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In the end, American Standard Insurance paid the $8,000 in chiropractic bills submitted by car crash victim Dawn Goodson and her kids. But the insurance company took its time, questioning the charges and delaying payment for 18 months. Meanwhile, Goodson worried she might have to cover the out-of-network tab herself. A sympathetic jury awarded her $75,000 in actual damages and another $75,000 in punitives. American Standard cried foul, saying that Goodson needed to show an actual economic loss. Not so, replied the Colorado Supreme Court this week. In a case of first impression, the court ruled that simple emotional distress is sufficient to collect … Here’s a new way to get a traffic ticket dismissed: Luck into a judge who’s staging a political protest. Clarksville, Tenn., jurist Charles Smith waived 70 citations Tuesday to signal his frustration with the city’s refusal to enforce court fines. As the city ponders its options �- and Judge Smith’s future — police have begun directing violators elsewhere … With four cops in the courtroom, prisoner Christopher Taylor never stood a chance. Apparently, he made a break for the door of the Cook County Circuit Court anyway. In the ensuing pile-on, Taylor was quickly caught but one sheriff’s deputy suffered a possible dislocated shoulder … Conflicting testimony on a condemned man’s mental abilities led the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday to reject a challenge to his death sentence. In a 7-2 decision based on trial transcripts and affidavits, the court ruled against Michael Wayne Hall, whose murder victim was also described as mentally challenged. The dissenting justices thought Hall’s claims merited a hearing … Wiretap authorizations jumped last year, with requests from federal agencies showing the biggest growth: 16 percent over the previous year. In 2003, courts approved 1,442 wiretaps, chiefly for mobile devices, reports the Administrative Office of the Courts. The state with the most bugs: New York. – Lori Patel

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