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Blog Posts in November, 2013

  • $27 Million Tobacco Judgment Upheld In Florida Court

    The First District Court of Appeal upheld a $27 million judgment for a North Florida cigarette smoker, in a product liability case against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco. Emmon Smith died at 870 shortly after his trial ended in March 2012, and he was awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages. In 1992, he had a lung removed because of cancer. Stuart Ratzan of Ratzan Law ...
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  • Safety Agency Investigating Tesla Model S After 3 Fires

    A federal safety agency just announced an investigation into the Tesla Model S sedan, examining whether the design of the vehicle and its lithium-ion battery pack are defective and the cause of battery fires. The high-end vehicle will be the subject of scrutiny by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on whether the size, shape and chemical makeup of the car's battery makes it prone ...
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  • Second lawsuit filed in fatal Key West powerboat race

    The tragic fatal accidents that marred a Key West powerboat contest two years ago have now resulted in a second lawsuit against the event's organizer and others involved with the race. The uncle of a man who was killed during the 2011 Key West World Championship powerboat race has filed a wrongful death suit in Broward County Circuit Court. The victim and his partner on the boat were killed when ...
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  • Growth in Catholic hospitals prompts concerns about medical care

    Most people in Miami can name at least one nearby Catholic hospital. In fact, Catholic hospitals are increasingly acquiring and merging with secular ones. This is a matter of concern to many people (Catholics and non-Catholics alike) who fear that decisions about their medical care are being made not by doctors but by Catholic bishops following the Catholic Church's Ethical and Religious ...
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  • Local Florida politician involved in rollover crash

    The city commissioner of Longwood, Florida, was involved in a crash the evening of Nov. 10 that left him in critical condition and his passenger in serious condition. Although he has not been charged with any traffic violations yet, law enforcement believes he was under the influence of alcohol. According to witnesses, the driver ran a red light while speeding in his Ford Mustang. His car hit a ...
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  • FDA reports disturbing findings on imported spices

    As the holiday season approaches, Miami residents, like people across the country, will be doing more than our usual amount of cooking and baking. This is an especially troubling time to hear the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) latest report that approximately 12 percent of imported species are contaminated. The contaminants include an unappetizing array of things like insects (whole and ...
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  • Florida family involved in ambulance crash plans to sue county

    When most of us in Florida see an ambulance coming down the road with lights flashing and siren blaring, we pull our vehicles to the side, and let it pass. Nonetheless, collisions involving emergency vehicles do happen, and drivers of those vehicles can be held responsible for not following traffic regulations, even in an emergency. Leon County Emergency Medical Services is facing an impending ...
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  • Wrongful death suit exposes dangers of physician-owned companies

    A lawsuit filed against a spine surgeon has exposed problems with a phenomenon that most patients in Miami probably don't know exits: physician-owned distributorships (PODs). These companies supply parts and devices used in knee, hip, and heart surgery. They also provide about one-sixth of all spinal implants used in the U.S. While most doctors with ownership in a medical technology company do not ...
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  • Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion For False Marketing

    To settle charges of misbranding and paying "kickbacks" to doctors and nursing homes, Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion. The settlement involves the schizophrenia drugs Risperdal and Invega, and the heart failure drug Natrector. According to the Attorney General Eric Holder, the company "lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry." ...
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  • Pledge's death brings suspension for Florida fraternity

    Daytona Beach's Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) has suspended the activities of its chapter of a music fraternity in the midst of a lawsuit involving the death of one of its pledges. The young man was killed in a tragic 2012 car accident involving other pledges. The national fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and its local chapter, Pi Gamma, are both defendants in the ...
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  • New FDA regulation takes aim at pet and farm animal food

    Just days after pet owners were faced with media reports of continued contamination issues with jerky treats made in China that have caused the deaths of hundreds of animals and sickened thousands, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a proposal that would strengthen standards for food that is made both for pets and farm animals. The proposed regulation, which is part of the ...
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