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EMPLOYMENT

Court sides with defense on age discrimination claim

On Dec. 10, 2012, a judge threw out a school bus driver’s claim that he was fired based on his age and replaced with a younger driver. Donald Kilgore, who’s in his 70s, sued the Brookeland Independent School District for age discrimination. The school district contended that Kilgore was informed in April 2011 that it would have to eliminate a bus driver position because it anticipated budgetary cuts. The school district asserted that it communicated to Kilgore that he would not receive a reasonable assurance of employment for the next school year because of performance concerns. The court granted the school district’s motion for summary judgment.

Kilgore v. Brookeland Independent School District, No. 9:11-cv-00155-RC-JKG

Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Lufkin

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Timothy B. Garrigan, Stuckey Garrigan & Castetter, Nacogdoches

Defense Attorneys: James E. Byrom and Joe R. Tanguma II, Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green & Treviño

Medical Malpractice

VA hospital pays $2 million to brain-damaged patient

The family of a man who sustained brain damage in a Veterans Affairs hospital after a cardiac arrest agreed to a $2 million settlement on Dec. 5, 2012. In 2010, Darryl Richardson was admitted to the VA hospital in San Antonio to treat his congestive heart failure. He went into cardiac arrest while using a bathroom down the hall from his room. He didn’t use the bathroom in his room because it was covered in urine. Richardson flipped the switch for the emergency help light, but it took about 25 minutes for staff members to locate a key to open the door. Then it was another 10 minutes before epinephrine was administered.

Richardson v. United States, No. 5:10-cv-00903-FB

Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District in San Antonio

Plaintiff Attorney: Laurie M. Higginbotham, Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham, Austin

Defense Attorney: Clayton R. Diedrichs, U.S. Attorney’s Office, San Antonio

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