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CONSUMER PROTECTION Five-digit odometer enabled used car salesman to cheat plaintiff A used-car dealership must pay a customer $55,920, including $40,000 in attorney fees, after it took advantage of a car’s five-digit odometer to understate the car’s mileage by at least 100,000 miles. Rosemary Preston, who was 47 and disabled, bought a 1994 Ford Taurus from Padgett’s Used Cars & Lsng Inc. after the salesman wrongly told her that the odometer reading of 56,654 was the actual mileage. In response to allegations of deceptive trade practices, Padgett’s contended that it was entitled to rely on the statement of the previous owner, co-defendant Michelle Billetter. Billetter denied any knowledge of the actual mileage and was dismissed from the case at the close of the evidence. A Bexar County jury rendered the verdict on Feb. 19. Preston v. Padgett’s Used Cars & Lsng, No. 282912 Court: Bexar County Court at Law No. 10 Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Thomas A. Crosley, Branton & Hall, San Antonio; Robert D. Dabaghian, Law Offices of Robert D. Dabaghian, San Antonio Defense Attorneys: Tina Torres and Rob Hughes, Law Offices of Peter Torres Jr., San Antonio; Robert S. Thompson, Thompson and Thompson EMPLOYMENT White chef claimed that he was a victim of racial discrimination A chef who sued his employer for racial discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination was awarded $554,500 by a Beaumont jury on Feb. 5. Brandon Bryant, who is white, sued Chartwells, a food service company in Beaumont, claiming that he was framed for theft and fired because of his race or because he had filed an EEOC charge. In his complaint to the EEOC, Bryant claimed that he was promised a promotion, but that a Hispanic was promoted instead and that Bryant’s work hours were reduced. Chartwells emphasized that manager who fired Bryant was white himself and maintained that the company had procedures designed to prohibit discrimination and retaliation. The judge agreed that the acts were contrary to Chartwells’ procedures and reduced the award by $350,000, the amount given for punitives. Bryant v. Compass Group USA, No. 1:02-CV-496 Court: U.S. District Court, Beaumont Plaintiffs’ Attorney(s): John Werner, Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, Beaumont Defense Attorney(s): Kerry E. Notestine and Deke W. Bond, Littler Mendelson, Houston MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Cold-water therapy machine leak caused foot infection, ending topless dancer’s career A topless dancer who underwent a bunionectomy and whose foot later became infected because of allegedly negligent post-operative care, lost her suit. Annette Wanack claimed that the water pump of the ice pad for the dressing leaked and that her podiatrist, Stephen Densen, did not change the wet bandages, resulting in the infection. As a result, she claimed that she can no longer wear high heels, de rigeur in her job. Denson claimed that he had changed the bandages. Wanack entered into a confidential settlement with the pump’s supplier, Texas Medical Resources Inc., but will not recover on her malpractice claims against her podiatrist, a Harris County jury decided on Jan. 15. Wanack v. Densen DPM, No. 2001-41221 Court: 215st District Court, Harris County Plaintiffs’ Attorney(s): Stephen V. Buttram, Fox, Rainey & Buttram, Houston; Derrick M. Saulsberry, Attorney at Law, Houston Defense Attorney(s): Deanna Dean Smith and Bridgett M. Matthes, Ebanks, Smith & Carlson, Houston; Pablo Rodriguez, Law Office of Pablo Rodriguez, Houston MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Parents blamed teen diabetic’s death on delay in IV fluids A surgeon who operated on another patient before attending to a teenage girl suffering diabetic ketosis and in need of a central line for IV fluid administration, and the hospital were found not negligent by a Travis County jury on Feb. 19. Ferron Williams, 15, waited about four hours before the line was successfully placed, and went into cardiac arrest and died soon afterward. Her parents sued North Austin Medical Center, Hyon-Ho Shin, M.D., and several other doctors for failure to timely administer fluids. The autopsy revealed that Williams died of necrotizing hemorrhagic pancreatitis (which presented so atypically that the plaintiffs did not allege failure to diagnose). Shin claimed that he was not aware of the urgency of Williams’ condition. The other doctors were non-suited. Williams v. Shin, No. GN203683 Court: 345th District Court, Travis County Plaintiffs’ Attorney(s): Ryan Krebs, Law Office of Ryan Krebs, Austin Defense Attorney(s) Missy Atwood and Erin Dickinson, Germer, Gertz, Beaman & Brown, Austin; David A. Wright and Christine M. Ruffner, Davis & Wilkerson, Austin; Dan Ballard and Stacey J. Simmons, Dan Ballard & Associates, Austin; Jane E. Bockus, Clark, Thomas & Winters, San Antonio MOTOR VEHICLE Heavy traffic and rain led to rear-ender by delivery truck A woman who alleged that she suffered anxiety attacks after sustaining a herniated disc when she was rear-ended by a Frito-Lay delivery truck was awarded $80,900 by a Bexar County jury on Jan 29. Her husband was awarded $2,500 for his lost consortium claim. Judy Ostoich, 38, incurred medical bills of $23,000, mostly for the back injury, and she sought $60,000 for a planned discectomy and fusion. She did not go to the emergency room until three days after the accident, and was referred to her chiropractor by her lawyer. The defense stipulated liability, but argued that not all of the claimed injuries resulted from the accident. Ostoich v. Frito-Lay, No 2003-CI-01474 Court: 285th District Court, Bexar County Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Pat Maloney, Law office of Pat Maloney, San Antonio Defense Attorneys: Albert M. Gutierrez, Alvarez, Notion & Gutierrez, San Antonio The verdicts and settlements above are reported and written by VerdictSearch Texas . Send verdicts and settlements to [email protected] Additional verdicts can be found in VerdictSearch Texas or at VerdictSearch.com, affiliates of Texas Lawyer.

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