American Legal System

Arizona First State to Sue General Motors

Chris Welsh, Esq. www.welsh-law.com Arizona is the first state to bring a lawsuit against General Motors (“GM”) for its defective ignition switch. The state filed the suit last Wednesday, accusing the company of putting the public at risk for concealing safety problems and delaying recalls (reuters.com). Their suit involves hundreds of thousands of vehicles and $10,000 per safety violation. The suit also alleges that consumers lost money due to the fall in GM vehicle value and that current CEO was informed of an electric power steering problem in 2011 when she worked as head of product development. If the court …

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Jury Orders Autozone to Pay $185 Million for Gender and Pregnancy Discrimination

Chris Welsh, Esq. www.welsh-law.com A federal jury in San Diego says AutoZone Stores Inc. should pay $185 million in punitive damages for “unlawfully demoting and firing a female employee who complained about gender and pregnancy discrimination” (LA Times). Autozone sells car and truck parts in three countries, with annual sales this year rounding $9.5 billion. Plaintiff Rosario Suarez worked at one of Autozones 539 stores in California. She claims that she was demoted from a management position shortly after telling her district manager that she had become pregnant. Allegedly, her manager’s reply to her announcement was “I feel sorry for …

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Newly Released GM Emails: Employees Knew About Defect Two Months Prior to Recall

Chris Welsh, Esq. www.welsh-law.com New evidence has come out regarding GM’s massive recall due to a defective ignition switch. Per the request of a plaintiffs’ lawyer, private company emails have been unsealed and now reveal that GM knew about the defect problem and delayed notifying safety regulators far beyond the within-five-days rule. The emails, dated two months before the recall, show an effort to order 500,000 new ignition parts ‘ASAP.’ Notably, these email were not included in the “brutally tough” 315-page report by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. Opinions differ as to why they were left out. While the emails …

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U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standards

Chris Gilreath, Esq. Recently, attorneys have been plagued with the dual Supreme Court decisions of Iqbal and Twombly, which seem to require that plaintiffs plead their complaint with particular specificity, or face having their case dismissed. Put simply, they aren’t just a legal hoop to get through, they’re more like a wall. Often referred to as the Twombly-Iqbal standard, its result was that it became much more difficult for plaintiffs–the ones seeking justice in court–to even get through the door. This especially affected anyone with a discrimination claim, which is generally more difficult to prove with specific details early on. …

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Estimated $1 Billion Settlement for Dangerous Hip Replacement Patients

Chris Welsh, Esq. Courts in Minnesota and New Jersey have announced an important win for people injured by faulty hip devices. Nearly 4,000 people who had surgery to remove hip devices made by Stryker Corp. will share a settlement potentially worth more than $1 billion. The settlement involves those who had to endure two surgeries–one for the hip replacement, and an unfortunate second operation to replace the replacement. Such patients suffered painful complications as the Stryker devices corroded within their bodies, emitting debris from friction between metal parts into their bodies and bloodstreams. Due to the invasiveness of the procedure, …

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