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Legal Edge E-Newsletter  September 2011

CONSUMER ALERTS IN THE NEWS

Home Fires Prompt Dehumidifiers Recall

Following more than $1 million in property damage claims, nearly 100,000 Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers are being recalled because they pose a serious fire and burn hazard. This is caused by a faulty power connector for the compressor that can short circuit. Read more here

More than 300,000 Honda Pilots Recalled for Faulty Seatbelts

Honda announced it is recalling 310,773 Pilot SUVs because of a seat-belt defect, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seatbelt stitching that holds the front lap belts together could be incomplete or missing in models from 2009 to 2011. If incomplete, the belt could detach, which could be dangerous in a crash. Honda will begin the recall Oct. 3. Read more here.

Hyundai Recalls Two Model SUVs for Airbag Failure

Hyundai Veracruz and Sante Fe vehicles model years 2007 and 2008 may contain faulty airbags on the driver’s side that would cause them not to deploy in an accident. According to Hyundai the airbag assembly could become damaged over time and as a result the airbag may not deploy during a crash. Hyundai has already replaced 8,000 of the assemblies under warranty claims. Read more here.

CASE RESULTS & UPDATES

Press Conference for One of the State’s Most High-Profile Cases

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, Clark Fountain held a press conference regarding a civil complaint attorneys David C. Prather and Julie H. Littky-Rubin filed against the parents of killer, Paul Merhige, who went on a shooting rampage on Thanksgiving Day 2009 and claimed the lives of 6-year old, Makayla Sitton, daughter of our clients Muriel and Jim Sitton, and Raymonde Joseph, Muriel’s mom and Antoine Joseph’s wife (as well as two others). More than 15 news outlets from Palm Beach County to Miami attended, including the Associated Press. Visit our News & Resources page to see a snapshot of the resulting coverage.

Firm Settles International Commercial Business Dispute, Client Benefits from Contingency Fee Arrangement
After two years of litigation with another firm about the enforcement and breach of a lucrative international television satellite service agreement, a Canadian businessman who brought the suit finally reached a dead-end with injunctive relief. He was referred to Clark Fountain to take over the pending commercial business dispute on a contingency fee basis. Within eight months, attorney Cyrus Niakan had the case postured for trial, which forced the provider to the settlement table. A confidential agreement was reached.

In today’s economy where cash flow is paramount, Clark Fountain is increasingly representing businesses in commercial cases on a contingent-fee basis. Businesses accustomed to paying lawyers by the hour, regardless of outcome, have immediately seen the benefit of contingent fee arrangements where their attorney only gets paid if the client wins. Cases move quickly and do not result in monthly bills from attorneys. Contact Cyrus to inquire about your case.

LEGAL INSIGHTS

Database on Doctors at Debate
According to The New York Times to three journalism organizations this month protested a decision by the Obama administration to remove a database of physician discipline and malpractice actions from the Web. Called the National Practitioner Data Bank, it was created in 1986 and is used by state medical boards, insurers and hospitals. Read why this has caused such a protest among reporters

Law Schools’ Credibility at Issue

In less than one year it appears that a second law school – first Villanova University School of Law and now University of Illinois College of Law – has inflated its academic credentials. Currently, law schools self-report statistics to the ABA, which does not report regular auditing. Is it time for a change? Read this National Law Journal article for more on the topic.

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