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CONSUMER PROTECTION Green card and passport scam duped thousands A couple accused of scamming hopeful immigrants through a Web site that offered green cards and passports agreed on June 30 to pay approximately $2.2 million to settle fraud claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC claimed that John Romano and Hoda M. Nofal, through their company, Global Web Solutions Inc., masqueraded as a U.S. government agency by using deceptive Web addresses and government seals to induce consumers to try to get green cards and first-time passports through their sites. The agency alleged that after paying money to the defendants, consumers learned that, instead of being able to actually obtain these documents, the defendants were merely offering online access to government forms and that the law requires personal appearances to get them. Case/Court/Date: Federal Trade Commission v. Global Web Solutions Inc., No. 03-CV-2031-HHK (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) June 30, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorney: Gregory Ashe, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. Defense attorneys: Marc Nurik and Theresa Van Vliet, Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; John R. Howes, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOTOR VEHICLE Reduced mobility claimed after discectomy, cordectomy A woman who claimed that a discectomy and cordectomy following a rear-ender caused her continued discomfort and reduced mobility settled her suit against the United States for $125,000 on June 24. Michele Sam, a 42-year-old employee of the D.C. Department of Family Services, was a passenger in a van used to transport mentally handicapped people to and from work. While the van was traveling in the District, it was hit from behind by a U.S. Postal Service vehicle. Sam claimed that the driver of the postal vehicle failed to keep a proper lookout. The settlement, reached before depositions were taken, was for pain and suffering. There was a $20,000 workers’ compensation lien. Case/Court/Date: Sam v. United States, No. 1:03-cv-00262-JR (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) June 24, 2004. Plaintiff’s attorney: David Kopstein, Dross Levenstein Perilman & Kopstein, Seabrook, Md. Defense attorney: Dorann E. Banks, assistant U.S. attorney, Washington, D.C. INTERNET LAW Hooked on Phonics folks changed privacy policy without notice The Gateway Learning Corp. settled deceptive practices and fraud claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission by agreeing to disgorge the $4,608 it earned from selling consumer information and change its privacy notification practices. Since 2000, Gateway Learning has been marketing its “Hooked on Phonics” products on the Internet. The site’s privacy policy stated, “We do not sell, rent or loan any personally identifiable information regarding our consumers with any third party unless we receive customer’s explicit consent.” Gateway later changed its policy and sold the information of users who had signed off on the previous policy. The FTC claimed that this retroactive application was deceptive. No liability was admitted as part of the July 7 settlement. Case/Court/Date: In re Gateway Learning Corp., FTC No. 042-3047 (Federal Trade Commission), July 7, 2004. Plaintiff’s attorney: Laura Mazzarella, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. Defense attorney: William McLeod and Lewis Rose, Collier Shannon Scott, Washington, D.C. MOTOR VEHICLE Plaintiff claimed turning truck ran over his leg and waist A man who claimed he sustained a hematoma and a fractured tailbone and T10 vertebra after being run over by a tractor-trailer carrying 80,000 pounds of sludge was denied recovery by a D.C. federal jury on May 11. Edward Coburn, then 23, claimed he was standing on the side of a road in the District, when a truck rounded an intersection and plowed over him, two sets of its tandem tires running over his right leg, and another two sets running over his waist. He sued Duffield Hauling, George, Va., claiming that the truck driver was negligent for driving around a corner too quickly. The defense argued that the plaintiff was playing ball in the street, tried to jump on the side of the truck, and was “pinched” between the sidewall and street. Case/Court/Date: Coburn v. Duffield Hauling Inc., No. 1:02-CV-01525-RBW (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) May 11, 2004. Plaintiff’s attorney: Christopher Mahoney, Duane Morris, Washington, D.C. Defense attorney: David Stratton, Jordan Coyne & Savits, Washington, D.C. MOTOR VEHICLE Musician claimed injuries caused disabling carpal tunnel A musician who claimed he was no longer able to play music after a rear-ender was awarded $55,000 by a Virginia jury on June 16. Robert Edmonds, 74, parked his rental car in front of Reagan International Airport, Arlington, Va., to check his luggage at a curb-side check-in. While getting back into the rental, with one of his legs still outside, the vehicle was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by Gopala Nair. Edmonds, who claimed a herniated lumbar disc and carpal tunnel, sued Nair, claiming that he was unable to play his sax or clarinet since the accident. He had played with bands on cruise ships. Nair claimed that the road was slippery, and that the collision was too light to cause the alleged injuries, which he attributed to old age. Case/Court/Date: Edmonds v. Nair, No. 03-623 (Arlington City, Circuit Court) June 16, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorney: David Kopstein, Dross Levenstein Perilman & Kopstein, Seabrook, Md. Defense attorney: Thomas Mugavero, Alexandria, Va. FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT Tumor revealed on X-ray went untreated for two years The estate of a 58-year-old retiree who died of cancer after a detected tumor went untreated for two years, settled its claim against a physician and his employer for an undisclosed amount on July 20. Frances Sanderson was treated for Bell’s palsy at DeWitt Army Community Hospital by Dr. Joseph Nnadike. She was not told that a chest X-ray taken at the time revealed a two-centimeter tumor. Two years later, an X-ray revealed that the tumor had grown to five centimeters. This time, she was told about it, and it was operated on. However, due to metastasis, she died of cancer within a year. Her estate sued Nnadike and the staffing company he worked for, the Godwin Corp., Langley Park, Md., claiming that he failed to follow up. The defense argued that as an emergency room doctor, he was not required to. Case/Court/Date: Estate of Sanderson v. United States, No. CV03-1194-A (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division) July 20, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Steven Adelman and Robert Jenner, Janet & Jenner, Baltimore, Md.; David Kopstein, Dross Levenstein Perilman & Kopstein, Springfield, Va. Defense attorneys: Patrick Kernan, Alexandria, Va.; Dennis Szybala, Alexandria, Va.; Thomas Wochok, Hamilton, Altman, Canale & Dillon, Fairfax, Va. MOTOR VEHICLE Woman hit head-on sustained fractures and forehead laceration A woman who was hit head-on was awarded $1.1 million plus prejudgment interest by a Virginia jury on June 10. In 1999, Sherry Joseph, 52, was driving her Ford Bronco in Charlottesville, Va. Paul De Souza, a visiting doctor from Australia, crossed the center line while rounding a curve and struck her vehicle. De Souza, who was in a sedan, was traveling approximately 55 mph. Joseph was also headed into the curve at 55 mph, but was beginning to slow down, she claimed. She sustained a comminuted fracture of the femur requiring insertion of a metal rod, bilateral calcaneal fractures, and a laceration across her forehead. She sued De Souza, who admitted liability, but contested the damages, attributing some of her physical therapy to a knee replacement she had before the accident. Case/Court/Date: Joseph v. De Souza, No. LR1212 (Richmond City, Circuit Court) June 10, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorney: Keith Marcus, Bremner, Janus, Cook & Marcus, Richmond, Va. Defense attorney: Alexander Francuzenko, O’Connell O’Connell & Sarsfield, Rockville, Md. SLIP AND FALL Building owner argued black ice was obvious A respiratory therapist who slipped on black ice, cutting her left hand near the pinky and severing the ulnar digital nerve, settled her claims against the owner of her apartment building for $75,000 on July 20. Jennifer Brewer, then 28, was walking to the curb when she fell. She claimed that the gutters of the building allowed melted snow and ice to drain onto a sloping black asphalt parking lot, and blamed building owner William Beatty for creating the dangerous condition. Beatty argued that the ice was an open and obvious hazard. In addition to no longer being able to perform manual chest physiotherapy, Brewer can no longer play guitar. Case/Court/Date: Brewer v. Beatty, (Court Matter not filed) Aug. 1, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorney: Barbara Williams, Burnett & Williams, Leesburg, Va. Defense attorney: Settled with insurance carrier. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Drug company opposed exclusivity for rival’s generic Neurontin A drug manufacturer’s request for a 180-day period of market exclusivity for generic Neurontin was denied by a district judge on June 3. Apotex, an Ontario, Canada-based generic drug manufacturer, sued the Food and Drug Administration, claiming that it should be entitled to the period of exclusivity because Purepac’s exclusivity period was up and the Cranford, N.J.-based competitor is not entitled to a second period of exclusivity. The FDA, and Purepac as defendant-intervenor, argued that Apotex was barred from bringing this case on the grounds of res judicata, which Apotex disputed, citing a change in the law from a Jan. 2 case that it argued should apply to the present litigation. Case/Court/Date: Apotex Inc. v. FDA, No. CA 04-605 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) June 3, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorneys: William Rakoczy, Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi, Chicago; Arthur Tsien, Olsson, Frank and Weeda, Washington, D.C. Defense attorney: Peter Blumberg, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Washington, D.C.; Andrew Clark, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Charles Raubicheck, Frommer Lawrence & Haug, New York, N.Y.; Karen Schifter, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md.; William Schultz, Zuckerman Spaeder, Washington, D.C. Editor’s Note: These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers in the D.C. area and nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research, call 1-800-832-1900. To submit a case, call (212) 313-9180, fax (212) 313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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