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Environmental Due Diligence: Retaining Environmental Consultants

Today everyone recognizes that the owner or operator of a property/facility can, under appropriate circumstances, be held liable for the historical environmental conditions existing on that property. When acquiring real property, an ownership interest or leasehold interest in real property, or even a general business interest, the most effective way to manage the risk of environmental liability is to understand the property’s pre-existing environmental conditions prior to the intended acquisition. The only way to obtain the necessary level of understanding is through the environmental due diligence process. Keep in mind that managing environmental risk is more than simply identifying environmental conditions.

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Texas Auto Defects Attorney Bradley Leger Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Dodge

Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC trial attorney Bradley Leger filed a product liability, wrongful death lawsuit against Dodge on behalf of a Texas woman stemming from a December 25, 2015 rollover crash that claimed the life of her 56 year old husband. According to the lawsuit, at around 10 a.m. on Christmas day, while traveling eastbound on I-20, the man was involved in an accident that caused his 2007 Dodge Ram pickup to roll over several times. At the time of the accident, the man was properly seated and properly wearing the available 3-point seat belt. However, despite properly wearing his seatbelt, the man sustained fatal injuries when the vehicle failed to protect him due to a myriad of defects, including a defective and insufficient restraint system. The lawsuit further alleges that the Dodge truck was recalled for at least two steering defects and not equipped with side-curtain/rollover airbags. According to Mr. Leger, “the seatbelt failed, which along with the lack of proper airbags, caused the man to sustain fatal injuries. Notably, another vehicle involved in the crash contained two occupants and also rolled over, but both of those individuals survived. This is a tragic case of well-known defects and a lack of proper safety equipment causing a preventable death.” Bradley Leger is a nationwide personal injury attorney that primarily focuses on auto defects, product liability, truck accidents, airbag and seatbelt failures, rollovers, catastrophic injuries, RV/Boat and house fires, nursing home neglect, and medical malpractice. To learn more about LKC and Bradley Leger, please visit www.lkclawfirm.com.

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LKC welcomes David Owens to the firm!

LKC is proud to announce that attorney David J. Owens has joined our firm. Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, David graduated from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in biology and a graduate degree in quantitative ecology and statistical computer modeling. David is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before joining LKC, David was the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. He was also environmental counsel at several large law firms in Texas and Virginia, and in-house counsel for Exxon Corporation. Prior to practicing law, David was an environmental consultant for several large, national engineering firms and a manager of environmental control systems for Untied States Steel Corporation. David has nearly 30 years of experience practicing environmental law including litigation, permitting, compliance counseling, agency enforcement actions, and state and federal investigations. Some of his most notable matters included the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, Tronox Incorporated, et al. v. Kerr-McGee Corp., et al., In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010; and State of Montana v. State of Wyoming, et al. (Yellowstone Water Compact litigation before the United States Supreme Court – Original Jurisdiction). David will continue to focus his practice on environmental law, including environmental and toxic tort litigation, environmental remediation and restoration matters under RCRA and CERCLA, and private party actions for surface and groundwater damage.

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Landlords of Residential Properties Must Follow Strict Notice Rules

In 2016, the Texas legislature changed the rules for Landlords when posting a notice to vacate prior to filing an eviction suit against a residential tenant. Landlords posting a notice to vacate on the OUTSIDE of a Tenant’s door under the alternative notice provisions of new Texas Property Code Section 24.005(f-1) must meet specific format requirements.

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LKC Law Firm Partners with Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corporation

As a strong supporter of the communities we serve, the Firm recently joined the Boerne-Kendall County Economic Development Corporation. The BKCEDC is a Public/Private Partnership sponsored by Kendall County, City of Boerne, Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce, and a dedicated group of over 80 private business investors who, like Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC are committed to promoting desirable economic development that will support a thriving, diverse and sustainable quality of life in Kendall County.

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Did REFRIGERATOR cause deadly Oakland fire? Investigators focus on new lead as video emerges from inside illegal artist enclave just before blaze erupted.

The deadly Oakland warehouse inferno that took the lives of 36 people during a party Friday night may have been caused by a refrigerator. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern told reporters on Tuesday that investigators with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have identified a refrigerator as possibly being where the fire sparked. A video taken inside the enclave just hours before the tragedy, shows a few partygoers dancing and laughing among each other in a darkened room. The dark and grainy video appeared to back up stories from survivors who have previously told how they had to fight for a way out of the burning warehouse down a narrow staircase. One of the people who escaped told authorities there were flames coming from the refrigerator.

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New FLSA Overtime Rule Stalled, For Now.

On November 22, 2016, Hon. Amos Mazzant issued an order enjoining implementation of the new FLSA rule changes set to begin on December 1, 2016. Those changes, among other things, more than double the minimum salary certain employees must be paid to be considered exempt from paying overtime. Judge Mazzant’s ruling is likely to be appealed. But it could be months or years before we know whether the Department of Labor’s interpretation of the FLSA is constitutional. For now, though, the new rule’s requirements are on hold. Please call Patrick Cohoon (San Antonio area) or Derek Flynn (Houston area) if you have questions about this important decision and how it may affect your business.

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GM To Pay $900M In Criminal Settlement Over Ignition Switches

General Motors Co (GM.N) agreed to pay $900 million and admit to misleading the government andthe public about the safety of its vehicles toend a U.S. criminal investigation into its handling ofdefective ignition switches linked to 124 deaths. The settlement and charges, which were detailed in papers filed on Thursday in Manhattan federalcourt, have transformed the relationshipbetween the automaker and the U.S. government, whichhad bailed out GM during the financial crisis. GM admitted to failing to disclose to its U.S. regulator and the public a potentially lethal safetydefect with the switches that kept airbags fromdeploying in some vehicles. The largest U.S. automaker also admitted to misleading consumers about the safety of vehiclesaffected by the defect. GM was criminally charged with scheming to conceal a deadly safety defect from its U.S. regulator,as well as wire fraud.

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Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected In Diesel Deception

A scandal that has battered Volkswagen’s image in the United States spread to the automaker’s core market in Europe on Tuesday, when thecompany said that 11 million of its diesel cars wereequipped with software that could be used to cheat on emissions tests. That was more than20 times the number of cars previously disclosed. The company also said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros, or about $7.3 billion—the equivalent ofhalf a year’s profits—to cover the cost ofmaking the cars comply with pollution standards. In the United States, pressure was ramped up on Volkswagen, with attorneys general for New York and other states saying that they wereforming a group to investigate the deceit, and Senator BillNelson, a Florida Democrat, asking the Federal Trade Commission to begin an inquiryand look into remedies for owners.

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