Month: August 2021

USA Gymnastics to Pay $425 Million to Settle Sexual Abuse Cases

U.S.A. Gymnastics and a court-appointed committee representing sexual abuse victims of Lawrence G. Nassar, the former national team doctor, filed a joint plan on Tuesday that would allow the federation to emerge from bankruptcy and would include a $425 million settlement with those in the sport who were victims of abuse.

The plan, submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, would end the onslaught of Nassar-related lawsuits against the federation and would compensate the 500 or so gymnasts — including Olympians like Simone Biles and Aly Raisman — involved in the proceedings who say they have been harmed by someone in the sport.

Billion-dollar lawyer speaks: Here’s what happened in tragic Florida wreck

His billion-dollar judgment in hand, Curry Pajcic is speaking out about what happened in the series of truck wrecks in 2017 that took the life of Connor Dzion and led to the enormous jury award.

The arguments aren’t new; Pajcic, attorney for the Dzion family in Florida’s Nassau County court, presented them during the five-day trial. But since few people heard those in person, Pajcic appears to be on a quest to get his view of what happened out to a broader audience. He held a press conference after the verdict, and a Pajcic & Pajcic associate reached out to FreightWaves to offer up a longer review of the events of that night.

Pajcic has the advantage of the “other side” being quiet or nonexistent. One of the two trucking companies involved, Canada-based Kahkashan, has proved impossible to contact — for both FreightWaves and other media, based on reports. Kahkashan was represented by the Orlando office of Wilson Elser, a national law firm. But efforts to contact attorneys for the firm have failed.

The second company, Staten Island, New York-based AJD Business Services, is listed by the Department of Transportation as inactive. Its lawyer withdrew from the case in 2019, and it failed to answer any of the court’s actions going back to that year.

Rite Aid settles bellwether opioid case with Ohio counties

Rite Aid Corp affiliates have settled claims by two Ohio counties that it contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic, just over a month before the case was set to go to trial.

The pharmacy chain operator and Lake and Trumbull counties disclosed the settlement in a motion filed Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, to sever Rite Aid from the case. They did not reveal terms of the deal, which must be approved by Lake County Commissioners and Trumbull County Commissioners.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster granted the motion on Thursday.

1 in 4 college athletes experience sexual abuse from an authority figure, survey finds

For Evan Cooper, who grew up playing football in Miami, becoming a star defensive back who never missed a game at a major college such as the University of Michigan was “a dream come true.”

But during his time on campus in the early 1980s, he became one of the hundreds of U of M survivors who have accused late athletic doctor Robert Anderson of sexual assault and misconduct.

Cooper, 59, who sued the university along with dozens of anonymous male athletes last August, said he wasn’t fully aware at the time that he was being abused, and he didn’t want to come forward and jeopardize his spot on the football team.

Two trucking companies hit with $1 billion verdict in death of teenager

Connor Dzion had only attended two weeks of classes at the University of North Florida in 2017 when a distracted semi-truck driver slammed into a line of cars on Sept. 4. Dzion had been in standstill traffic for over an hour on Interstate 95 near Yulee because another semi-truck driver had flipped his vehicle ahead of him, blocking movement on the highway. 

His mother, Melissa Dzion, realized her son was late returning home from visiting his girlfriend and used the Find My iPhone feature to look for him. She rushed to the site. But the crash had ultimately killed her 18-year-old son. 

On Aug. 20 after just five days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, the Nassau County jury handed down a verdict of over $100 million to the Jacksonville teenager’s parents for pain and suffering for the loss of their son and $900 million in punitive damages against AJD Business Services Inc., the company whose truck driver had crashed ahead of Dzion and stalled traffic. 

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