drowning case

Lawsuit filed in tragic Winchester police pursuit drowning case

The family of Johnny Baldwin filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Winchester, alleging that the city is responsible for Mr. Baldwin's drowning death during a police pursuit. The family, represented by the attorneys at David Randolph Smith, alleges that the city's police force violated Baldwin's civil rights by refusing to rescue him. On June 4, police in the city of Decherd attempted to stop Baldwin for a minor traffic violation. The officers claimed...
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Increase in Title IX Complaints:  Causes Debated

Increase in Title IX Complaints: Causes Debated

Knox News reports that there has been an increase in Title IX complaints at the University of Tennessee. The reasons for the increase in Title IX complaints are debated within in the article. On the one hand, University officials attribute the increase to increased awareness and reporting. However, Anna Voremberg, managing director of End Rape of Campus, mentions the sexual assault lawsuit filed by our firm as a possible reason behind the increase in Title...
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Police Pursuit Injuries

Police Pursuit Injuries

Police pursuits are a popular topic for crime dramas and action movies. In real life, however, there are a number of safety concerns posed by police chases. The goal of most police pursuits is to halt individuals whose conduct may injure themselves or others. Some officers use special intervention tactics, such as TIVs or PIT maneuvers, to stop drivers who may be drunk or otherwise dangerous. Unfortunately, not all officers use police pursuit tactics correctly....
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Fortune: Allergan BIA-ALCL lawsuit “suggests systemic failure”

Fortune: Allergan BIA-ALCL lawsuit “suggests systemic failure”

Breast implant manufacturer Allergan faces national scrutiny amidst growing awareness of BIA-ALCL, a cancer of the lymph nodes. BIA-ALCL is specifically linked to certain types of silicone implants, particularly the ones Allergan manufactures. A recent article from Fortune magazine exposes the growing BIA-ALCL crisis, noting the increasing diagnoses and continued denial by Allergan. The article asserts that the BIA-ALCL crisis, and resulting lawsuits against Allergan, suggest "systemic failure in a global industry that [has] never...
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Dismissal denied in Operation Candy Crush case

Dismissal denied in Operation Candy Crush case

The "Operation Candy Crush" lawsuit will move forward in federal court following an appellate decision in the plaintiffs' favor. Defendants argued for dismissal of the suit, which arises from a 2018 sting operation. Both the District Court and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied defendants' motion to dismiss, allowing the suit to continue in litigation. "Operation Candy Crush" The lawsuit centers around a Rutherford County sting operation nicknamed "Operation Candy Crush." In 2018, officers arrested...
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Over 500 TOSHA complaints filed during COVID-19 outbreak

Over 500 TOSHA complaints filed during COVID-19 outbreak

Tennessee saw a sharp increase in workplace complaints as the COVID-19 virus swept across the state. The spike in complaints began when Governor Lee declared a state of emergency on March 12. Through March and April, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) received over 500 complaints of hazardous working conditions. Nearly two thirds of these complaints relate to COVID-19. Many of the TOSHA complaints allege that employers are failing to protect workers from...
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Cookeville nursing home faces COVID-19 fatalities

Cookeville nursing home faces COVID-19 fatalities

A nursing home in Cookeville has lost three residents to COVID-19 following a sudden outbreak this month. The tragedy at Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County adds to growing public concern over outbreaks at Tennessee care facilities, where the state's most vulnerable population is increasingly exposed to the virus. The Nashville Tennessean reported that 33 residents and 15 staff members at Signature HealthCARE tested positive for the virus in April. Three of the infected residents have...
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Tennessee silent on COVID-19 nursing home outbreaks

Tennessee silent on COVID-19 nursing home outbreaks

The Tennessee health commissioner refuses to release statistics on COVID-19 infections in nursing homes across the state, despite growing concerns over recent outbreaks. In an interview with News Channel 5, Dr. Lisa Piercey acknowledged that COVID-19 infections in Tennessee nursing homes are tracked and recorded. "Our contact tracing folks and epidemiologists do know exactly what is in each facility," she stated. But when pressed for the release of such numbers, Dr. Piercey responded, "We do...
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Paragard Lawsuits – Defective IUDs

Paragard Lawsuits – Defective IUDs

Paragard, a popular intrauterine birth control device, faces lawsuits from consumers who claim that the device broke, embedded, or caused metal poisoning by copper toxicity. The experienced defective medical device attorneys at David Randolph Smith are prepared to seek compensation on the behalf of patients who suffer injury from Paragard IUDs. What is Paragard? Paragard is the brand name of a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD). The Paragard IUD is a copper-wrapped plastic device that intercepts...
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Tennessee nursing home in crisis amid COVID-19 outbreak

Tennessee nursing home in crisis amid COVID-19 outbreak

A nursing home in Gallatin, TN underwent an emergency evacuation on March 27-29 after nearly 100 residents tested positive for COVID-19. Additional testing showed that 33 staff members were also infected with the virus. All infected residents were transported to the Sumner Regional Medical Center for treatment. Infected staff members are reportedly self-isolating at home. Although most of the diagnosed residents were asymptomatic, a recent statement from SRMC revealed that two patients have passed away...
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Nashville attorney David Randolph Smith on Allergan litigation committee

Nashville attorney David Randolph Smith on Allergan litigation committee

A federal judge has appointed Nashville products liability attorney David Randolph Smith to the steering committee in a multi-district litigation against breast implant manufacturer Allergan, amid accusations that Allergan's implants cause a dangerous form of cancer. The litigation arises from numerous lawsuits alleging that Allergan's textured implants can cause BIA-ALCL, a type of lymphoma, in unsuspecting patients. There have been hundreds of reported cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide, and 34 known fatalities caused by the disease....
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Complaint filed in Allergan breast implant lawsuit

Complaint filed in Allergan breast implant lawsuit

In January, the Tennessee products liability firm of David Randolph Smith & Associates filed a wrongful death lawsuit against breast implant manufacturer Allergan. The complaint was filed in Missouri on behalf of plaintiff Calvin Parr and his late wife, Lizabeth. Mr. Parr lost his wife last year to BIA-ALCL, a type of lymphoma associated with breast implants. BIA-ALCL primarily develops in patients who have had textured breast implants at some point in their lives. Although...
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TN CoreCivic prisons face substantial homicide rate

TN CoreCivic prisons face substantial homicide rate

CoreCivic, a private prison corporation, continues to gain notoriety for the high homicide rate within its facilities. The increasing number of fatalities has provoked public outcry against the private prison system in Tennessee, leading many to question the lack of oversight and inadequate responses to inmate deaths. CoreCivic, which operates four prison facilities in Tennessee, houses about a third of the state's inmate population. According to the Tennessean's recent article, however, nearly 63% of prison...
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New law allows medical malpractice claims against military providers

New law allows medical malpractice claims against military providers

Pursuant to a new act, military personnel can now bring medical malpractice claims against the government for injuries caused by negligent military medical providers. The National Defense Authorization Act, which took effect January 1, allows service personnel and their families to file claims against the U.S. government for personal injuries or wrongful death caused by the negligence of a Department of Defense-employed healthcare provider. Claims of medical malpractice will be filed through the Pentagon, which...
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Allergan breast implant lawsuits centralized in New Jersey

Allergan breast implant lawsuits centralized in New Jersey

Four federal lawsuits against breast implant maker Allergan have been centralized to ensure efficiency as the cases proceed. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has ordered the transfer of multiple Allergan breast implant lawsuits to the District of New Jersey, creating a centralized litigation docket specifically for these claims. These Allergan recall lawsuits reflect an ongoing barrage of litigation against Allergan in relation to its textured breast implants. Some implants have been...
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Judge denies dismissal of Chattanooga police officer rape case

Judge denies dismissal of Chattanooga police officer rape case

A municipal liability suit against the City of Chattanooga will move forward after a federal district judge denied the City's motion to dismiss. The order means that the suit will continue to move forward, bringing the anonymous plaintiff one step closer to obtaining justice. In May of this year, an anonymous victim--represented by David Randolph Smith & Associates--brought suit against the City of Chattanooga, alleging that she was raped by former Chattanooga police officer Desmond...
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Five Things to Know Before Your Deposition

Five Things to Know Before Your Deposition

Depositions allow attorneys to evaluate the strength of a case by questioning each side's witnesses. Your deposition is probably the most important component of your case, next to an in-court appearance. It is vital to present yourself as a polished, coherent witness; you want your opponent to feel as if you could easily sway a judge and jury in your favor. Preparation is key in conducting a successful deposition. Read our five tips below to...
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Firm files $900,000 lawsuit in Cummins Falls drowning case

Firm files $900,000 lawsuit in Cummins Falls drowning case

On behalf of the family of a toddler who drowned at Cummins Falls this June, our law firm has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the park. Hannah and Curtis Pierce, parents of 2-year-old victim Steven Pierce, formally filed suit on Monday. The Pierces--represented by the wrongful death attorneys of David Randolph Smith & Associates--allege that the park system's negligence caused the death of their son. CLICK HERE to read the wrongful death lawsuit. Family's...
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Cummins Falls remains closed, no new safety measures implemented

Cummins Falls remains closed, no new safety measures implemented

Cummins Falls remains inaccessible following the June 10 drowning of 2-year-old Steven Pierce. Although the park itself is not closed, the access trails leading to the falls (the park's main attraction) have not reopened. The following message is posted on the state park's website: "The gorge and the trail to the gorge at Cummins Falls is CLOSED. This means there is no access to the water. The overlook is open. We will remove this alert...
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Cancer link triggers breast implant recall

Cancer link triggers breast implant recall

Allergan, a major breast implant manufacturer, issued a worldwide recall on its textured implants in light of recent studies tying the implants to a rare form of cancer. The July 24 recall came shortly after the FDA asked the company to take its textured implant devices off the shelves. Recent studies by the FDA have corroborated the link between BIA-ALCL, a lymphatic cancer, and textured breast implants. Allergan, one of the leading breast implant manufacturers,...
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6 Reasons Why Lawyers Won’t Take Your Case

6 Reasons Why Lawyers Won’t Take Your Case

Without a doubt, case rejections are one of the most frustrating challenges of starting a case. It's not uncommon for clients to consult with several lawyers before finding one who will take their case. Some attorneys openly discuss their reason for rejecting a case, while others offer more vague explanations to avoid discouraging potential litigants. If you have experienced a case rejection--or maybe several--you may want more information about why an attorney won't take your...
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How to Request Medical Records: Three Steps

How to Request Medical Records: Three Steps

If you or a loved one are involved in a personal injury, wrongful death, or auto accident lawsuit, you'll need to request medical records. If you have already retained an attorney, he or she may be able to obtain these records on your behalf. However, you may wish to obtain your records yourself if you have not yet retained an attorney, or if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries. Although the process...
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What is mediation? Five things you need to know

What is mediation? Five things you need to know

What is mediation? If your attorney suggests a mediation session between you and your opponent, you'll likely feel some apprehension. Most people have only a vague idea of the purpose and process of mediation, and may wish to proceed directly to trial. However, it is estimated that 90-95% of civil cases settle before going to trial, and many settlement agreements are reached during mediation. To maximize your chances of settling, read below for the five...
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Family claims $900,000 for toddler death at Cummins Falls

Family claims $900,000 for toddler death at Cummins Falls

The family of a 2-year-old drowning victim has filed a claim against the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for their child’s death. The toddler's death occurred at Cummins Falls State Park in early June, when a sudden flash flood engulfed the area near the falls. David Randolph Smith & Associates represents the family. The child's parents, Curtis and Hannah Pierce, allege that their son's death was a direct result of state's failure to install...
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Four new Tennessee laws to know

Four new Tennessee laws to know

July 1 saw the passage of several dozen new Tennessee laws, including e-scooter regulations, school bus cameras, and the hot-button cell phone bill. Below, we've compiled and explained four new laws that every Tennessean should be know. For a complete list of the newly-passed bills, including links to their full text, click here. Ban on holding phone while driving Senate Bill 173 (House Bill 164) makes it a Class C misdemeanor to physically hold or...
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TN Supreme Court will hear challenge to non-economic damage caps

TN Supreme Court will hear challenge to non-economic damage caps

The Tennessee Supreme Court decided this week to hear a case challenging the caps on non-economic damages in Tennessee. The court's opinion may influence a federal judge's decision on whether to declare the state damage caps unconstitutional. The state currently caps jury awards for noneconomic damages at $750,000, or $1 million in exceptional situations. If a jury awards a plaintiff more than the allowed amount, the judge will reduce the plaintiff's damages to meet the...
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Nashville scooter injuries: little legal recourse

Nashville scooter injuries: little legal recourse

Nashville scooter injuries are a growing concern for local residents. Ask any Nashvillian for their biggest pet peeves about the growing city, and chances are good that “scooters” will top the list. Electric scooters, or “e-scooters”, are quickly replacing bicycles as the latest urban transportation craze. With thousands scattered across urban Nashville, they’re easy to find and simple to use: just download an app, add your credit card, and scan the scooter to activate it....
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Nashville driver flips car during severe allergy attack, rescued by golfers in bizarre car accident

Nashville driver flips car during severe allergy attack, rescued by golfers in bizarre car accident

Bizarre car accident: A Nashville driver flipped his car on Monday afternoon in Belle Meade after suffering a severe allergy attack. In a sudden fit of uncontrollable sneezing, the unidentified driver lost control of his SUV and ran off the road, hitting a culvert. The impact launched his vehicle and flipped it back into the street. (Click here if you need a nashville car accident lawyer.) The SUV skidded down the road on its side...
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Crane injury lawsuit likely after fatal crane collapse in Dallas

Crane injury lawsuit likely after fatal crane collapse in Dallas

A crane injury lawsuit is likely after a fatal crane collapse in Dallas, Texas. Sizable storms and high-speed winds caused a construction-site crane to crash into a Dallas apartment complex on Sunday, killing one resident and injuring at least five others. The crane demolished multiple apartment units and smashed through all five stories of the complex’s garage. The region saw significant winds on Sunday afternoon, with gusts reaching over 70 mph at the peak of...
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Chattanooga police misconduct lawsuit against  police officer amended, alleges department cover-up

Chattanooga police misconduct lawsuit against police officer amended, alleges department cover-up

A Chattanooga police misconduct lawsuit alleging rape against Desmond Logan, a former police officer, was amended on Wednesday to add allegations against two of Logan’s former coworkers, retired Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson and retired Captain Pedro Bacon. The original police misconduct suit claimed that the plaintiff--who has chosen to remain anonymous--was raped by former Chattanooga police officer Desmond Logan while in his custody. In June 2018, Logan allegedly coerced the plaintiff into his police car,...
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Fatal motorcycle accident in Tennessee

Fatal motorcycle accident in Tennessee

A fatal motorcycle accident in Tennessee occurred when the driver of a SUV pulled out in front of a motorcycle driven by 22-year-old Jacob Mathis. A fatal motorcyclist was killed in Nashville on May 27, 2019, at the intersection of Murfreesboro Pike and Hobson Pike. The victim, 22-year-old Jacob Mathis from Fairview, was traveling south on Murfreesboro Pike when an SUV, driven by 36-year-old Gilbreto Diaz, pulled out in front of him suddenly. Mathis’ motorcycle crashed into the passenger side...
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Firm files police misconduct lawsuit for alleged rape by police officer

Firm files police misconduct lawsuit for alleged rape by police officer

A woman is suing the City of Chattanooga after alleging that she was raped by a former city police officer, Desmond Logan. The lawsuit (PDF) claims that Logan had a history of sexual misconduct and that the city was well aware of his recurring behavior but failed to properly investigate or discipline him. Police misconduct lawsuit filed in federal court The plaintiff, who is co-represented by David Randolph Smith & Associates and Sutherland & Belk,...
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Filing a Civil Lawsuit: 5 things to know

Filing a Civil Lawsuit: 5 things to know

It can be surprising--and often frustrating--to learn how lengthy the average lawsuit process really is. People often file claims with the hope of obtaining a quick settlement within a few weeks, but such an outcome is sadly unrealistic. The lifespan of an average civil lawsuit is often a year or more, depending largely on the complexity of the case. Read below to learn more about filing a civil lawsuit, the ballpark timelines for each, and...
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Good Kids, Bad City: Book Review

Good Kids, Bad City: Book Review

In the May 2019 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, Nashville civil rights attorney Christopher Smith reviews Good Kids, Bad City by author Kyle Swenson.   The review is reproduced with permission below: Three innocent men, wrongfully imprisoned for a combined 106 years — a dismal American record — walked free from a Cleveland, Ohio, courthouse in November 2014. Despite their innocence, they had been convicted of murder in 1975 based on the eyewitness testimony of a...
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Nashville Bicycle Accident Attorney:  Bike Injuries on the Rise

Nashville Bicycle Accident Attorney: Bike Injuries on the Rise

Bike injuries are on the rise, and more people may need a Nashville Bicycle Accident Attorney than ever. A recent CNN post caught our attention. It notes that: "Injuries among adult bicyclists are up since 1998, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, with injuries to cyclists older than 45 fueling the increase. The study's authors analyzed data collected from about 100 U.S. emergency rooms for the National...
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Tennessee’s Dog Bite Laws

Tennessee’s Dog Bite Laws

Tennessee’s dog bite law may prove confusing to victims at first glance. Tennessee law imposes different standards of liability on dog owners depending on where, and under what circumstances, their dog caused injury to another. To better understand a dog owner’s liability under Tennessee law, we’ll break the statute down into the different situations it covers. Often sudden, terrifying, and extremely painful, dog attacks can cause significant trauma and sometimes permanent physical damage to victims....
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Tennessee cracks down on distracted driving

Tennessee cracks down on distracted driving

In April 2019, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office launched a new campaign, dubbed Operation Incognito, in an effort to reduce distracted driving on state highways, particularly in the Chattanooga area. Cracking down on distracted driving The campaign involves highway safety officers boarding a CARTA bus to observe passing drivers for signs of texting behind the wheel. If distracted drivers are spotted, the bus officers radio nearby patrol cars to pull over and issue citations to...
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How to get a Tennessee Crash Report

How to get a Tennessee Crash Report

If you’ve been involved or injured in a recent Tennessee auto accident, you may want to obtain a copy of the Tennessee crash report for your own records, or to keep on hand in the event of potential litigation. The information contained in a crash report can be invaluable, especially if an injury occurred and you expect litigation to arise from the circumstances of the crash. Getting a crash report is generally easy, and can...
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Montgomery County couple killed in head-on collision

Montgomery County couple killed in head-on collision

A couple was killed on Friday afternoon in Montgomery Country, Tennessee, when a speeding Jeep collided head-on with their SUV. Juvenile driver crossed the center line Joseph and Mitzi Barr were driving down Lylewood Road in Woodlawn when a black Jeep, traveling in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed, crossed into the opposite lane and hit them head-on, flipping their SUV. The driver of the Jeep survived the collision and was immediately...
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New $80 million verdict in Roundup cancer lawsuit

New $80 million verdict in Roundup cancer lawsuit

Jury in Roundup cancer lawsuit finds for Plaintiff On Thursday, a California court awarded $80 million to Edwin Hardeman, plaintiff in the most recent Roundup cancer lawsuit. Like many homeowners, Hardeman used Roundup regularly as part of his property maintenance routine. However, he recently developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes that has been associated with Roundup in previous litigation. Hardeman filed his products liability suit against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, alleging...
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Information on Stage 4 Bedsores

Information on Stage 4 Bedsores

Nursing Home Neglect Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are wounds to the skin caused by applying constant pressure to the same areas for an extended period of time. Bedsores typically develop when a bedridden patient remains in the same position for too long, creating lesions where the body’s weight rests. The highest risk of bedsores occurs in disabled and elderly patients who are partially or completely immobile, and who rely on caregivers to help...
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Partnership Liability for Intentional Torts of Partner

Partnership Liability for Intentional Torts of Partner

Court rules Tennessee partnership may be held liable for partner’s assaults In a March 11, 2019 Order Denying Summary Judgment, the Davidson County Circuit Court held that a local Nashville business may face liability for the tortious acts of its general partner.  This unique ruling highlighted an issue that has gone largely unaddressed in Tennessee tort law. The case is Jane Doe v. Dance World of Nashville and Danny Baye, Case No. 16C3116. Plaintiff, represented...
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Updates on Damages Caps in Tennessee

Updates on Damages Caps in Tennessee

Damage Caps in Tennessee In December 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down Tennessee’s damage caps on punitive damage awards. The Tennessee Attorney General is now petitioning for the case to be sent to the Tennessee Supreme Court for further consideration.   The punitive damage cap issue arose from a Memphis life insurance case in which Jackson National Life Insurance refused to pay out a $350,000 policy to two children...
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Sandy Hook families sue gunmaker in products liability case

Sandy Hook families sue gunmaker in products liability case

Families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre have brought a products liability lawsuit against Remington, which manufactured the assault rifle used by gunman Adam Lanza. The families allege that Remington advertised the assault rifle, a Bushmaster AR-15, as a “combat-style weapon” for civilians, and that these marketing strategies encouraged an unsafe and illegal manner of using the gun. Gunmaker's Marketing Encouraged Violence The victims’ families point to Remington’s commercials and slogans for...
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Operation Candy Crush Lawsuit Moves Forward

Operation Candy Crush Lawsuit Moves Forward

Our firm's Operation Candy Crush lawsuit will move forward. CLICK HERE to read the Opinion. Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss in Operation Candy Crush Lawsuit We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over Operation Candy Crush, a law enforcement operation in which several store owners were arrested for selling legal CBD products alleged to be illegal marijuana. On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Judge Aleta Trauger for the Middle District of Tennessee denied the motions to...
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Breast Implant Lymphoma Leads to Litigation – BIA-ALCL Lawsuits

Breast Implant Lymphoma Leads to Litigation – BIA-ALCL Lawsuits

BIA-ALCL lawsuits -- What is BIA-ALCL? BIA-ALCL stands for “breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma”, a disease that sometimes develops in women who have breast implants. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects lymphocyte cells, a key part of the body’s immune system. The symptoms of BIA-ALCL include pain, redness and swelling in the breast tissue.  BIA-ALCL lawsuits are on the rise, with injured victims alleging that they had no warning of the dangers...
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Tennessee seat belt laws: Four things to know

Tennessee seat belt laws: Four things to know

Looking for information on Tennessee seat belt laws?  This article explores the seat belt law in Tennessee and tells you 4 things you need to know. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, over 15,000 lives are saved each year by seat belt use; a restrained vehicle occupant is 45-50% less likely to be injured in a traffic accident than one who is unrestrained, and crash victims who are thrown from a vehicle...
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Tennessee Drunk Driver responsible for deadly I-24 crash

Tennessee Drunk Driver responsible for deadly I-24 crash

A Tennessee drunk driver is being held on a $157,000 bond after causing a fatal crash on I-24 Saturday night. 31-year-old Elvin Portillo lost control of his vehicle on Saturday night and slammed into a concrete barrier, forcing the truck behind him, driven by 57-year-old Bobby Douglas, to swerve suddenly in order to avoid hitting Portillo. Due to the violent swerve, Douglas’ truck slammed into a pole on the driver’s side, killing Douglas. The truck...
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A World Without Lawyers: Video

For a CLE (continuing legal education seminar) David Randolph Smith prepared a video on the image of lawyers. Here's the link: A World Without Lawyers
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Associated Press Interviews Smith on Nursing Home Safety

Associated Press Interviews Smith on Nursing Home Safety

David Randolph Smith was interviewed by the AP for a national news story on nursing home safety. Smith, an attorney who represented the families of numerous victims in the NHC blaze, said he took for granted that facilities around the country were also in compliance."That's really quite shocking," he said. "Lots of things catch on fire in these buildings. Some of them are so old that they have polyurethane insulation. They're tinder boxes in many...
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LawSuit Filed against Hickman County Jailers

LawSuit Filed against Hickman County Jailers

Wrongful Death | Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed in Hickman County Circuit Court involving Jail's failure to monitor pre-trial detainee for medication withdrawal. Click here for a free & confidential case review Plaintiff (view complaint here) was arrested and incarcerated in the Hickman County Jail on December 12, 2011, to await her Court date set for January 3, 2012. The arrest occurred after her fiance’s vehicle was stopped for a non-functional headlight while on the way...
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Tennessean Article: Tort Reform

Tennessean Article: Tort Reform

Public misconception about McDonalds Hot Coffee Lawsuit, tort reform, and attorney David Randolph Smith's lawsuit challenging constitutionality of caps on non-economic damages in personal injury cases published in last weekend's Tennessean Article: "...In Tennessee, plaintiffs cannot recover more than $750,000 in pain and suffering damages unless the case is considered “catastrophic,” in which case the award cannot exceed $1 million. The caps went into effect last July after Gov. Bill Haslam pushed a tort reform...
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Government Spying on E-mails & Internet Use is Unconstitutional

In the post-911 world the U.S. Government captures, copies, and analyzes every citizen's email and internet communication and use. Under this surveillance, the government makes a full copy of everything that travels through key Internet backbone locations, like AT&T’s peering links. The government says that it then does some rudimentary filtering and searches through the filtered copies, looking for specific “selectors,” like email addresses. In a brief filed Oct. 24, 2014 the Electronic Frontier Foundation...
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Medical Malpractice Suit Over Marvin Hamlisch’s Death

The widow of renowned composer Marvin Hamlisch filed suit claiming that the 68-year-old's untimely death was a result of the medical malpractice of Defendants New York Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. David Cohen.The complaint, filed last week, seeks compensation for medical malpractice, wrongful death and loss of services, claiming that the mistreatment suffered by Mr. Hamlisch while he was in the patient care of the Defendants following a 2012 kidney transplant was the cause of his...
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The Future of Car Wreck Litigation

The Future of Car Wreck Litigation

The driverless car is coming.  And when it does, accident fatalities will decrease substantially.  What will the legal landscape look like in a world in which human error has been removed from the driving experience? The Future of Car Wreck Litigation Newsweek notes the life-saving potential of driverless cars: Human error is the main reason for most car crashes. In July 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a report to Congress called the National...
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Firm Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit, Testing Statute of Limitations

Firm Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit, Testing Statute of Limitations

On November 21, 2016, our firm filed a sexual assault lawsuit in Davidson County, Tennessee, Circuit Court.  The case is Jane Roe v. Yellow Cab Metro, Inc. & Samir Hindieh, Case No. 16C-3056. The filing of this case was reported in The Tennessean. The lawsuit alleges that Yellow Cab Metro, Inc. and Samir Hindieh, a cab driver [pictured on left], breached the implied contract of safe carriage when Mr. Hindieh sexually assaulted the plaintiff, known...
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Firm Reviewing Recalled Takata Airbag Cases

The Law Office of David Randolph Smith & Associates is reviewing cases for persons injured in recalled vehicles in light of the NHTSA's airbag recall. According to an article published on Oct. 20 by The Washington Post, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled 4.7 million vehicles for an airbag defect that has already been linked to at least four deaths. In light of the news our firm is offering consultations for anyone who...
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Small Airplanes That Crash & Catch Fire: Defective?

USA Today, in a very well-researched and written in-depth report,raises a significant question about the safety of small airplanes. Despite evidence that small airplane fires have killed at least 600 people since 1993 (due to poorly designed fuel tank integrity and lack of available design safety changes) the FAA has not required manufacturers to make design safety changes because, the FAA concludes, it would be "too costly." The FAA's cost-benefit analysis placed the value of...
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Jury Deliberating in Hip Implant Bellwether Trial

https://news.yahoo.com/jury-deliberations-begin-first-trial-over-depuys-pinnacle-232610037--finance.html
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Trucks Are Defective Without Side Underride Guards

The City of Boston has just passed a first in the nation ordinance that vehicles over 10,000 pounds must be equipped with “side guards” to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from falling under the truck’s wheels in the event of a crash. Convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, and blind-spot awareness decals are also included in the program’s measures in an effort to prevent crashes. The law applies only to city-contracted trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board recommended...
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UT Makes Changes Following Title IX settlement

UT Makes Changes Following Title IX settlement

[Members of the University of Tennessee board of trustees subcommittee on student conduct discuss proposed changes. Photo: Rachel Ohm/ News Sentinel] The University of Tennessee has begun implementing changes to its student code of conduct following our firm's Title IX settlement with the University. As part of that settlement, the University agreed to make certain changes to its handling of sexual assault complaints. KnoxNews reports that "a new student code of conduct is on its...
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$28 Million Verdict in Carbon Monoxide Case

A federal judge on Oct. 21, 2014 upheld a jury’s decision to award $28.2 million to a Casper Wyoming woman who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty furnace in the largest civil judgment in Wyoming’s history. Amber Lompe was poisoned by carbon monoxide gas from an old, neglected furnace while she lived at Sunridge Apartments in Casper in 2011. U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson rejected claims by Sunridge’s owner and manager that...
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Ebola & the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Ebola & the NRA. Really. The gun lobby opposed local & state officials from being required by federal law or action to conduct background checks and successfully convinced the conservatives on the US Sup Ct. to (errantly) rule that state officials could not be ordered or commandeered to take action ordered by the feds (in the case of the Brady Act background checks). The case was Printz v. United States (1997). This anti commandeering rule...
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Constitutional Challenge to Caps Wrongful Death Damages TN

Constitutional Challenge to Caps Wrongful Death Damages TN

Suit Filed to Challenge Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Tennessee as Unconstitutional Violation of Right to Trial By Jury The Law Offices of David Randolph Smith and Associates has filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, styled Gummo v. Ward et al, No. No. 2:12-060 (2012) that challenges the constitutionality of the damages caps passed by the Tennessee legislature. A copy of Plaintiff's brief and reply brief...
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Recent developments in firearms litigation

Recent developments in firearms litigation

Do plaintiffs ever win gun lawsuits? Is there such a thing as successful firearms litigation? Recent developments in firearms litigation may suggest an answer. The conventional wisdom is that gun manufactures, sellers, and dealers are immune to liability for the injuries and deaths caused by their products. But recent trends in firearms litigation suggest that there are still viable ways to bring gun lawsuits that can compensate victims of gun violence. Ask someone if the...
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Trucking Safety: 82 Hour Workweek Unsafe

Trucking Safety: 82 Hour Workweek Unsafe

https://youtu.be/PPRlgs3jTx0 Current law limits the hours over the road truckers can work to 70 hours. The GOP has proposed to change the law and "restart rule" to permit truckers to work 82 hours a week. This ill-advised legislation comes on the heels of the deadly tractor-trailer accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan. The current provisions took effect in July 2013 and require: (1) Limiting the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70...
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Firm Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Following Alleged Rape at Bridgestone Arena

Firm Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Following Alleged Rape at Bridgestone Arena

On July 14, 2017, our firm filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Command Center, Inc. Click here for a copy of the lawsuit. As reported in the Tennessean: "A woman who says a coworker raped her as they worked inside Bridgestone Arena is suing the cleaning company that employed her for not researching the man's background. A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Nashville accuses Command Center, a company that provided some cleaning services at the...
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Fetal Rights, Roe v. Wade & Alabama Supreme Ct. Judge Parker

I just read an excellent article on Alabama Supreme Court Judge Parker: This Alabama Judge Has Figured Out How to Dismantle Roe v. Wade His writings fuel the biggest threat to abortion rights in a generation, https://www.propublica.org/article/this-alabama-judge-has-figured-out-how-to-dismantle-roe-v-wade Many years ago I wrote serval articles that provided a quite different view of the law than Judge Parker. First, a book chapter I wrote in 1990 : “Fetal Rights” in Robert D. Eden, Frank H. Boehm, Assessment...
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California Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality of Damages Caps

The California Supreme Court announced on November 26, 2014 that it will review the constitutionality of the state's arbitrary 39-year-old damages cap of $250,000 in medical malpractice cases in Hughes v. Pham. Last week, Consumer Watchdog wrote an amicus letter asking the Court to review Hughes and overturn this decades-old injustice. If you need legal advice from a Tennessee personal injury attorney or Nashville personal injury lawyer with the experience to handle cases involving death...
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Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Case Verdict

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Case Verdict

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Cases Find Success On May 2, 2016 a jury in Missouri awarded $55 million to a 62-year-old South Dakota woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder in the second such trial loss this year. In February, J&J lost a $72 million verdict in the another St. Louis trial to the family of a woman who died of the disease. Professor Carl Tobias of the University of...
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The Dangers of Energy Drinks for Children

Young children may face serious health risks from popular energy drinks, such as Monster, Red Bull and Rock Star, potentially causing seizures, heart problems and other life-threatening conditions, according to the findings of new research. More than 5,000 calls involving problems with energy drinks were received by Poison Control Centers in the United States between October 2010 and September 2013, with more than 40% of the calls involving children under the age of 6 who...
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Firm Files Hotel Negligence Suit After Alleged Rape at Stadium Inn

Firm Files Hotel Negligence Suit After Alleged Rape at Stadium Inn

On January 24, 2018, our firm filed a hotel negligence lawsuit following an alleged rape at the Stadium Inn in Nashville, Tennessee. The suit relies in part on a theory of hotel negligence based on prior criminal acts at the hotel. The Nashville Scene covered the filing: "A lawsuit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court this week describes the Stadium Inn as a “hotbed of criminal activity,” citing a a litany of disturbances, four suspicious...
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Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Title IX Lawsuit

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Title IX Lawsuit

On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the Court denied the University of Tennessee's Motion to Dismiss the Title IX lawsuit filed by our firm. Below is the update as reported by The Tennessean. University of Tennessee sexual assault case to proceed A sweeping sexual assault lawsuit against the University of Tennessee will proceed, after a federal judge denied a motion by attorneys for the university to dismiss the case. Eight women, identified only as Jane Does,...
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Personhood Amendments & Abortion Law

I have written in the past (1987) on the subject of "personhood" and the U.S, Constitution: Consciousness: The Most Critical Moral(Constitutional) Standard for Human Personhood. American Journal of Law & Medicine 1987;XIII(2-3):233-248 (with Dr. Ronald Cranford). In that article I discussded the issue of personhood as applied to abortion and cited the 1973 decision of the federal district court in Rhode Island, Doe v. Israel, 358 F.Supp. 1193 (D. R.I. 1973). In that article we...
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No Mention of Title IX in North Carolina Bathroom Bill Lawsuit

No Mention of Title IX in North Carolina Bathroom Bill Lawsuit

The North Carolina bathroom bill lawsuit filed by the Governor contains no mention of Title IX. As
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Dallas Ebola Patient & Lack of Insurance

The Dallas Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was not admitted to the hospital despite a fever of 103 (noted with an exclamation mark on the medical record) and a record entry (that ER MDs could plainly see) that he had recently travelled to Africa. Records released to the AP and New York Times also showed he had severe pain (8/10). His family is right to question whether he was turned away and not admitted because...
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Firm Settles $193 Million Qui Tam Whistleblower Suit

    Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Endo Health Solutions has agreed to pay $193 million to settle claims that it engaged in illegal off-label marketing of its pain relief medication, Lidoderm. The company will pay $172 million to several states and the federal government to resolve whistleblower claims brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and it will pay $21 million in criminal forfeiture and fines under a deferred prosecution agreement...
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No 2nd Amendment Right to Carry, As We Predicted

No 2nd Amendment Right to Carry, As We Predicted

In January 2010, David Randolph Smith wrote a guest editorial in the Tennessean newspaper titled: “Americans Have No Right to Carry Guns in Public.” David also wrote a law blog post explaining that there is no 2nd Amendment right to carry arms, since such a supposed right, even after the Supreme Court decision in the Heller case, has not been established or acknowledged by the Courts. In that January 2010 post, David argued: "The Court...
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Negligent Security Lawsuit to Move Forward, Court Rules

Negligent Security Lawsuit to Move Forward, Court Rules

On May 25, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court for Davidson County, Tennessee allowed a negligent security lawsuit filed by our firm to proceed. The lawsuit alleges that a female guest at the Stadium Inn, in Nashville, TN, was assaulted and raped by an employee of the business. The suit also alleges that the Stadium Inn was “a hotbed of criminal activity,” where 248 crimes had been committed in the two-year period prior to the alleged...
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Chevron v. Donzinger: RICO & Abortion

Chevron v. Donzinger: RICO & Abortion

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals will take up many issues in the fascinating case of Chevron v. Donzinger. You may recall this case arose from a massive oil spill in Ecuador and a multibillion judgment against Chevron that, Chevron claims, was the result of fraud and corruption by NY plaintiff's attorney Steven Donzinger. Chevron filed a civil RICO suit and successfully obtained an injunction against Donzinger in the District Court. There are many issues...
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11th Circuit Rules Ex Parte Communications Don’t Violate HIPAA Privacy Rule

A federal appeals court (11th Cir.) upheld part of a controversial Florida medical malpractice law, saying it does not violate requirements aimed at protecting patient privacy. Tennessee has enacted a similar provision. T.C.A. § 29-26-121(f). This law allows a defendant to petition the court upon the filing of a healthcare liability action for a qualified protective order allowing the defendant and his attorneys to interview, outside the presence of the plaintiff or plaintiff's counsel, the...
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Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Damages Caps

A Milwaukee County circuit judge ruled against the state’s medical malpractice cap and affirmed a $25.3 million jury award in the case of a Milwaukee woman who lost all four of her limbs. Judge Jeffrey Conen said he was not striking down the 2006 state law that created a $750,000 cap on noneconomic awards for pain and suffering in malpractice cases, but held it shouldn’t apply in the case of Ascaris Mayo. A Journal Times...
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Are You Liable if You Text/Call Someone Who is Driving? Maybe!

Are You Liable if You Text/Call Someone Who is Driving? Maybe!

Last year in a case in New Jersey (Kubert v. Best) in which a plaintiff who had been injured by a driver who was distracted by a text message, the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court decided that a person who sends a text to a driver can be liable but only if the texter knew that the recipient was driving and likely to read the text message while driving. So logically, would that...
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Arthur Goldberg’s Warning: The New Order of Police Behavior

Arthur Goldberg’s Warning: The New Order of Police Behavior

"The Power of the Criminal is Nothing Compared With the Power of the State" In 1969 Arthur J. Goldberg (U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1962-1965) and U.N.Ambassador from 1965-1968 gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania law school (Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School’s Owen J. Roberts Memorial Lecture series) and spoke out against the "insidious" "new order of police behavior" threatening rights guaranteed to persons, including criminal suspects, in the name of "efficiency in...
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$41 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Companies

NASHVILLE, Tennessee--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A jury in federal court in Florida on Oct. 22, 2014 returned a verdict of $41.1 million in favor of Kenneth Kerrivan, a resident of Lake Panasoffkee, Florida,who began smoking when he was 14 years old. Because of his addiction to nicotine from cigarettes, he developed severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The verdict was against Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for conspiring for decades to conceal the hazards of...
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Debunking Tort Reform for Medical Malpractice: CJD Study

The Center for Justice and Democracy has updated their research on medical malpractice: "Medical Malpractice by the Numbers." Highlights: * Medical malpractice insurance companies are making twice the profit of the entire property/casualty insurance industry. In fact, the med mal insurance industry has had seven years of underwriting profit - something completely unheard of in the property/casualty sector. (Page 53.) * After Texas enacted severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, including "caps" on damages, rates...
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Medical Malpractice Premiums Falling

For the seventh straight year, med mal insurance premiums have dropped for 3 key specialties: ob/gyn, internists, and general surgeons. Rates dropped by approximately 1.5% for the specialties combined. Since 2008, rates for the 3 specialties have fallen by approximately 13%. The survey found that internists in 8 states can obtain insurance for less than $5,000. On the other end of the spectrum, ob/gyns in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York must pay $214,999...
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No Medicare Set-Asides for Now

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has withdrawn its proposed rule in tort actions on future medicals called “Medicare Secondary Payer and Future Medicals.” On Oct. 8th the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) withdrew its proposed regulation for future medicals with respect to liability claim settlements. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRRM) was submitted to the Office of Management & Budget over a year ago on August 1, 2013. The CMS...
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DePuy wins first trial over Pinnacle hip implants

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson was found not liable by a Texas jury on Thursday in the first case to go to trial over whether Pinnacle hip implants made by the company’s DePuy Orthopedics unit were defective. The Dallas federal jury ruled unanimously against the plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who said the two metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips she received were faulty. DePuy had said the implants were improperly positioned, and not to blame for her injuries. Jurors...
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California Prop. 46: Ending Damages Caps

NPR has covered Prop 46, including the tragic story of Troy and Alana Pack. The article explains the 3 sections of the proposition: (1) requiring doctors to check a prescription database to detect prescription drug abusers; (2) lifting the $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in med mal cases, and (3) mandatory drug and alcohol testing for doctors.
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NEJM Debunks Tort Reform’s Effect on Defensive Medicine

A new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,The Effect of Malpractice Reform on Emergency Department Care, concludes introducing med-mal reform had little effect on the practice of medicine or the cost of the services in emergency rooms.
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Think Like a Lawyer? It’s ‘Elementary’!

From The Recorder: Maria Konnikova's book, "Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes," effectively captures what it means to think like a lawyer in a way that is both meaningful and relevant to the transformations occurring in legal education and in the practice of law. The book contains some great lessons for cultivating the habits of mind that support logical and thoughtful problem solving—attributes needed for success in law school and the legal profession. Lawyers...
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Damages Cap Inapplicable to Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Hunt, 2013AP2518 (Oct. 2, 2014), the District IV Appeals Court of Wisconsin ruled that an insured who has UM coverage can recover from a UM carrier even if there is an otherwise applicable statutory damages caps. The case is discussed here.
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R.I.P. Law Books

This story in the ABA Journal reports that New York law firm Kaye Scholer moved its New York City office into new space sans law books. The New York Times reported, in a catchy title, "So Little Paper to Chase in Law Firm's New Library." The Times also spoke with lawyer Ira Goldfarb, of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green for his take on the law firm library. Partners at his firm were recently photographed in...
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12 Years Later, Crematory Case Defendant Released From Prison

12 Years Later, Crematory Case Defendant Released From Prison

On June 29, 2016, former crematory owner Brent Marsh was released from prison after serving his full 12 year sentence. In February 2002, the nation was shocked by news that hundreds of dead bodies were found rotting in the woods of North Georgia on the rural premises of an unlicensed crematory--the Tri-State Crematory. David Randolph Smith & Associates filed the first crematory case as a class action and went on to prosecute the case in...
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Suing for Insurance Denial of Autism Therapy

Just attended an excellent presentation by Lorri Unumb at Belmont Law School on "Legislating Autism Coverage: The Conservative Insurance Mandate." She is Vice President of State Government Affairs for Autism Speaks and a stellar advocate for requiring (by legislation) insurers to provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Her personal story (and success) was compelling. Tennessee (and other deep South states) have not, unfortunately, passed model legislation to require autism coverage. Lawsuits, however, also offer a...
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Settlement Announcement in Title IX Lawsuit

Settlement Announcement in Title IX Lawsuit

On July 5, 2016, The Tennesseean reported a $2.48 million settlement between our clients and the University of Tennessee in an ongoing Title IX lawsuit we filed earlier this year. The full story is below: The University of Tennessee­ Knoxville has reached a settlement in a lawsuit about sexual assaults involving student-­athletes, ending a dispute that pitted eight young women against the $126 million football program. UT will pay the plaintiffs $2.48 million, a sum...
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$622M in Damages for the Families of 11 Victims

So what is a reasonable number of dollars to award in a wrongful death case or for a victim's pain and suffering? The simple answer: millions of dollars. A federal judge in Washington on October 15, 2014 awarded $622 million to the families (estates) of 11 victims of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, resolving the last remaining claims against the governments of Iran and Sudan for their role in the...
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Parents Liable for Kids’ Facebook Page Defamation

The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that parents can be held liable for defamation and invasion of privacy if a child's Facebook page is defamatory or violates privacy rights. Two parents whose teenager set up a fake Facebook page to ridicule a classmate will face a defamation trial. Even though they didn't create the page, the parents could be liable because they allowed it to remain up for more than a year, the court said....
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Firm Files Police Chase Lawsuit

Firm Files Police Chase Lawsuit

On August 18, 2016, our firm filed a police chase lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Katrina Sadler.  This suit arises out of a deadly police chase that occurred on June 24, 2016, in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The chase involved multiple law enforcement agencies. The City of Manchester Police, Coffee County Sheriff's Department, and Rutherford County Sheriff's Department were each involved. Previously, on August 17, 2016, our firm joined a police chase lawsuit filed by Attorney...
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