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Truck Driver Fatigue Can Be Fatal

Most trucking accidents are caused by the error of truck driver who is impaired in some way, whether by alcohol, prescription drugs or, most commonly, driver fatigue. Although truck drivers have required rest periods as part of the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service rules, economic factors cause many drivers to ignore such rest breaks and drive well beyond their limits. Most drivers are paid by the mile rather than with a steady salary, which causes them to rush deliveries and put as many miles as they can under their belts and ignore safety in order to improve their financial payoff. The...

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Starr Austen & Miller Investigating Kenmore Elite & LG Gas Dryer Recall

Scott Starr, of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that the firm is investigating potential products liability claims related to LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, which have been recalled due to a fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) announced on August 21, 2012, that approximately 21,000 LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, sold between November 2009 through August 2010 are being voluntarily recalled because of a faulty gas valve. This valve may fail to shut off properly, which leads to the dryer continuing to be heated even after the dryer cycle is complete. This may result...

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Starr Austen & Miller Investigates GM’s SUV Recall For Door Fires Which Affects Indiana Consumers

Scott Starr announced today that the firm is continuing to investigate potential products liability claims related to General Motor’s announced recall of approximately 250,000 sports utility vehicles which have a door electrical problem which can cause fires. The defect reported is a door electrical problem which occurs when fluid enters the driver’s door module, which can eventually lead to the shorting out of the electrical components. These shorts can cause both the power door lock and powder window switches either to become completely inoperative, or to only work intermittently. Further, the short can cause overheating, and/or melting of the components which...

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Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers

Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers The push to make stockbrokers adhere to same fiduciary standard as financial advisers has been held up by court and broker challenges. Consumer advocates wanting to hold stockbrokers to the same client-first standard of care as investment advisers appeared to be successful last summer after a study by the Securities and Exchange Commission called for new rules along those lines. Stockbrokers, however, objected, saying providing advice was just one part of their business model and that they shouldn’t have the same degree of accountability for the client’s best interest in...

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Do You Know Whose Side Your Real Estate Agent Is On?

A survey by the National Association Realtors indicates that many homebuyers don’t know who the real estate agent they are working with actually represents. In some cases, the agents may actually be working against the buyer’s best interest. Laws in most states require agents to disclose, usually at the first meeting, their fiduciary relationship. But often agents fail to disclose this and buyers don’t know the agent’s efforts are on behalf of the seller, or has no duty to either buyer or seller. The NAR’s survey revealed that perhaps a third of all buyers were not told whom the agent represented. The...

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Truck and Bus Drivers Can’t Use Hand Held Cell Phones While Driving

On Jan. 3, 2012, a final rule took effect from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that banned the use of hand-held cell phones by commercial motor vehicle drivers on interstates. The ban, which covers both truck and bus drivers, will cover about four million CMV drivers, according to FMCSA.  The ban is “a giant leap for safety,” said Anne Ferro, FMCSA administrator. “It’s just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle.” The rule’s enforcement creates penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense, and drivers...

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Do Bankers Have a Fiduciary Duty to Their Customers?

If a banker loans a bunch of money to a borrower for a deal that goes bad, does the borrower have any recourse by contending that the bank did not adequately vet the loan or counsel the borrower? Does the bank have a fiduciary duty to the borrower? The short answer from a recent case is no. The case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Vandorn, 2012 NCBC 6 is a situation where Wells Fargo sued two individuals and an LLC formed by them to collect on a defaulted loan made to the LLC to buy a lot for a resort...

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Expert Testimony Of Psychologists Regarding Cause Of Brain Injuries

Truck Accident Attorneys In Indiana Given Guidance About Expert Testimony Of Psychologists Regarding Cause Of Brain Injuries Being in an accident with a truck is not like being in an accident involving a passenger vehicle, as many truck accident attorneys in Indiana are well aware. Not only are there specific rules and regulations regarding over-the-road trucks and their drivers, but often the injuries sustained in such accidents are much more severe, due to the massive size and weight of the vehicles involved. An example of such a case is the recent Indiana Supreme Court case of Bennett v. Richmond, decided on January...

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How does a Securities Class Action with Accounting Allegations Differ from other Securities Actions?

A securities class action suit with accounting allegations means the company did not comply with standard methods of accounting when its financial statements were released.  Throughout 2005 to 2010, the largest settlements made in 19 out of 20 securities class action cases involved accounting. Increased public awareness about accounting practices, along with a recent change in the accounting regulatory system, may explain these large settlements. Being more complex, accounting cases take more time to resolve and are less likely to be dismissed. The end result is typically a larger settlement amount. By the end of 2010, only 36% of accounting cases...

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Starr Austen & Miller Investigating GE Dishwasher Recall

Scott Starr, of the Indiana law firm of Starr Austen & Miller, announced today that the firm is investigating potential products liability claims related to certain General Electric (GE) dishwashers, which have been recalled because of the danger of potential fires. GE has voluntarily recalled approximately 1.3 million dishwashers, sold from March 2006 through August 2009, because the heating element can fail, causing fires as reported by USAToday.  In fact, GE has received reports of seven different fires, three of which caused extensive property damage, although no physical injuries have been reported. The models involved in the recall include: GE, GE Adora,...

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