January 6, 2009
Seven U.S. airlines have sued the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, claiming the agency broke its own rules and may have compromised flight safety when it set new standards for pilot rest times last year without input from the carriers.
The airlines, including AMR Corp’s American Airlines, Continental Airlines and UAL Corp’s United Airlines, filed the lawsuit on December 24 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The airlines said in the complaint that they should have had a chance to comment on the rules, which would place yet another financial burden on them. “FAA has neither demonstrated how the rule will advance safety, considered the potential that the rule may actually diminish safety, nor justified the significant costs of the rule against any purported benefit,” the carriers said.
Read Article: Reuters
H&R Block Inc. agreed to a $4.85 million settlement with California officials Friday over the way it labels its “refund anticipation loans.” The settlement includes $2.45 million in restitution for California consumers, said Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Block often arranges short-term loans for customers who are awaiting tax refunds. Under the settlement, Block will stop referring to the loans as early tax refunds, the attorney general said.
Block denied any wrongdoing but worked with Brown’s office to improve its practices, Brown said. His predecessor, Bill Lockyer, sued the tax-preparation firm in 2006, saying the program carried high interest rates and took advantage of the working poor. The $2.45 million is to be distributed to customers who received a “refund anticipation loan” or “refund anticipation check” from 2001 to 2007.
Read Article: Sacramento Bee
Ahead of a scheduled April 2 hearing on the matter, notices went out today telling New Orleans area property and business owners about a plan for partial settlement of a federal class action lawsuit that claims sloppy work by local levee districts caused levee breaches during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Under the proposal, the Orleans, Lake Borgne Basin and East Jefferson levee districts admit to no wrongdoing but will place $20.8 million, the limits of their insurance policies, into a fund to benefit the “settlement class.”
The class is defined as anyone who lived or owned property in Jefferson, Orleans Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes when the 2005 storms hit and sustained property loss or injury because of the levee failures.
In addition to mailed notices, advertisements informing settlement class members about their legal rights will be published in local newspapers prior to the hearing when U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval will decide whether to certify the class and give final approval to the settlement.
Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune
A self-described student who was present at the birth of a stillborn child cannot use the “Good Samaritan” defense in her attempt to persuade the court to dismiss a medical malpractice claim against her, a New York state judge has ruled.
Citing deposition testimony of the parties involved in the July 2004 birth, Supreme Court Justice William R. LaMarca held in Lacy v. My Midwife, P.C., 1719/06, that there was sufficient evidence to raise a question of fact as to Julia Chachere’s “claim of lack of involvement, i.e. that there is no medical malpractice on her part.”
In January 2004, Tiffany Lacy discovered she was carrying twins after a sonogram, according to the decision. Ms. Lacy and her husband, James, were seeking a home birth and were under the care of Janet L. Titmus-Delettera, a midwife who is another defendant in the case.
Read Article: Law.com
The manufacturer of a medical device used to treat a form of urinary incontinence in women is heralding a recent court verdict as dozens of lawsuits alleging problems tied to the product have been consolidated and head to their first pretrial hearing this month.
In the past year and a half, 32 lawsuits have been filed against Mentor Corp., a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based cosmetic surgery device manufacturer that, in 2003, launched the ObTape, a sling that is surgically implanted to treat stress urinary incontinence, which often is brought on by coughing, sneezing or exercise, and is common in women after childbirth. The product was removed from the market in 2006.
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, while not singling out ObTape, issued a generic alert to doctors warning of complications in surgical mesh devices designed to treat stress urinary incontinence, such as infections, pain and scarring, and erosion of the vaginal wall, many of which are at the heart of the claims in the lawsuits.
Read Article: Law.com
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