News service Reuters reported on February 2nd that the FBI has become part of the ongoing investigation in the lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water supply. The agency is currently reviewing the circumstances surrounding the contaminated drinking water to ensure that no federal laws were broken. Law Professor at Wayne State University, Peter Henning does not anticipate that the FBI will be bring any criminal charges in the case. The Wall Street Journal noted that the pending investigations of multiple federal agencies has caused the resignation of multiple city, state and federal officials including Darnell Earley, emergency manager of Detroit’s public schools. He was previously the emergency manager for the city of Flint until leaving that position in January 2015.
After US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy indicated that the administration of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was to blame for the crisis. In response the state director of environmental quality, Keith Creagh entered testimony that federal environmental protection agency did not take appropriate action to respond to the situation since the municipal water supply had switched to the contaminated river. A spokesman for governor said, “…the crisis in Flint is a result of the failure of government at all levels — including the federal government.”
The Detroit Free Press reported that the House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena Earley to testify regarding the crisis, but failed to summon the governor. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said Earley “has a right to assert the Fifth Amendment” and not testify “but his abrupt resignation earlier today and his refusal to testify … make it even more urgent that we hear directly from the governor.”
Currently projections of the costs associated with the contaminated water are in the hundreds of millions.
Coverage of this story originally appeared in the American Association of Justice News Brief on February 3, 2016.
The New York Times reports that that Florida State University has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit. The rape was allegedly committed by Florida State football player Jameis Winston in 2012 against a former student. As part of the settlement the university has agreed “to five years of sexual assault awareness programs and to the publishing of annual reports on those programs, although the university did not admit liability.” The Times added that the case and subsequent settlement in the rape case are now “a centerpiece for a national debate over two intertwined issues: how universities handle allegations of sexual assault, and whether colleges and the police afford special treatment to athletes accused of misconduct.” Florida State University President John Thrasher claims that projected legal costs were a major factor in the settlement.
In their reporting the Washington Post detailed how Erica Kinsman, was a victim of rape and acknowledged Jameis Winston as the perpetrator, who claims their encounter was consensual. The Associated Press reported that Erica Kinsmans lawsuit stemmed from allegations that Florida State University “failed to adequately investigate” her claims against her assailant. For their part, Florida State University has announced a renewed commitment to student safety, adding new positions for campus safety and requiring freshmen to participate in sex and relationship training.
CBS Evening News has reported that “the NFL said it’s investigating why the quarterback of the St. Louis Rams”, Case Keenum, remained in play during Sunday, November 22nd’s game following a collision with a 300-pound lineman and “his head slammed the turf.” The quarterback was seen grabbing his helmet in pain and was unable to remain standing unaided. In a report by NBC Nightly News reported that the coaching staff of the St. Louis Rams is “now under fire for not pulling Keenum out.” Also included in the investigation is the NFL injury spotter, whose duty it is to sideline players who may have suffered a concussion, even halting play. However, the spotter never interceded. The New York Times added that Keenum was not put through a concussion examination until after the game.
This story was originally reported in a new brief compiled by the American Association for Justice. For more Arentz Law Group News about the NFL’s handling of player concussions please visit the following links:
Law 360 reports that a $1.1 billion settlement agreement was announced mid-trial in federal court in California. The proceedings were concerned with claims that makers of high fructose corn syrup had hoodwinked consumers when putting their product forward as a natural sugar equivalent. The terms of the settlement remain confidential at this time.
The court battle had been initiated by Western Sugar Cooperative, Michigan Sugar Company, C&H Sugar Company and other sugar producers, accounting for 70% of the United States’ sugar production on the grounds that claims by high fructose corn syrup makers had violated terms of the Lanham Act. Alleging that the Corn Refiners Association had misled consumers when marketing their product as “corn sugar”, and that sugar producers suffered economically as food and beverage makers switched to what had been touted as an equivalent product.
Corn syrup manufacturers maintain that their ad campaigns made no false statements and negate any claims by sugar producers that they suffered economically as a direct result of their advertising. Instead, they filed a counter suit that the defamation of corn syrup by sugar companies had cost their industry $530 million in lost earnings.
In a joint statement, the parties said they will “continue their commitments to practices that encourage safe and healthful use of their products, including moderation in the consumption of table sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners.”
The Associated Press reports that the National Football League (NFL) intends to implore the US appeals court to agree to the current terms of a lower court ruling ordering the NFL to offer a $1 billion settlement to satisfy several thousand concussion lawsuits brought against the league by former football players. The AP adds that “critics appealing the settlement on Thursday complain it protects some retirees at the expense of others.” The awards “could reach several million dollars for men with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and advanced dementia,” but “they do not cover depression, seizures and mood disorders, which some experts link to concussions,” and “there also are no awards for future cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain decay found after the suicides of Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and other troubled ex-players.”
-This story was originally reported in news brief compiled by the American Association for Justice.
For more Arentz Law Group coverage of these unfolding events about the NFL settlement please click here
Arentz Law Group would like to join countless others across the nation in offering their gratitude to all who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States. It is your continued devotion that in some measure has made our work possible. Thank you for all you do.
For a quick explanation of Veterans Day and some things you may not know, please enjoy this video.
Researchers who have recently been investigating alternative potential uses for the active ingredient in the diabetes medication Victoza as a weight loss drug are now publishing findings that it may cause gallbladder problems.
After a number of letters to the editor were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on responding to a study that looked at the weight loss side effects of Victoza the lead researcher Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer indicated that the gallbladder problems from Victoza were not entirely explained by weight loss.
Introduced by Novo Nordisk in Victoza 2010 as a competitor to Byetta, Victoza is an injectable diabetes drug. Novo Nordisk had a therapeutic dose of Victoza approved for weight loss, under the trade name Saxenda. Though, some have raised concerns that Sandexa and Victoza may elevate the risk of pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, thyroid problems and other side effects.
“As we noted in our article, although the increased weight loss seen with liraglutide as compared to a placebo can partially explain the higher rates of gallbladder-related adverse events, rates were consistently higher with liraglutide than with placebo across all weight-loss categories, which suggests that factors other than weight loss could be involved,” Pi-Sunyer, of Columbia University, said. “To better understand the mechanistic basis of the observed increased incidence of gallbladder events with liraglutide, more data are needed.”
The original study (SCALE) funded by Novo Nordisk found that 63% of Victoza patients lost 5% body weight, 33% of patients lost 10% and almost 11% of patients lost more than 10% of their body weight. Serious adverse side effects were reported in 6.2% of the patients.
The wider use of Victoza may lead to more patients facing associated cancers, and going on to file Victoza lawsuits. If you or a loved one have taken Victoza and suffered injury as a result you may be eligible for compensation. Please fill out the contact form on this page, call Arentz Law Group at 1-800-305-6000 or text at 800-440-4400 for a free review of your claim.
Posted: November 9, 2015
Law 360 reported on November 4th that a jury awarded former Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers $7.1 million in his lawsuit against the newspaper after two days of deliberation following a six-week trial. Simers claimed that the Los Angeles Times had forced the once prominent writer out due to his age, and because he suffered a transient ischemic attack, commonly called a mini-stroke in March 2013.
The jury awarded Simers $330,358 for past economic damages, $1.8 million for future economic damages, $2.5 million for past non-economic damages, and 2.5 million for future non-economic damages. The $7.1 million amount fell short of the $12.2 million requested by his attorneys.
Simers informed the court that the Los Angeles Times had colluded to force him from his position on the paper after his health problem manifested. The editors of the paper began formalizing a complaint against his writing and interview style for the first time in his twenty years with the publication. Furthermore that he was forced to resign after the same members of the editorial staff threatened him with a demotion over allegations that concealed a conflict of interest over the filming of a June 2013 interview with basketball player Dwight Howard.
The Los Angeles contended that Simers had acted in error by not informing his editor that he had a project in development with the television producer who had filmed the interview. They also argued that he was welcome to remain on the staff as long as he admitted to the wrong doing, but that Simers refused.
Under California law the disability and age discrimination claim would be satisfied as long as it could be shown that the Los Angeles Times had his age and health as part of their motivation in taking action on his employment status.
Posted: November 4, 2015
Online news service, The Hill, reports that Democrats in Congress have begun mounting efforts to strength consumer rights to pursue justice against companies in court. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) “joined legal experts with the American Association for Justice on Monday to highlight a New York Times investigation that found more and more companies are stripping consumers of the ability to file class action lawsuits.”
The New York Times article indicated “companies have devised a way to circumvent the courts through arbitration clauses.” Such terms “typically state that disputes about a product can only be resolved by privately appointed individuals or arbitrators, rather than through the court system, and bar consumers from bringing group claims through the arbitration process. ‘These dishonest agreements force consumers to unknowingly give away their rights,’ said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice. ‘Arbitrators are not required to follow the law and their decisions are almost impossible to appeal.'”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Senator Franken claims to have sought legislative solutions to what he calls “limits [to] consumer and employee legal options for righting corporate wrongs.” It was his hope that such lawmaking “made predispute arbitration agreements invalid and unenforceable in employment, consumer, antitrust, and civil matters.” However the Senator “acknowledged the difficulty of getting Republicans to sign on to arbitration reforms bills in the Senate and House. Both offered hope of a regulatory solution if a legislative solution cannot pass.”
The New York Times investigative report found the practice of predispute arbitration clauses prevalent across numerous services, including: “credit cards, cable services, online shopping, rental cars, employment, nursing homes, medical care, and many other areas of American life.” The three-part series “reviewed thousands of court records, plus hundreds of interviews with laywers, judges, arbitrators, executives, and plaintiffs.”
This story originally appeared in a news brief compiled by the American Association for Justice.
Law 360 reported on October 3oth, 2015 that wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, Pierre Garcon, has made a claim that online fantasy sports company FanDuel is engaged in the illegal exploitation of publicity rights guaranteed to NFL players without permission as part of a putative class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Maryland. The announcement comes amid mounting troubles for the online fantasy sports industry.
Recent issues surrounding fantasy sports have centered around employees using information not available to the public to compete on other fantasy websites, potentially yielding significant payoffs. Such conduct has raised concern over the regulation of the industry, which these new allegations will further complicate.
Pierre Garcon believes that FanDuel Inc. has misappropriated nmaes, images and likenesses of NFL players in offensive skill positions in order to attract more online users and thereby increase their own revenues which eliminates player’s access to the monetization of their publicity rights.
“Plaintiff and the proposed class members have not given their consent to defendant’s blatant misappropriation of their publicity rights,” Garcon alleged in his complaint. “Nevertheless, defendant FanDuel continues to promote and to operate its daily fantasy football contests on the backs of NFL players, whose popularity and performance make the defendant’s commercial daily fantasy football product possible.”
For further Arentz Law Group coverage of the ongoing scandals surrounding fantasy sports clink here