Louisiana DA’s office settles all claims over the use of fake subpoenas

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office has settled a long-running federal civil rights lawsuit over New Orleans prosecutors’ use of fake subpoenas — along with other hardball tactics under former DA Leon Cannizzaro — according to court records.

The suit, brought by the Washington-based organization Civil Rights Corps and the ACLU on behalf of a group of plaintiffs who claimed they were jailed, or threatened with jail, after allegedly failing to cooperate with criminal prosecutions. Most of those plaintiffs said the DA’s office served them with so-called “DA subpoenas,” a term prosecutors used to refer to the bogus subpoenas.

COVID-related malpractice lawsuits rise

Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., and the pandemic brought on a slew of concerns and lawsuits, according to experts.

“Whenever there was a spike in the number of COVID cases, about a month and a half after the spike, we saw a spike in medical malpractice lawsuits,” said attorney Victor Bornstein, founder of Justpoint.

Bornstein said the past year brought a spike in COVID-19-related cases and other malpractice lawsuits.

It is not just in hospitals either: those lawsuits stem from care in long-term care facilities as well, like nursing homes.

“I think the biggest concern we have is that these mistakes are happening in the first place. We have people who lost their spouses, lost their kids.”

Bornstein believes there is a lot for everyone to still learn from this pandemic, including how to best treat COVID-19 patients and how to deal with COVID-19-related lawsuits.

“There’ s been some laws approved to shield healthcare professionals from lawsuits related to COVID, and some states have been adopting them, and some states have not been adopting them. It’s basically legal chaos; it’s a little bit difficult to determine if someone has a lawsuit if it relates to COVID to know if someone might have a lawsuit related to COVID.”

Book Provides Roadmap for Recovery from Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

In a new book, titled Getting Your Brain and Body Back, former University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., reflects on his own spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. He details his experience – as a doctor and a patient – to create a user’s manual for those suffering from the physical and mental health consequences of acute neurological injury.

“No one is prepared for the life-changing event of spinal cord injury, stroke, or traumatic brain injury,” said Berk. “In an instant, your world is turned upside down, and the future, if you can even picture one, looks terrifying. The reason I wrote this book is to give people all the information I wish I’d known at the time

EEOC Issues Guidance on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a technical assistance document for “Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The document briefly explains the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (S. Ct. June 15, 2020) and the EEOC’s established legal positions on sexual-orientation and gender-identity-related workplace discrimination issues.

In Bostock, the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of “sex,” bars employers from discriminating based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The ruling came through a set of three cases that were consolidated for oral argument. All three cases turned on the same issue: whether the phrase “sex,” as used in Title VII, includes an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court explained, “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.”

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