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October 26, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Contact Texas Department of Insurance if you support a PROHIBITION ON INSURANCE COMPANIES USING BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSES

Contact Texas Department of Insurance if you support a PROHIBITION ON INSURANCE COMPANIES USING BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSES

Texas Department of Insurance is considering a prohibition that would forbid Texas insurance companies from using MANDATORY ARBITRATION CLAUSES THAT WOULD NOT ALLOW YOU TO BRING A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOUR OWN INSURANCE CARRIER IF THEY VIOLATE TEXAS LAW OR INSURANCE CODE. PLEASE CONTACT THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AND TELL THEM YOU THAT YOU SUPPORT A PROHIBITION AGAINST MANDATORY ARBITRATION BY INSURANCE COMPANIES IN TEXAS 

It would not be a good thing for Texas Insurance Companies to force consumers to BINDING ARBITRATION. If this prohibition against arbitration is not passed and insurance companies are allowed to use BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSES IN ALL INSURANCE POLICIES – if you get in a dispute with your HEALTH, AUTO, LIFE, and HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE you will be forced to go to binding arbitration and you WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO HAVE A JUDGE OR JURY DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED BY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY AND IF THEY WERE TO DETERMINE YOUR LOSSES AND DAMAGES.

TDI Press Release:

Request for Informal Comments

Relating to the Development of a Rule

to Prohibit Pre-dispute Mandatory Binding Arbitration.

Informal Comments Requested by Friday, November 16, 2012.

The Texas Department of Insurance is considering a rule to prohibit pre-dispute mandatory binding arbitration provisions in insurance products. The basis of the proposed prohibition is that pre-dispute mandatory binding arbitration precludes covered persons from exercising substantive rights provided by the Insurance Code, including Chapters 541 and 542. The rule would apply to policy-or-contract coverages for individuals for personal noncommercial use. The prohibition would apply to group or individual forms providing coverage in life, accident and health, annuity, credit, and property and casualty products, including home and auto. The department invites your comments concerning substantive rights provided by statute and the protection of those rights. The information received will assist the department’s development of the rule. This is an informal posting and not a publication for rulemaking. To expedite the process, please submit comments electronically via email to the address below by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2012.

Thank you for your interest and assistance in this process. Please contact the individual listed below if you have any questions:

Nick Hoelscher

Office of Policy Development Counsel

Telephone: (512) 322-4316

Fax: (512) 475-1843

September 27, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Formula One Weekend in Austin Expected to Bring Large Increase of Sex Trafficking According to Austin Police

Formula One Weekend in Austin Expected to Bring Large Increase of Sex Trafficking According to Austin Police

AUSTIN — Austin police are partnering with local non-profits to fight an expected rise in human trafficking during Formula 1 weekend. It’s a crime that grows anytime Austin has an influx of visitors. Restore a Voice is among a network of groups working together to solve the issue and provide help to the people who are rescued from slavery during F1 weekend.  “They will come to our clubs, and they will enjoy our downtown district as they should. There will be a lot of partying going on, but they want more than that. There are many people who come for the seedy side of the sporting event,” said founder of Restore a Voice Larry Megason.  Restore a Voice is establishing shelters for the people APD rescues during race week, and plans to offer them food, medical, care and counseling.  “And provide a home for them where they can experience the freedom and dignity,” said Megason.

The Austin Police Department is unsure how many trafficking victims they will rescue during F1, but the department is preparing for a busy week.  “It could be one victim. It could be 200,” said APD Victim Services Supervisor Dolores Laparte-Litton.  Human trafficking is also known as modern day slavery, underage prostitution and sexual exploitation. Four out of five victims are U.S. citizens. Up to 300,000 girls between 11 and 17 are lured into the sex industry every single year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Traffickers regularly beat them into submission, and generally there is a process of breaking down an individual’s will,” said advocate John Nehme.  Nehme is creating a documentary called, “Trade in Hope that shares the story of women who were trapped in slavery and how volunteers are helping them overcome their past. Sex trafficking was a huge problem at the Super Bowl in Dallas in 2011. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called it the single largest human trafficking event in the United States

 

September 24, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Decade Long Study Says Texas Supreme Court Decisions are Biased in Favor of Corporate Defendants

Decade Long Study Says Texas Supreme Court Decisions are Biased in Favor of Corporate Defendants

Report: Decade-Long Review Shows Texas Supreme Court Is Activist, Ideological

Court Watch—January 26th, 2012
The Texas Supreme Court has a long history of favoring corporate defendants over families and small businesses, according to a decade-long review of the Court’s decision making by Court Watch, a project of the non-profit Texas Watch Foundation.

Court Watch reviewed the 624 cases involving consumers decided by the Court between 2000 and 2010. The report, “Thumbs on the Scale: A Retrospective of the Texas Supreme Court, 2000-2010,” finds that the state’s high court for civil matters “has marched in lock-step to consistently and overwhelmingly reward corporate defendants and the government at the expense of Texas families.”

“The Texas Supreme Court is an activist, results-oriented body that over the last 10 years has developed into a safe haven for corporate defendants at the expense of individuals, families, and small business owners,” said Alex Winslow, director of Court Watch. “The statistics speak for themselves. The court’s pro-defendant ideology can not be disputed.”

Among the report’s findings are:

    • Corporate and government defendants prevail in an average of 74% of cases annually.
  • Consumers have lost 79% of cases in which they were pitted against a corporate or government defendant.

These findings lead Court Watch to conclude: “The Texas Supreme Court has become a reliable friend to those who seek to escape the consequences of their actions; its justices are the ultimate guardians for the moneyed and powerful who wish to shirk responsibility.”

The report focuses on the decade beginning in 2000 because it reflects a paradigm shift. In 2000, Rick Perry became governor. His appointees to the Court have taken it in a decidedly activist and ideological turn.

  • Justices appointed to the Court by Governor Rick Perry have sided with consumers an average of just 29% of the time.

Despite a constitutional provision limiting its jurisdiction to questions of law – not fact – the Court has routinely overturned decisions made by local juries. Even Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson admonished the Court in a 2004 dissenting opinion, writing: “This Court is constitutionally bound to conduct only a legal – not factual – sufficiency review.”

  • Texas Supreme Court has overturned local jury decisions in consumer cases an average of 74% of the time since 2004.

Court Watch writes that “The jury is our smallest, most direct, and least corrupted form of government. … However, the Texas Supreme Court has displayed a fundamental disregard for juries.”

Court Watch has been monitoring and reporting on the Texas Supreme Court and the impact its decisions have on Texas families since 1996. During that time, Court Watch has issued an annual list of the most anti-consumer cases of a given year. In keeping with that tradition, this report includes a “Dirty Dozen of the Decade,” a representative sampling of the most dangerous, far-reaching decisions made by the Texas Supreme Court during the last decade.

August 7, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on The Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison Obtains Settlement for Sexual Harassment Victim in Only 12 hours!

The Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison Obtains Settlement for Sexual Harassment Victim in Only 12 hours!

The Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison is proud to announce a new record in obtaining swift justice for the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. A woman who had only worked for her employer for one week was subjected to unwelcome lewd remarks and physical groping by her male employer.  During the first week at her new job, the client’s employer made a lewd comment about her breasts, patted her on the buttocks, and later groped one of her breasts, stating, “I just wanted to know if they were real.”   Within 12 hours of being hired on the case, attorney Kevin Madison contacted the perpetrator, obtained a confession from him, and obtained an agreement to settle the sexual harassment case for $35,000. Funds were delivered 72 hours later. Another victory for women in the workplace.

 Although we are proud of this swift settlement it is unusual to get these results so quickly. We welcome the opportunity to serve victims of: sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace; sexual abuse and exploitation of patients by doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, family counselors, clergy, priests, and rabbis. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com

 Attorney Kevin Madison’s training and experience as a police investigator, police chief, and assistant district attorney distinguish him from other attorneys in the field.  Mr. Madison has 30 years of litigation experience and holds an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory – the highest rating awarded to attorneys for legal competence and ethics.

 

July 30, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Penn State says it will try to settle with all victims of sexual molestation cases

Penn State says it will try to settle with all victims of sexual molestation cases

After having received severe sanctions from the NCAA, it appears that Penn State intends to settle lawsuits stemming from the sexual abuse of children by its former assistant football coach as quickly as possible. Apparently Penn State carried sufficient general liability insurance that may cover the claims and damages of these child molestation victims, according to a CBS Face the Nation interview with Penn State University’s President. In an interview with CBS Face the Nation, Rodney Erickson expressed a desire to avoid putting those targeted by predatory pedophile Jerry Sandusky through the ordeal of a civil trial.  A partial clip of the FACE THE NATION interview with Penn State President Rodney Erickson follows. For the full interview go to the following hyperlink:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57481922/face-the-nation-transcripts-july-29-2012-mitt-romney-rep-wasserman-schultz-rodney-erickson/

BOB SCHIEFFER: Now we have the victim of the molestation that the assistant coach saw in the locker room involving Sandusky. His lawyers have come forward and said that he intends to sue the university. I would guess that this is going to be the first of many lawsuits. How is the university going to handle that? I mean do you have insurance? Can you withstand an onslaught of lawsuits?

RODNEY ERICKSON: We have, like any university of our size, both directors and officers, as– as well as general liability coverage, we believe that– that we are adequately covered. In addition to that we cer– we– we hope to be able to– to settle as many of these cases as quickly as possible. We– we don’t want to, if at all possible, drag victims through another round of– of court cases and litigation. If we can come to an agreement with them, with their attorneys, we believe that would be the best possible outcome in this– this whole very, very difficult, tragic situation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Now it’s my understanding that among the sanctions the NCAA imposed, it’s a sixty-million-dollar fine that you will pay out over– over a number of years. Where does that money come from?

RODNEY ERICKSON: We will pay that out in a combination of– of funds. We will use the football program’s financial reserves that– that they have available to them. And in all likelihood the– the university will have to extend the athletic department, a long-term loan that they can pay back as they get on their feet and as we adjust their budget going– going forward in the football program.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you the basic question, as you look back on it now, did Penn State put too much emphasis on football?

RODNEY ERICKSON: Our intercollegiate ath– athletics program has been a– a tremendous success. To the extent that– that some parts of intercollegiate athletics perhaps became too separate and became too much areas under– unto themselves and not sufficiently wrapped into the rest of the university,. That’s something that we– we really are looking at right now and, of course, the– the Freeh report made a number of recommendations with respect to that issue.

March 29, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Study of Reported Misconduct of Physicians Shows Most Common Complaint is Inappropriate Communication Such as Sexual Misconduct

Study of Reported Misconduct of Physicians Shows Most Common Complaint is Inappropriate Communication Such as Sexual Misconduct

Medical Boards Discipline Physicians for Online Behavior

Author: Jenni Laidman

March 20, 2012 — Most medical licensing boards have received at least 1 complaint about unprofessional online behavior by physicians, and many of these complaints resulted in serious disciplinary actions, including license revocation, according to a research letter published in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

S. Ryan Greysen, MD, from the Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues report that 48 (71%) of the 68 executive directors of medical licensing boards responded to the study survey. Of those, 44 (92%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 86% – 98%) indicated receiving at least 1 complaint about an online professional breach.

The most common complaints reported inappropriate communication with a patient, such as sexual misconduct, which was reported to 33 (69%) of 48 boards (95% CI, 58% – 80%); inappropriate practice, such as Internet prescribing without an established clinical relationship, reported to 30 (63%) of 48 boards (95% CI, 52% – 74%); and online misrepresentation of credentials, reported to 29 (60%) of 48 boards (95% CI, 48% – 72%). Thirty-one boards indicated that reports were made by patients or their families (31/48; 65%), and 24 (50%) of 48 boards said other physicians made the complaint.

A New Way to Violate Our Standards

“We’ve just found a new way to violate our own standards,” Jason Jent, PhD, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida, said to Medscape Medical News. Dr. Jent, who has published about physician online behavior, has no association with the JAMA letter. “Some of the violations we’ve seen in face-to-face communication, or over the phone, or by mail have now extended to online behavior. This is something we have to pay attention to,” he added.

The study authors say much the same: “Furthermore, these violations also may be important online manifestations of serious and common violations offline, including substance abuse, sexual misconduct, and abuse of prescription privileges.”

Thanks to author: Jenni Laidman

CRIME VICTIM RIGHTS LAWS

I would like to address “Crime Victim Rights” laws that most states now have. These statutes mandate that crime victims have certain rights that prosecutors must follow. Some of these rights include the right of a crime victim to confront their assailant in court; to have a separate waiting room when appearing in court; to prepare and have the Court consider a victim impact statement before sentencing the defendant; the right to be notified of all court hearings and trial date; and the right to have input on plea bargains the prosecutors offer the criminal defendant.

When I initiate civil litigation against a perpetrator I send a “Crime Victim Rights” letter to the District Attorney who is prosecuting the victim’s criminal case. In Texas, the prosecutors (District Attorneys or County Attorneys) are duty bound to follow the mandates of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure that govern crime victim’s rights. Whether or not a crime victim decides to pursue a civil action claim against the perpetrator, I would wholly encourage crime victim caseworkers and crime victim advocates to consider sending the prosecuting attorney a “Crime Victim Rights” letter. This letter lets the Office of the Prosecutor know that the crime victim is invoking her rights under the Act.

 The Crime Victim Rights letter invokes the rights of the victim to be advised of any plea bargain agreements between the Prosecutor’s Office and the offender and also invokes the right of the victim to make a crime victim impact statement that the Court may review before imposing sentencing in the criminal case. A sample “Crime Victim Rights” letter can be found in downloadable format (Microsoft Word) from my law firm website at www.kevinmadison.com. This letter was designed to be used in Texas. However, you can probably modify this form letter to fit the applicable crime victim rights law in your state.

Kevin Madison is an Austin-based attorney with over 29 years litigation experience and 25 years of experience as a judge. He is also a trained Sexual Assault Crime Victim Advocate.  He was the first attorney in Austin to file a civil lawsuit against a rapist and obtained a $1.5 million judgment in 1987. His experience and training as a police officer, police chief, prosecutor and EMT set him apart from most other personal injury attorneys as an advocate for victim rights in the civil justice system. To learn more about Kevin Madison or civil remedies available to victims of sexual assault, visit www.KevinMadison.com or call (512) 708-1650.

February 17, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on $20 Million Award for Rape Victim Against Houston Apartment Complex

$20 Million Award for Rape Victim Against Houston Apartment Complex

A Harris County jury awarded $20 million in damages Wednesday to a rape victim who sued her apartment complex for failing to notify residents about previous sexual attacks on the property. The woman lived at The Promenade Cullen Park when a masked man who resided in the west Houston complex raped and sodomized her for more than 10 hours in February 2009. The Houston Chronicle does not identify victims of sexual assault. According to the lawsuit, apartment officials knew about a break-in next door to the woman’s unit a few weeks before her ordeal in which a man tried to rape that resident and failed to notify other tenants about a sexual predator. The woman who filed suit lived alone and renewed her lease shortly after the earlier incident without being told about its severity, said Troy Chandler, a lawyer on the Williams Kherkher team who represented the woman.

“The apartment complex issued a notice that an apartment had been broken into – the same warning that they would send out if a bicycle was stolen off a balcony or a TV was stolen out of an apartment,” Chandler said. “The notice failed to mention that a burglary occurred, that the assailant waited inside, that a tenant was attacked and that there had been an attempted rape.” The lawsuit, filed in June 2010, sought damages for negligence and deceptive trade practices. The woman continues to  suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, Chandler said. After a weeklong trial, the jury awarded $7 million for physical pain and mental anguish, $5 million for future mental anguish and $8 million for conduct forbidden by the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The verdict comes one day before the three-year anniversary of the attack. “She wanted the apartment complex to change their notification policy,” Chandler said. “Her goal is to make sure that another person does not suffer and she wanted a jury to acknowledge what (apartment officials) did was wrong.” Chandler said he expects the defendant to appeal the verdict. Neither lawyers representing the apartment company nor a spokesperson for the Thompson Coe law firm could be reached for comment late Wednesday. Police, on notice about a possible serial rapist, arrested Darryl Anthony Martin shortly after the woman’s attacker fled and she called 911. Martin, now 24, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2010 and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

February 11, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Weatherford, Texas Air Conditioning Company Settles Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

Weatherford, Texas Air Conditioning Company Settles Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

A Weatherford company has settled a sexual discrimination lawsuit with the federal government after a woman complained of crude comments, unwanted touching and a manager who exposed himself to her, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hobson Air Conditioning settled a sexual-harassment and constructive-discharge lawsuit brought by the commission the day before the case was to be presented to a jury, the commission said Thursday. The settlement pays the woman $37,500 and imposes extensive conditions on Hobson.

Attorney Trey Harris of Fort Worth, who represents Hobson, said that the company admitted no wrongdoing and that the amount was about 20 percent of “what their best offer was in mediation.”  “It is my opinion that the plaintiff’s evidence was quite weak,” he said. “Hobson is committed to an environment free of any kind of sexual harassment. They always have been. Hobson is a family business.”

The woman, a former Hobson installation coordinator, was the only female employee at its Kennedale facility. According to the commission, her manager subjected her to sexually vulgar comments and touches soon after she was hired, including repeatedly asking her to show him her breasts, making crude sexual demands of her “and even exposing himself to her on multiple occasions.” The woman reported the harassment to higher management, but nothing was done to stop the behavior or discipline the manager, the commission said. The company did not investigate her report, the behavior continued and the woman “had no choice but to quit,” the commission said. Constructive discharge, in employment law, refers to situations where an employee has no choice but to resign because the employer’s actions have become so intolerable.

“To have a manager subject a subordinate employee to such mistreatment has the potential to establish the acceptance of such behavior in the workplace,” commission lawyer Devika Seth said. “We hope this settlement shows that there will be accountability when such an abuse of power occurs.”  Harris said that the conduct was supposed to have occurred in 2008 and that the manager is no longer with Hobson.  In the settlement, Hobson also agreed to:

  • Revise its sexual harassment policy and procedures to provide multiple avenues for reporting harassment.
  • Conduct annual training for five years on the laws against sexual harassment and the proper procedure for investigating complaints.
  • Report to the commission any complaints of sexual harassment for the next five years and post an anti-discrimination notice.
  • Place in the ex-manager’s personnel file a notice reflecting the complaint.
February 10, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Justice for crime victims IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- Part 3

Justice for crime victims IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- Part 3

Justice for crime victims IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- Part 3

             A civil judgment obtained against a sexual or physical predator who “willfully and maliciously” assaults another cannot be discharged by the defendant if he files for federal bankruptcy court protection, like other debts can. This federal bankruptcy law applies to all bankruptcy courts throughout the United States. If a crime victim is able to obtain a civil judgment against a criminal predator for physical assault, or sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment, and there is a court finding that the acts were intentional and malicious, that judgment cannot be discharged or dissolved by a bankruptcy court.

Kevin Madison is an Austin-based attorney with over 29 years litigation experience and 25 years of experience as a judge. He is also a trained Sexual Assault Crime Victim Advocate.  He was the first attorney in Austin to file a civil lawsuit against a rapist and obtained a $1.5 million judgment in 1987. His experience and training as a police officer, police chief, prosecutor and EMT set him apart from most other personal injury attorneys as an advocate for victim rights in the civil justice system. To learn more about Kevin Madison or civil remedies available to victims of sexual assault, visit www.KevinMadison.com or call (512) 708-1650.

 

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