first_imgSource: BusinessWire – April, 21, 2009 Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, a leading plaintiffs’ firm based in San Diego, has announced the firm has secured a settlement of $50 million in cash for a class of TD Banknorth, Inc shareholders. Plaintiffs in a related action previously attempted to settle the case for under $3 million, or $.03 per TD Banknorth share. This victory for shareholders provides members of the class with an exponentially greater recovery than the related action was poised to provide before plaintiffs City of Dearborn Heights (MI) Act 345 Police & Fire Retirement System and H. Louis Farmer, Jr. successfully objected to that settlement and took over the case.The $50 million settlement, before fees and expenses, is more than 16 times the amount shareholders would have received under the previously proposed settlement. The Settlement Agreement was filed with the Court late yesterday and the settlement is subject to approval by the Court.”We always believed that TD Banknorth’s shareholders deserved more than mere pennies, and we’re pleased that we were able to obtain substantially more than the originally proposed settlement,” said John J. Riley II, the Treasurer of the City of Dearborn Heights.This class action was filed on behalf of former stockholders of TD Banknorth, arising out of the April 20, 2007 going-private merger in which Toronto-Dominion Bank, TD Banknorth’s majority stockholder, cashed out TD Banknorth’s public stockholders for $32.33 per share. The plaintiffs alleged that defendants breached their fiduciary duties to TD Banknorth’s shareholders because the terms of the going-private merger were unfair and the result of an unfair process.A number of plaintiffs filed complaints in Delaware and attempted to settle the case quickly. At the same time, Farmer filed an action in Maine state court and aggressively litigated the case. After obtaining strong evidence in support of his claims, Farmer, along with Dearborn Heights, took his case to Delaware and successfully objected to the settlement reached by the original Delaware plaintiffs. As the Court later summarized:While Farmer took extensive discovery in the Maine litigation, including nine depositions, the Original Plaintiffs did little to advance the litigation in Delaware, seemingly satisfied with negotiating a very modest settlement. Aware of these negotiations and concerned by what he saw as the Original Plaintiffs’ lack of diligence, Farmer stipulated to stay the Maine litigation and, with the other plaintiff currently seeking certification, the City of Dearborn Heights Act 345 Police & Fire Retirement System (“Retirement System”), filed a motion to intervene in the Delaware litigation. On March 23, 2007, two days after the filing of the motion to intervene, the Original Plaintiffs filed a stipulation of settlement, agreeing to the certification of the class and the appointment of the Original Plaintiffs as class representatives. The terms of the settlement also included certain corrective disclosures, and an increase of $.03 per share in the merger price…. Farmer and Retirement System filed their objection, amply supported by the extensive discovery taken in the Maine action, and, on July 19, this court rejected the settlement….”We firmly believed in the strength of our claims and were forging ahead towards trial prior to reaching a settlement with defendants. We consider this an exceptional result for our clients and the class,” said Coughlin Stoia partner Samuel H. Rudman.For more information, you can review the Settlement Agreement and exhibits thereto on the Coughlin Stoia web site ( is external)) and at is external).last_img read more

first_img December 15, 2004 Letters December 15, 2004 Letters LettersSettlement Disbursements Those who are suggesting that we interpret the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to prevent attorneys from allowing their clients to receive the entire settlement proceeds and pay their own bills (See Proposed Ethics Opinion 00-2 Reconsideration) must not be dealing with our state’s upstanding citizens. Attorneys are already thought of suspiciously in our society. (Witness the passage of Amendment 3). Who is going to be the one to tell a client, “The Bar has decided that you cannot be trusted to pay your bills. So I cannot let the business/person/insurance company defendant who harmed you pay you everything they owe you. I must insist that the defendants pay me that portion of the settlement that you owe to others. No, no, that isn’t because we think we’re more trustworthy than you. Yes, we know that there was already a rule that prevents our participation in fraud (as though we need a rule in order to prevent us from doing so). But the Bar decided (for some reason that is unfathomable to me, unless pure greed for IOTA) this is just to make sure that third parties get paid what they should. Sorry.” Doesn’t anyone else have honorable clients who pay their bills and will be absolutely outraged by this stealing of client funds and evidence of complete lack of respect for them? Interpreting the rules this way will only persuade those who remain firmly supportive of attorneys that their confidence may be misplaced. Please don’t do this. Rosemary N. Palmer Tallahassee Amendment 3 Amendment 3 limiting attorneys’ fees in medical malpractice cases was sold to Floridians as a cure to the state’s so-called malpractice crisis. reducing attorneys’ fees, more money would be put into the hands of victims of medical malpractice instead of the greedy lawyers. There would be no more frivolous lawsuits and those really injured get more money. Doctors would stop leaving the state in droves. Sounds good, right? Consider these facts: • The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report in 2003 — Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care — that examined this issue in nine states. The GAO concluded that there is no exodus of physicians from Florida. The number of new medical licenses issued in Florida increased from 3,239 in 2000 to 3,577 in 2001, while the numbers of physicians per person has remained stable. • The same GAO report also concluded that jury awards of any size were rare, and big jury awards (greater than $1 million) were rarer still. The GAO concluded that the rising costs of malpractice premiums were the result of insurance companies’ investment losses as well as extremely competitive pricing for insurance premiums in the 1990’s. • There is no such thing as a frivolous medical malpractice case. Florida Statutes require that before a health care provider can even be put on notice of a potential claim by a lawyer, an opinion must be obtained by a physician in the same specialty area that malpractice has occurred. This opinion routinely costs thousands of dollars that the lawyer must pay before any claim is filed. Lawyers are business people like anyone else; they do not invest in cases that do not have merit. • Lowering attorneys’ fees in medical malpractice cases will deny injured people access to the courts. Amendment 3 limits the amount of money a victim of medical malpractice may spend on his/her attorney but places no such limitation on how much can be spent on the defense of a malpractice case. • There is no malpractice crisis. GE Medical Protective, the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer, admitted in filings with the Texas Department of Insurance that caps would not result in lower premiums. • Medical malpractice payouts are less than 1 percent of total U.S. Health Care costs. All losses (verdicts, settlements, legal fees, etc.,) have stayed under 1 percent for the last 18 years, according to Americans for Insurance Reform. The bottom line is Amendment 3 will not result in anything but less accountability for those health care providers that are hurting Floridians and make it more difficult for those injured Floridians to take them to court. America has prided itself on the jury system for more than 200 years, and the statistics show it works. Floridians have been fooled into giving up their rights. Lawrence J. Marraffino Gainesville Medical malpractice and contingency fee tort lawyers need no financial assistance from other members of The Florida Bar, especially sole practitioners like myself and small firm lawyers who struggle to make a living and pay for their children’s higher education. I find it incomprehensible and a probable dereliction of duty, no matter how many self-serving legal opinions were obtained, that The Florida Bar Board of Governors had the audacity to donate $100,000 of the members’ funds and another $100,000 from a fund whose objective, as its name states, is to promote the Maintenance of Excellence (of Florida lawyers) in an attempt to defeat a constitutional amendment that affects a small percentage of the most affluent members of the Bar. Incidentally, as I assume everyone on the board had known, our re-elected president’s platform included a cap on awards to medical malpractice and the contingency fee tort lawyers. I trust the board members are familiar with what John Edwards and his team of contingency fee tort lawyers, and others like them, did to the affected physicians’ liability insurance rates in North Carolina. Fortunately, the board’s ill-advised donations were not successful in defeating Amendment 3. But, the $200,000 that was morally, ethically, and perhaps legally wrong to donate can never be returned. If the board had to seek legal opinions in an effort to protect itself, that alone should have prevented the board from going ahead with the donations. I trust that no members of the board, Legislation Committee, or other persons of authority that were involved in the decision to make the incomprehensible donations do not have any possible conflict of interest. If so, such lawyer(s) that may have a conflict of interest should immediately resign their positions that involve trust and fiduciary responsibility with a public apology to the general Florida Bar membership. John W. Field Deerfield Beach At a recent Spellman-Hoeveler Inn of Court meeting, a prominent plaintiff’s attorney spoke regarding Amendment 3. He began by discussing the exorbitant costs associated with medical malpractice cases and mentioned that in most of the cases his firm handles 25 percent of the fee immediately goes out as a “referral fee.” The primary argument was that attorneys would not take some cases because it will not be financially feasible, thereby restricting patients’ ability to bring suit. That argument really has little weight because Amendment 3 allows for costs prior to calculating the attorney fees. What the amendment does is prevent a lawyer from making a windfall. We, as a Bar, are looking to place blame on doctors for offering an amendment to the “easily misled” public. This is not where culpability rests. The responsibility for Amendment 3 is squarely on our shoulders. We have allowed our image to degrade to the point that the general public views lawyers on par with traditionally mistrusted occupations such as used car salesmen. We have allowed what is a noble profession to become a business. The “business of law” cannot survive as a self-regulating practice; we must maintain it as a profession, or expect to be regulated by others. We hold a particular grasp over access to the courts — to justice. Meanwhile, a small number of lawyers have turned that position into a monopoly used to make unreasonable profit at the expense of our reputations. Our failure is allowing this conduct to become the norm. For example, when did it become acceptable to pay out referral fees? Amendment 3 could have been predicted years ago when polls were coming out reflecting public opinion that held lawyers in such poor regard. We attempted to respond and the Dignity in Law campaign was launched in early 2002. The miscalculation on our part was viewing the problem of public perception as one that could be remedied through a PR-styled attack. The $20 million spent opposing Amendment 3 should be a wake-up call that this strategy will not work; the problem must be dealt with at the source — the sisters and brothers of the Bar. Physicians are not to blame for Amendment 3; we are responsible for failing to maintain the practice of law as a profession. Marshall Dore Louis Miamilast_img read more

first_imgWilliam H. “Bill” Stuckey of Brookville, was born on January 11, 1941 in Bloomington, IN, a son to William and Helen Fields Stuckey.  He served his country with the United States Marines and began his career with the Secret Service as a Special Agent in 1965.  Bill married Crystal Mayer on November 19, 1976 in Cincinnati, Ohio and she survives.  He was a member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Fairfield Masonic Lodge, Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Valley of Cincinnati Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Franklin County Sheriff’s Merit Board, and he also served a term on the Franklin County School Board.  Bill loved spending time with his family and friends, telling jokes, golfing, boating, traveling, reading, and listening to music. When he wasn’t fixing things he could be found cruising in his Mustang, top down, music blaring.  On Sunday, June 30, 2019 at the age of 78, Bill passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.Those surviving who will cherish Bill’s memory include his wife Crystal Stuckey; children, Elizabeth Nesius of West Terre Haute, Brian (Denise) Busony of Huntington Beach, CA, William (Selena) Stuckey of Pensacola, FL, and Kelly (Matt) Stewart of Brookville; eleven grandchildren Helen, Max, Tommy, Harrison, Jack, Ari, Taylor, Morgan, Avery, Kessie, and Chloe; one great granddaughter Paisley; and one brother, Clay (Josephine) Stuckey of Bedford. He was preceded in death by his parents.Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, July 7, 2019 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 929 Main Street, Brookville. Pastor Ladonna Webb will officiate the funeral service on Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Lutheran Church. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery with full military honors.Memorial donations can be directed to the Franklin County Community Foundation at 527 Main Street, Brookville, IN 47012 for Franklin County Humane Society Endowment, Florence Underwood/Virginia Hunt Endowment (funeral meals at St. Thomas Lutheran Church), and Franklin County Sheriff’s K-9 Fund. In addition, memorial contributions can also be directed to the Brook Hill Golf Club Preservation Fund, c/o Larry Lunsford, 11199 Brookhaven Road, Brookville, IN 47012.  To sign the online guestbook or to leave personal memories please visit  The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to care for the family of Bill Stuckey.last_img read more

first_imgCharles Leclerc didn’t just secure his first F1 win at the 2019 Belgium Grand Prix – he did so whilst resisting an onslaught of late-race pressure from five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.And the Mercedes man is predicting many more champagne moments from the driver now installed as F1’s third-youngest winner.Hamilton drove an inspired final 10 laps of the Belgian Grand Prix to erase a seven-second gap to Leclerc down to under one second at the line. But an equally-inspired Leclerc kept his head to record his maiden F1 victory, drawing praise from a dignified Hamilton.“He’s been really unlucky in quite a few races this year – it could easily have been the third win today,” said Hamilton, referring to Leclerc’s near-misses for victory in Bahrain and Austria this season. “So there’s a lot more greatness to come from him and I’m looking forward to seeing his growth and racing alongside him. It was fun today, trying to chase him. He was just a little bit too quick.”Leclerc’s performance – particularly coming in the aftermath of the death of his friend Anthoine Hubert in Saturday’s Formula 2 Feature Race – also drew praise from Leclerc’s Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto, who advised those in the paddock to start learning the Monaco national anthem, predicting that the Hymne Monegasque would be on heavy rotation on the podium in the coming years…“He drove very well today, pushing from the first lap to the end, and he drove very well the entire weekend,” said Binotto. “And I think for him as well, it was important to win for Anthoine today, so he was very committed for that. He was willing it, so I’m happy. “[He’s had] opportunities this season so far, we missed them and to win here in Spa – true it’s not probably the best time, let me say, for our very first victory, but [it’s] an important one as well… the first win for Charles, which is not the last one. We heard the [national anthem] of Monaco for the very first time here and we need to learn it, I’m pretty sure.”Leclerc’s victory moved him to within 12 points of fourth-placed teammate Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings, with Max Verstappen a further 12 points away in third place, as F1 now heads to Ferrari’s home race at Monza. 2019 Drivers’ standings post-SpaPOSITIONPOINTS1  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes2682  Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes2033  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing1814  Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari1695  Charles LECLERC Ferrari157last_img read more

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and United States Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac have dedicated a state-of-the-art 25-bed Ebola field hospital constructed in Charlesville, Margibi County, by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to provide care to healthcare workers, both international and Liberian, who may be infected with the Ebola virusKnown as the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU), the facility would be considered as a safe haven for healthcare workers in the country who are on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola. The construction of the field hospital was financed by the American Government and implemented jointly by the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).The dedication ceremony of the facility was held in Charlesville, near the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County last Wednesday, November 5, 2015. The MMU, which is primarily for healthcare workers as well as the 4,000 U.S troops expected to be deployed in the country, is in addition to 17 Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) that are under construction across the country as a result of the U.S. intervention in Liberia.The facility is being staffed by a team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, which is playing an integral role in the overall US government response. The USPHS Commissioned Corps is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joined U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac to dedicate the newly constructed 25-bed field hospital to be used solely for the treatment of healthcare workers who may become infected by the Ebola virus disease.Speaking during the ceremony, President Sirleaf said the hospital represents a major contribution in the fight against the virus in Liberia.  It also represents a true spirit of partnership between both governments.“This facility represents a major contribution to the country’s fight against the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease that has hit our country so hard. This represents a true spirit of partnership and leaves hope for a structure that will enable Liberians fare for themselves when the partners shall have left after Ebola.”She described the US government as a partner who recognizes and responds to the needs of the Liberian people and that the fruit of the partnership reaches out to the people it is meant to benefit.President Sirleaf lauded healthcare workers for their sacrificial services to the country and its people by confronting a disease they knew very little about.  She expressed happiness that those healthcare workers who may be infected can now receive quality care and treatment with a high hope of survival.She also lauded the American government and people for coming to the aid of Liberia at a time when international response to the Ebola crisis was at its lowest ebb.  She expressed the hope that the country is well on its way to beating back the further spread of the disease.The Liberian leader noted that Liberians themselves are the main force preventing the further spread of the deadly virus, due to their adherence to measures announced by the Government, and for supporting all the measures meant to tackle the further spread of the disease.Ambassador Malac, said the current role of the U.S. Government in Liberia’s fight against Ebola, including the construction of the treatment facility, is a symbol of the strong U.S.-Liberia relations and partnership.“The U.S. is proud to be supporting Liberia and it is expected that our support will go further than the emergency period and interventions. I am glad that healthcare workers who may fall sick to Ebola can now get quality treatment right here in Liberia,” the Ambassador emphasized.She indicated that Liberia had made progress and will continue to make progress in the fight against Ebola until the virus is finally eradicated from the country. She thanked the AFL and Liberians in general for their cooperation with the U.S. and other partners working in Liberia.Since the outbreak of the virus, health workers have been the hardest hit with over 70 falling prey to the disease. These include Medical Doctors, Physician Assistants and Nurses. The construction of this facility, though it may be considered belated, will serve as a ‘safe haven,’ for these health workers who are still on the frontlines and dedicating their lives to the service of humanity.Providing an overview of the facility, the Acting U.S.  Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson, noted that the MMU is multifunctional and was reconfigured to meet the mission requirements specific to infectious disease treatment in Liberia.“Although this is a clinical care unit, not usually intended for an infectious pathogen, the DoD and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps worked in partnership to reconfigure the facility to function as an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU).“In addition, experts from Medecin Sans Frontieres (MSF) were consulted on the reconfiguration, illuminating the multi-sector approach in support of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia and the United States Agency for International Development Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the overall U.S.  Ebola response in the region,” he said.Admiral Giberson said seventy officers, with diverse clinical and public health backgrounds, will bring safety and security to the brave men and women who are serving as frontlines heroes, and continue efforts of USAID, DoD, the government of Liberia and international partners to build capacity for additional care in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more