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Verdicts & Settlements

Feds settle negligent-entrustment claim over ether-huffing marine (access required)

In a negligent-entrustment case that took a turn when discovery revealed new evidence, the U.S. government has agreed to a $6.675 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by families involved in a fatal car crash caused by a Camp Lejeune marine who was high on ether from the base. Plaintiffs' attorney Joseph Anderson said the case took a dramatic turn earlier this year when discovery revealed "an unexpected cache of documents" and he learned that one of the witnesses he was set to depose had evidence showing that military officials knew the marine, Pvt. Lucas Borges, was a habitual substance abuser and had questioned his ability to serve in the military.

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Novartis hit with nearly $13M verdict in failure-to-warn case (access required)

A federal jury in Winston-Salem has returned a verdict of nearly $13 million against pharmaceutical giant Novartis, saying the company failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the risks of taking the bone-strengthening drugs Zometa and Aredia. The estate of Rita Fussman of Chapel Hill had sued Novartis after Fussman came down with what at first appeared to be a mysterious jaw disease after she had been taking the drugs for several years. Fussman discovered her complications with the drug when she had a CT scan on her jaw. "The guy said, ‘You have exposed bone in your mouth,'" said Vernon Glenn (pictured) of Winston-Salem, a second-chair attorney for Fussman.

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Nurse injured in Durham Freeway wreck settles case for $850,000 (access required)

Defendant-truck driver was driving a 2003 Freightliner tractor pulling an enclosed van semi-trailer north/northwest on N.C. 147 in Durham. Plaintiff Jane Doe, age 60 and an oncology nurse at Duke University Medical Center, was driving her 2000 Toyota Camry on ...

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Hospital settles suit for failing to diagnose ‘Valley Fever’ (access required)

When Thanh Cong Le visited his family in San Jose, Calif., in late 2006, he had no idea he may have been exposed to fungal spores that cause coccidioidomycosis, a lung disease known as "Valley Fever." He felt ill enough on his return home to western North Carolina that he sought treatment at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. After he died of the disease, the hospital recently settled with his estate, according to Asheville attorney Jay Kerr. "The major significance of this case involves the corporate negligence theories we advanced and supported with evidence, and which the jury clearly based its verdict upon," he said.

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