The Importance of Increasing Trucking Insurance Minimums

Crashes involving commercial trucks can cause severe and long-term injuries to drivers and occupants. The cost of lost wages, hospital stays, surgeries, physiotherapy, and various other necessary past and future medical care can easily exceed $1,000,000. Commercial truck insurance minimums need to provide adequate liability coverage for these crashes, but the current minimum liability insurance only requires $750,000.

This amount has shown disparity between the needs of victims and what companies have to have for coverage given that this amount has not changed in nearly 40 years. But pursuant to the INVEST in America Act, an amendment to the bill which was passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in June would raise the minimum liability insurance of commercial motor vehicles to $2,000,000, something that is past due for many reasons.

How a Texas ‘Fender Bender’ Truck Accident Morphed Into a $32 Million Nuclear Jury Verdict

On a quiet September afternoon in 2013, a minor fender bender between a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck barely disrupted life in the tiny East Texas town of Ore City.

Joshua Patterson was driving his pickup to a church luncheon when the vehicle was sideswiped by an FTS International Services tractor-trailer driven by Bill Acker. Both drivers pulled over and, during a friendly exchange, reported no injuries. Over a handshake, Acker offered an apology and accepted blame for the mishap. After local police visited the scene, the drivers went on their way.

Later that evening, Patterson’s neck felt sore. The next day, his father advised him to visit a doctor. And retain an attorney.

Nearly five years later in a Texas courtroom, that seemingly uneventful drive-away accident resulted in a $101 million jury award against FTS.

The award was reduced to $32 million by the trial judge.

While now in the hands of the Texas 12th District Court of Appeals, this civil action against FTS remains one of dozens of so-called “nuclear” verdicts against motor carriers, defined as awards in excess of $10 million, that in recent years have been on a steep rise.

It’s true that FTS, a Texas oil field service company based in Fort Worth, owned some liability in the case. The company’s driver was shown to be at fault, and trial testimony demonstrated that FTS had knowingly put a risky driver behind the wheel.

Paul Shanley, ‘poster boy’ of clergy sexual abuse scandal, dead at 89

Paul R. Shanley, a defrocked priest and convicted child rapist who became one of the most notorious figures in the Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse scandal, died of heart failure on Oct. 28 at a Ware hospice facility, according to state officials.

The 89-year-old had been living in Ware since his release from prison three years ago after serving 12 years for repeatedly raping a boy in the 1980s.

“Children are now safer because of the passing of Paul Shanley,” said Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented dozens of Shanley’s victims in civil claims against the church and described him as “one of the poster boys of clergy sexual abuse throughout the United States and the world.”

Garabedian said Shanley’s victims feel cheated because he died

COVID-19 Wrongful Death Class Action Lawsuits

News reports show that COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients and staff from the virus. Due to the high amount of deaths among nursing homes and in other industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the U.S. court system, both federal and state. Most of the lawsuits are individual claimants, but a handful of class action cases are making their way through the courts.

The following takes a look at three wrongful death class actions that cross several industries.

New Jersey Nursing Home Class Action

On September 8, 2020, a lead plaintiff in New Jersey filed a wrongful death class action in Sussex County Superior Court related to nursing home violations during COVID-19. The case is The administrator of the Roberts estate brought the case against two New Jersey nursing home facilities and the owner/operators for failing to take preventive infection measures against the COVID-19 virus. Their failure to protect led to the loss of 94 lives in the nursing homes.

Over the years, prior to COVID-19, the Andover facilities have been negatively assessed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), giving the facilities the second-worst rating on the CMS rating system. One of the citations was for failure to meet the regulatory and sanitation standards to prevent the spread of communicable diseases among the patients.

The owner/operators advertised the facilities as high-quality and compliant with regulations. The plaintiff maintains that the residents and their families relied on those representations to their detriment. The lawsuit also claims the nursing homes apprised none of the relatives of the 17 dead patients until police found the bodies. Family members also claimed they received no updates about their family-residents for weeks. After the most recent investigation of violations,.

The lawsuit further alleges violations of state and federal nursing home laws, as well as violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The class action plaintiffs demand equitable and injunctive relief, attorney fees and expenses, pre-and post-judgment interest, consequential and compensatory damages, punitive and treble damages, and/or

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