November 24, 2009
The Kentucky Court of Appeals Friday upheld the $6.1 million jury award to strip-search victim Louise Ogborn, (Original story) saying McDonald’s legal department was “fully aware” of hoax calls to its restaurants, yet its management made “a conscious decision not to train or warn employees or managers about the calls.”
In a unanimous decision, the court also said that the $5 million awarded to Ogborn in punitive damages for McDonald’s “reprehensible” behavior was justified because the evidence showed the company repeatedly “placed a higher value on corporate reputation than on the safety of its own employees” over the 10 years it knew about the hoax calls.
A three-judge panel also upheld the judgment for former assistant manager Donna J. Summers, who claimed she was duped into executing the search because of the company’s failure to warn her about the hoaxes. But the court cut her $1 million punitive damage award to $400,000, saying the jury’s verdict was excessive. Summers was also awarded $100,000 in compensatory damages.
Read Article: Louisville Courier Journal
A Texas court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the state against drugmaker Merck & Co that sought a refund for money spent on the withdrawn Vioxx pain treatment, the company said on Monday.
Judge Scott Jenkins of Travis County, Texas District Court ruled in favor of Merck’s motion for summary judgment in the case filed in 2005 by the Texas Attorney General’s office, Merck said. The suit sought damages and penalties from Merck for alleged violations of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.
The case is the first of 12 similar lawsuits filed by state attorneys general to reach a final judgment at the trial court level, Merck said.
Read Article: Reuters
The last remaining lawsuits from the fatal 1999 collapse of the Texas A&M University bonfire — filed more than eight years ago — moved closer to resolution Friday when the Texas Supreme Court dismissed a related appeal.
Zachry Construction Corp., involved in the building of the bonfire stack, was seeking an order to include the university on the jury verdict form that will be used to apportion legal blame for the collapse.
If the victims and their families prevail at trial, the jury’s calculation would determine how much money Zachry and another sued firm, Scott-Macon, owe in damages. Including Texas A&M in the calculations could lower the companies’ financial liability.
Read Article: Austin American Statesman
TD Bank was “complicit” in a fraud scheme allegedly run by South Florida attorney Scott Rothstein, investors alleged in a lawsuit against the bank.
The bank was a “linchpin” in the scheme and disregarded numerous red flags, including hundreds of millions of dollars that moved out of law firm trust accounts, the investors said today in a complaint in state court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“TD Bank was the financial epicenter of the fraud scheme,” according to the complaint. “Among other things, TD Bank conspired, induced, and facilitated the principal conspirators’ deceptive practices, allowing principal conspirators to divert hundreds of millions of investor dollars through TD Bank accounts.”
Read Article: Bloomberg
A Philadelphia jury on Friday ordered pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE.N) to pay $6.3 million in compensatory damages to an Illinois breast cancer survivor after finding menopause drugs Premarin, Provera and Prempro caused the disease.
The panel also found that punitive damages are warranted because of willful and wanton conduct by Pfizer units Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn in failing to warn Donna Kendall about risks associated with the drugs, said her attorney Tobias Millrood.
The jury meets on Monday to decide on additional damages.
The award is the largest so far of about three dozen Prempro cases tried in Philadelphia, out of about 1,500 pending lawsuits, Millrood said.
Read Article: Reuters
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