October 24, 2008
A state district judge has ordered the national and University of Texas chapters of a fraternity to pay $16.2 million to the parents of a freshman pledge who fell to his death two years ago after authorities said he was subjected to hazing.
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity must pay each of the parents of Marietta, Ga., native Tyler Cross $2.5 million for mental anguish and nearly $81,000 for funeral expenses, as well as additional damages, according to a default judgment by Judge John Dietz .
Dietz issued the order Wednesday afternoon after the national and local SAE chapters failed to respond to a lawsuit filed in September, said attorney Robby Alden , who is representing the Cross family. State law allows the chapters to seek a new trial, which could be granted if the representatives explain why they didn’t respond to the suit and can defend allegations against them.
SAE national officials did not return a call seeking comment Thursday. Several SAE officials in Texas, including Charles Nettles , the current president of the UT chapter, and Jody Lane , the president of the SAE alumni advisory board, could not be reached for comment.
Read Article: Austin American Statesman
Oral Roberts University reached a settlement Wednesday with two former professors who sued last year, claiming they were forced out after uncovering financial and ethical wrongdoing by the school’s former president and family.
The confidential settlement with Tim and Paulita Brooker came at the end of a court-ordered mediation session and helps bring to a close the scandal that engulfed the evangelical school, founded in the 1960s by televangelist Oral Roberts, and led to the resignation of his son, Richard, as president.
Richard Roberts and his wife, Lindsay, were accused of using university money for shopping sprees, home improvements and a stable of horses for their daughters at a time when ORU was more than $50 million in debt. Both have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
The Brookers also had named the Robertses, former school regents and officials in the October 2007 wrongful termination lawsuit.
Read Article: Kansas City Star
Wyeth, which set aside more than $21 billion to resolve lawsuits over the fen-phen diet combination, must pay $3 million to a woman who contracted a lung-destroying disease from the drugs, a New Jersey jury ruled.
Jurors in Bergen County Superior Court deliberated about two hours before finding today that Wyeth’s Pondimin drug was a cause of Gloria Stribling’s primary pulmonary hypertension. The trial loss was Wyeth’s first in four years in a case involving the often-fatal illness.
“The jury has spoken loud and clear that Wyeth ignored warning signs about this drug,” James Sill, an Oklahoma City- based lawyer who represented Stribling, said in an interview after the eight-member jury returned its verdict.
The ruling comes as Madison, New Jersey-based Wyeth seeks to wrap up more than a decade of litigation over fen-phen, which combined the company’s Pondimin and Redux with the generic phentermine. Users took the drugs to suppress their appetites.
Read Article: Bloomberg
A Philadelphia jury rendered a defense verdict in one of the last diet drug mass tort cases pending in the Court of Common Pleas.
Plaintiff Danny Crowder, of Eldorado, Texas, alleged in court papers in Crowder v. Wyeth that his wife Edna Faye Crowder’s ingestion of diet drug Pondimin led to her death in February 2007 from primary pulmonary hypertension, or PPH.
Most diet drug cases were disposed of following a global settlement, said Stanley Thompson, the director of the Common Pleas’ Complex Litigation Center. Thompson said the CLC has pending 56 cases with plaintiffs claiming that diet drugs caused them to have PPH, a progressive, incurable disease that causes life-threatening obstruction to blood vessels within the lungs.
Another diet drug trial is scheduled for January, he said. The number of diet drug cases has dropped from over 12,000 to less than 100.
Pondimin is also known by the generic name fenfluramine. Fen-phen was the nickname coined for the diet drug cocktail of fenfluramine and phentermine.
Read Article: Law.com
A local woman who had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction is suing the plastic surgeon, who she says permanently disfigured her and caused her to lose her job.
Ellen Hickman, 36, and her husband, Preston Hickman, of Clendenin filed a lawsuit Sept. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court, alleging that Dr. John Wesley Culpepper was negligent and botched her surgeries last year.
Culpepper is a plastic surgeon at Charleston Area Medical Center and its Plastic Surgery Center on Morris Street. CAMC is also named as a defendant.
Hickman said she had both breasts removed in March 2007 and at the same time had permanent implants. She said she was shocked at her appearance afterwards and when she asked the surgeon if they would ever look like breasts, his only answer was, “Well, we hope so.”
Read Article: Charleston Daily Mail
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