GM Settles Ignition-Switch Lawsuit for $120 Million

General Motors has agreed to pay $120 million to settle more claims that its deadly ignition-switch defect caused car owners economic harm, according to a settlement filing on Friday in New York City’s U.S. District Court. 

The settlement is barely 1 percent of what law firm Hagens Berman claimed it would reap for GM owners when it filed the class-action suit in 2014, shortly after GM’s admission that year that its ignition switches caused vehicles to stall and disable all safety features, including airbags. The settlement names 216 plaintiffs who had owned some of the more than 2.6 million cars with the defective ignition switches, along with other GM cars recalled in 2014 for faulty power steering and side airbags that would not deploy in a crash, according to the filing.

It addresses economic harm due to resale, repairs, and other related losses due to the defect. It is unrelated to the $625 million settlement fund that GM initiated in 2014 to pay for 124 deaths and 275 injuries. It is also unrelated to a settlement in 2015 that paid $275 million for more than 1380 death and injury claims that were not part of the compensation fund.

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Supreme Court Declines to Hear $100M Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Parris Island Recruit’s Death

The Supreme Court declined to hear a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit brought on by the parents of a Parris Island, South Carolina, recruit after a lower court dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, according to a court document.

Siddiqui’s parents, Ghazala and Masood, brought on the lawsuit claiming their son and Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui endured torture and abuse because he was Muslim.

The parents claim there was negligence on the part of Siddiqui’s recruiter to properly inform him of harsh treatment and discrimination he would face at boot camp for being a Muslim.

Originally filed in 2017, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2019 by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals based on the Feres Doctrine, which courts repeatedly have used to block lawsuits against the government for wrongful death or medical malpractice, the Detroit Free News reported.

Siddiqui’s parents filed the petition to have the Supreme Court review the lower courts dismissal of the lawsuit, which was docketed on Jan. 22. The Detroit Free Press first reported that the Supreme Court had declined to hear the case.

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Philip Morris Lost Appeal of $41 Million Verdict

A $41 million jury award for a former smoker whose decades-long habit allegedly led to a life with debilitating pulmonary disease isn’t excessive, the Eleventh Circuit said in a ruling against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc.

The jury’s $15.8 million compensatory award, reduced to $12.8 million to reflect Florida resident Kenneth Kerrivan’s own fault, was “consistent with the evidence,” Judge Jill Pryor said Tuesday for the appeals court.

The $25.3 million punitive award, whether viewed as 1.6 times the full compensatory award or twice the reduced amount, is within constitutional bounds, she said. 



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Telework with The National Trial Lawyers’ CVN Essentials Member Value Upgrade




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$520M Settlement Approved in Santee Cooper lawsuit

A South Carolina judge gave preliminary approval to a $520 million settlement that would provide refunds to customers of a state-owned utility who were charged increased rates for a failed nuclear construction project.

Judge Jean Toal gave an initial approval to the Santee Cooper settlement Tuesday, a big first step to ending a long-standing dispute between the utility and its customers, which include 2 million people who get power from electric cooperatives.

The settlement is part of a class-action lawsuit against the utility after it racked up $4 billion in debt before pulling out of its minority stake in the doomed reactor project.

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Lawyer’s ‘Death Warrant’ Remarks Get $18M Verdict Reversed

The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a verdict of $18 million Monday, citing “inflammatory remarks” a lawyer made during closing arguments.

Judge Brian Rickman wrote a unanimous opinion tossing the results from a damages-only Mitchell County Superior Court trial in the small town of Camilla before South Georgia Circuit Judge Heather Lanier. The defense had admitted liability. The fight was over how much to pay.

The decision turned on a lawyer telling jurors that, if they didn’t award the full amount requested for his client’s care, they would be “signing his death warrant.”

“We cannot conceive of any civil case in which it would be proper for the jury to be told that its action would result in a party’s death. Such is not even permissible in the first phase of a death penalty trial,” wrote Rickman, a former district attorney.

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$1.2M Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Central Oregon Hospital

A former pharmacist is suing central Oregon’s largest health care provider for $1.2 million, saying the hospital maintained a hostile work environment that included gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Darcy Martin filed the lawsuit against St. Charles Health System on Thursday in Deschutes County Circuit Court, The Bulletin reported. Martin worked for St. Charles as a staff pharmacist from March 2015 until she was fired in December 2019.

She says the work environment included jokes of a sexual nature, routine sexual innuendo, the showing of videos of partially clothed or nude women and the “comparison of bananas to penises,” the lawsuit states. Martin claims she was subjected to different attendance standards than her male co-workers and was treated worse because she’s a woman. Martin claims that before she was fired, she “opposed, resisted and/or complained” about gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

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Texas Personal Injury Attorney, Greg Baumgartner, Named to Elite National Trial Lawyers: Top 100



Greg Baumgartner this week received an honor limited to just 100 individuals in each state. He was named to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. And that is no minor accomplishment considering there are 1.3 million attorneys in the United States and that the American Bar Association is actively working to address a shortage of qualified trial lawyers.

Baumgartner is the founder of the Baumgartner Law Firm, a leading personal injury practice based in Houston. With over 30 years of experience, he spends his days – and many nights – helping personal injury victims and their families throughout Texas battle large corporations and insurance companies. Yet it is a decision he made in more recent years that he says set him on the path to the elite designation.

“I have always rigorously fought for each of my clients. Yet I have been especially affected on a personal level by the cases where families lost loved ones in wrongful death accidents or individual clients’ lives were drastically altered as the result of a serious injury – especially in the cases of car accidents and truck wrecks,” Baumgartner explained. “A few years ago, I limited the scope of my practice to concentrate on a limited number of these cases so I can devote maximum time and attention to get them the compensation they deserve. The close working relationships that result from that level of involvement has been life-changing, and today I count many former clients and their family members as close friends.”

National Trial Lawyers is not the first organization to award Baumgartner’s skills. He has been rated as a Preeminent attorney for over 15 years, named a Top Lawyer by Houstonia Magazine, is a two-time Who’s Who recipient, received perfect Martindale ratings from both peers and clients, received a perfect rating from Avvo, and was named by Newsweek to its list of the best personal injury lawyers. He is also among the less than one percent of attorneys nationally to hold double law degrees: in his case, a juris doctor from the University of Nebraska and a master of law from the University of Denver. He is admitted to practice law by both the Colorado and Texas State Bar Associations and is a member of the American Bar Association.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations and third-party research. Membership is extended only to the most qualified attorneys from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by standards in compliance that comply with state bar and national rules.

For more information about Baumgartner and the Baumgartner Law Firm, go to  

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Class-Action Lawsuit Over B. Braun Plant Emissions of Cancer-Causing Chemical

A man who lives and works near B. Braun Medical’s plant in Lehigh County has sued the company over emissions of a cancer-causing chemical used to sterilize medical equipment.

Adam Akarsoy of Whitehall Township is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of up to 24,000 people in areas identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as having an elevated lifetime cancer risk because of the plant’s emissions of ethylene oxide.

B. Braun, a German medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Bethlehem and a plant in Hanover Township, is identified as the nation’s 12th-largest emitter of ethylene oxide, according to the EPA’s cancer-causing pollution data. Ethylene oxide is linked to breast and blood cancers and other illnesses.

The plant’s emissions were largely unknown until The Morning Call highlighted the EPA’s concern in a July 21 article. The story cited EPA data showing the cancer risk from ethylene oxide was 200 times as high as the state average.


Read the source article at The Morning Call