OBSERVATIONS FROM THE CAPITOL
Senator Richard Shelby transformed Alabama
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby withdrew from the US Senate when the new Congress was sworn in on January 3. My old friend was elected to the Senate in 1986, and the 36 years since then have been the most transformative and successful in state history. Richard and I met in 1962 as young lawyers in Tuscaloosa. We became good friends and our friendship grew stronger over the years. We served in state government together when I was Lieutenant Governor and he was Senator from Tuscaloosa. At that time, I predicted great things for my friend. But it exceeded all expectations.
It would be impossible to list all the ways Richard Shelby had a positive impact on this state, not just because he was the longest serving senator in Alabama history, but because he was the most influential and consistent leader our state has ever had. visa, elected to public office at any level. Without a doubt, he was the best Alabama senator ever.
Much of the state of Alabama's commercial and economic success over the last few decades can be directly traced to Senator Shelby. We can credit him with the huge investments the federal government has made in Alabama that can be felt across the state. He helped transform Huntsville into a national hub for the technology, aerospace and defense industries, and Mobile into an increasingly vital and ever-expanding port city. Every area of the state, and I would say every county, has benefited from Senator Shelby's presence in Washington.
Senator Shelby's vision for a better Alabama touched every aspect of life in the state, leading to advances in higher education, research, health care, and business that made Alabama a magnet for commerce and raised the quality of life for Alabama residents.
Washington lawmakers of all political persuasions respected Senator Shelby because he understood that everyone has a unique and valuable perspective. He is known as a relationship builder who walked down the aisle in Washington, finding ways to cooperate with others. As a result, Senator Shelby found solutions that worked for everyone. He did things with fairness, kindness, honesty and integrity, not to mention diplomacy and skill, qualities sorely needed on Capitol Hill today. Senator Shelby is not only a great Alabama man and a true statesman, he is a national treasure. We hope and pray for the leadership of both political parties to carry on their legacy and restore integrity to our deeply divided political system in Washington and across the country.
As Senator Shelby leaves the Senate after nearly four decades of outstanding public service, all Americans should thank him for his many accomplishments; He will be remembered as a model leader who worked tirelessly to strengthen Alabama and the entire nation. My friend from Tuscaloosa will be missed but never forgotten. The man is truly a national treasure!
Sources: AL.com andfunction call
EL LITIGIO JUUL
Beasley Allen announces four major agreements with JUUL Labs, Inc. to address e-cigarette use among US youth.
Beasley Allen is pleased to announce four separate global agreements with JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL) last month at MDL No. 2913,On re: Juul Labs, Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices, and Product Liability Litigation. Together, these agreements will help address the public health crisis in this country caused by youth use of e-cigarettes.
The settlements follow more than three years of arduous litigation in state and federal courts. The Beasley Allen attorneys involved in the JUUL litigation believe that settling the lawsuit against JUUL and its officers and directors is in the best interest of all plaintiffs.
The four settlements resolve personal injury, consumer, government, and tribal class action cases filed in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) and Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCP), resolving more than 5,000 cases brought by approximately 10,000 plaintiffs against JUUL and its executives and directors. The terms and value of the agreement are confidential. The settlements follow a September 2022 announcement that JUUL would pay $438.5 million to 34 states and territories in a settlement following a two-year investigation into the company's marketing and sales practices.
The personal injury settlement will provide significant compensation for individuals suffering from nicotine addiction and other injuries. The consumer class action settlement will compensate consumers who have purchased JUUL products. The government entity's agreement will provide resources to school districts, cities and counties to reduce nicotine addiction among youth in their communities. And tribal settlement will provide much-needed similar funding for Native American tribes.
Over the past three years, Beasley Allen's attorneys and support staff have devoted considerable time and resources to representing plaintiffs in this litigation. Beasley Allen was one of the first law firms in the country to file personal injury lawsuits on behalf of minors against JUUL and was the first law firm to sue JUUL on behalf of school districts. Beasley Allen's attorneys, Joseph VanZandt and Beau Darley, served on the CDM and JCCP Plaintiffs' Steering Committees, respectively. Beasley Allen's clients and attorneys played key roles in pioneering personal injury, class and government litigation litigation. Beasley Allen attorneys were inextricably involved in all aspects of this litigation, from discovery to escalations and throughout the settlement process.
The settlements do not release claims against Altria Group, Inc., or its related companies that are also defendants in federal or state proceedings. Our attorneys are committed to continuing litigation against Altria, including the San Francisco Unified School District's groundbreaking trial scheduled for April 2023 on the federal MDL.
If you need more information about the JUUL settlement or the ongoing litigation against Altria, please contact any of the attorneys on the JUUL Litigation Team at 800-898-2034 or via email. Members are Joseph VanZandt (who led the team and led the litigation), Sydney Everett, Beau Darley, Davis Vaughn, Seth Harding, and Soo Seok Yang. Andy Birchfield heads the company's Mass Liability Section and has worked closely with the team on JUUL litigation.
JUUL shuts down marketing to teens in Pennsylvania for $38.8 million
JUUL Labs will pay Pennsylvania $38.8 million after the state accused the company of marketing its e-cigarettes directly to young people. He announced the deal on Dec. 12, less than a week after reaching the deal detailed above.
The settlement requires JUUL to stop advertising its products near schools and playgrounds, at children's events and with media that reach an audience of 15% or more children, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
the case isState of Pennsylvania v. Juul Labs Inc., case number 200200962, in The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
There is still a judgment waiting for Altria
The April trial against Altria Group, the tobacco giant and investor in JUUL Labs over e-cigarette marketing, is still scheduled to go ahead as planned. JUUL has recently resolved over 5,000 cases in multi-district litigation, however, this settlement does not affect claims against Altria.
US District Judge William H. Orrick, the judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation, said the court had advanced "a notice of other issues or cases that were not included in the settlement." He made this clear at the start of a case management conference.
The trial, set for April 17, involves claims filed by the San Francisco Unified School District against Altria. Judge Orrick scheduled a pretrial conference in the case for March 10. The following is a summary of the allegations in the lawsuit:
- In December 2018, Altria paid $12.8 billion to acquire a 35% stake in JUUL Labs Inc.
- Two of JUUL's early investors, Nicholas Pritzker and Riaz Valani, led the JUUL negotiations "and worked closely with Altria executives to secure Altria's agreement to pull its own competing e-cigarette product from the market and instead In addition, direct its vast resources and knowledge of the cigarette industry behind JUUL." .”
- With this minority investment, Altria supported and led JUUL. These efforts for JUUL's success were made "despite Altria's knowledge that the JLI ... misled the public and targeted youth."
Altria Group Inc. is the parent company of Philip Morris USA. We are looking forward to the April trial.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
The Beasley Allen JUUL Litigation Team
Beasley Allen's attorneys at the Mass Tort Section, led by Joseph VanZandt, will continue to be involved in the JUUL litigation until it is officially closed with all work completed. This includes claims against Altima. Our attorneys represent people who are suing JUUL Labs, the nation's leading vape manufacturer, for the negative impact their products have had on victims' lives. Our attorneys also represent multiple school systems in JUUL litigation and have filed lawsuits nationwide on behalf of school districts.
Joseph VanZandt, who leads our firm's JUUL litigation team, served on the JUUL Plaintiffs Steering Committee and was trial counsel on the first breakthrough trial. Joseph and Andy Birchfield, Section Chief of Mass Liability, led our company's efforts to hold JUUL accountable for the harm done to thousands of youth and communities across the country. Beau Darley of Beasley Allen served on the PSC for litigation in California state court.
If you need more information about JUUL, please contact a member of Beasley Allen's JUUL Litigation Team at 800-898-2034. The members are:
Joseph VanZandt, Sydney Everett, Beau Darley, Davis S. Vaughn, Seth Harding e Soo Seok Yang.
THE CAMP LEJEUNE LITIGATION
Camp Lejeune litigation update
On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which created a historic remedy for people injured due to exposure to toxic water at the Camp Lejeune base of the North Carolina Marine Corps. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act applies to service members, their families, and civilians who were exposed to toxic water supplies for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune caused various forms of cancer, neurological disorders, miscarriages and death, among other injuries.
On November 17, 2022, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan introduced a bill that seeks to limit the trial attorneys' fees that trial attorneys can receive for claims filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. On November 30, Sullivan filed a motion on the Senate floor for that bill. He titled it “The Camp Lejeune Victims Ensnared in Trial Lawyer Scams (“VETS”) Act.” Its goal is to amend the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and limit attorney fees to 2% for administrative claims and 10% for litigation. The bill did not pass, but there is still a lot of speculation about what will happen next. There are currently no limits on attorney fees under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Beasley Allen has an entire team of attorneys and staff dedicated to investigating, prosecuting and establishing the causes of these Camp Lejeune claims. The team is co-led by Julia Merritt and Leslie LaMacchia, under the Toxic Offenses Section, which is led by Rhon Jones. The deadline for filing claims for exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune is limited to two years from the date the law was enacted on August 10, 2022. Please contact a Toxic Torts staff attorney in Beasley Allen for assistance. him with his claims at Camp Lejeune.
Beasley Allen Camp Lejeune Litigation Team
If you need help with a potential claim or more information about our litigation at Camp Lejeune, please contact one of the attorneys on the litigation team at 800-898-2034 or via email.
Camp Lejeune's litigation team consists of Julia Merritt and Leslie LaMacchia, who co-led the team. Other members are Matt Pettit, Trisha Green, Will Sutton and Elizabeth Weyerman. Rhon Jones (Section Head) works closely with the team. Additional attorneys will be added to the team as needed.
Update on Social Media Addiction/Personal Injury Litigation
National multi-district social media addiction/personal injury liability (MDL) litigation involving the world's largest social media products: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube continues to advance rapidly. The CDM for this litigation was assigned to Judge Gonzalez-Rogers in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, who promptly appointed a team of 22 attorneys from across the country to lead this litigation. on behalf of all plaintiffs, including Joseph VanZandt of our firm.
At the initial Case Management Conference in November, Judge Gonzalez-Rogers indicated that priority would be given to the master petitions and the practice of motions in the master petitions. He indicated that discovery by the social media giants would begin if the plaintiffs defeated the defendants' impending motions to dismiss any of the plaintiffs' claims.
During the second Case Management Conference on December 14, 2022, the MDL court issued a scheduling order for main briefs and related motion practice. According to the court decision, the main action must be filed by February 14, 2023, the defendants' motions for clarification must be filed by April 17, 2023, and all objections and replies must be filed by June 30, 2023. .
Judge González-Rogers indicated that while defendants are permitted to report certain legal matters, she does not believe that the motions focusing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“C.D.A”) and the First Amendment should be filed or decided. before the US Supreme Court decidesGonzález v. Google LLCin 2023. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear theGonzález v. Googlecase in February 2023. The Court is expected to review and clarify the level of immunity social media companies have under Section 230 of the CDA and the First Amendment. The outcome of this Supreme Court ruling will have a significant impact on ongoing litigation over social media and set essential standards for holding social media companies accountable for harm caused by their platforms.
While discovery has been suspended pending major allegations and prosecution, the Court is considering requiring certain defendants to produce documents that were previously produced in connection with various investigations filed by state attorneys general and international authorities. The next case management statement is scheduled for March 3, 2023.
Meanwhile, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube are facing similar consolidated personal injury litigation in California state court. On December 16, Judge David Cunningham of the California Superior Court, Los Angeles Civil Division ordered that the cases against these defendants be consolidated into a California state lawsuit similar to the federal MDL. The Judicial Council Coordination Process (JCCP) will soon be assigned to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Beasley Allen attorneys remain heavily involved in litigation in federal and state courts against social media companies, representing clients in both courts. Beasley Allen is dealing with lawsuits from individuals who became addicted to social media as a minor and suffered serious mental health consequences, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, ADD/ADHD, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Privacy lawsuit against Facebook parent Meta by Cambridge Analytica settles in $725 million settlement
Meta, Facebook's parent company, ended a class-action lawsuit and agreed to a $725 million settlement. The case stems from allegations that she inappropriately shared user information with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. The signature was used by the Trump campaign, according to NPR.
In 2018, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica may have improperly accessed the information of up to 87 million people. Later that year, the company filed for bankruptcy. Lawyers for the plaintiffs report that this is the largest data privacy class action recovery ever. It is also the largest amount Facebook has ever paid to settle a private class action.
Meta claims it has done nothing wrong and has issued a statement explaining how the deal is "in the best interests of its community and shareholders". The defendant also claims that "its users consented to the practices and suffered no real harm", however, confirming the review of its privacy approach.
Lawyers representing class members say that approximately 250 million to 280 million people can claim payments under the class action settlement and that individual payment amounts will be determined by the number of people who file valid claims. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said in the court filing:
The amount of recovery is particularly staggering given that Facebook has argued that its users consented to the practices in question and that the class suffered no real harm.
Following the Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook faced worldwide hostility and came under government scrutiny as regulators investigated the defendant's privacy practices in the years leading up to the data breach.
A federal judge is expected to give final approval to the settlement during a hearing scheduled for March 2, 2023.
Social Media Personal Injury Litigation Team
If you need help with a case or more information regarding the personal injury portion of our social media litigation, please contact an attorney on the firm's social media litigation team at 800-898-2034 or via email . The team members are:
Joseph VanZandt, who leads the team, Jennifer Emmel, Suzanne Clark, Clinton Richardson, Sydney Everett, Davis Vaughn and Seth Harding. Andy Birchfield, who heads up our Mass Grievance Section, also works with the team.
It should again be noted that the class action aspect of social media litigation is handled by attorneys in our Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section. You may contact Michelle Fulmer, Section Director, at 800-898-2034 and an attorney will contact you.
AN UPDATE ON MOTOR VEHICLE LITIGATION
15-passenger vans remain popular despite deadly risks
It would be hard to overstate the day-to-day safety risks posed by 15-passenger vans. Rollovers and other fatal accidents involving these vehicles occur with alarming frequency. But while the dangers of 15-passenger vans are well known to automakers, insurers and various safety groups, drivers and passengers in these widely used vehicles are generally immune to the hazards they face when traveling by car.
Beasley Allen represents several passengers who were injured or killed when the 15-passenger van they were traveling in spun out of control and crashed on a Metro-Atlanta interstate highway. Seven women did so in the fierce 2021 crash, with the remaining nine injured.
The horrific accident occurred in a 2002 Dodge Ram B3500 pickup truck when the driver attempted to change lanes to exit the interstate. The notoriously unstable vehicle flipped on its side and skidded across two lanes of traffic, then caught fire. Several other drivers stopped to help free the trapped women, but tragically, some of them could not be rescued in time. This case is scheduled to go to trial later this year.
Sadly, this isn't the first product liability case involving multiple fatalities in a 15-passenger van we drove, and it likely won't be the last, at least not until these dangerous vehicles are taken off the road.
Fifteen passenger vans have design flaws. They sit at a high center of gravity that makes them prone to tipping over or overturning even with a slight swerve or lane change. Although these vans are designed to carry 15 passengers and the driver, they are three times more likely to roll over with just ten occupants. This tipping risk is compounded by additional passengers and baggage.
The high center of gravity is the most serious flaw, but other hazards contribute to the safety risks these trucks present. The National Transportation Safety Administration says that 15-passenger vans "should be driven only by licensed and experienced drivers who regularly operate these types of vehicles." While a commercial driver's license is ideal for operating these less responsive and unstable trucks, it is generally not required.
Fifteen-passenger vans can also give occupants a false sense of security. The extra space inside the van can provide security, so passengers cannot use seat belt. They may also feel free to move around and change seats while the vehicle is in motion, increasing the risk of rollover caused by shifting weight. According to NHTSA, 57% of occupants killed in 15-passenger pickup truck rollovers between 2010 and 2019 were ejected from the vehicle.
These vehicles are also prone to tire failure. Tire blowouts and tread separation can cause accidents in any motor vehicle, but can be especially catastrophic in 15-passenger vans. NHTSA recommends truck operators check tire pressure and signs of damage before each trip.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is now standard on most of these vehicles and can help mitigate the risk of rollover accidents. Ford engineers initially considered adding ESC to vehicles, but the company ultimately declined due to the additional cost. Despite modern safety improvements, the safest alternative is not to drive these vehicles. This is what Beasley Allen attorneys, who are familiar with vehicles through litigation, strongly recommend.
Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans remain incredibly popular with schools, athletic teams, church groups and other organizations that routinely transport passengers to and from events. All owners and operators of these trucks must be aware of the unique hazards they present and handle them with the highest level of care.
Beasley Allen's attorneys Greg Allen, Alyssa Baskam and Chris Glover are handling the aforementioned case. The company has dealt with a large number of lawsuits over the years involving death and injury and 15-passenger vans. If you have a question or need assistance with a case, please contact Sloan Downes, Director of the Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or via email. She will arrange for a lawyer to contact you.
Fontes: NHTSA, Greater American Insurance Group, Safety and Health Magazine e The Hanover Insurance Group
Takata Airbag Killed Chrysler 300 Driver, Officials Confirm
US safety regulators and Stellantis confirmed that a Takata airbag explosion killed another driver, triggering additional urgent "do not drive" warnings for drivers of certain older vehicles with unrepaired airbags.
The latest Takata airbag death is the third known death that Stellantis, the parent company of Fiat Dodge America (FCA) and other auto brands, has announced since November. All three deaths occurred in the hottest US states since April. In February, Honda officials confirmed that a Takata airbag killed the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Approximately 274,000 Dodge and Chrysler vehicles are still equipped with these dangerous airbags, which can explode in collisions, rollovers and minor collisions. The defect is caused by highly volatile ammonium nitrate in the air bag inflators. The hypersensitive chemical can cause airbags to deploy with lethal force, hurling metal shards at drivers and other car occupants.
Stellantis said people should immediately stop driving 2005-2010 Dodge Magnum station wagons, Dodge Challenger and Charger cars and Chrysler 300 sedans if their air bags have not been fixed.
Takata airbags have killed at least 33 people worldwide since 2009, including 24 in the United States. Nearly 400 injuries, the majority in the United States, are related to airbag explosions. Many of the injuries are serious, including blindness and disfigurement.
Authorities said the last confirmed death in the United States occurred in July in a 2010 Chrysler 300. The driver who died in that incident borrowed the vehicle from the owner.
Authorities and US automakers have warned that drivers of some older vehicles equipped with Takata air bags are in immediate danger and must stop driving the vehicles until repairs are made. Stellantis said the risk of explosion increases every day that Takata airbag inflators are not replaced.
NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson urged caution, saying, "...do not put yourself or a loved one at risk of being killed or seriously injured by a collapsed Takata airbag."
Sources: CBS News and Autoblog.com
Improved tire technology
Automotive technology has advanced in many ways over the last few decades, but you rarely hear of new tire technologies being developed to improve the overall safety of cars. However, some tire manufacturers are working to improve technology that monitors tire pressure, providing drivers with more information to ensure vehicles are running properly.
One such technology is called "Contact Area Information Detection" or CAIS. This technology adds a sensor inside the tire that provides monitoring information to the driver, including alerting them to road conditions (i.e. dry, wet or icy). This information would appear on a display located in the vehicle. CAIS can also provide interactive information that informs the driver of road conditions and air pressure data to help keep the driver updated on current tire conditions.
Another approach to improving tire technology is the concept of airless tires. Some consumers may have seen these types of tires used on ATVs or lawn and garden equipment. These tires are not susceptible to punctures. The treads are supported by flexible rubber spokes that can absorb road shock. However, this type of tire does not provide as smooth a ride as the tires widely used today. However, the airless tire uses less rubber than existing tires, can last up to three times longer, and has better resistance to aquaplaning. Due to the multiple advantages of this type of tire, manufacturers are currently working to offer a version that facilitates a smoother ride.
Tires are an important part of automotive safety, and improvements to tire pressure monitoring and the way tires respond to driving hazards will help make vehicles safer and more reliable on our roads.
If you need more information or help with a claim, please contact Ben Baker, an attorney in our Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or through our website. Ben handled a large number of tire related cases for the company.
Beasley Allen solves truck accident case
Beasley Allen attorney Ben Keen, who works in our Atlanta office and serves in the firm's Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, reached a confidential settlement for a client who was injured in a tractor accident in Georgia. Ben says:
We are pleased to have obtained a favorable deal for our customer. The accident was devastating for him. It has left you unable to enjoy life as you used to and has hampered your ability to work and participate in daily activities. Although we were established in a location known for favoring defendants, we used our experience in tractor-trailer accidents and personal injury law to reach an agreement that adequately compensates our client for everything he lost. We will always strive to achieve the best possible results for our customers.
Ben's customer, an Alabama resident, was driving his truck and trailer on a highway in northeast Georgia when he pulled into a construction zone where one of two lanes of traffic was closed. Like the drivers ahead of him, our client slowed the vehicle to safely navigate the intermittent traffic.
While stopped in construction zone traffic, a tow truck driven by one of the defendants failed to slow down and rear-ended our client's vehicle. The impact caused our client's truck to hit the back of the trailer in front of it.
The driver of the tractor-trailer that collided with our client's vehicle fled the scene of the accident without checking the drivers affected by the impact. Photographs taken by a “Good Samaritan” were used to identify the fleeing group. Even with those photographs, the commercial entity continued to deny responsibility, leading to a lawsuit and litigation. Testimonies from the investigating officer's statement, witnesses, plaintiff and his wife, and the defendant's corporate representative(s) were used to identify the defendants, who not only fled the scene of the accident, but were also no longer available to declaration.
The accident left Ben's client in significant physical pain that affected his ability to work and enjoy life. Due to circumstances beyond the client's control, there was a substantial gap in medical treatment following his initial emergency room visit. Through the testimony of the attending physician, we demonstrated that the pain was acute and persistent from the date of the accident to the present. The lasting effects of the hit-and-run also continue to cause the client emotional distress.
Ben alleged negligence and debauchery against the defendant companies, including allegations of negligent hiring, training, commissioning and supervising drivers. In addition, the suit alleged that the defendant companies failed to properly keep records and falsified them.
For questions about litigation related to accidents involving tow trucks or other commercial vehicles, contact Ben Keen at our Atlanta office at 800-898-2034 or through our website.
PRODUCT LIABILITY UPDATE
8th Circuit Upholds $21 Million Biomet Hip Implant Verdict
Biomet Inc. asked the Eighth Circuit to overturn a $21 million verdict obtained by a woman who required seven revision surgeries after receiving one of her hip implants. On December 14, 2022, the court declined, concluding that the jury's verdict matched the evidence.
The jury awarded Bayes $20 million and her husband $1 million for the joint venture's loss in November 2020. Although the verdict is higher than other hip implant litigants' awards, the court found that the injuries that Mary Bayes received M2a Magnum metal-on-metal hip replacement product are worse. The three-judge panel deemed the award not "monstrous or shocking". I wrote:
Whether $20 million is the right compensation for a lifetime of hip dislocations and seven revision surgeries is a difficult question. We postponed the jury's judgment in this investigation and did not lightly usurp district court oversight.
Since Bayes replaced both hips with M2a Magnum implants in 2008, he has dislocated his hip 12 times and has had seven revision surgeries.
When the verdict was initially reached, Biomet argued that it was excessive and asked the court to reverse the decision. The company requested a new trial, full sentence, or modification of the verdict.
US District Judge Stephen R. Clark denied Biomet's requests in August 2021, saying Bayes was in greater pain and had more revision surgery than previous hip implant plaintiffs.
Biomet appealed the decision, arguing that the jury's inconsistent verdict favored the plaintiff in the negligence action but the defendant in the strict liability action.
The panel disagreed, stating that while strict liability requires a jury to find evidence of reasonably anticipated use of the product, negligence does not.
The panel's opinion indicated that Biomet focused on the misuse of the implant for medical purposes. The jury could accept this theory or not, and the verdict was not inconsistent.
Biomet further argued that Bayes did not set the standard of care or show how it was broken. The panel again disagreed, pointing to the use of an expert witness of a bioengineering consensus document that outlines the risks of metal-on-metal hip implants. The expert explained how Biomet did not follow the steps recommended in the document.
The expert also stated that Biomet had received a letter expressing concern about the M2a Magnum implants. Furthermore, evidence revealed that Biomet's test standard for hip prostheses was created for other implants. The panel stated that this evidence could lead a jury to find that Biomet's test standards were flawed.
Biomet also argued that plaintiffs' evidence could only show that all metal-on-metal hip implants are defectively designed. However, the panel stated that Bayes offered evidence of Biomet's lax design decisions regarding limited testing, metal-on-metal components and component sizing.
The Biomet specialist argued that the size of the implant's cup reduced friction. The panel reaffirmed that the jury could determine which expert to believe.
The panel concluded that the verdict was not excessive in relation to the plaintiff's serious injuries, as Bayes has trouble sitting, walking and sleeping. The panel stated:
A $20 million verdict is undoubtedly large, but clearly not disproportionate to the severe and irreparable damage Mary suffered.
The Eighth Circuit panel included Chief US Circuit Judge Lavenski Smith and US Circuit Judges Jane Kelly and L. Steven Grasz.
Michael Gross do Michael Gross Law Office, Joseph F. Yeckel da Law Firm LLC e Darin L. Schanker da Bachus & Schanker LLC representaram Bayes.
the case isBayes and others. v. Biomet Inc. and others, Case Number 21-2964, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
Case of death from defective product in the workplace
Beasley Allen attorneys Mike Andrews, Cole Portis and Dana Taunton, along with Birmingham attorney Doug Roy, represented Katrina Falconer, wife of the late Hilus Eugene Falconer, and secured a $7 million settlement last month in federal court on Anniston, Alabama. We're told this may be the biggest settlement for a single death in that courtroom.
Mr. Falconer suffered fatal injuries on the job while operating a cable-walk forklift. The truck in question, which was used to deliver and collect large construction site buckets, was equipped with an automatic tarpaulin system to cover the buckets during travel. The controls for the ply system in question were located off the driver's side of the truck in question, behind the cab and directly below the hydraulic arms. The location of the controls places the operator in a danger zone directly below the swingarms.
While Mr. Falconer was operating the truck, the hydraulics failed and he was hit by an upper hydraulic arm, killing him. Our investigation revealed that the truck manufacturer did not follow the hydraulic system installation manual. Instead, the system controls were installed in the "danger zone" or the area below the hydraulic arms. Surprisingly, there was no standard for consistent installation of hydraulic controls. Instead, the location of the controls was left up to the installer on any given day. The manufacturing company admitted that if the controls had been moved to another location (as indicated in the installation manual), the danger to Mr. Falconer would have been eliminated.
Furthermore, although the company identified the danger of raised hydraulic barriers, it did not perform a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) that would have revealed the likelihood and severity of injuries caused by such failure in the hydraulic system. Rather than rule out the known risk, the design of a system that placed an intended user in an area of foreseeable danger and disregarded the hydraulic controls installation manual indicates a reckless disregard for the safety of the intended users of this system.
Beasley Allen attorneys continue the battle to protect the public and hold negligent companies accountable. If you would like more information about this case or similar cases, please contact Mike Andrews at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
A look at machine protection
Some of the most common and often serious injuries on the job occur when machine operators are injured by industrial equipment. As long as heavy machinery has existed, there have also been injuries caused by using these machines. Over the years, machines have become safer. Greater safety awareness, better engineering, and other technological advancements have certainly helped to reduce the likelihood of injuries. Guarding against hazards is just one of many ways to eliminate injuries on the job, and it's an ever-evolving practice.
When a hazard is identified on a machine, there are typically three options available to mitigate that hazard. Design engineers can:
- redesign the machine to completely eliminate the hazard;
- protect against danger; any
- alert the user to the danger.
When possible, the preferred method of dealing with a hazard is to redesign the machine to completely eliminate the hazard. When a machine presents a hazard that cannot be completely eliminated, the proper course of action is to guard against the hazard. If a hazard cannot be eliminated or avoided, the final course of action is to develop appropriate notices that alert the user to the hazard. This process of identifying a hazard and choosing the best method to eliminate it is known as the safety hierarchy.
Industrial machines, often by the very nature of machines, create hazards that cannot be completely eliminated. Machines that saw wood, cut steel or tie materials can also saw, cut or tie the user. Removing these features completely would remove the danger but also the usefulness of the machine. In these cases, guarding is often the best way to keep the machine running and protect it from hazards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act of 1970 requires all employers to provide a workplace "free of recognized hazards". Requires guarding any machine part, function or process that could cause injury to operators or others. Hazards generally occur in three places: the point of operation (where the machine cuts, bends, or presses material), a power take-off or power transmission device, and any other moving parts.
Many different types of guards are commonly used to protect the wearer from the dangers associated with these locations. Fixed barrier guards, interlocking devices, light curtains and sensors are standard methods of protecting the user from hazards. A suitable method of protection mainly depends on the type of danger. The most effective guards are those that do not impair the function or usefulness of the machine, while safely eliminating the danger it poses to the user.
Machines often lack guarding, have inadequate guarding, or the wrong type of guarding is used. In many cases, productivity and ease of use weigh more heavily on machine design than user safety. Failure to properly guard against hazards can cause a myriad of injuries, including amputations, lacerations, and even death. Each work-related injury involving a machine must be examined on a case-by-case basis. The fact that guards are built into a particular machine does not necessarily mean that the user or operator is adequately protected.
Evan Allen, a Beasley Allen attorney in our Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, recently resolved a product liability claim in the workplace arising from an injury sustained by an employee operating a chainsaw. The saw was sold without kickback protection. While using the saw, a large sheet of plywood was kicked over, seriously injuring the worker. The saw manufacturer recognized the danger of kickback but sold the saw without the safety device at the customer's request. If you have any questions or need assistance with a claim, please contact Evan Allen at 800-898-2034 or through our website. Evan is in our mobile office and handles product liability cases across the state.
NTSB: All Bell 407 Helicopters Need Urgent Inspection
Federal safety investigators have asked regulators in the US and Canada to require immediate and more frequent inspections of Bell 407 helicopters. This warning comes after investigators found that certain components are at high risk of fracture and failure, which can cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft.
That's what happened to a Bell 407 helicopter taking visitors to the Big Island of Hawaii on a scenic aerial tour when it crashed in June. All six people on board were injured, including three seriously.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate the accident. Still, the investigation so far has uncovered evidence of a serious flaw that could compromise the safety of the famous plane. Bell 407 helicopters are widely used by tour operators, police departments, air ambulance services and many others. The aircraft's popularity adds to the urgency of the NTSB's warning.
According to the NTSB, the helicopter crash in Hawaii occurred when the tail detached from the fuselage at a height of 1,000 feet. Without warning, the pilot began to lose control of the aircraft. He landed moments later in a lava field on Kalea.
NTSB investigators discovered that one of the four fittings that attached the tail to the fuselage was missing. The other three accessories suffered severe stress damage and stress fractures. The NTSB has expressed concern that this finding indicates that other Bell 407 helicopters may be flying with missing or fractured tail attachment hardware. The agency warned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada that "the potential for catastrophic failure warrants immediate and mandatory action".
The agency also warned that the manufacturer's recommended 300-hour inspection interval is likely too long, as the helicopter on the Hawaiian tour had undergone an inspection 114 hours earlier that did not reveal any damage. Aviation safety regulators should require all operators of Bell 407 helicopters to immediately inspect tail attachment hardware, the NTSB advised. The agency also said the inspection interval should be shortened to increase the chances of detecting fractured fastening hardware "before catastrophic failure occurs."
Mike Andrews, an attorney in our Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, is Beasley Allen's lead attorney for our aviation litigation. Mike has handled many helicopter cases. He applauds the NTSB for making and publishing the recommendations. He says:
There is little room for error when an aircraft operates at such high altitudes. Each component is critical to the safety of those on board and must function at optimal levels. Aircraft manufacturers and maintainers must address defective products promptly and effectively to prevent aviation disasters.
If you have questions about a potential aviation case, please contact Mike Andrews at 800-898-2034 or use the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
Fonte: National Transportation Safety Board
Lawmakers deny Boeing deadline extension and 737 MAX commitment offered
Federal lawmakers rejected a provision included in the mandatory defense bill last month that would extend Boeing's deadline to comply with a new safety standard that requires modern cabin alerts.
Boeing has been lobbying lawmakers to extend the deadline that would allow its 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 variants to fly without redesigning the cockpit warning system that warns pilots of system failures and critical failures. The current system confuses and frightens pilots by issuing annoying false alerts, hampering the crew's ability to diagnose and correct problems in potential life-or-death emergencies.
Congress mandated safety improvements in the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act of 2020, which Congress passed in response to the two catastrophic Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes that killed 346 people. The crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 five months later led to a 20-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worldwide.
Boeing's previous MAX models, the MAX 8 and MAX 9, returned to the air in November 2020 after Boeing implemented a series of safety adjustments. However, Boeing's MAX 7 and MAX 10 variants could not be certified before the 2022 deadline set by Congress. Without necessary safety updates, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cannot certify these 737 MAX models for flight.
The removal of the annual defense bill deadline extension represents a significant setback for Boeing. The planemaker has about 1,000 backorders for the MAX 7 and MAX 10. The company had threatened to cancel those variants if the compliance deadline for exempting them was not extended. Boeing argued that having the same cockpit warning system on all versions of its 737 MAX plane would be safer and less confusing for pilots. Yet many aviation professionals, including America's largest pilots' union, vehemently reject that claim.
Several lawmakers opposed suspending the Dec. 31 deadline, but many favored granting an extension to Boeing, with or without stipulations. In an attempt to find a solution that works for everyone, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) drafted an amendment that would allow the MAX 7 and MAX 10 to be certified as long as US airlines upgrade all Boeing MAX aircraft . service with two key safety enhancements: an improved Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor system and a means to override all stall and "overspeed" warnings. Boeing would have to pay for the upgrades.
Beasley Allen's lawyer, Mike Andrews, specializes in aviation litigation and represents some of the families of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. He noted:
Aviation safety is of the utmost importance and must never be compromised. I firmly believe that everything possible must be done to protect the lives of passengers and crew aboard Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft, regardless of the financial or time costs involved. Critical security updates should never be put on the negotiating table, and any deadlines for these essential security measures should apply and be enforced without question. There are too many lives at stake to do otherwise.
If you have questions or need help with a claim, contact Mike at 800-898-2034 or through our website.
Fontes: Seattle Times, Reuters, Aviation Today, Corporate Crime Reporter e Fox Business
Case of pilot killed in Boeing 737 MAX crash is resolved on eve of trial
Garima Sethi, widow of former Lion Air pilot Captain Bhavye Suneja, and Boeing Co. US District Judge Thomas Durkin announced the settlement in his order to vacate a courtroom scheduled to hear the case.
Two cases remain on the aviation disaster, and Boeing has asked Judge Durkin to hold judgments just to determine damages. He argued that the Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA) is the governing law. Boeing is relying on a US Supreme Court precedent which ruled that DOSHA is the only law governing such cases and does not allow properties to seek a jury trial for deaths that occurred at sea.
In 2000, Congress amended DOSHA, which initially applied to marine vessels and fatalities occurring on vessels more than three nautical miles from the US coast. The amended law clarified what governs cases involving boating accidents. It also expanded the scope of recoverable damages in cases of death in aviation accidents that occur beyond 12 nautical miles from the US coast to include non-pecuniary damages, including "damage for loss of care, comfort and companionship".
The Lion Air crash was one of two fatal MAX crashes in five months, claiming 346 lives. Based on the crash investigators' findings, the Aircraft Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, was at risk of being inadvertently activated due to incorrect sensor readings. MCAS would push the plane into a dive, leading to a crash.
The MAX planes were grounded for 20 months after the second accident. In addition, the US Department of Justice fined Boeing $2.5 billion in exchange for an agreement to delay proceedings on criminal charges related to its federal regulators misleading about MCAS risks.
No further details about the settlement were available at this time, but we will keep readers informed of any developments in this and other cases involved in the Boeing MAX litigation.
Sethi is represented by Steven Marks and Kristina Infante of Podhurst Orseck PA and Andrew Hays of Hays Firm LLC.
The resolved case isGarima Sethi v. a company boeing, file number 1:20-cv-05498, and the consolidated file isIn re: Lion Air flight JT 610 crash, case number 1:18-cv-07686, both in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
THE TALC DISPUTE
Talcum Powder Dispute Update
Last year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) used the controversial legal strategy known as "Texas Two-Step" in an attempt to transfer its talc responsibilities to a new corporation called LTL Management, LLC (LTL). LTL subsequently filed for bankruptcy to stop thousands of pending talc cases. As J&J continues to evade responsibility, Beasley Allen attorneys continue to fight for cancer patients and on many fronts.
Following the denial of our motions to extinguish bankruptcy and lift the suspension of bankruptcy, the Talc Plaintiffs' Committee (TCC) filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The TCC asked the court to dismiss LTL's bankruptcy or limit its mandate to LTL alone, rather than allowing it to extend to J&J's parent corporation. On September 19, the Third Circuit held oral arguments. We expected to receive a decision from the Third Circuit before the end of last year. The decision has not yet been handed down, but the parties expect it to be handed down during the first quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, last year, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, Michael Kaplan, who oversaw the bankruptcy process, ordered an abbreviated estimation process to provide parties with a clearer understanding of the volume and amount of claims currently pending against J&J and LTL. . Arbitrator Kenneth R. Feinberg has been appointed to oversee this process, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. Once the estimation process is complete, each party will have the opportunity to submit a proposed bankruptcy plan for a vote. by those affected. authors During this period, the parties will continue their efforts towards judicial mediation.
On August 11, J&J announced that it will stop selling talc-based body powders anywhere in the world beginning in 2023. We believe this decision was made in response to pressure brought to bear on J&J over the talcum powder litigation. Thanks to the strength of our customers in opposing J&J, thousands of lives will be saved.
Our attorneys have secured $724 million in combined verdicts for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after regular use of baby powder. Up to 2,200 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using baby powder, please contact a member of our baby powder litigation team. Our advocates continue this fight for cancer patients and their families.
Talc Avon lawsuit ends in $50 million award for California woman
Rita Chapman, a 76-year-old woman, and her husband, who sued Avon Products Inc. for negligently manufacturing cosmetics using talc contaminated with asbestos which they claimed contributed to Ms. company. jury.
The jury found that Avon was 90% to blame for Chapman's illness, and Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., the forklift manufacturer's successor, was 10% to blame.
The jury awarded Ms. Chapman $32.8 million in compensatory damages and to Mr. Chapman $8 million. The jury awarded an additional $11.3 million in punitive damages. Avon was awarded $10.3 in punitive damages and Hyster-Yale $1 million.
The jury found that both companies failed to warn consumers about the potential risks associated with their products and that Ms. Chapman to these products contributed to his diagnosis of mesothelioma. They also found that Avon's talc-containing cosmetics had a manufacturing defect that "did not function as safely as a normal consumer would expect."
Furthermore, the jury found Avon guilty of fraud for failing to disclose information that could have affected Ms. Chapman.
During the trial, the jury cleared several other companies of liability, including Boeing Co., Ford Motor Co. and Johnson & Johnson.
The Chapmans are represented by Jessica M. Dean, Benjamin H. Adams and Rachel A. Gross of Dean Omar Branham Shirley LLP.
the case isRita-Ann Chapman et al. v. Avon Products Inc. et al., case number 22STCV05968, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
Beasley Allen Talc Litigation Team
Beasley Allen attorneys Ted Meadows and Leigh O'Dell lead Beasley Allen Talc's ovarian cancer litigation team. Andy Birchfield, who heads our Mass Liability Section, was directly involved in all phases of the talc litigation. The team handles ovarian cancer claims related to talc and mesothelioma cases. Several key members of the team focused on the abuse of Johnson & Johnson's bankruptcy system. The following Beasley Allen attorneys are members of Talc's litigation team:
Leigh O'Dell, Ted Meadows, Kelli Alfreds, Ryan Beattie, Beau Darley, David Dearing, Liz Eiland, Jennifer Emmel, Jenna Fulk, Lauren James, James Lampkin, Caty O'Quinn, Cristina Rodriguez, Brittany Scott, Charlie Stern, Will Sutton e Matt Teague.
While Charlie Stern and Will Sutton are on the team, they deal exclusively with mesothelioma claims. Charlie and Will are looking at industrial, occupational and secondary exposure to asbestos resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma and claims of asbestos-related talc products related to mesothelioma.
THE LITIGATION OF COMPLAINTS
The US Supreme Court hears an argument over the government's authority to force the dismissal of a whistleblowing case
In recent months, we have discussed petitions to the US Supreme Court related to the False Claims Act (FCA) standard of defense. While that issue has not been resolved (and will not be resolved at this time), the Court has just heard oral arguments on another important FCA issue: whether the government can dismiss an FCA action filed by a reporter alleging fraud against the government. In caseUnited States, former rel. Polansky v Executive Health Resources, Inc., the government had previously refused to intervene and, after years of litigation, tried to force his resignation.
The rapporteur argued that the government did not have the authority to file the case, despite a rapporteur's objection, and the government argued that it did.foreverretained the authority to fire. But in oral arguments this week, the judges did not appear to be in favor of either side's hawk request. Whistleblower cases under the FCA have largely been responsible for generating over $70 billion for the government since 1986 and annual filings are increasing. Before filing a lawsuit under the FCA, the government is informed of the intent to file, along with the basis. Once the complaint is filed, the government can review and decide whether to step in and take up the litigation of the case.
There are, of course, myriad reasons why the government might choose not to intervene that have nothing to do with the merits of the case. For example, with the increase in annual filings, the government may not have the ability to take over. Regardless of the reason, more and more author-reporters continue to litigate their cases after the government declines. This is basically what happened inPolansky.
The government's practice of seeking removal without intervening has created a division among the United States Courts of Appeals. US Supreme Court justices appeared to lean in favor of the rapporteur in requiring the government to intervene before he could request removal, but in favor of the government that the standard of removal would be relatively low. Where this pattern falls is the big question: does the government have to justify the dismissal, and if so, what is sufficient justification? And, because the standard may be low, how do you deal with the fees and costs that rapporteurs and their lawyers may have accrued in the sometimes lengthy time of litigating the case after the government initially refused to intervene?
These issues are expected to be dealt with this semester by the Federal Supreme Court. Until then, if you have any concerns about the complaint dispute or feel you may have a potential customer-report complaint, please contact our company to discuss. We will be happy to investigate and evaluate any potential FCA complaint you may have. Attorneys on our Whistleblower Litigation Team are listed below.
Fonte: Blog Scotus See More
Drug modernization settles $45 million lawsuit in false claims
Modernizing Medicine Inc. (ModMed) and the US government have reached a settlement worth $45 million. ModMed is a provider of electronic health records (EHR) technology, which the government says violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). He said that ModMed accepted and provided referral payments and caused those using its EHR to report incorrect information regarding requests for federal program payments.
The AKS prohibits anyone from offering or paying, directly or indirectly, any compensation, including cash or anything else of value, to induce referrals for items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federally funded programs. The complaint alleged that ModMed violated the FCA and AKS through three marketing programs:
- ModMed attempted and obtained bribes from Miraca Life Sciences Inc. (Miraca). This was to encourage ModMed customers to use Miraca's pathology laboratory services;
- ModMed and Miraca worked together to improperly donate ModMed's EHR to healthcare providers, increasing Miraca's lab orders while simultaneously adding customers to ModMed's user base; Y
- ModMed paid kickbacks to healthcare providers and other influential sources in the healthcare industry in exchange for referrals to ModMed.
As a result of these frauds, the government alleged that ModMed improperly generated sales for itself and Miraca while causing healthcare providers to submit false claims to federal healthcare programs.
The settlement with ModMed resolves, in part, a lawsuit filed by Amanda Lon, former vice president of product management at ModMed. The provisions of the FCA qui tam, or whistleblower, permit individuals with knowledge of fraud against the government to file suits on behalf of the government and participate in the recovery. Long will receive approximately $9 million from the deal.
If you discover that fraud has been committed against the federal or state government, you can receive a reward for reporting it. If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney on our Whistleblower Disputes Team for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. The team's lawyers are described below.
Sources:Review of national legislation, US Department of Justice
Beasley Allen Whistleblower Litigation Team
Beasley Allen attorneys remain heavily involved in handling whistleblower cases. Fraudulent conduct in American companies continues to cause major problems in many industries in this country. We significantly increased our health whistleblower practice months ago. Our attorneys continue to handle cases across the country involving fraud against governments at the federal and state levels.
If you discover that fraud has been committed against the federal or state government, you can receive a reward for reporting it. If you have questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney on our Whistleblower Disputes Team for a free and confidential evaluation of your complaint. There is a contact form on our website, or you can call or email one of our team lawyers listed below.
The Whistleblower Litigation Team's experienced group of attorneys are dedicated to handling whistleblowing cases. Beasley Allen's attorneys listed below are on the team: Larry Golston, Lance Gould, James Eubank, Paul Evans, Leon Hampton, Tyner Helms, Lauren Miles and Jessi Haynes. Dee Miles directs our Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section and works with the litigation group. Attorneys can be contacted at 800-898-2034 or the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
Cryptocurrency scam revealed
Let's take a look at how Sam Bankman-Fried used cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Inc. helped launch) according toLos New York Times.
Bankman-Fried's company then used these combined funds to build its own "crypto empire". The funds went directly to Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives in the form of "loans". The scammer also used the mixed funds for political donations and bought extravagant real estate in the Bahamas. Bankman-Fried has done all of this using elemental lies deftly delivered to investors since 2019.
FTX customers have allowed fraud through the prohibited process of investing in the company and its cryptocurrency.Los New York TimesHe described the process that begins when customers are instructed to place their fiat currency, such as US dollars, into bank accounts controlled by Alameda. FTX would have access to "virtually unlimited" assets funded by FTX clients.
Those who investigated Bankman-Fried explained that he lied to "dozens of venture capital firms and wealthy family offices about the financial health of FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research". Although he claimed that all of the customer's money was safe, Bankman-Fried lied to investors about the relationship between FTX and Alameda and concealed how Alameda regularly borrowed money from FTX. This hoax created a $2 billion fund to pay off the Bankman-Fried company.
Bankman-Fried's personal meltdown began with FTX's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in Delaware on Nov. 11 after the turmoil, when a wave of customer withdrawals caused FTX's value to plummet from $32 billion to zero in less than a week and forced Bankman-Fried to resign as President. The Manhattan United States Attorney's Office opened an eight-count indictment on December 6, 2022, charging Bankman-Fried with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, and one count of wire fraud conspiracy. commodities, securities fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. Ironically, reporting of the incident states that Bankman-Fried was a member of a chat group called "Wirefraud" with others from FTX's inner circle who used the Signal encrypted messaging platform.
Following the lead of the US Attorney, the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed civil enforcement actions for violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the US Attorney's Act. , the same day. Bankman-Fried was initially scheduled to testify under oath before the US House Financial Services Committee for allegedly violating the Commodities Trading Act and related regulations. A copy of his prepared comments for the committee shows that Bankman-Fried planned to begin his comments before the committee with essentially a concession that he was simply wrong, albeit in more colorful language.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also filed civil accusations. He claimed that Bankman-Fried and his two companies misled clients and other cryptocurrency investors “by manipulating the prices of certain digital assets, preempting other traders on the FTX platform, and lying about the location and use of cryptocurrency funds.” the Clients".Los New York Timesinformed.
The CFTC alleges that Bankman-Fried misleadingly raised the cost of FTT, a digital token created by FTX. This digital currency was issued to some investors, and at the same time, Alameda put up FTT as collateral to cover loans issued to him by other cryptocurrency companies. The CFTC complaint further alleges that one-third of FTX revenue was used to purchase FTT. His aim was to drive it off the market by "artificially inflating its value".
Bankman-Fried has been hit by a wave of private lawsuits and state investigations following the collapse of his company, such as the Texas State Securities Board investigating whether Bankman-Fried violated securities laws by selling securities unregistered in the Lone Star State. More specifically, a pair of investor lawsuits in California and Florida accuse him of conspiring to trick investors into offering unregistered securities. Those lawsuits also name the Golden State Warriors basketball team as defendants and a host of celebrities and athletes who supported the now bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange and allege that investors relied on false statements when purchasing a live account on FTX.
Bankman-Fried led the crypto industry's effort to establish this digital currency in mainstream American commerce. The company's collapse is the latest and most notable in a series of tumultuous incidents that exposed risks in the opaque world of cryptocurrencies following the May crashes of Terra and its sister token Luna. While we anticipate that the SEC and other state and federal regulators will be better equipped to accommodate balancing oversight with cryptocurrency ownership interests, the courts are often where these aggrieved investors can get real relief. Our company's Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section investigates these suspicious practices. You may contact Dee Miles, James Eubank or Demet Basar, Section Counsel, in connection with any securities questions or issues you have or need assistance with a claim.
Source: Law360 eLos New York Times
Beasley Allen Securities Litigation Team
The Beasley Allen attorneys at our firm remain very active in securities cases as this area of our practice continues to grow. Lawyers in our Consumer Fraud and Business Litigation Section welcome any opportunity to investigate suspicious practices and are fortunate to be able to interact with new and established colleagues in federal securities law and state securities litigation. You may contact a member of our Securities Disputes Team regarding any securities matters. The team consists of: James Eubank, who leads the team, along with Demet Basar, Rebecca Gilliland and Paul Evans. Dee Miles, who runs the Section, also works with the team. Team members can be reached at 800-898-2034 or the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
THE ASBESTOS LITIGATION
Christmas decorations are an unlikely source of asbestos exposure.
In previous editions ofReport, we wrote about the numerous products used in the United States during the 20th century that contained asbestos. According to some estimates, there were up to 3,000 of these products. Some well-known products include insulation materials, building materials such as siding, shingles and joint compounds, and automotive products such as brakes and clutches. But along with the products that people usually associate with asbestos, there were dozens of other consumer goods that people don't normally associate with asbestos. One such product category is Christmas decorations.
Many of us have vintage Christmas decorations that have been passed down from generation to generation. Something to consider before pulling these old items out of the storage closet for the upcoming holiday season, check for fake or artificial snow adorning them. For generations, fake snow on Christmas decorations was asbestos. Look at some old photos of you and your grandparents next to Christmas trees, and chances are you're seeing yourself next to deadly asbestos. Asbestos was not only used for fake snow in decorations such as wreaths, tinsel and Christmas tree bunches, but also in movie and theater sets to create the appearance of snow.
Fortunately, most people who are exposed to traces of asbestos, such as Christmas decorations, will not get sick. But in this litigation, where defendants are constantly trying to point the finger at other potential exposures as the cause of a client's mesothelioma, they will take any opportunity to do so.
In a recent case, one of the images used in the testimony of a client with mesothelioma included a Christmas tree in the background. As mesothelioma attorneys, we knew that because the tree was not covered, no defendant could say that he was exposed to asbestos from the tree.
But it would have been an easy mistake for a lawyer unfamiliar with the ins and outs of asbestos exposures to use this image even if the tree was huddled together. A seemingly small mistake like this can cost customers dearly.
Beasley Allen attorneys who handle asbestos litigation have developed the experience necessary to understand the full scope of exposures. We always keep this in mind to ensure the best possible results for our clients. If you need more information or help with a claim, please contact Charlie Stern, an attorney in our office, at 800-898-2034 or through our website.
Beasley Allen Asbestos Disputes Team
Asbestos disputes continue to rise and spread across the country. Beasley Allen's asbestos litigation team is led by Charlie Stern in our Dallas, Texas office. Charlie has years of experience in asbestos litigation. He was perfect to lead the team. Other team members are Will Sutton and Cindy Lopez. Rhon Jones, who heads up our Toxic Complaints Section, works with the team. If you need assistance with cases involving asbestos products, please contact one of the team members at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
MASS DEMAND LITIGATION
Roger Smith of Beasley Allen Named to MDL Paracetamol Executive Committee
Beasley Allen attorney Roger Smith was appointed to the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee for the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) of Acetaminophen by US District Judge Denise L. Cote for the Southern District of New York on September 22. November 2022. Roger will serve as lead advisor to the Science and Experts Committee. She previously served on the Vioxx and MDL Acts committees and was on the Claimants Steering Committee for the Mirena MDL.
The Judicial Chamber of Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated the cases before Judge Cote on October 5, 2022, due to the increasing number of cases across the country. The plaintiffs allege that there is a link between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since the consolidation, the MDL tribunal has already delivered important important decisions.
On November 14, 2022, Judge Cote denied the defendant Walmart's motion to dismiss on precautionary grounds, concluding that "[a] manufacturer of an over-the-counter (OTC) drug sold under the monograph system can change its label, provided that meets the requirements of its monograph and other applicable OTC drug regulations.”
The court concluded that acetaminophen manufacturers are not entitled to add a more specific warning about the possible prenatal risks of acetaminophen. This allowed the plaintiffs' claims to continue.
Beasley Allen's attorneys in our Civil Liability Section are investigating cases involving prenatal exposure to acetaminophen that were subsequently diagnosed with ASD or ADHD. For more information, contact Mary Raybon or Melissa Prickett at 800-898-2034 or through our website.
Multidistrict Infant Formula Litigation Update
In previous editions, we reported our company's involvement in litigation related to the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants fed cow's milk-based infant formula. Last month, we wrote that Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, in charge of multidistrict litigation (MDL), issued an order approving the selection of the first eight initial pioneer cases. The authors selected four cases and the parties selected four at random using random number selection. Reference cases allow a small selection of representative "trial" cases to pass through discovery and litigation, so that parties have a better understanding of how juries will view cases.
On December 1, Judge Pallmeyer issued an order approving the final four initial pioneer cases, which were selected by the defendants. Each of the twelve cases will be required to complete a Plaintiff Information Sheet, a court-approved information form in which plaintiffs provide information about their claims to defendants. Additionally, on December 1, Judge Pallmeyer issued a scheduling order for the initial pioneer cases, outlining the process and timeline for reducing these twelve cases to four initial pioneer trial cases in anticipation of trials beginning in the spring of 2024. .
David Dearing and Brittany Scott, attorneys in our firm's mass liability section, are aggressively investigating and pursuing these cases. For more information, contact them at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
Chemical hair straighteners sell an unattainable standard of beauty at a high health cost
an article onseduceThe magazine recently highlighted young women photographed on the packaging of popular hair straightener brands in the early 2000s after a tweet about the "Hair Box Girls" went viral. Chemical hair straighteners are used to straighten, smooth and soften hair. Most hair relaxers contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, metals, phthalates and parabens. Some of the former “Hair Box Girls” models responded to the tweet with updates. It was found that some models styled their hair with something other than the advertised chemical relaxer. Some had naturally flowing locks or used mousse to style their hair. Other models had their hair pressed in silk, where the hair is straightened with a hairdryer or flat iron. Several Twitter users were upset that the box girls weren't using the chemical relaxers they advertised.
The use of chemical hair straighteners has recently been discovered to cause major health problems including uterine cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, endometriosis and uterine fibroids. A National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) published an article inJournal of the National Cancer Institutestating that it was recently discovered that women who use chemicals to straighten their hair more than four times a year are twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who do not. This article extracted data from the "Sister Study", a national project of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to learn how environment and genes can affect a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Participants in the Sister Study were women ages 35 to 74 who tested negative for breast cancer and had at least one sister diagnosed with breast cancer who lived in the United States.
According to research conducted over nearly 11 years, women who reported using chemical relaxants were nearly twice as likely to have been diagnosed with uterine cancer than those who did not. Women who reported frequent use of straighteners (defined as more than four times in the past 12 months) were approximately 2.5 times more likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not use the products.
Beasley Allen attorneys are actively investigating cases of uterine, breast and endometrial cancer, endometriosis and uterine fibroids in women who developed these conditions after using chemical hair relaxers. For more information, contact Aigner Kolom or Melissa Prickett at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
Sources:seduceyJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Extended CPAP recall as some replacement devices now recalled
On June 14, 2021, Philips Respironics issued a voluntary recall of more than 15 million CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices worldwide, at least half of which are in daily use in US medical device reporting. ., which can be submitted by users of medical devices or the company itself, report a growing number of people affected. However, the Justice Department is negotiating with Philips the terms of a consent decree. This decree would potentially require Philips to explicitly state its future plans to avoid such recalls again. Such a plan is necessary in the face of an already failed attempt to correct previous mistakes.
Philips issued its intent to replace the recalled devices and requested that the recalled devices be returned to the company for refurbishment. Now, Philips is informing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Trilogy ventilators modified as part of its plan to provide users with safer devices have two new problems.
- The first problem is that the silicone sound-reducing foam that replaces the removed foam can separate from the plastic backing and block the air intake. This blockage reduces inspiratory pressure and can trigger the ventilator alarm.
- The second problem deals with the discovery of particles in the airways. Some samples have shown that sound-reducing foam and environmental debris particles are still found in refurbished machines.
This means that a simple update won't be enough to absolve these fans from hurting future users.
Beasley Allen's attorneys are investigating complaints from recalled CPAP machine users who experienced adverse effects with recalled Philips Respironics machines. For more information or if you need assistance with a claim, contact Beau Darley or Alexa Wallace at 800-898-2034 or use the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
Fontes: Food and Drug Administration,Los New York Timesand statistical news
LABOR LITIGATION AND FLSA
Department of Labor changes definition of "independent contractor"
The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule to help employers determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, the new rule would give employers and workers the tools to ensure workers are classified correctly, with the aim of combating employee misclassification. The new rule's framing will be more consistent with court precedents relating to the classification of workers under the FLSA, providing better protection for workers and consistency for entities responsible for enforcing the regulations.
The proposed rule would address the following:
The comment period for these changes was initially October 13, 2022 to November 28, 2022, but has been extended to December 13, 2022.
Misclassification of workers denies individuals FLSA protections and rights, encourages wage theft, gives employers an unfair advantage, harms the economy, and deprives vulnerable workers of their legally earned wages. The attorneys on Beasley Allen's Employment Litigation team are experienced in investigating and litigating cases of worker misclassification. Familiar with upcoming changes to the FLSA and other DOJ rules, our attorneys are ready to help anyone facing this issue.
Please feel free to contact team attorneys Larry Golston or Lance Gould at 800-898-2034 with any questions regarding potential worker misclassification claims.
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Source: US Department of Labor.
INSTALLATION LIABILITY LITIGATION
$160 million verdict reached in Atlanta mass shooting case
On December 15, after several years of litigation, a jury in Dekalb County, Georgia awarded Sony $160 million for failing to protect spectators at the Underground Atlanta Masquerade venue in downtown Atlanta.
On the night of November 12, 2017, a gunman entered the concert hall and, after an altercation with patrons, opened fire on the crowded hall. Four people were shot, and Giovan Diaz, 22, and Ewell Ynoa, 21, died of catastrophic gunshot wounds. Gunshots erupted just as the main act was ready to take the stage at the venue. Witnesses testified that Diaz and Ynoa, Gio and Wells, to their friends, were on the verge of making their way in the music industry before their deaths. Witnesses at the trial said the victims' suffering was horrendous before they died.
Beasley Allen Atlanta attorney Parker Miller, who served as lead trial counsel in the litigation, said:
This verdict represents an incredible day of justice for our customers and for the safety of all viewers across the United States. Obviously, these types of cases don't happen often. This was a mass shooting at a sold out concert. There were several deaths, and both Gio and Wells suffered significantly before losing their fight for life, as described by eyewitnesses. The trial was incredibly emotional because of what these families and the world lost. One of these men was told he was going to be a father just hours before the shooting. Combine that with the fact that the show has put everyone in danger, and this [defendant] has refused to participate in the legal process, and you get the kind of verdict we've seen here.
Parker Miller further says that the unique nature of the case led to the verdict. In addition, a prominent trial and appellate attorney, Darren Summerville of The Summerville Firm of Atlanta, was on the trial team. He watches:
I have been litigating cases for a long time in Georgia, but I have a hard time identifying another case as exciting or moving as this one. Juries do not return these types of verdicts unless there is a confluence of circumstances, as was the case here. Our system has always called on our citizens to speak out when one company endangers another with totally unnecessary suffering and death. Equally important, bypassing the legal process always poses a risk to an entity that thinks it doesn't need to participate.
The trial team also included Madeline Summerville of Georgia Trial Consulting, who specializes in investigation and jury selection. She noted:
In a case like this, involving the deaths of two inspiring young men, finding the right jurors is even more important.
Tiffany M. Simmons, managing partner of Simmons Law in Atlanta, Georgia, was the attorney originally hired by the clients. She brought the other lawyers on the case and was part of the trial team. He echoed the comments of the other lawyers on the trial team:
There is no excuse for the lack of security in this production. These men had over a hundred years of life expectancy between them. They had their entire musical career ahead of them. We are honored by the jury's decision and hope it sends the message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.
The trial consisted of two previously consolidated cases. they includedRachel St. Fleur, et. outros, v. Sony Music Holdings, Inc., e outros,case number 18A69571, andXavier Diaz, e outros, v. Sony Music Holdings, Inc., case number 19A77518.
Preliminary Liability - Claims for Injuries Occurred on Municipal Corporation Property (Ante Litem Notices)
Attorneys in our firms' Montgomery, Atlanta and Mobile offices have handled a large number of tort cases over the years. This includes cases where a person is seriously injured due to a dangerous condition present on municipal corporation property (eg, an airport). In these cases, it is important for the practitioner to be aware of any state-specific limited time legal incentives that may exist when filing such claims.
In the state of Georgia, for example, a plaintiff who files a lawsuit against a municipal corporation must file a lawsuitbefore the suitNotification of complaints within a period of six months from the occurrence of the fact that gave rise to the complaint against the municipality.verO.C.G.A. § 36-33-5.
The professional must also ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the statute. For example, Georgia statute requires that the notice include a specific amount of cash damages sought, which constitutes an offer in compromise. The mere indication of a range or a general description of the damages claimed is insufficient and may result in dismissal.
Any professional representing a plaintiff who is injured while on municipal corporation property must exercise diligence and scrutiny in investigating and complying with any applicable lawsuit prerequisite statutes in the state in which they are filing. The time prescribed by such statutes may be significantly less than any applicable statute of limitations. Strict breach of statute provisions may be detrimental to an injured victim's claims.
Parker Miller and Houston Kessler, attorneys in our Atlanta office, handle numerous damages, damages and other catastrophic damages cases in Georgia and other states. If you have any questions about these cases, you may contact them at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
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TOXIC DEMAND LITIGATION
More state attorneys general take up fight against PFAS
PFAS (Forever Chemicals) affected communities across the country with contaminated water. Used in a variety of industrial and consumer products, PFASs have become the subject of extensive multi-district litigation (MDL) and dozens of lawsuits in state courts. State and local governments allege nuisance, trespass, negligence, and illegality theories, among others, against PFAS manufacturers such as 3M, DuPont, and Chemours. Plaintiffs of these issues range from personal injury plaintiffs and individual and class action owners to water utilities and state attorneys general alleging statewide contamination of natural resources.
State attorneys general have taken on major chemical companies that have filed lawsuits for damage to natural resources. For example, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit in November alleging widespread PFAS contamination throughout California. In addition to the industrial contamination of sources such as carpet, textiles and paper factories, California seeks to hold chemical companies accountable for PFAS in the environment for the elimination of a wide range of consumer products such as food packaging and beauty products, between others. California has joined 15 other states currently fighting corporations over PFAS damage.
Sources: US Department of Justice and California Attorney General
$40 Million Verdict in Teflon Cancer Case Against DuPont Confirmed by 6th Circuit
A Sixth Circuit panel upheld a $40 million personal injury verdict against DuPont for allegedly dumping an ancient Teflon ingredient into the Ohio River, causing a man to develop testicular cancer.
Travis Abbott won the verdict in early 2020 after claiming that DuPont's release of the so-called "eternal chemical" known as C-8 contaminated drinking water and contributed to his diagnosis of testicular cancer. His partner, Julie Abbott, was also awarded $10 million for the loss of the consortium, as Travis Abbott had lost both testicles during cancer treatment. But his prize was reduced to $250,000 in March 2021 under the Ohio Tort Reform Act.
The Abbotts' lawsuit stems from decades-old multidistrict litigation in Ohio. DuPont agreed in February 2017 to pay $671 million to settle nearly 3,500 lawsuits over allegations that the company contaminated water in Ohio and West Virginia. Later that year, Travis and Julie Abbott sued DuPont, claiming that DuPont's dumping of C-8 resulted in Travis Abbott being exposed to the chemical for 20 years, starting when he was just six years old. They claimed that exposure led to the diagnosis of testicular cancer.
The Abbotts won the case in January 2020. The Ohio judge overseeing the case denied DuPont's motion to seek a new trial and reduce the total verdict to $8 million.
Jon C. Conlin of Cory Watson Lawyers, a Birmingham firm representing the Abbotts, told Law360 that he and his clients are extremely appreciative of the hard work done by both the trial court and the judges on the trial panel. Jon said:
DuPont entered into a binding class contract nearly 20 years ago and has spent virtually every minute since trying to deny liability and avoid the costs of its conduct. I hope that after this opinion, this dodging will stop now.
The binding class contract Conlin is referring to is a 2005 settlement passed in West Virginia federal court that outlines certain steps DuPont has agreed to take to address the harm suffered by workers and communities due to C water contamination. 8.
The Abbotts are represented by Jon C. Conlin, F. Jerome Tapley, Elizabeth E. Chambers, Nina Towle Herring, Mitchell Theodore and Brett Thompson of Cory Watson Attorneys; Rachel Sarah Bloomekatz of Bloomekatz Law LLC; Matthew Wessler of Gupta Wessler PLLC; and Debra Anne Nelson.
the case isTravis Abbott and ai. v. EI du Pont de Nemours & Co., Case Number 21-3418, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
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Paraquat Update on California JCCP and Federal CDM
The Paraquat MDL Product Liability Litigation (Case No. 3:21-MD-3004) currently has 2,391 cases pending in the Southern District of Illinois before Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel, however, court litigation in the State of California has seen the most activity recently.
The State of California lawsuits were consolidated in Contra Costa County by the Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCP), case number JCCP 5031, before the Honorable Judge Edward G. Weil. There are currently 123 cases pending. The JCCP Tribunal pre-selected two (2) lead cases scheduled for trial on June 24, 2023. A second round of six (6) lead cases was selected to proceed with the discovery of specific cases. Of the six selections, three are author selections and three are defense selections. No trial date has yet been set in these cases because Judge Weil will be reassigned effective January 1, 2023. The new presiding judge has yet to be announced. The next JCCP Case Management Conference is scheduled for January 11, 2023.
Beasley Allen's attorneys, Julia Merritt and Leslie LaMacchia, are members of the Paraquat CDM Applicants' Executive Committee. The Beasley Allen Paraquat Disputes Team will be happy to answer any questions regarding the status of this litigation or the complexities of the admissions process, including the Applicant Screening Questionnaire. Beasley Allen continues to accept cases where customers have applied paraquat and have Parkinson's disease or symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Please contact a member of the Paraquat Disputes Team if we can help you with your paraquat applicator cases.
Paraquat Disputes Team
Beasley Allen's attorneys, Julia A. Merritt and Leslie B. LaMacchia, are members of the Paraquat CDM Applicants' Executive Committee. Our Paraquat Disputes Team will be happy to answer any questions about the status of this dispute or the complexities of the admissions process, including the Applicant Assessment Questionnaire.
Beasley Allen continues to accept cases where customers have applied paraquat and have Parkinson's disease or symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Please contact us if we can help you with your paraquat applicator cases. Beasley Allen's Paraquat Litigation Team, comprised of lawyers from our Toxic Damage Section, handles cases involving paraquat applicators.
The team's attorneys are Julia Merritt and Leslie LaMacchia, who lead the team, and team members Trisha Green and Matt Pettit. Rhon Jones leads our Toxic Offense Section and is working with the team on this important litigation. You may contact a staff attorney at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page for more information about your litigation, including the CDM.
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Monsanto Reaches $698 Million Settlement to End Oregon Pollution Suit
Oregon and Monsanto Co. reached the largest environmental damage recovery settlement in Oregon history, according to the state's attorney general. Monsanto will pay the state $698 million after knowingly using toxic chemicals that harmed local waters and wildlife.
Bayer US LLC, owner of Monsanto and co-defendants Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC, has probably known since 1937 that the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) used in their products are toxic. However, his companies used the compounds in light fixtures, electrical devices, hydraulic oils and other products until they were banned in 1977.
PCBs are known animal carcinogens. Federal regulators also consider them probable human carcinogens, since exposure can damage the liver, immune system, skin, blood and other bodily functions. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a press release:
It is a great victory for our state. PCBs are still present throughout Oregon, especially in our landfills and riverbeds, and are extremely difficult to remove because they 'bioaccumulate' in fish and wildlife. Cleaning up our state from this terrible environmental degradation will be as expensive and time-consuming as it sounds, but this agreement means we now have the resources to help address this issue.
The state requested damage and cleanup costs in the lawsuit. After litigation costs, most settlement funds will go towards remediation and cleanup. Bayer will not admit wrongdoing as part of the agreement.
Oregon is represented by Ellen F. Rosenblum, Lisa Udland, Paul Garrahan, Elleanor Chin, Deanna Chang and Scott Kaplan of the Oregon Department of Justice, Keith Ketterling, Jennifer Warner, Elizabeth Bailey, Steve Larson and Sophia von Bergen of Stoll Berne and Dan Mensher, Yoona Park, Lynn Sarko, Michael Woerner and Allison Gaffney from Keller Rohrback.
the case isState of Oregon v. Monsanto Co. and others., processo número 18CV22540, no Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County.
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3M penalized and prohibited from shifting liability in earplug litigation
On December 22, US District Judge M. Casey Rodgers rejected efforts by 3M Co to avoid liability for injuries caused to current and former members of the US military. 3M has been trying to shift the blame to a subsidiary. Where have we heard of such a scheme before?
Claims include 250,000 cases about Combat Arms Version 2 (CAEv2) earplugs. Judge Rodgers, who is overseeing the consolidated lawsuits in her Pensacola, Fla., court, said 3M should receive the "severest penalty" for its "bad faith" efforts to avoid liability by transferring it to a bankrupt subsidiary. : Aearo Technologies.
Aearo Technologies developed the faulty earplugs in 2008 for the US military. The activity took place before 3M acquired Aero. When the subsidiary filed for bankruptcy in Indiana in July, 3M tried to end the lawsuits against it.
In August, a bankruptcy judge refused to allow 3M to stay litigation. While 3M is appealing the decision, Judge Rodgers said it "should have ended the sophistry" and 3M's efforts to evade liability.
That did not put an end to the company's efforts, and Judge Rodgers said that 3M, as the parent company, and after nearly four years of litigation, sought to use leverage to "rewrite the history of CAEv2". It was the first time the company had stated that it “is not independently responsible, as the purchaser of Aearo, for any injuries. 3M has lost 10 of the 16 earplug cases that have gone to trial so far, with a total of $265 million awarded to 13 plaintiffs," Reuters reported.
Furthermore, Justice Rodgers noted that 3M was "posing as an unfortunate defendant to the wrong party and deliberately ambushing the other side with an entirely artificial strategic position." She forbade "placing the blame on Aearo's defendants".
When 3M announced its appeal, it called Judge Rodgers' decision "an incomplete and inaccurate description of our good faith efforts in this litigation."
In a joint statement, attorneys for the lead plaintiffs, Bryan Aylstock and Chris Seeger, said 3M had come forward as the sole defendant for the injuries caused by the earmuffs. They said:
We applaud Judge Rodger's order, which closes the door on 3M's deceitful and bad-faith attempt to incriminate the Aearo defendants in service of its trumped-up bankruptcy scheme.
I join the lawyers. This decision by a respected federal judge was right and she should be commended for his decision.
class action litigation
Toyota's $287M Domestic Fuel Pump Deal Gets Final Approval
We have often reported in previous issues on the progress made in the Toyota/Denso class case handled by our company, and I am pleased to say that the case reached a conclusion last month. Our attorneys in the Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section, representing 6.5 million class members in the Toyota Fuel Pump Class Action Litigation, scored a major victory for consumers when Magistrate Judge James R. Cho of the Eastern District of New York gave final approval to a $287 million fine. class action agreement. Class members were represented by Dee Miles, head of the firm's consumer fraud and trade litigation section, along with Demet Basar (who served as lead counsel with Dee), Clay Barnett, Mitch Williams and Dylan Martin. Dee says about this win for consumers:
This agreement provides complete relief to millions of consumers who have unknowingly purchased vehicles with a defective Denso-manufactured fuel pump installed in Toyota vehicles. This agreement requires these fuel pumps to be replaced by Denso and Toyota at no cost to the customer and with a 15 year/150,000 mile warranty on the replaced fuel pump. It is a complete solution for consumers with fuel pump problem.
The company initiated litigation for plaintiff Sharon Cheng in February 2020. The lawsuit alleged that Toyota knowingly marketed and sold vehicles equipped with defective fuel pumps and failed to recall all affected Toyota and Lexus models and model years.
In response, Toyota expanded its initial recall, eventually recalling 3.4 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles with defective fuel pumps manufactured by Denso. In April 2020, the plaintiffs added the faulty fuel pump manufacturer Denso to the lawsuit. Our class attorneys required that additional vehicles with a risk of faulty fuel pumps be added to the settlement, resulting in a total of nearly five million vehicles included in the settlement. Preliminary approval was filed in September with a provision allowing for implementation of the customer support program prior to final approval. Settlement provisions include:
- Toyota has agreed to implement a customer service program for owners and renters of approximately 1.4 million vehicles that Toyota has not previously recalled.
- Owners and renters of these vehicles are entitled to prospective repair coverage (including parts and labor) on their original Denso fuel pumps for 15 years from the vehicle's original sale date.
- The benefit travels with the vehicle, which means that if the vehicle is sold or leased before the 15-year expiration date, the subsequent owner or renter will still be entitled to benefit.
- Toyota has also agreed to provide a 15-year new parts extended warranty, measured beginning July 15, 2021, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, on the recall corrective fuel pump kit for owners and renters of the nearly 3.4 million vehicles recalled and an additional 170,000. hybrid vehicles that have not been recalled.
- Retirement benefit also accompanies the vehicle, so subsequent purchasers or renters will also be entitled to the extended warranty.
- Owners and renters of all vehicles covered by the agreement are entitled to free towing and loaner vehicles while their fuel pumps are replaced or repaired. If a Class Member needs a borrowed vehicle that matches your vehicle, Toyota agrees to make good faith efforts to fulfill the request.
- There is an out-of-pocket refund program, a reconsideration procedure in connection with the customer service program, and an extended warranty on new parts.
- A special master will oversee the provisions of the agreement to resolve any issues that may arise during the implementation and administration of the agreement.
This deal was unprecedented in its scope of relief and a tremendous win for consumers. Attorneys in our Consumer Fraud and Trade Litigation Section have similar class cases against other manufacturers and Denso regarding the same fuel pump issue that are ongoing and should be equally successful. We will also keep our readers informed of the ongoing progress of these class cases.
If additional information is required on the Toyota/Denso agreement, details are available atwww.toyotafuelpumpsettlement.comor contact Michelle Fulmer, Section Director, at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page. She will have one of our attorneys involved in handling the case.
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Other attorneys representing the class, in addition to Beasley Allen's attorneys, include Jeffrey R. Krinsk of Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP; Jeffrey Corrigan, John A. Macoretta, Jeffrey L. Spector and Diana J. Zinser of Spector Roseman & Kodroff PC; Malcolm T. Brown and Kate McGuire of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP; Rachele R. Byrd of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP; Jerrod C. Patterson of Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro LLP; and Elbert F. Nasis of Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP.
the case isSharon Cheng, and others. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, and others., file number 1:20-cv-00629-WFK-JRC.
Car owners seek triple damages in GM lawsuit
Beasley Allen's attorneys are seeking triple damages in California's federal lawsuit against General Motors LLC. But GM is turning down the offer for the vehicle owner class. GM asserts that the claim violates Idaho law and court orders and that such damages are not supported by the evidence at trial.
The case involves some SUVs and pickups manufactured and sold by GM between 2011 and 2014 that had a specific engine, called Generation IV Vortec 5300 LC9. The vehicles in question are Chevrolet's Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe and GMC's Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL.
The class is now asking the court for triple damages under the ICPA, saying it is necessary to stop similar behavior by GM and other companies in the future. Dee Miles of Beasley Allen, representing the plaintiffs, told Law360:
Idaho law allows the court to award punitive damages after a jury verdict for willful or egregious misconduct. Evidence in GM's own documents shows that GM clearly knew its piston rings were bad from day one, but did not offer replacements simply because they were too expensive. This behavior must be deterred, and the way to do that under Idaho law is for the court to award the punitive damages that the plaintiffs are seeking.(Video) Watch Morning Joe Highlights: Jan. 20 | MSNBC
Adam J. Levitt of DiCello Levitt LLC, who also represents plaintiffs, added these comments:
The jury has now concluded that GM has engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices, and a punitive damages award is necessary to prevent such conduct in the future. Nothing in GM's response shows otherwise.
Plaintiffs and proposed classes are represented by Dee Miles, Clay Barnett, Mitch Williams, Rebecca Gilliland and Dylan Martin of Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles PC, Christopher S. Stombaugh, John E. Tangren, Adam J. Levitt, Daniel R Ferri, Mark Abramowitz and Joseph Frate of DiCello Levitt LLC, Jennie Anderson of Andrus Anderson LLP and Anthony Garcia of AG Law PA.
the case isRaul Siqueiros and colleagues. v. General Motors LLC, case number 3:16-cv-07244, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Johnson & Johnson sued over alleged carcinogenic shampoo
Marina Scott of Illinois filed two lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Wella, a cosmetics company. She alleges that the defendants sold dry shampoos that contained benzene, a known carcinogen, and failed to list the ingredient on the products' labels.
The products were sold under the brand name OGX, by J&J, and Sebastian, by Wella, according to the plaintiff's complaint. Scott explained that both brands' products contain "dangerously high" levels of benzene and that benzene is not listed as an active or inactive ingredient on their labels. Benzene has been linked to leukemia and other types of cancer. Scott said:
Plaintiff and other members of the class would not have purchased the products, or would have paid significantly less for the products, if Defendant had disclosed that the products contained or risked containing benzene, or otherwise misrepresented that the products did not contain or not the risk of containing benzene.
Mrs. Scott points to Valisure's test results after testing benzene in various dry shampoos in October 2022. Valisure is a testing and lab company. The levels of benzene in both brands of dry shampoo in question were found to exceed the minimum amount allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a product where the use of benzene is "inevitable to produce a drug of significant therapeutic advancement ".
The plaintiff alleges fraud, unjust enrichment and violations of the Illinois Trade Practices and Consumer Fraud Act and the consumer protection laws of several states by the defendants, Law360 reported. He explained that the use of benzene and failure to disclose its presence on the label of the defendants' dry shampoo products results in adulterated and misbranded products. Such products cannot be legally sold under federal law.
Mrs. Scott asked to represent all Illinois plaintiffs who purchased the products. He also seeks to represent plaintiffs who purchased the products in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
A similar lawsuit filed in early December in Illinois federal court accuses Pierre Fabre USA Inc. of misleading and endangering consumers by not disclosing that its Klorane brand of products contains benzene. The putative class is represented by Carl V. Malstrom of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, and Max S. Roberts, Sarah N. Westcot, Stephen A. Beck, and Jonathan L. Wolloch of Bursor & Fisher P.A.
the cases areScott et ai. v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. et al., file number 1:22-cv-07069; and Scott et al. v. Wella Operations US LLC, case number 1:22-cv-07070, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Fonte: Ley360 See More
CLASS ACTION AGREEMENTS
In addition to the cases mentioned above, there were several other major class action settlements during the month of December across the country. Several of these settlements received final court approval.
Investors seek approval for SolarWinds' $26 million security breach
Software development firm SolarWinds has agreed to pay $26 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by investors who claim the company misled them about the strength of its cybersecurity defenses before disclosing a massive 2020 cyberattack on its systems. .
The class asked for preliminary approval of the settlement, saying it was "an excellent outcome for the Settlement Class...in view of the costs, risks and delays of further litigation and the scope of possible recovery." The lead plaintiff in the case, the New York District Board of Carpenters Pension Fund, said it ruled on the recommendation of a mediator with experience in class actions and complex disputes. The motion says:
The settlement adequately balances the principal plaintiff's objective of securing the highest possible monetary recovery for the settlement class against the significant risk that the settlement class may receive a lesser recovery, or no recovery, after further litigation if the plaintiff's principal does not prove your claims.
While the settlement amount represents approximately 13-20% of potential damages, investors recognized that proving that the company's statements about its digital defense capabilities "were materially false and misleading and were made with intent to defraud" would be too much. risky, according to the movement.
If approved, the settlement would allow investors who purchased or acquired SolarWinds common stock between October 18, 2018 and December 17, 2020 to file a claim.
In November, SolarWinds told investors it could be subject to enforcement actions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for possible violations of securities law. The company said the alleged breaches related to its public disclosures and statements about its cyber defense capabilities, internal controls and procedures.
SolarWinds and its executives often praised the company's security controls before revealing the massive security breach. The hack allowed Russian agents access to the company's vast and highly sensitive network of customers, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of the Treasury, the US and nearly every Fortune company. 500.
The only thing standing between the hackers and SolarWinds' vast network of customers was the weak password solarwinds123 on the company's FTP server. The password was discovered by a security professional in November 2019, prompting warnings that a breach could allow any hacker to upload and spread malicious code to the company's customers. In December 2020, these fears came to fruition when the company confirmed that a breach had occurred and it continued unabated for several months. Cybersecurity experts and other technology professionals call the SolarWinds breach the largest and potentially the most damaging that has ever occurred.
Investors are represented by John J. Rizio-Hamilton, Jonathan D. Uslaner, Benjamin W. Horowitz and Thomas Z. Sperber of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann L.L.P. and by Gerald T. Drought and Frank B. Burney of Martin & Drought PC.
the case isIn re: SolarWinds Corp Securities Litigation, Case Number 1:21-cv-00138, in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Sources: Law360, ItWire.com andpolitical
Class Action Action Over Fiat Chrysler Engine Defects Gets Final Approval
A federal judge in Michigan has granted final approval to a class-action settlement resolving allegations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sold certain Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat vehicles with a defect that caused excessive oil consumption and engine failure. .
The deal, estimated to be worth around $108 million, will provide owners of vehicles equipped with a 2.4L Tigershark engine with extended warranties, free software upgrades and reimbursement for repairs and other costs.
The case, a group of nine class actions filed in Michigan federal court, alleges that the Tigershark engines in the affected vehicles have a defect that causes them to release excessive amounts of oil into the exhaust system. The authors claimed that excessive oil consumption could cause engines not to be properly lubricated or cooled, which in turn could cause poor performance or engine failure.
According to complaints, oil pressure in Tigershark engines can drop to dangerously low levels, causing vehicles to shut down without warning.
Under the agreement, owners of vehicles diagnosed with the engine defect can receive free repairs to correct the problem and reimbursement for towing and rental cars while repairs are being made. Class members with vehicles in need of significant repairs can receive $340 for engine block replacement.
The agreement covers the following vehicles: Chrysler 200 2015-2017, Dodge Dart 2013-2016, Jeep Cherokee 2014-2019 built before July 2018, Jeep Renegade 2015-2018, Jeep Compass 2017-2018, Ram Promaster City 2015-2018 and 2016- Fiat 500x 2018 vehicles.
Consumers are represented by Miller Law Firm PC, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro L.L.P., McGuire Law PC, McCune Wright Arevalo L.L.P., Sauder Schelkopf and Berger Montague PC.
The consolidated case isMadeira et al. v. FCA US LLC, case number 5:20-cv-11054, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
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Walmart California $35M Wage Statement Settlement for Final Approval
US District Judge André Birotte gave final approval to a $35 million class-action settlement between Walmart and thousands of workers who accused the retailer of violating California wage and hour laws in California federal court.
The lead plaintiff, former Walmart manager James Evans, filed the class action lawsuit in September 2017, alleging that Walmart failed to provide accurate salary statements for approximately 265,000 of its hourly associates, as required by California law.
Under California labor law, employers must provide their employees with accurate income statements either removed from the paycheck or included in a separate document. The statement must show total hours worked, gross wages, net wages, pay period, deductions and other information.
Mr. Evans argued that Walmart's failure to provide a paper salary statement was "equivalent to providing no salary statement at all." The retailer provided electronic salary statements, but never gave employees the option of receiving a physical paycheck to review their earnings, a direct violation of the California Labor Code.
Additionally, the class action lawsuit accused Walmart of violating the California Unfair Competition Act, which prohibits unfair commercial practices. The complaint also included claims under the State Attorneys General Act (P.A.G.A.), which authorizes workers to file lawsuits on behalf of the state labor commission.
After attorney fees, P.A.G.A. fines and other expenses, the remaining $22.1 million will go to class members. Hourly associates who worked at a Walmart store in California between September 14, 2016 and July 26, 2021 are eligible to receive a paycheck. The amount will be determined by the number of pay periods the claimant worked during that period.
The following is a summary of case activity as reported by Law360:
- In November 2017, Walmart workers filed a first amended complaint under the Private Attorneys General Act, adding allegations that the retailer failed to provide meal and rest periods.
- Two years later, Judge Birotte certified two classes of workers for wage declarations and overtime claims, but canceled the class for vacation and final pay claimants.
- The parties agreed to settle the case in April 2021 and sought preliminary approval for the $35 million settlement five months later.
- Judge Birotter rejected the settlement in March 2022. He was concerned that the claims release section of the settlement was too broad, noting that it removed allegations that Walmart failed to provide wage statements to workers and included code violations labor that were not alleged in the complaint. .
- Under court guidance, the parties filed a new motion for preliminary approval on June 1, which included an amended settlement with a stricter release clause.
- On June 30, 2022, Judge Birotte preliminary approved the settlement, concluding that the amended settlement "reflects the strengths and vulnerabilities of Plaintiff's case, the risks of class certification, and the risks of proceeding on the merits of claims". .
- Judge Birotte's final approval is the last step in the five-year class action.
Evans and the class are represented by Shaun Setareh, William M. Pao and Nolan E. Dilts of Setareh Law Group, and Stanley D. Saltzman of Marlin & Saltzman L.L.P.
the case isJames S. Evans contra Walmart Stores Inc., Case Number 2:17-cv-07641, in the US District Court for the Central District of California.
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Securities class action lawsuit involving Xerox spin-off settles in $32 million settlement
Conduent, Inc., has agreed to pay $32 million to settle security lawsuits filed by investors who allege that the Xerox spin-off misled shareholders about its progress in upgrading information technology for its electronic billing business. Toll.
Three class representatives urged a federal court in New Jersey to approve the settlement, which they said would give class members "a certain and substantial tangible recovery without further risk, expense or delay."
Plaintiffs' attorneys are expected to seek up to $8 million in fees, representing approximately one-quarter of the Settlement's $32 million. They must also seek up to $600,000 in litigation expenses.
The proposed settlement agreement comes after a grueling legal battle that began in March 2019 over allegations that Conduent misled investors about the problems it was having with a vendor's performance and its outdated information technology infrastructure. Investors claimed this made them pay artificially high stock prices.
In June 2020, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton denied the defendants' offer to dismiss the case. In December, the lead author, the Conduent Institutional Investor Group, filed for class certification and appointments of its members as class representatives, including the Oklahoma Fire Department Retirement and Pension System, the Plymouth and the Local 103 I.B.E.W.
Conduent opposed the motion to certify the class, arguing that the representatives "abandoned control" of the case to their lawyers. Judge Wigenton rejected that claim in her February decision to certify a class of investors who purchased shares in the company between February 21 and November 6, 2018. Judge Wigenton said in her order:
Investors testified that they supervise their attorneys, receive updates and discuss the case with their attorneys, have reviewed court orders on this matter, are familiar with the allegations and factual claims on this matter, participated in the discovery, and have reviewed and approved their attorneys. ' motions and amended complaint on this matter prior to filing. As the defendants' own testimony acknowledges, the plaintiffs are 'aware of the facts and circumstances at issue in this litigation'. This meets the minimum level of knowledge required of class representatives in the Third Circuit.
The investors are represented by Stanley D. Bernstein, Michael S. Bigin and Adam Federer of Bernstein Liebhard L.L.P., Christine M. Fox, Carol C. Villegas and William Buell of Labaton Sucharow L.L.P., Robert C. Finkel and Joshua W. Ruthizer of Wolf Popper. L.L.P., and Richard L. Elem two law offices of Jan Meyer & Associates P.C.
the case isIn re: Conduent Inc. Securities Litigation, case number 2:19-cv-08237, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Fontes: Ley360 See More
New $50M contract for Apple's 'Butterfly' keyboard wins approval
US District Judge Edward Davila gave preliminary approval to a $50 million settlement to settle complaints filed by a certified class of Apple MacBook buyers who alleged the tech giant deliberately sold laptops with keyboards. Judge Dávila found the settlement fair and reasonable, adding that a trial would have been expensive and offered no guarantee of payment. The judge said:
Even if the plaintiff won, recovery at best post-trial would be a sentence in the range of $178 million to $569 million. The $50 million settlement fund represents approximately 9-28% of the total estimated damages, which is well within the typical recovery range in class action settlements.
Under the preliminary settlement, lawyers for the MacBook buyers will seek no more than $15 million, or 30% of the fund, and no more than $2 million in litigation costs.
The settlement stems from a 2018 lawsuit alleging that Apple intentionally sold MacBooks with so-called butterfly keyboards with sticky or unresponsive keys that cost consumers between $400 and $700. 2020, Judge Dávila rejected some allegations and claims. In March 2021, he issued a partially worded order certifying a consolidated class of Apple buyers across multiple states. In February, he set the trial to start in March 2023. However, in July, the parties announced that they had reached a national settlement.
Under the proposed settlement, class members who purchased multiple keyboard replacements due to the alleged defect will receive $300. Those who replace only one keyboard would receive $125. Class members who replaced only the keycaps would receive US$ $50.
Fontes: Ley360 See More
Class lawyers in CVR buyback case win US$ 26.4 million
Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen St. J. McCormick, approved $26.4 million in fees and expenses for attorneys representing former shareholders of CVR Refining, LP, a Texas refining company affiliated with billionaire financier Carl Icahn.
The payment, equivalent to approximately one-third of a $78.5 million deal struck in August between a class of investors, CVR Refining and CVR Energy, will be paid entirely from the settlement fund.
Chancellor McCormick approved the award of attorney fees and expenses at a Court of Chancery hearing on the case. The order approving the fees said that the settlement was "fair, reasonable and adequate in all respects for the class" and that the attorney's fees were also "fair and reasonable".
Contributors to CVR Refining sued Icahn in 2019, alleging that he and his companies had misinformed public investors. The plaintiffs also said that the Icahn entities exploited their power to manipulate the price of units before inadvertently charging minority shareholders. Investors who were forced out at an unfair price sought damages of up to $500 million.
The plaintiffs alleged that entities controlled by Carl Icahn engaged in a multi-step scheme that resulted in the exercise of a purchase right to buy the minority shareholders of CVR Refining, L.P., at an unfair price. According to the plaintiffs, the idea for this scheme arose from a similar purchase by an unrelated entity, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, L.P. The buyback scheme in that settlement served as a playbook for Icahn's companies and affiliates, the plaintiffs alleged.
In a November report, the plaintiffs' attorney said their settlement was "the opposite of an advance settlement." They went on to say:
The parties litigated vigorously during the trial and in post-trial arguments. All that was left was the court's post-trial opinion. Each side recognized that it could win. Each side recognized that it could lose. Faced with this reality, the parties negotiated an agreement that reflected the merits of the claims.
Sources: Law.com, NASDAQ.com and Bloomberg Law
THE CONSUMER'S CORNER
Alabama lawsuit involves Caterpillar engine defects
Our firm's attorneys represent Alabama Aggregate, an Alabama company, in litigation against Caterpillar Inc., Terex Corp., Terex USA LLC and Powerscreen Crushing & Screening, LLC. The lawsuit alleges that the Caterpillar C4.4 industrial engine, installed in mining equipment manufactured by Terex and marketed by Powerscreen, has defects in the aftertreatment system that cause significant and unreasonable downtime, resulting in lost profits. The case is being handled by Dee Miles, James Eubank, Mitch Williams and Dylan Martin, attorneys in our Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section.
The author's business extracts, processes, cleans and sells aggregates to other local and regional companies that extract the silicon from the aggregate to manufacture computer microchips for use in various technologies. The author uses screens (multilayer conveyor belts) to classify aggregates and other minerals after they have been extracted from the soil.
The CAT C4.4 engines that power the displays are equipped with an aftertreatment system that reduces exhaust emissions in line with federal standards. The aftertreatment system on CAT C4.4 engines reportedly suffers from several known defects. These defects affect the engines' ability to reduce emissions, and the machines are legally inoperable until the problem is resolved.
The claims mainly concern the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system. DEF injectors, the component that injects DEF into the exhaust, fail due to excessive exposure to heat, allowing DEF to leak from the injectors and soil the wiring, leading to trouble codes and downtime. Even after being replaced with the new and improved Caterpillar DEF injector, the wiring harnesses were still contaminated with DEF, leading to additional trouble codes and more downtime.
The DEF quality sensor, the component that measures the quality of the DEF fluid, also appears to fail due to overexposure to heat, leading to more trouble codes and more downtime.
Each of these problems listed above is allegedly caused by poor Terex and/or Caterpillar engine compartment design with little or no ventilation with components that can reach over 1000 degrees under operating conditions. To date, neither Caterpillar nor Terex have issued any heat mitigation solutions for these machines.
Furthermore, our attorneys say the evidence will show that Caterpillar has known about these issues for years, going back to 2015 or earlier, and these issues have affected more than 1,000 machines across the country. There appears to be no evidence that Caterpillar has disclosed these issues yet continues to manufacture and sell these unresolved engines.
The case will be heard in late 2023 before U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. We will update our readers on this matter as the litigation progresses. If you have a question, need information or simply need help with a complaint, please contact Michelle Fulmer, Section Director, at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page. He will have one of the lawyers handling this case respond.
Get in touch with the team
Carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter months
Winter weather often means people turn on their central heaters and stay indoors to stay warm. We often hear about the dangers of fire during this time, but one deadly risk is often overlooked: carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that causes a range of injuries, including vomiting, chest pain, nausea and dizziness. Prolonged exposure to CO can cause serious injury or death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 430 people die annually in the US from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and approximately 50,000 visit the emergency department for treatment. One solution to this often fatal problem is to ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure proper performance. In addition, appliances that produce carbon monoxide should be inspected regularly by qualified professionals.
Our lawyers have encountered an unfortunate trend in our practice: the common failure of landlords, property managers and large management companies to ensure that their tenants and residents are protected from carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning. Oftentimes, homes are not inspected and appliances are left completely unchecked, putting residents in immediate danger.
Beasley Allen attorneys are currently working to hold homeowners accountable and ensure safe, well-maintained homes for the general public. If you have questions about carbon monoxide exposure or have been affected by CO exposure, please contact Beasley Allen Attorney Mike Andrews at 800-898-2034 or using the form at the bottom of this page.
Get in touch with the team
Federal regulators order Wells Fargo to pay $3.7 billion for illegal sales practices
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Wells Fargo, a consumer banking giant, to pay $3.7 billion in latest efforts to hold the company accountable for scandals related to its practices. The bank will pay $2 billion to consumers and $1.7 billion in penalties for charging illegal fees, interest on home and auto loans and overdraft fees that were incorrectly added to checking and savings accounts.
The government agency explained that more than 16 million people were affected by the bank's illegal practices. These practices also included the repossession of borrowers' vehicles and the illegal denial of thousands of home loan modifications. Rohit Chopra, director of the CFPB, said in a statement:
"Wells Fargo's rinse-and-repeat cycle of breaking the law has hurt millions of American families."
Wells Fargo has been working to restore its reputation after the scandals. He faced numerous government sanctions starting in 2016. Regulators found that in order to achieve unrealistic sales targets, bank employees opened millions of accounts illegally.
In 2018, Wells Fargo paid $1 billion in fines for frequent consumer law violations. That year, the Federal Reserve issued an order limiting the company's growth until the Federal Reserve deemed that its culture of corporate wrongdoing had been fully addressed and demonstrated a more appropriate approach to doing business. The order was expected to remain in effect for only a year or two, but it is still in effect four years later.
Wells Fargo Chief Executive Charles Scharf said the company's agreement with the CFPB is part of the company's approach to "transform operating practices at Wells Fargo and overcome these issues."
Fontes: Associated Press e AL.com
Car rental company Hertz to pay $168 million in bogus prison deals
Car rental company Hertz agreed to pay $168 million late last year to settle most of the lawsuits brought against it by customers who were wrongfully accused of stealing the company's rental cars. The settlement will resolve 364 claims against the company, more than 95% of which are pending.
Hertz, which operates rental car brands Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty, filed for bankruptcy in 2020. The company was struggling with crushing debt due to declining demand due to the pandemic. Shortly after the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2021, a CBS News investigation found that hundreds of Hertz customers claimed they were falsely arrested, and some arrested because the company reported the cars they rented as stolen.
One customer told CBS News he feared for his life after officers stopped him and ordered him to get out of the car, lift his shirt and come back to them. He turned to see the two police officers with their guns trained on him. The report prompted two US senators to call for an investigation into the car rental company.
Some people accused of stealing rental cars never rented from Hertz. Other consumers included NASA employees and those driving Hertz rental cars leased by their insurance companies after an accident. Hertz notified several customers who returned their vehicles on time that the company had reported the rental car as stolen and warrants had been issued for customers.
In April, newly appointed Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr pledged to fix a glitch in the company's systems that led to false reports of car thefts. The admission was a first for the company, which has previously denied all allegations of false theft reports. The company attributed the problem to a faulty theft reporting system.
Fontes: NPR, CBS News e Autoweek
CURRENT CASE ACTIVITY IN BEASLEY ALLEN
The latest look at case activity at Beasley Allen
Our website BeasleyAllen.com provides the latest information on current case activity in Beasley Allen. The list can be found on our home page, in the top navigation or on the Practices page of our website (BeasleyAllen.com/Prácticas/). The following are current lists of case activities for Beasley Allen's sections.
- Commercial Litigation
- class actions
- consumer protection
- Employment law
- Medical devices
- personal injury
- product liability
- Toxic Exposure
- Whistleblower Litigation
Cases in the categories listed below are handled by attorneys in the appropriate Beasley Allen Litigation Section. The list can be found on our home page, in the top navigation or on the Cases page of our website (BeasleyAllen.com/Recent-Cases/).
- car accidents
- aviation accidents
- lejeune camp
- cpap devices
- defective tires
- hair relaxers
- Heavy metals in baby food
- NEC Baby Formula
- work accidents
- social media
- baby powder
- Truck Accidents
Resources to help your legal practice
Beasley Allen only handles litigation on behalf of individuals, companies and government entities that have been harmed or harmed in any way by an infringer. All of us at the firm are pleased and honored that our law firm has been consistently recognized as one of the nation's top law firms, representing only plaintiffs involved in complex civil litigation. It is an honor and a privilege to be an advocate for victims of crime. Our company does not do any "defense work" for US corporations. I made that decision in 1979 and the company has remained strong ever since.
All of us at Beasley Allen have been truly blessed. We understand the importance of sharing resources and working as a team with colleagues in our profession. The firm is committed to investing in resources that will help our fellow lawyers in their work. For those looking to work with Beasley Allen attorneys or simply looking for information to help their law firm with a case, the following are some of our most popular resources.
Beasley Allen sends out an electronic co-attorney newsletter designed specifically for attorneys. Emailed monthly to subscribers. The Co-Counsel provides updates on the different cases handled by the firm, highlights key wins achieved by our clients, and keeps readers informed of the latest resources the firm offers.
Investigation and Litigation of Aeronautical Accidents
Beasley Allen attorney Mike Andrews discusses the complexities of aviation accident investigation and litigation. The Experienced Litigator provides the practitioner with an overview of the most obvious and essential issues to be aware of at the outset of litigation based on years of handling aviation cases. It provides basic instructions on how to investigate an accident, preserve evidence, and understand the legal issues associated with aviation claims, while bringing together anecdotal cases of military and civilian accidents.
Beasley Allen hosts a variety of webinars. These webinars feature the firm's attorneys and cover topics related to the Beasley Allen cases. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for Alabama or Georgia are often available for live performances. To register for upcoming events or access past on-demand webinars, you can visit the Events & Webinars page of the Beasley Allen website athttps://www.beasleyallen.com/events/.
The Jere Beasley Report
we also considerThe Jere Beasley Reportbe a service to lawyers and the general public. we provide theReportat no monthly cost, both in print and online, to large numbers of people. You can get it online by going tohttps://www.beasleyallen.com/the-jere-beasley-report/.
Beasley Allen attorneys in all four of our firm's litigation divisions can be contacted toll free at 800-898-2034 to discuss any case of interest or to learn more about the resources available to assist attorneys in their legal practice. For copies of our publications, visit our website atBeasleyAllen.com/Publications.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TESTING
Trial Practice Tips: Rules of Evidence
Rebecca Gilliland, an attorney in our Mobile office, tips us on recent evidence from the class action lawsuit against General Motors that resulted in a $102 million verdict for class members. Rebecca, who is in our Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section, was one of our attorneys who tried the case. Rebecca has the following tips for attorneys trying cases before juries and judges.
Having been on both sides of the table in my practice, I've learned to focus on something that seems obvious: evidence, specifically the Rules of Evidence, not necessarily just the evidence to prove your case. From a very broad perspective, because it is the plaintiff's responsibility to present our cases through admissible evidence, it is our responsibility to admit sufficient evidence for the jury to rule in our favor. Of course, this creates a main objective for the defense attorney: to prevent plaintiffs from admitting their evidence. Consequently, defense counsel tends to master the Rules, and we, as plaintiff's counsel, may be more successful if we strive for the same competence. Here, we discuss some hiccups that can be fixed if you catch them early, but can be major cheaters if you wait until trial eve to fix them.
Authenticity is often the easiest hurdle to overcome for admissibility, but when it comes to third-party productions, this can be an issue. For example, if you order and receive documents from a third party, make sure the production includes a compatible certificate of authenticity. Also, be sure to consult with defense counsel at the onset of discovery regarding stipulations regarding the authenticity of documents produced during discovery.
The foundation is not usually a problem either. However, you must ensure that you have the correct witnesses at trial with personal knowledge of each document you intend to admit. If you have a very important email and the only witnesses who meet the essential knowledge requirements are outside the court's subpoena power and therefore unavailable, you should plan ahead and cover the document carefully during the deposition. If you skip the authentication step and establish a proper basis during your declaration, this document may not be admissible.
Relevancy is probably not a big concern; you're probably not trying to admit irrelevant evidence. It is rare for defense counsel to win an argument where the bias substantially outweighs the probative value of their most important piece of evidence. Hearsay, on the other hand, is the defense attorney's greatest opportunity to exclude or limit his evidence. The author's bread and butter exception is the commercial records exception at 803(6). The problem in 803(6) usually arises with (D) because you cannot satisfy the hearsay exception without the custodian of the document or a qualified witness. In practice, plaintiffs should remember that all documents held in the normal course of business do not automatically satisfy the hearsay exception: plan ahead and obtain the necessary testimony from an unavailable witness, or make sure that the probate witness or qualified witness be present at the trial. each document you want to admit.
It comes down to becoming a master of your own evidence, both the substantive evidence in your case and the Rules. Have a plan for each document you wish to admit at trial, and address exactly how and through which witness each will be admitted. If you do this early enough, while you are still in the discovery process, your trial preparations will go more smoothly and you will be better prepared to admit your evidence.
Rebecca provided great advice that will help attorneys with their trials. If you would like to speak with her, call Rebecca at 800-898-2034 or contact her using the form at the bottom of this page. She will be happy to speak with you.
Get in touch with the team
A large number of safety-related recalls were issued in December. Significant withdrawals are available on our website,BeasleyAllen.com/Recalls/. We will post the latest and greatest product recalls on our website throughout the month. We encourage you to contact Shanna Malone, Executive Editor ofInform Jere Beasley,using the form at the bottom of this page if you have any questions or to let you know what you think about withdrawals. We'd also like to know if we've missed any major recalls in recent weeks.
Focus of lawyers and employees
Keith Butterworth, an investigator for the company's Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, is responsible for inspecting the vehicles and the crash site, locating road-to-vehicle relationships to gain further insight into what occurred. Keith also does airbag control module imaging, gathering information for research and other projects when needed. The investigations that Keith conducts help determine whether a viable product liability case exists. Keith has been with the company for three years and his work is vitally important to the company and our customers. He does an excellent job and we are grateful to have Keith with us!
Keith is married to his wife, Denise. Although they have been married for three years, they have been together for six. They have five children and four grandchildren. Keith says the "ruler" in his house is Camo, a dachshund/beagle mix who loves to play ball and ride his ATV. Keith enjoys spending time with his family, barbecuing, hunting and fishing in his spare time.
Prior to joining Beasley Allen, Keith worked for the Georgia State Patrol, where he said the family perspective prevailed. Still, it wasn't until he joined Beasley Allen that he felt he was even more prevalent. Keith added, “The Christian atmosphere is great too. I'm happy to have come to Beasley Allen to be part of a great family."
Sarah Dean works in the company's Civil Liability Section, where she started working as an admissions specialist in February 2020. She was recently promoted to staff assistant and is currently working on acetaminophen claims. Sarah reviews clients' medical records and makes calls to collect additional information when needed. If an attorney decides to file a case, Sarah will help write complaints and update factsheets. We appreciate Sarah's dedication and hard work and are grateful to have her with us!
Sarah and her family moved to Prattville, Alabama in January 2020 due to her boyfriend changing ranks in the US Air Force. She has five children (three girls and two boys), two dogs and three chickens. Sarah says that she and her family love being outdoors, hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming, watching movies and spending time together.
Sarah shares that her favorite thing about working at Beasley Allen is the opportunity to offer comfort and support to clients who have suffered in some way. She added, “I'm grateful to have a career where the company is led by experienced, hardworking and supportive people. Beasley Allen allowed me to further my interests in law and gave me the tools to continue my growth."
Paul Evans, who joined Beasley Allen's Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section as a clerk in January 2016, became a company attorney in October 2017. He remained with the section and now handles class actions, bad faith and whistleblowers. claim (i.e.
Paul served as co-lead counsel on a $28 million US class action settlement. Life Insurance Financial Company and a class of 12,000 policyholders. He was also part of the team that reached a $38.2 million settlement with named plaintiffs in two class actions and a class settlement of more than 10,750 universal life policyholders from Banner Life Insurance Co. increase in the cost of insurance (COI) in universal life policies. Paul says he became a lawyer to practice the Beasley Allen motto of "helping those in need", adding:
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a lawyer because we have the ability to help our clients and communities.
Paul attended Troy University and graduatedwith the highest praisegraduated with a degree in political science in 2014. While in college, Paul served as Vice President of the Student Government Association and Vice President of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Paul then obtained his Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law where he graduatedwith high praisein 2017. During law school, he served asRevision of Faulkner's Lawmember of the editorial board and president of the Students' Bar Association. He also interned with Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tommy Bryan.
In addition, Paul has won the Dean's Award, which recognizes leadership and academic excellence, and five Best Paper Awards. He was a Walter J. Knabe Scholar and made the Dean's Honor Roll each semester. Paul was named Regional Champion in the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Outstanding Short Finalist and Semifinalist in the Faulkner Freshman Moot Court Competition, and Semifinalist in the Greg Allen Moot Court Competition.
Paulo says he enjoys practicing law for several reasons, stating:
My favorite part of advocacy is the opportunity to effect positive changes in corporate conduct and clients' lives. Clients come to us because some type of irregularity has caused them physical or financial difficulties, often considerable. The opportunity to help correct these mistakes and improve the lives of customers who have come to us is rewarding. I also like that practicing law allows me to constantly improve my knowledge of the law and the facts of my cases, as well as interact with lawyers and courts across the country.
Paul believes the Beasley Allen culture sets the company apart. He explains:
Beasley Allen's leadership generally encourages everyone in the company to put their priorities in order: faith, family, and work. The firm also prioritizes integrity in all of our interactions, including with clients, judges and attorneys on both sides of a case. These priorities create a unique culture across the company as everyone works toward a common goal of "helping those who need it most."
Paul is a member of the Alabama Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Section, the Montgomery County Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Section, the Alabama Justice Association and its Caucus of Emerging Leaders, Contributors Against Fraud and the American Justice Association. He serves as a board member for Montgomery Catholic Social Services and Mission of Friendship and assists in the Middle District of Alabama.ToLitigation Assistance Program.
Paul was also selected for the National Association of Civil Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. He is an exceptionally talented attorney who works hard for his clients and is dedicated to the task of seeking justice for them. We are very lucky to have Paul with us.
Trey Wilkinson, a broker in the company's operations department, has been with the company for over a year. Do not use the term “rummer” to indicate that the job at Beasley Allen is not important. A broker's job is essential at Beasley Allen because it involves a wide range of responsibilities, including courier services, buying and storing supplies, traveling with the test crew when needed, and helping with all kinds of miscellaneous tasks. We are lucky to have Trey, a very good, dedicated and hard worker in the company!
Trey says he comes from a small family, which he is very proud of and loves very much! He has a younger sister, Alana Wilkinson, who is soon to graduate from high school this year. Trey likes to be active, whether it's golfing, working out, watching football, or hanging out with friends.
Trey says his favorite thing about working at Beasley Allen is the kindness each employee brings every day, no matter who they are. He added that everyone is hardworking and outgoing, which makes working at the company a joy.
Soo Seok Yang
Soo Seok Yang, who joined Beasley Allen in September 2009, serves in our Mass Liability Section. He has worked on many multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases including JUUL, Xarelto, Fosamax, metal-on-metal hip implants, and transvaginal mesh litigation.
Soo Seok was born in Seoul, South Korea. He first came to the US as part of the Exchange Program between the US Congress and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea in 2006. In 2007, he graduatedwhat a complimentfrom Handong International Law College (HILS). After graduation, he and his wife went to Montgomery, Alabama, where Soo Seok interned for Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker. Soo Seok and his wife passed the Alabama Bar exam in 2008, becoming one of the first Korean lawyers to practice in Alabama.
Soo Seok says he became a lawyer to help others. He noted:
I remember when I was little, my mother read me a story about Abraham Lincoln. Later I realized that many important people who helped others and changed the world were lawyers. He also deeply admired Dr. martin luther king jr. and wanted to imitate him to help those without a voice by being his voice.
Soo Seok finds the legal profession rewarding. He explains, using one of the important cases as test positions of how it works:
When a case is finally resolved, whether through trial or settlement, our clients' voices are finally heard and people get help; this can be the most exciting time for a lawyer. Most recently, in early December, the deal with JUUL Labs, Inc., the manufacturer of e-cigarettes, was finalized after more than three years of arduous CDM litigation in state and federal courts, which will help thousands of young people injured by their product. Furthermore, last year, as a direct result of our company's work, Johnson & Johnson finally announced that it would discontinue global sales of cancer-causing baby powder. Seeing that the work you do positively impacts customers' lives and changes the world, not only will you have a great feeling about it, but you will also please our Creator; because He made each of us for a good purpose.
Soo Seok also practices the company's motto of "helping those who need it most" through his involvement in professional organizations and the community. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association and the Montgomery County Bar Association. He was elected to the Alabama Bar Association's 2017 Leadership Forum. In addition, he is a member of the State Bar Association's State Committee on Unlicensed Legal Practice and the Alabama Department of Finance's Indigent Advocacy Advisory Board.
Soo Seok and his wife are part of the next generation of Korean-American leaders, selected by the Consul General and Office of the Consul General of South Korea in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2010 to 2019, Soo Seok served as Deputy Executive Director and then Executive Director of the Greater Montgomery Korean American Association. The Federation of Korean Associations, Southeast USA has awarded Soo Seok three Commendation Awards for serving the Montgomery-area Korean community in 2011, 2012, and 2017.
Soo Seok is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Montgomery and a worship leader for the International Department. Additionally, he is a founding member of the James W. Wilson Jr. YMCA Advisory Board. in Montgomery, where he currently serves as Vice President. He also served as the Korean Heritage Night Ambassador for the Montgomery Biscuits, a minor league baseball team based in Montgomery.
It's pretty evident that Soo Seok enjoys working at Beasley Allen. He says:
At Beasley Allen, not only did I get to work with many great attorneys and employees, but I also met great friends and mentors who truly care about their clients and have a genuine heart for people. If you are able to work with those you deeply admire not only for their legal skills, but also for the way they live their lives and how they serve others, it will be a blessing to work there. Beasley Allen is that place.
In 2019, Soo Seok won the company's Chad Stewart Award. The award is named after Beasley Allen's attorney, Chad Stewart, who died unexpectedly in 2014 at the age of 41. The award honors Chad's spirit of service to God, his family and legal practice. Beasley Allen presents the award each year to the firm's attorney who best represents the qualities Chad has demonstrated in his life and legal practice.
Beasley Allen Named Best Georgia Personal Injury Law Firm 2022
The results are inGeorgia Business MagazinePublic poll of the best of Georgia. The public can vote for their favorite Georgia firms this fall, and our Atlanta office earned the coveted distinction of being named Best Personal Injury Law Firm. The Georgia Business Journal describes the Best of Georgia award as "the highest and final designation given to companies that receive the most votes in their category."
This recognition is a great honor and a testament to the hard work of our Georgia team. The team is headquartered in Atlanta and led by attorneys Chris Glover and Navan Ward, both respected attorneys in our firm. Our Atlanta attorneys focus on product liability, truck accident claims, and cases involving negligent safety and mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
In addition to Chris and Navan, attorneys on our Atlanta team include Clay Barnett, Alyssa Baskam, Elliot Bienenfeld, Ben Keen, Houston Kessler, Julia Merritt, Parker Miller, Preston Moore, Brook Ptacek, Rob Register, Tom Willingham and Ken Wilson. These attorneys deserve praise for their dedication to seeking justice for victims of wrongdoing and their hard work on behalf of their clients.
Establishing an office in the Georgia capital was the company's first physical expansion. As our company has grown and expanded to other parts of the country, we've stayed true to our founding motto of "helping those most in need". As our Atlanta team has demonstrated, regardless of our location, Beasley Allen attorneys are equipped to handle cases against corporations and others who put their profits or their own well-being before the safety of others. Our lawyers' work has changed the way companies do business to ensure the safety of others in the future.
I am especially proud of our Atlanta office. That's because I have very close family ties to the Peach State. My mother, Florence Camp Beasley, was born and raised in Campton, Georgia. Her father was a Camp and her mother a Perry. The Camp and Perry families were from Walton and Barrow counties, respectively. The camps were based in Campton, which is between Winder and Monroe. He had an uncle, Kirby Malone, Sr., and a cousin, Tommy Malone, who played football for the University of Georgia. My great-uncle Jim Perry was very involved in Georgia politics and served on the Public Service Commission for a long time. I remember visiting his office around 1948 with my mother and Aunt Grace Camp Burton. I also remember him telling his nieces not to call him "Uncle Jim" in the office.
We are proud of this recognition and look forward to continuing our work on behalf of Georgia plaintiffs for years to come.
Aigner Kolom Elected Vice President of Alabama Black Women Lawyers Association
Aigner Kolom was elected Vice President of the Black Women's Lawyers Association of Alabama (BWLAA). She will serve from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2025. Aigner's duties as Vice President include performing the duties of President in his absence, disability, or at the request of the President. You will also be responsible for ensuring that each Standing Committee is fully operational and in compliance with the organization's Constitution and Bylaws, organization policies, and Standing Committee policies and procedures, if applicable.
Aigner has been a board member of the BWLAA since the group's inception in 2020, serving as secretary for the past two years. He is also a founding member of the association, founded to work towards “a more equal, just, equitable and dynamic legal field across the state of Alabama by providing a variety of support through programming, networking, collaboration and ultimately cultivating a community that supports Black women to the fullest.” The group focuses on addressing “the unique needs and lived experiences of black women,” including judges, attorneys, law students, and students interested in law. Association members represent a wide range of practice areas, ages, regions, and life experiences.
The BWLAA held its inaugural Scholarship Gala this past September, showcasing deserving Black women with funds to further their education and legal careers. The group also raises funds to host educational, social, and service programs throughout the year.
Aigner joined Beasley Allen's Mass Crime Section in August 2015. In addition to the BWLAA, he serves his community and co-workers through various professional associations. She is a member and director of the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Capital City Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association. Aigner also serves on the Alabama Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Montgomery Youth League, and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed's Council of Young Professionals. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors for Common Ground Ministries and an alumnus of Leadership Montgomery Torchbearers. A tremendously talented attorney, Aigner has been named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" list since 2020.
Ali Hawthorne will be president of the Montgomery County Bar Association in 2023
Ali Hawthorne, an attorney in the company's Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section, was named in 2023 President of the Montgomery County Bar Association (MCBA).
There he focused his practice primarily on complex litigation at the national level. In addition to representing clients in litigation, he helps manage the Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section, allowing him to work with all of the section's attorneys to successfully pursue their cases.
Ali served as Vice President of MCBA in 2022 and Treasurer in 2021. Prior to serving on the Board of Directors, Ali was President of the Young Lawyers Section of MCBA. He has served in many other leadership positions, including the Executive Council of the Alumni Section of the Alabama Bar Association Leadership Forum, the Alabama State Bar Association Leadership Forum Selection Committee, and several Alabama Bar Association Task Forces. Ali also provides leadership for the MCBA Volunteer Lawyer Program as a member of the group's Board of Directors.
It should be noted that Ali has been recognized for her work by national organizations, including Super Lawyers, who have selected her to their list of "Rising Stars" every year since 2016. Ali was also named a "Top 40 Under 40" Attorney by the National Trial Lawyers, a designation extended to only some of the most qualified attorneys in each state.
The MCBA was established in 1915 and is a voluntary association of legal professionals in Montgomery County, Alabama. Its mission is to promote professionalism, promote the development of practice, encourage public service, foster camaraderie among its members, and support access to legal services for all. The Board of Directors and the full-time Executive Director guide the work of the organization. Ali says:
I look forward to helping guide the Montgomery County Bar Association and providing leadership to an organization committed to helping local attorneys succeed and providing the best possible representation to their clients.
Source: Montgomery County Bar Association
Clinton Richardson Elected to Magic City Bar Association Legislature in 2023
During the December meeting of the Magic City Bar Association, Beasley Allen's solicitor Clinton Richardson was elected to Parliament. Securing that position puts Clinton in order of succession to eventually serve as the group's vice president next year and president in 2026.
Clinton is an attorney for the Mass Liability Section. He is working on the JUUL Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) and Social Media MDL and helping to investigate the viability of other potential lawsuits. Prior to joining Beasley Allen, Clinton worked for other top law firms, litigating issues in the areas of employment discrimination, federal criminal defense, and 42 USC § 1983 litigation. She also worked for the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, where he prosecuted False Claims Act cases, defended against claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and responded to numerous habeas petitions.
The persistent intellectual rigor of the legal profession, driven in part by the challenge of developing and articulating arguments to address dynamic patterns of facts involving complex areas of law, is why Clinton says she became a lawyer. These things are what he likes most about practicing law. Clinton says he feels blessed to have joined the Beasley Allen Law Firm, a firm known for its stellar reputation for integrity and legal expertise.
In 2017, Clinton was selected to the Midsouth Super Lawyers Rising Stars list and was a finalist for the 2014 Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program Lawyer of the Year award. Last June, he received the President's Award from the Alabama Bar Association for his outstanding work at a virtual summit entitled "Implicit Bias and Its Impact on the American Criminal Justice System." Each year, the current Bar Association president bestows the award on the Bar Association members who best exemplify "Lawyers Serve," the motto of the Alabama Bar Association.
The Magic City Bar Association was established “in November 1984 in Birmingham, Alabama, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. It was founded in response to the need to advance the professional advancement of African American lawyers, promote the improvement of economic condition, protect the civil and political rights of all citizens, and defend the honor and integrity of the legal profession. ”
We congratulate Clinton and are proud of her leadership in this and other groups she is a part of. We are lucky to have young lawyers like Clinton on Beasley Allen's team, and we look forward to seeing more of Clinton's accomplishments in the future.
Source: Magic City Bar Association
Mobile office committed to the local community
During last year's holiday season, the Beasley Allen Mobile Office focused on its mission to "help those who need it most." Lawyers and staff adopted six "angels" from the Alabama Coast Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. Every year, the program provides Christmas gifts to children under 12 from underprivileged families.
Giving back to the community isn't just a vacation endeavor for our mobile office. Earlier in the year, the company sponsored the Port City Clay Shoot, a skeet shooting event at the Taylor Creek Sporting Clays in Theodore, Alabama, which benefited the Magic Moments. The non-profit organization is the only wish-granting organization in the state dedicated to helping local children with chronic, life-threatening illnesses. Beasley Allen director Evan Allen said:
We've always had lawyers on the Magic Moments board in Montgomery. My wife recently joined the organization's mobile board. The group serves a great cause by providing opportunities for children and families to find moments of joy while dealing with devastating illnesses.
Beasley Allen also participates in the Mobile Bar Association (MBA) food drive to help those in need. In 2021, our lawyers and mobile office staff joined. They donated $1,400 worth of canned goods to the MBA Food Drive to meet the needs of residents of the coastal community affected by Hurricane Ida. The Category 4 storm with 150mph winds killed at least 26 people and knocked out power to more than a million homes.
FAVORITE BIBLE VERSES
Several lawyers and employees featured this month share their favorite Bible verses in this issue.
Paul shares a verse from the Book of Numbers that explains how deeply special this is to him. He said, “My wife and I have chosen this verse as our prayer for our daughter. We wrote it on a screen in our daughter's nursery as a daily reminder to pray and thank God for his protection, grace and love."
May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be kind to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.Numbers 6:24-26
Soo Seok Yang
Soo Seok shares the following three verses. He says that the first verse "is the key verse of my mother's life, who taught me the verse by living it".
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33
He says his favorite verse from Proverbs teaches him what his attitude should be towards all matters in life and how we should trust God fully at all times.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:6
Soo Seok says another favorite verse shares the good news everyone should hear. He said that verse inspired a song he wrote, and the words “while we were still sinners” especially moved him.
But God demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
Keith Butterworth says his favorite verse tells him that things change in life, but the one constant is that our God is always with us and never changes.
The grass withers, the flower withers; but the word of our God endures forever.Isaiah 40:8
OUR MONTHLY REMINDERS
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves andprayand they seek my face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.edmund burke
Woe to those who decree unjust decrees, Who write misfortunes, Which they prescribed! to rob the needy of righteousness, and to take the righteous from the poor of my people, that the widows may be taken from them, and that they may spoil the orphans.Isaiah 10:1-2
I remain determined to be cheerful and happy, whatever situation I find myself in; for I have also learned by experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances.Marta Washington (1732-1802)
The only title in our Democracy superior to that of President is that of Citizen.Louis Brandeis, 1937
Justice of the US Supreme Court
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
There comes a time when you have to take a position that is neither secure nor political nor popular, but you have to take it because your conscience tells you it is the right one.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty of the bad people, but the silence of the good people.Martin Luther King hijo.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I believe you can achieve anything if you are willing to pay the price.Vicente Lombardi
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.Mark Twain (1835-1910)
I see in the near future a crisis that worries me and makes me tremble for the security of my country...the corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in the highest places will follow, and the money power of the country will strive to prolong its reign working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth accumulates in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, November 21, 1864
In his December 1902 State of the Union address, Theodore Roosevelt said of corporations: “We are not hostile to them; we are simply determined that they be managed in a way that serves the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not wealth."
The 'machine politicians' showed their colors... However, I feel sorry for the country as it shows the power of party politicians who think of nothing but their own interests and feel sorry for their future. We cannot support such a corrupt government for much longer."Theodore Roosevelt Sr., December 16, 1877
The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.Bryan Stevenson, 2019
Get into good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem America's soul.Representative John Lewis speaking at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 1, 2020
Ours is not the struggle of a day, a week or a year. Our fight is not for judicial appointment or presidential mandate. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or perhaps even of many lifetimes, and each of us in each generation must play our part.Rep. John Lewis on building movement inAcross That Bridge: A Vision for America's Change and Future
Tyner Helms Receives the 2022 Chad Stewart Award from Beasley Allen
Beasley Allen presented Tyner Helms with the "Chad Stewart Award" for 2022 last month. This award is named after Beasley Allen's attorney, Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014 at the age of 41. The annual award honors Chad's spirit of service to God, his family and the practice of law. Beasley Allen presents the award each year to a Beasley Allen attorney who best exemplifies the qualities Chad has demonstrated in his life and legal practice.
Christians are encouraged to look for signs from God about how they can be used to glorify him for helping them. Tyner, a follower of Christ, took this mission very seriously and performed one of the most selfless acts anyone can do for another. He is a leading contender for the Chad Stewart Award.
Last summer, while many people were on vacation, Tyner was recovering from surgery that saved the life of a stranger. A few months earlier, during a small study group at the church that Tyner and his wife Caitlin attend, another member asked the group to pray for his father, Birmingham lawyer Ernie Cory. Earnie had overcome Hodgkin's lymphoma years earlier, but cancer treatment had taken its toll on his kidneys. He was on dialysis and urgently needed a kidney transplant.
Caitlin was particularly touched by Ernie's situation, and after discovering that she was not a match, Caitlin encouraged Tyner to get tested. She did and found it to be a suitable match. Tyner knew the message God was sending him.
A few weeks later, on July 8, Tyner underwent surgery to remove one of his kidneys and place it in Ernie's body. Tyner quickly recovered from the surgery and Ernie's health slowly improved. Within a few weeks, Ernie had regained enough strength to go back to work and, more importantly, walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in October.
Donating a kidney is not something to be taken lightly, but Tyner felt safe in God's hands. He went back to work a new man. Tyner said:
Today, under the right circumstances, people can literally give up an organ and save someone's life, and that's amazing.
Tyner works in the Commercial Litigation and Consumer Fraud Section at Beasley Allen. He primarily handles litigation involving Fiat Chrysler emissions fraud software and class action litigation against Voya Financial.
He also received high praise for his professional work. National Trial Lawyers recently named Tyner one of Alabama's Top 40 Trial Lawyers, an honor given only to a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field. He was also selected to the Mid-South Super Lawyers' 2022 "Rising Stars" list. But Tyner will say that receiving the Chad Stewart award trumps anything he's accomplished in his professional life. We are lucky to have Tyner on board.