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Fatal distraction (access required)

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A trucker may have been watching a texting gadget instead of the road when he caused a horrific crash on the interstate, but that doesn’t give the injured victims grounds to sue the manufacturers of the device. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 2 that the two companies, Geologic Solutions and Xata, could not be held liable for the trucker’s misuse of their product and dismissed the claims against them.

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Medicaid Act may trump state seizure law (access required)

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The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed divided over whether the federal Medicaid Act pre-empts a North Carolina law authorizing the state to recoup as much as one third of any medical malpractice jury award or settlement, regardless of how much of the award was designated for medical expenses.

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Lawyers in the News (access required)

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Michael C. Tarwater Jr. has joined Charlotte’s Horack Talley as an associate with the litigation and real estate groups. Tarwater is a graduate of the Charlotte School of Law and also has a Master of Business Administration from UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.

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Does a 10-time felon get a gun? (access required)

As Congress prepares to debate proposals for new gun regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, North Carolina’s courts continue to review whether the state’s existing gun laws square with recent state and U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Most recently, a divided Court of Appeals overturned a Caswell County judge’s ruling that the state’s Felony Firearms Act is unconstitutional, but kept alive one man’s claim that it violates his rights.

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Tried and True yet ignored (access required)

A decade ago, when the SCRAM bracelet first hit the market, the idea seemed revolutionary — a high-tech tool to battle the chronic problem of alcohol abuse. It kept tabs on abusers and helped them stay sober via an electronic anklet that constantly monitors blood alcohol content.

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