Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards Bows Out of Presidential Race

Well, I was sorry to learn today that John Edwards has stepped out of the presidential race. I think he has a lot to offer America and I hope this is not the last time we hear from him. A good man and a heck of a trial lawyer back before he got into politics. Godspeed, John and Elizabeth.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wreck shuts down northbound I-35W in Fort Worth

Motorists traveling Interstate 35W in south Fort Worth this afternoon should expect big delays after a wreck forced the closure of the highway’s northbound lanes, police said. Fort Worth police officials are reporting that the northbound lanes of the highway at Alta Mesa Boulevard are closed due to a jack-knifed tractor trailer that is leaking fuel. dispatcher said the wreck, reported about 2:30 p.m., involved three vehicles. MedStar was on the scene but no one had been transported to the hospital as of 3:30 p.m., officials said.

B. Michael Cummings, 1940 - 1996

Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 68 today. Great man, great lawyer, great mentor, great friend. I miss him.

Head-on crash in Roanoke kills 3 people

Tragic car wreck on Sunday in Roanoke left three dead, including a toddler. Apparently a driver tried to pass in a no-passing zone and hit another car head-on. Sad stuff.

FWST story here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day

If you've never read (or better yet, heard) the speeches of Dr. King, you are missing out on some incredible oratory. His "I have a dream" speech is mezmerizing. Here are some of my favorite short quotes:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."
"Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
"...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man."
(Edit. That last statment was made by Dr. King on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assissinated. Amazing.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fiery truck wreck shuts down I-30

Big flaming truck wreck on I-30 in east Dallas early Sunday morning (as in 4:45 am; imagine what kind of traffic jam that would have caused on a weekday). Sounds like some idiot in an SUV went the wrong way on the freeway and hit the truck. I'm sorry for the trucker and glad he got away with just bumps and bruises, but imagine if he had been in a passenger car.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Allstate Suspended by Florida Insurance Commissioner

This week, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced that he is suspending Allstate Insurance companies (corporate spokesman at right) from writing new insurance in Florida. McCarty's decision follows Allstate's refusal to comply with subpoenas served October 16 by the Office of Insurance Regulation.
The subpoenas seek disclosure of the McKinsey Documents, in which McKinsey & Co. instructed Allstate on how to systematically underpay claims starting in the mid 1990's. The content of the documents is so explosive that Allstate has already ignored a $25,000 per day fine in Missouri for its ongoing failure to provide the McKinsey Documents in that state.
Taking peoples' premiums and paying legitimate claims is called the "business of insurance." Taking peoples' premiums and refusing to pay legitimate claims is called "theft." I only wish more states' insurance commissioners and elected officials would stop these pirates. Not gonna happen here in Texas for a long, long time...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Perhaps they were burning the Constitution...

AUSTIN -- Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina (R) and his wife were indicted Thursday in connection with an arson that destroyed their Houston-area home in June and caused extensive damage to neighboring houses. Story here.
He of the Court that has already torched the legal rights of so many injured people...
(Disclaimer: That's not his house burning in the photo there. Good shot, though.)

I'm thinking "Flying Elvises - Fort Worth Chapter"

The Library of Congress is trying to identify a number of aviation-related photos taken in Fort Worth in the early 40's (the dude on the left has quite the pompadour, considering that he's probably an Army recruit).

Check 'em out. Suddenly I remember why we call our airport "Meacham Field."

What's with all the bus wrecks?

Crews responding to multi-vehicle wreck


FORT WORTH -- Emergency crews are responding to a multi-vehicle wreck, including a bus, at 3331 N. Beach St. in northeast Fort Worth, police said. At least one person was injured in the wreck, which was reported just before 8 a.m. near the intersection with Fossil Drive. The area is at the city limits shared with Haltom City. The injured person was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, a dispatcher for MedStar Ambulance Service said. It was unclear at 8:30 a.m. which agency operated the bus or how many passengers were on board.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Oklahoma Throws Out Med Mal "Tort Reform"

My hat is off to the good judges on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- For at least the second time in slightly more than a year, a state appeals court has told lawsuit reform proponents that they got it wrong. The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has struck down a lawsuit reform statute, saying it treats medical malpractice plaintiffs differently from others who file lawsuits. The decision comes in the wake of a 2006 Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that tossed another measure. The justices said it put medical negligence cases in a separate class from all other negligence claims and created a monetary barrier to the courts by requiring an expert witness to attest to a case's merits. The most recent decision comes just weeks before lawmakers return to the Capitol, where a renewed battle over lawsuit reform is expected. Last year, Gov. Brad Henry vetoed a controversial lawsuit reform measure, Senate Bill 507, saying several provisions were unconstitutional, unduly restricted access to the courts, and didn't do enough to curb frivolous lawsuits.

The Court of Civil Appeals decision issued Thursday said Lisa K. Jones could pursue her case in Oklahoma County for the alleged wrongful death of her husband, Michael W. Jones, who died after surgery at an Oklahoma City hospital. The trial court had tossed Jones' case after she failed to inform defendants of the suit within 180 days. The appeals court said a tort reform package passed in 2003 that required such notification treated medical malpractice plaintiffs differently. The opinion said other plaintiffs had the ability to show the court why notification was not made within 180 days but that medical negligence plaintiffs had no such opportunity. The law "holds medical negligence plaintiffs to different and stricter standards than any other plaintiffs," the opinion states.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Should I sue my doctor?

Here's an interesting article from CNN series "Empowered Patient."

Since "tort reform" passed in 2003, it's made it extremely difficult for many injured patients to find competent lawyers to file medical malpractice suits. I've lost count of how many injured folks we've had to turn away because the expenses of bringing a malpractice suit far outweigh the potential recovery because of damage caps. This article offers some suggestions on steps an aggrieved patient might take with the doctor and/or hospital to make things somewhat right.

I would add to those suggestions that patients can contact the Texas Medical Board and file a complaint against a physician. The Board, at least ostensibly, is supposed to investigate and reprimand negligent physicians.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Vote doesn't stall Mexican trucks

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is allowing Mexican trucks to continue to travel deep into the United States despite what critics say is a congressional mandate to ban the trucks from U.S. highways.

More here.

Driver charged in Arkansas bus crash that killed 4

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The driver of a passenger bus that crashed in east Arkansas, killing four, faces four counts of felony negligent homicide after he tested positive for amphetamines, a prosecutor said.

Witness statements portrayed the driver as acting and driving erratically on the rain-slicked portion of Interstate 40 near Forrest City. The bus crossed the interstate median, colliding with a pickup truck and a tractor trailer. Three people on the bus, as well as the driver of the pickup, died from their injuries. More than 20 others suffered injuries.

Story here.