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TD Bank employees to volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

first_imgTD Bank,Recently, the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank donated $35,000, equivalent to 87,500 pounds of food or 70,000 meals for families in need, to support the Vermont Food Bank. The Vermont Foodbank has a network of 280 partners around the state’food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs’that reach as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of food assistance.On Thursday, February 17, 2011, local TD Bank employees will volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, the Foodbank’s largest network partner, to assist with warehouse inventory, stock shelves, help clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries.WHAT: Volunteers are a crucial part of every program at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. The dedicated hearts and hands of the community help Chittenden’s staff complete the countless tasks that go into feeding more than 12,000 people every year. TD Bank employees will assist with warehouse inventory, stocking shelves, helping clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries in an effort to help fight hunger in Vermont.WHEN: Thursday, February 17, 20111:30 p.m. ‘ 2:30 p.m.WHERE: Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf228 North Winooski AvenueBurlington, VT 05401(802) 658 – 7939last_img read more

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Tort bill ready for full House action

first_img Tort bill ready for full House action Tort bill ready for full House action March 15, 2006 Regular Newscenter_img Bill would repeal joint and several in negligence cases Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Just as House Speaker Allan Bense wanted as one of his top priorities, a pro-business bill that would repeal the last vestiges of joint and several liability in apportioning economic damages in negligence cases passed out of the House Justice Council, uncluttered by amendments, and is now ready for a vote by the full House.HB 145, sponsored by Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, an insurance agent, was approved 8-2 along party lines February 22.“Very simply, I believe people should pay for what they did wrong, not for the wrong of another,” Brown said. “Yet, still in Florida today, people can pay millions for the wrongs caused by others. This is unjust. It makes no common sense, and it makes tort law, in many cases, unpredictable.”Brown read aloud a quote from Ft. Myers lawyer Bruce Strayhorn published in that day’s Tallahassee Democrat : “The basic philosophy (of current law) is if someone is wronged, let’s find the person who has the financial ability, usually the insurance company, to right the wrong.”“It is this kind of philosophy that is wrong with the system today,” Brown said. “It is a philosophy that has to do with finding deep pockets and not finding people who were really at fault and having them pay their fair share.”The committee room was packed with lobbyists from 31 pro-business groups, including Associated Industries of Florida, American Tort Reform Association, Florida Justice Reform Institute, Florida Medical Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Florida Association of Realtors, Florida Association of Insurance Agents, Florida Institute of CPAs, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Bankers Association, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Hospital Association, and Florida United Businesses Association.Plaintiffs lawyer E. Clay Parker, who came from Orlando to testify, felt outnumbered.“This is a Republican-dominated, business-dominated gathering,” Parker said after the meeting. “They are rushing to judgment, in lockstep with the governor, who is going out of office this year. This is a parting gift, all bow-wrapped.”Parker brought before-and-after pictures of his client, Claudia Mejia, a mother of two in her 20s who arrived at an Altamonte Springs hospital to have a healthy baby boy and ended up with her legs and arms amputated. Within a day or two, Parker said, she broke out in a rash, had a high fever, and woke up from a coma 12 days later to be given a “choice of dying or having her extremities removed” because of streptococcus, a fleshing-eating bacterial infection.“They are taking away the last vestige of joint responsibility, where you have an inability of the plaintiff to be adequately compensated,” Parker said. “They have capped her already, her noneconomic damages, at $750,000 for the hospital.. . . “This kind of legislation simply encourages defense litigation, because they know they don’t have anything to lose. If you know the most you are going to lose is $750,000, and you know your liability is going to be limited by say 30 or 40 percent, you are willing to roll the dice and cause the other side to go through two or three years of litigation,” Parker said.“And at the end, you point to others and call them Fabre (empty chair) defendants, and they are not there to even defend themselves. Roll the dice. Why not? And keep the money in the meanwhile. Who is going deep pockets? Who is being obscene here?”The pair of nay voters, Rep. Irving Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, and Rep. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, questioned Brown about his assertion that in states that enacted so- called “tort reform” laws, causes of actions in court were reduced and the economy flourished.In answer to a question, Brown admitted he knew of no studies about the impact on insurance premiums.Joyner, a lawyer, pointed out when the legislature last dealt with changing tort laws in 1999, it called for a financial impact study to be completed by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability in 2007.“Why are you trying to change the law now before that study is completed?” Joyner asked. “Since this is the speaker’s prime legislation, I want to know if he asked for that data and do you know if it has been disseminated?”Saying he was not aware if the study had been completed, Brown said: “I shall not wait for a specific study when I recognize a real world problem in our state today.”Three Republicans who voted for the bill expressed the need for further debate.Rep. Greg Evers, R-Milton, a small businessman and farmer, wants a cap on insurance fees.“In 1986, when we did an adjustment to joint and several liability, there was no rate reduction on insurance,” Evers said. “In 1999, when we took it one step further, there still was no reduction on insurance. Allstate themselves in 1999 ran a study that said there should have been a 4.5 percent rate reduction. But we haven’t seen that. My insurance keeps going up in my business.”Two Republican lawyer-legislators — Rep. John Quiñones of Kissimmee, and Rep. Mark Mahon of Jacksonville — said they could not promise to support the bill on the House floor.“The concern I have goes to the part where you have unnamed defendants, where you have basically the obligation of the defendant to plead or prove the name of the nonparty tortfeasor. There seems to be a little confusion in the law and maybe this would be a good time to clarify where you really don’t have to go out there and find this unknown defendant,” Quiñones said.“It is a concern that comes up quite often,” Brown said. “What you are referring to is what most people refer to as the Fabre Doctrine,” from the landmark case Fabre v. Marin, 523 So. 2d 1182 (Fla.1993), in which the Florida Supreme Court held that fault must be apportioned among all responsible entities, whether or not they were named or joined as defendants in the lawsuit.“Your concern about not knowing who that person is is misplaced,” Brown told Quiñones. “In Wells v. Tallahassee Memorial Medical Center, [659 So. 2d 249 (Fla.1995)], the court made it clear it is the obligation of the defendant who seeks to name a nonparty and attribute some portion of fault to them, they must still lay out the basic elements of tort: duty, breach of duty, chain of causation, and show some damages attributed to that nonparty of the suit. Those people become known to the court and a portion of fault has to be attributed to them on the jury sheet.”Mahon had considered filing an amendment he called “the Fabre fix.”“The speaker had asked us to pass this bill out without amendments to get it in a posture to be able to negotiate with the Senate, if their bill is not in the same form,” Mahon explained after the meeting. “The speaker told us, ‘I want you to vote it out without amendments.’ It is the only thing he asked for.“The arguments are as broad as the groups that are affected,” Mahon said. “The lawyers say this is not necessary, because we have these prohibitions on small amounts of negligence.. . . and limitations on noneconomic damages, so you don’t get the bizarre results where someone who is 2 percent at fault pays millions of dollars.”Currently, Florida has dispensed with joint and several liability for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, in favor of a comparative fault approach, and retained it in modified form for economic damages. Florida has eliminated joint and several liability against a defendant whose percentage of fault is less than that of a particular plaintiff or when a defendant is found to be 10 percent or less at fault, as part of a tiered approach. For example, if the plaintiff is not at fault, joint and several liability is limited to $2 million if the defendant is more than 50 percent at fault.“The business community still contends that regardless of that, you ought to pay damages the jury says you are responsible for. Corporations and companies and insurance companies and individuals sued ought to be responsible for their own negligence,” Mahon said.“The counter argument from lawyers is that if you have two people that combine to cause an injury to a person, and then one doesn’t have the means to satisfy a jury award, you have potentially left people short. Lawyers say, ‘Why throw the burden on an innocent plaintiff?’ That is a compelling argument.”With compelling arguments on both sides, Mahon hopes the legislature finds a fair middle ground.“I hope we consider all of these arguments and look at Fabre and make sure we balance fairness to defendants to not pay a huge amount for fault not attributable to them and to plaintiffs who ask, ‘Who do I turn to now?’”last_img read more

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Wenger: Debuchy a perfect fit

first_img Arsenal have already brought in Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, and Wenger is now likely to turn his attentions to signing another defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper, with a deal for Colombia international David Ospina from Nice expected to be completed imminently. Wenger is confident Debuchy can continue his progress with Arsenal, having been a consistent performer at Newcastle following a £5m move from Lille in January 2013, and will contest the right-back spot with England hopeful Carl Jenkinson. “The obvious replacement for Sagna was Debuchy. He knows what to expect and that’s of course a huge advantage,” Wenger said on Arsenal Player. “Debuchy is very good going forward, is very quick in transition. “He is sharp in his marking, good with interceptions and quick to go from defence to attack. “You feel he always has the desire to go forward, so I believe he will be perfectly suited to our style in that aspect.” Debuchy is in no doubt he has joined a club very much on the up as Arsenal look to mount a long-overdue sustained assault on the Premier League title. “I know that Arsenal can win titles every year. Winning the FA Cup last season was something magnificent, but I hope that it is just the beginning and that there will be more to come next season,” said Debuchy, who was part of the France squad which reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup, where they were beaten by eventual champions Germany. “There are some really great players in this team. We saw that last season and I think it will be even better this season. “I hope there is more silverware to come in the next few years.” German World Cup winner Sami Khedira has been a target, but reports in Spain suggest the midfielder will now look to sign a new deal at Real Madrid, with his agent maintaining there had been no fee agreed with Arsenal or Chelsea, who would be able to meet any inflated wage demands. Borussia Dortmund’s Lars Bender, who missed the World Cup through injury, is another player Wenger has long admired. Egypt defender Ahmed Fathi is having a trial at Arsenal this week, while Atletico Madrid’s 19-year-old right-back Javi Manquillo is another potential new recruit. Arsenal play their opening pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood on Saturday, where Wenger will select a mixed squad including those players not on international duty at the World Cup. The protracted transfer of the France international, understood to be worth around £12 million, was finally confirmed on Thursday evening when Newcastle were able to announce the signing of Holland defender Daryl Janmaat from Feyenoord. Debuchy, 28, is seen as a Premier League-ready replacement for Bacary Sagna, who left to join Manchester City on a lucrative free transfer after helping Arsenal beat Hull in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Manager Arsene Wenger is confident new Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy will fit right into his team’s counter-attacking style – with more additions expected before the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign. Press Associationlast_img read more