November 16, 2009
Dominican Republic — Maximiliano Calcaño is 2 and was born with no arms.
“When I was pregnant, I was dizzy, vomiting and could barely walk,” said Maximiliano’s mother, Anajai Calcaño, 20. “My tooth cracked and fell out. Then my baby was born like that, without arms. Nothing like that had ever happened here before.”
By “before,” Calcaño means before a U.S. power company’s coal ash arrived at a nearby port, sitting there for more than two years.
She lives in a small wooden house with no indoor plumbing in a rural village in northern Dominican Republic, not far from where coal ash generated by Virginia-based AES Corp. wound up at the edge of the sea. More than 50,000 tons of coal ash laden with heavy metals was left at a port abutting local homes for years while the company, politicians, prosecutors, environmental activists and bureaucrats argued — and residents got sick.
Read Article: Miami Herald
A federal jury was asked to award Reginald Bossier $2 million or more in punitive damages from State Farm, but returned with nothing for the Biloxi man.
It took 80 minutes for the decision. That was the same amount of time the jury spent Tuesday deciding State Farm should pay Bossier $52,300 for the contents of an outbuilding destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, but no money for his home beyond what the insurer had already paid for wind damage.
“I admire your courage,” Bossier’s attorney, Judy Guice, told him.
“It’s extremely difficult for an individual to go up against a company like State Farm,” she said. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to present some of the facts,” she said. She didn’t know if she will file an appeal.
Read Article: Biloxi Sun Herald
A Jacksonville jury awarded a former gymnastics coach $25.5 million today for injuries he suffered at an Atlantic Boulevard gym that left him a quadriplegic.
The bulk of the award is for medical expenses required by Shane Downey, 32, who was injured on a piece of tumbling equipment in 2000, said his attorney, Mitch Woodlief.
Jurors found North Florida Gymnastics and Cheerleading 100 percent negligent for not supervising Downey on the equipment. Downey, who now lives in Texas, fell and broke his neck.
Read Article: Florida Times Union
The restaurant chain Cheesecake Factory will pay $345,000 to six male employees who said they were sexually harassed and assaulted by other male employees at the restaurant at Chandler Fashion Center.
The payment settles a lawsuit filed in 2008 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which claimed that Cheesecake Factory knew about and tolerated repeated sexual assaults against the men by a group of other men who worked in the kitchen.
Sidney Greathouse, vice president of legal services for California-based Cheesecake Factory Inc., denied the allegations.
The consent decree assigns no liability but allows the company to avoid further expense of litigation, he said in a statement.
Read Article: Arizona Republic
The husband and estate of a woman who developed blood clots and died shortly after undergoing outpatient knee surgery have been awarded more than $6 million.
In December of 2003, Ruby Nicole Quarles, 42, was referred by her primary care physician at Fort Benning’s Martin Army Community Hospital to an orthopedic surgeon to investigate complaints of worsening pain in her left knee, according to trial documents.
The surgeon, Dr. Colin S. McKenzie, gave Quarles an injection for the pain and ordered physical therapy; during a follow-up visit in January 2004, McKenzie ordered an MRI to determine whether Quarles might have a tear in the cartilage of her knee.
The MRI indicated a “cartilaginous loose body” behind Quarles’ knee, according to the pre-trial order, and on Jan. 29 she underwent less than an hour of arthroscopic surgery at Doctors Hospital. McKenzie did not find any loose cartilage or other damage, and that afternoon Quarles’ daughter, Frances, took her home.
Frances Quarles came by the next morning to check on her mother and get her little sister off to school; when she returned about lunch time, she found her mother dead on the bathroom floor.
Read Article: Law.com
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