Chris Benoit killed his wife and son then committed suicide in 2007. This tragic incident rocked both his family and the industry he had worked in for 22 years. His brain was donated to the same research institution studying football players’ brains for signs of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).
Benoit began wrestling at age 12 and was a professional wrestler by age 18. He spent six and a half years working for the WWE. His father discussed the use of props by the WWE and the fact they are not fake replications of real items.
The brain damage found by the researchers was extensive and across multiple areas of Benoit’s brain. The damage was evidence of years of repeated blows to the head indicating severe brain damage. Benoit reportedly suffered from insomnia, mood swings, depression and alcohol abuse; all are indicators of brain damage. Many NFL and NCAA players report the same symptoms.
CTE affects many athletes after repeated concussions and sub-concussions. Although symptoms vary in individuals, CTE commonly affects mood, cognition, behavior and motor disturbance. CTE manifests physically through a reduction in brain weight associated with atrophy of the front and temporal cortices. Under a microscope, the brain tissue shows abnormalities such as neuronal loss, tau deposition and white matter changes.
Litigation against the NCAA for their failure to warn student-athletes of the dangers of repeated head injuries has been consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois. The NCAA litigation differs from NFL litigation in that student-athletes are not paid as professional players are. They do not have negotiation power or workers compensation coverage. The NCAA presents itself as governing body acting in the best interests of student-athletes in order to protect them and advance their goals. Their lack of action and protocol for concussion management left many student-athletes with long-term health issues without medical monitoring.
If you or someone you love played sports in the NCAA and suffered
A Coast Guard helicopter rescued a supply ship crewmember whose foot was severed after it was caught in a line. The injured crewman was flown to a Lake Charles hospital.
The accident occurred five miles off the coast of Louisiana. The Coast Guard sent a Houston-based helicopter to medevac the crewmember. At this time, no updates on his condition have been made available.
Maritime and Jones Act laws protect seaman injured in situations like this. The laws guarantee injured offshore workers will be provided medical treatment and lost wages. For maritime law, this is called maintenance and cure.
If you or someone you love has been injured while aboard a rig or vessel and have been denied maintenance and cure, please contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
Doyle Raizner LLP has filed a workers’ compensation bad faith lawsuit in Maricopa County, Arizona, on behalf of a privately employed firefighter. The firefighter injured his leg in the scope of his employment.
The plaintiff was a fire captain and union representative for Rural Metro, a private sector company providing ambulatory and fire services for underserved areas. After an injury in the line of duty, the plaintiff submitted a workers compensation claim for medical benefits and was assigned an adjuster by Gallagher Bassett, a third-party administrator. The adjuster then denied that the injury occurred at work. Gallagher Bassett then forced the injured worker to attend an independent medical examination (IME). The IME doctor issued a report that the injury was work related. The plaintiff also submitted affidavits of co-workers attesting that the injury was work-related. The day before the hearing before the Industrial Commission of Arizona, Gallagher Bassett accepted coverage but did not authorize surgery and instead offered rehab for the plaintiff.
The plaintiff accepted rehab because he had received no medical treatment for six months. After a few months of rehab, it became apparent he still needed surgery. He requested the surgery and was denied. In late July, the IME doctor supplemented a report that stated the surgery was needed, so Gallagher Bassett finally accepted the claim for surgery.
In essence, Gallagher Bassett forced the plaintiff through needless and improper delays at every stage in an effort to approach the claim as “outcome driven.” The company would not rely on the medical opinion of the plaintiff’s treating physician but instead only relied on the doctor they paid. Gallagher Bassett also doubted the plaintiff’s credibility even though every witness and medical professional confirmed his work-related injury.
Doyle Raizner is committed to assisting this first responder in his fight against an insurance company and third-party administrator who placed profits over individuals and their medical needs. If you or someone
As 2013 drew to a close, Johnson & Johnson was facing possible sanctions over lost or destroyed evidence in federal vaginal mesh litigation. This in the same year the company settled criminal and civil cases concerning hip implant products and drug marketing. According to court documents, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $4.4 billion to settle 7,500 hip implant claims and $2.2 billion in fines for kickbacks and unapproved uses involving the drugs Risperdal, Invega, and Natrecor.
Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit has manufactured various vaginal mesh products that have become the subjects of lawsuits. The company began selling the device in 2005 despite not obtaining the appropriate approval from the FDA. By 2008, the FDA began issuing notices about complications and in 2011 issued a report warning that the complications were “not rare.” They discontinued the product in 2012.
More than 11,000 lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson. The litigation was consolidated and the discovery phase revealed the missing evidence. It appears the company did not honor the 2003 litigation hold it issued to its own employees. Key witnesses have very few files on their hard drives and Ethicon admitted to losing or destroying relevant evidence but has not given reasons why that occurred.
Although the inferred link between lost evidence and major litigation can be made, it also presents the difficulty for the plaintiffs’ side to prove negligence, defective design, failure to warn, and negligent misrepresentation, among other claims. The missing information is as important as the information already made available to the plaintiffs.
The accusations against Johnson & Johnson in these cases show a company more interested in profits than public safety. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is a Johnson & Johnson owned company and the company responsible for Tylenol marketing since the drug’s creation. The marketing of Tylenol has been built on the perception of safety complete with the tag line “Tylenol. The pain
The Arkansas Supreme Court issued an opinion concerning an insurance company’s ability to depreciate labor costs in a covered loss if the policy does not define the term ‘actual cash value’. The court found the costs of labor may not be depreciated.
Cameron Mutual Insurance Company argued that the entire replacement cost was properly depreciable, and the labor and materials that go into constructing a roof, for example, were not segregable. The policy holder in contrast argued that labor costs do not decrease in value over time the way some building materials do. While roofing materials may depreciate over their lifespan, labor costs may be the same, if not higher, than the original construction.
This is a hugely beneficial opinion for commercial and residential property owners when disputing actual cash value costs with their insurance company after a loss. For a large loss such as a commercial roof, the cost of labor is always a sizeable part of the replacement costs and can place the insured in a financial bind if not settled correctly.
The court’s opinion in Adams v. Cameron Mutual Insurance Company can be found here.
Judge David Herndon has ordered Boehringer Ingelheim to pay nearly $1 million dollars in sanctions as a result of a long list of transgressions involving the discovery phase of the Pradaxa multidistrict litigation. Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party is able to obtain evidence from the opposing party. The sanctions resulted from the BI’s abuses and outright hiding of documents, including text messages and documents residing on the company’s shared networks, as well as the company’s failure to identify a scientist as a source of potentially relevant evidence.
In a 51 page opinion, Judge Herndon detailed ongoing abuses with the discovery phase and stated “almost since its inception, this litigation has been plagued with discovery problems primarily associated with misconduct on the part of the defendants.” The judge went on to chastise the company and their on-going excuses for lost, misplaced, or “just recently discovered” evidence; BI places blame on a myriad of reasons ranging from third-party vendors to blaming the plaintiff’s steering committee for submitting too many discovery requests.
This is the second motion for sanctions that has been granted against Boehringer Ingelheim. On September 18, 2013, the Court ordered BI to pay $29,540 in sanctions and noted he had “never seen litigation where the problems are just ongoing and continual, and every month or every week there’s an issue of this failure and that failure and the other failure.”
The scope and nature of these sanctions expose a company lack respect for the court’s orders and the litigation overall. Boehringer Ingelheim attempted to defend their discovery transgressions by asserting they did not understand the scope of the litigation and did not realize it would reach a nationwide level despite a June 2012 motion filed by the company quoting the plaintiff’s statement that more than 500 complaints would be filed in the near future.
The Court concluded with the wish for the
Doyle Raizner LLP has filed an insurance bad faith lawsuit against ASI Lloyds of Texas and Vericlaim, Inc., on behalf of a policyholder who filed a claim for damage to a multi-family property. The damage was a result of multiple hailstorms which struck McAllen in March and April of 2012.
The commercial property owner purchased an insurance policy from ASI Lloyds to ensure coverage in the event of a hail and wind event. The policy’s coverage involved two sets of duplexes; both were damaged in the hailstorms. ASI assigned Vericlaim as the third party administrator for the claim. The estimate of damaged prepared by ASI and Vericlaim underestimated the value and extent of the damages to the two duplexes. An inadequate, incomplete and unreasonable investigation was performed which resulted in the wrongful denial of the policyholder’s claim.
ASI and Vericlaim violated the Texas Insurance Code by failing to attempt to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of the policyholder’s claim. The two companies also breached their duty of good faith and fair dealing by refusing to properly investigate and effectively denying insurance benefits.
Owners of property such as this suffer further financial burdens when their property cannot be repaired due to an insurance company’s failure to fulfill its obligations. The damage affects tenants and places an unnecessary hardship on them. Doyle Raizner stands committed to ensuring this multi-family property owner receives the compensation promised under the contract it bought with ASI Lloyds.
If you have experienced bad faith tactics from your insurance company, contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
A former linebacker for California University of Pennsylvania has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the NCAA for failing to prevent head injuries. The 32 year old plaintiff has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rapidly progressing degenerative disease that causes muscle weakness and atrophy leading to the inability to control all voluntary movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and is a terminal illness.
The plaintiff played four seasons for the university after being redshirted as a freshman. His lawyer stated the player remembers three separate events where he was knocked unconscious but returned to play. He cannot remember any of those games.
Although ALS is not fully understood, head trauma and participation in contact sports are potential causes. Many of the symptoms of ALS are similar to the symptoms of CTE; another brain injury common among former NCAA players. Severe headaches and fatigue accompany both diseases.
The NCAA’s lack of protocol concerning head injuries is the crux of the lawsuit; the organization knew since the mid-1980s the long-term, permanent effects of repeated head trauma but failed to act. Only after the NFL made changes to their protocol and management did the NCAA follow suit in 2010.
The connection between the risk of developing a neurological disorder after playing a contact sport such as football was strengthened when the NFL included diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and ALS in their settlement agreement with more than 4,500 former players. Under that agreement, players with cognitive impairment are entitled to receive money from the $675 million injury compensation fund.
The NCAA’s lack of obligation to the safety of the student-athletes whose plays on the field bring in millions of dollars to universities and the organization itself is appalling. Further, their current assertions that plaintiffs such as this have “misdirected” litigation are also a thinly veiled attempt at avoiding responsibility. Although the NFL did not admit guilt when
Doyle Raizner has filed a property insurance bad faith lawsuit against Wellington Insurance Company on behalf of a McAllen homeowner. The plaintiff’s home sustained substantial damage from a series of hailstorms that struck the Rio Grande Valley in March and April of 2012.
The hailstorm caused damage to the home’s interior, exterior, and roof. After the storm, the plaintiff filed a claim with Wellington. The claim was inadequately, incompletely and unreasonably investigated. Wellington then wrongfully denied the plaintiff’s claim for property repairs. All of these actions violated the Texas Insurance Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA). Each of the actions described herein were done “knowingly” as that term is used in the Texas Insurance Code and were a cause of the plaintiff’s damages.
The denials, delays and disputes Wellington used as a tactic to dissuade the insured from pursuing the claim are part of a system of roadblocks the insurance company knowingly puts in place. This is an example of an insured requesting the protection they were promised only to be met with reasons the insurance company cannot pay that were created to wear down a policyholder.
Doyle Raizner remains committed to securing the compensation to which this policyholder is contractually entitled. If you have experienced this type of bad faith tactics, please contact an attorney at Doyle Raizner.
The McAllen area endured a series of powerful hail storms in March and April of 2012. The hail damaged the plaintiff’s interior, exterior, roof and other structures of his property. The plaintiffs submitted a claim to Allstate for damage to the property and asked that the cost of repairs be covered pursuant to the policy. The adjuster assigned to the claim performed an inadequate, incomplete and unreasonable investigation. Further, Allstate and the adjuster refused to re-inspect the property after the policyholder requested it.
The damages the adjuster accepted were grossly underestimated. Allstate has continued to deny timely payments of those damages. These denials and delays have caused the homeowner financial stress and hardship.
Doyle Raizner is committed to ensuring this client receives the financial compensation owed under the terms of the contract they held with Allstate. If you have experienced unfair denials, delays or disputes of your property insurance claim, please contact a lawyer at Doyle Raizner.