Archives for July 2012
by:Richard E. Shevitz , Attorney
Banks and insurance companies have come under fire for conspiring to overcharge homeowners for insurance when their policies lapse. Home mortgages include standard clauses which allow banks to “force place” insurance on a borrower’s home if the home is not properly insured. Some banks and insurance companies have conspired to take advantage of this process by placing insurance on these homes and charging the homeowners premiums at rates that vastly exceed regular market rates, with the banks sharing in those rates through various kickbacks. The above-market premiums are paid by the homeowners. Of course, if a homeowner cannot afford the exorbitant premiums for force-placed insurance, the premiums are added to the mortgage’s principal balance.
by: Lynn A. Toops, Attorney
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works hard to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. Not only does the FTC monitor companies to ensure that they do not violate these consumer protection rules, it also assists consumers and local law enforcement whenever breaches do occur.
Just last week, the FTC filed suit against Wyndham Hotels for failing to protect consumers’ personal and confidential information, including consumers’ payment card account information, from hackers.
by: Scott D. Gilchrist , Attorney
Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. (SRS, Inc.), an automotive safety research firm, recently announced that it has settled a lawsuit against the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to force the disclosure of documents related to sudden acceleration of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the lawsuit, SRS, Inc. claimed that the DOT violated the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by failing to produce investigatory documents related to a 2011 recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles for unintended acceleration. Under the terms of the settlement, the DOT agreed to turn over investigatory documents, videos and photos related to the agency’s involvement with a 2011 recall of Toyota and Lexus models for alleged accelerator entrapment by interior trim.
by: Melissa L. Stuart, Attorney
Health care insurance is a great tool when you know how to use it properly. Families with children with autism can really benefit from understanding and using this tool to its fullest extent. I wrote an article this month for the Friendship Circle Blog entitled An 8 Step Guide to Insurance Coverage for Autism which details some great things to keep in mind to maximize your insurance benefits. Please visit their blog for more information and resources for families with special needs.
by: Jeff S. Gibson, Attorney
A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine indicates persistent sexual side effects associated with the use of drug finasteride, which is marketed by Merck under the names Propecia and Proscar. Propecia is commonly used by men who suffer from male pattern hair loss (MPHL). This drug has been proven to regrow hair; however, ongoing studies like this one also suggest that permanent sexual side effects are associated with Propecia use.
by: Julie Andrews, Attorney
Apparently, Katie has definitely lost that lovin’ feeling…as the world knows the TomKat union is coming to an end. It is rumored that an airtight pre-marital agreement, favoring Tom, will dictate the division of assets, which may be a result of Tom’s prior two divorces and parting with his assets. Tom Cruise is reported to be worth an amount soaring into the billions and Katie Holmes’ worth is ‘only’ in the millions. In a previous article, I shared many reasons why a pre-marital agreement can help in the case of divorce.
by: David J. Cutshaw , Attorney
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently issued a decision that confirms two things about medical malpractice cases that we often don’t think much about. In Morse v. Davis, 965 N.E. 2d 148 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), the trial court did not allow the medical review panel members to testify that because a doctor did not write down in his notes that a patient was not complaining of certain symptoms, the panelists did not believe the plaintiff’s testimony that he did make those complaints when coming to their opinions. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling, holding that it i s improper for an expert to testify as to the honesty or credibility of another witness. This rule is found in IRE 704(b).
This recent decision illustrates two things about the medical malpractice process: