Personal Injury Verdicts in the News

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While car accidents, slip and fall cases, and a handful of other types of injuries account for the vast majority of personal injury cases, anyone who has been injured because another person or a company breached a duty of care may have a personal injury case. Below are some examples of verdicts and settlements in a wide range of civil cases.

How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?

No two injury cases are the same. If you think you may have a personal injury claim, talk to a local personal injury attorney for more information about your legal options and your right to pursue compensation from negligent parties.

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*Results taken from recent news articles. Results not typical. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Judge Reduces $350,000 Injury Award against Town

A woman who hit and killed a triathlon participant filed a civil lawsuit against the town of Blacksburg, VA and the director of the 2000 Greater Blacksburg Triathlon saying that they were negligent in warning passing cars of the race's course. A 30-year-old man was killed after his bicycle crashed into the woman's car. The woman sued for expenses related to the car crash and payment for counseling she received because of emotional trauma. The original jury found that the town failed to provide appropriate warning signage and awarded her $350,000. In a recent ruling, a county circuit court judge denied the town's motion to dismiss the verdict, but reduced the award to $50,000, saying the woman's physical damages were minor and that she emotionally recovered within six months of the accident. The woman's attorney said they plan to appeal the judge's ruling.

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Healthcare Facility Settles Class Action Suit for $2 Million

Sun Mar Health Care, Inc., Sun Mar Management and its 18 California nursing homes settled a class action lawsuit for $2 million for allegations that the company failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations, which have been resolved through the settlement.

The $2 million is be distributed to people who reside (or have resided) in one of the company's facilities from Jan. 9, 2005 through Jan. 9, 2008. The amount each person receives will depend on the amount of time they have resided in a Sun Mar-owned or managed facility.

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$540,000 to Students for Whistleblower Lawsuit over Expulsions

A jury determined a compensation award of $540,000 to three former Texas Southern University students to conclude a whistle-blower lawsuit that the students filed against the university after they were expelled from school and charged with a crime after they uncovered a financial scandal involving university officials. Their investigative work brought a former president of the school to justice with a restitution package equaling $130,000 as well as a chief financial officer, who was given 10 years in prison. The trio of students was awarded $190,000 in compensatory damages, and a whopping $350,000 in punitive damages for the oppression of their rights.

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Class-action Settlement Completed with Department Stores over Cosmetic Pricing

A class-action lawsuit filed against a collection department store over cosmetics prices has been settled, making many consumers who bought products from May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003 eligible to receive free cosmetics valued at $18 to $25 from the department stores in question. These department stores include Estee Lauder, Lancome, Macy's, Burdines, Dillards, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus and Target.

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$1.5 Million Refunded to Illinois Telephone Customers by AT&T

The Illinois state attorney reached a settlement with AT&T over price increases that the state deemed were illegal. The Illinois Commerce Commission ordered rate reductions in 2007, but AT&T reportedly failed to comply with the state order. As a result, the company has been required now to refund $1.5 million to Illinois telephone customers as well as forego $5.5 million in future rate increases. The future penalties involve revenue that would have come from future increases; as part of the agreement they signed, the company must freeze per-call local rates until July 2010 and maintain low-priced packages through November 2011.

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$40,000 to Family for KFC Food Covered with Spit and Urine

A family from Nebraska won a jury verdict of $40,000 after they sued for being served food at KFC that was tainted with urine and spit from an employee. Sidney, Nebraska police officer Keith Andrew and family filed the lawsuit in Cheyenne County District Court after their two sons, aged 4 and 7, became violently ill after eating the food. Their lawsuit claimed that not only were their meals tainted, but that employees kept "special servings" aside for police officers. According to news reports, the employee responsible for the urine and spit admitted to soiling another officer's food as well.

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$60 Million to Family for Wrongful Death of Son in Shooting

A jury from Polk County, Florida awarded what many are saying is the largest wrongful death verdict in county history. A New York couple was awarded $60 million from the man convicted of murdering their son in 1997. The death was part of the worst mass murder in the county's history, in which four people died at Erie Manufacturing in Bartow, Florida at the hands of a disgruntled former employee. The couple will likely not see any money as a result of the verdict, but saw the lawsuit as a final chance to close the chapter of their son's life.

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$11 Million Approved for Families of Va. Tech Shooting Victims

Circuit Court Judge Theodore Markow approved a settlement worth $11 million to the families of most of the victims of the gunman who opened fire at Virginia Tech University last year. The families of 24 victims will share the money, which covers fault for other entities besides the gunman who could have been sued for the incident. Attorneys for the families had criticized the university's warning system, as well as its failure to notify students as well as faculty of the incident. Under the settlement, victims suffering from injuries will be covered with health care for life, while representatives of individuals who were killed will each receive $100,000. A hardship fund of $1.9 million was established for families as well.

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Walgreens Pays $35 Million for Switching Drugs to Overcharge Medicaid

Walgreens, a company that has had a busy year with legal trouble, has agreed upon another settlement, this one for $35 million with 42 states, over allegations that it unlawfully overcharged customers by switching drugs. According to the whistleblower lawsuit filed by pharmacist Bernard Lisitza, Walgreens allegedly switched between tablets and capsules of generic versions of the antidepressants Zantac and Prozac in order to charge Medicaid up to 400 percent more for the prescriptions. Lisitza has filed similar lawsuits against Omnicare and CVS, which resulted in $50 million and $37 million settlements, respectively.

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$5.5 million for 911 error leading to wrongful death

The family of Sohayla Massachi received a jury verdict on a wrongful death lawsuit with the city of Newark, New Jersey for $4.1 million. The lawsuit alleged that the girl, a Seton Hall student, was killed by an ex-boyfriend because the 911 operator whom she called made a crucial error in relaying the make and model of car into which Massachi was pulled when her boyfriend abducted her, and the dispatcher failed to issue an alert. Massachi was taken against her will to the apartment of ex-boyfriend Christopher Honrath, where he shot and killed both her and himself. A jury awarded the Massachi family $5.5 million, but found that the city was only 75% at fault; the other percentages are due by Seton Hall and the school's private security contractor.

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$24.6 million class-action settlement from Biovail for Cardizem LA

A class-action lawsuit filed by the office of US Attorney Michael Sullivan reached a $24.6 million settlement with the U.S. subsidiary of Toronto-based drug company Biovail Corp., in order to resolve a lawsuit that claimed the company illegally paid doctors to prescribe test drug Cardizem LA for blood pressure ailments. According to the suit, the company paid thousands of doctors and medical experts up to $1,000 each to prescribe or recommend the drug. It is the latest in a string of bad press and legal entanglements that Biovail has been involved with in its home country of Canada; this settlement, however, will at least mean no criminal charges in the United States.

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$60,000 for free speech violations at town meeting

Canterbury, Connecticut woman Jeanette Kildea filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union against a town selectman who allegedly banned public comment at town meetings. In order to avoid litigation, the city of Canterbury reached a settlement with Kildea of $60,000 in order to formally drop the complaint and possible lawsuit. A new first selectman reinstated the public comment portion of town meetings. According to the city, Kildea donated $5,000 of her settlement amount to the town library.

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$6 million to victims in Santa Monica farmers' market crash

Several personal injury lawsuits were settled by Bayside District Corp., the city of Santa Monica and George Weller, an 86-year-old driver who ploughed through the Santa Monica farmers' market in his car, resulting in the death of 10 people and injuries in dozens. The settled personal injury lawsuits alleged that the organizers of the market and the city were negligent in their duties. The defendants agreed to a $6 million settlement, to be shared by Bayside and the city, as well as an additional $152,000 paid out by the driver. An earlier personal injury settlement awarded other injury victims $15 million.

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$2.725 million for 911 failure to respond resulting in strangling

A mother has been awarded $2.725 million from Franklin County, Ohio for the county sheriff's office's negligence in failing to properly respond to her daughter's emergency calls which led to her wrongful death. Deborah Kirk, the daughter of May Kirk, called 911 three times in 1998 requesting help in a domestic dispute in which her estranged boyfriend was beating her; despite the woman's efforts, 911 dispatchers did not send an officer for 26 minutes, and failed to alert the officer that an assault had taken place. The officer left when no one answered the door and he did not hear sounds from inside the apartment. The next day, Deborah Kirk was found strangled in bed. The jury award includes $2.225 million in compensatory damages and $500,000 in survivorship claims for May Kirk, the mother.

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$5 million for broken foot

Elizabeth Nelligan from Springfield, Massachusetts received a jury award from the Hampden Superior Court for $5 million for a broken foot she sustained after Dr. Mark A. Radzicki stepped on the foot during a social visit to his home in 2005. According to court records, Nelligan's foot progressed into a chronic condition known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which may lead to a severe, dystrophic stage with symptoms of severe burning pain, weakness and impaired mobility, all symptoms Nelligan experienced in the advanced stages of her foot injury. With interest, the verdict will total more than $6 million from Radzicki, who was also reportedly inebriated at the time of the incident.

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$1.7 Million to Family for School Stabbing Death

The Miami-Dade School District reached a settlement with the family of a 14-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in the bathroom of one of the district's middle schools in 2004. According to the terms of the settlement, the district will pay $200,000, the limit under sovereign immunity laws for a government agency, and the district's insurance company will pay $500,000. The remaining $1 million will be paid pending approval by the Florida Legislature; however, a dispute has been made in a special master's opinion over the school's negligence, despite the fact that the district already admitted negligence in the incident.

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$300,000 to Woman for Pickup Accident with Police Dog

An Ogden, Utah woman reached a settlement of $300,000 with the city for injuries from being struck by a pickup truck after a police dog knocked the automatic transmission into gear. Mary Frances Stone was retrieving mail from her mailbox in July 2006 when the truck hit her; police were responding to a call in the neighborhood and did not see the German shepherd enter the idling pickup before the accident occurred. Stone suffered a broken pelvis in the incident.

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$85,000 for City Negligence in Suicide

A woman received an $85,000 settlement from the city of Concord, New Hampshire over her son's suicide in a city holding cell after had been brought in on a parole violation. Her lawsuit claimed that the city was negligent in failing to follow procedure requiring officers to interview detainees about suicidal thoughts or attempts, as well as properly supervise him in detention. Though he was only alone for half an hour, the 34-year-old hanged himself with his shoelaces. In addition to the money, the city updated interview procedure and went beyond the terms of the settlement to physically renovate the detention spaces to prevent such a suicide from happening again.

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$3.2 Million to Family of Man Burned in Spontaneous Engine Combustion

The family of a man burned in his car when the car's engine caught on fire in 2004 was awarded $3.2 million by Jefferson Circuit Court jury in Louisville, Kentucky. The jury determined that the auto mechanic who had performed repairs on the car immediately before the fire was negligent in repairing and inspecting the vehicle after the man took it into the shop. The man was severely burned on 45 percent of his body, and died three days after the fire. Reports indicated that no reason was apparent for the man's inability to escape from the car, thought it was confirmed that he was diabetic and may not have been able to move due to a health condition.

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$5.2 Million to Car Accident Victim for Offender's Cell Phone Use

The International Paper Co. agreed to a $5.2 million settlement with a Georgia woman over alleged violations of the state's cell phone use statute by one of the company's employees that caused car accident injuries to the woman. Because the employee of International was using the cell phone with the cruise-control set to above the speed limit, the woman's lawyer argued that under Georgia laws that allow "reasonable" cell phone use, the employee was violating the law and therefore intentionally negligent. The woman's arm was trapped after the accident when her vehicle landed in a ditch, and she later lost the arm.

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$750,000 to family for negligence leading to girl's kidnapping

March 27, 2008

The family of a missing 10-year-old girl reached a settlement over a lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut for negligence in letting the girl leave school last seen in an unidentified van. The family's lawsuit claims that the girl's teacher was negligent in particular for not confirming the story she told to leave-that she was going on a shopping trip with her uncle. The girl's disappearance, discovered by her family several hours later, started a nationwide search. Though she is still considered missing, the family had her declared legally dead to proceed with the lawsuit. The school agreed to the settlement of $750,000 to be paid over six years.

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NYC Man Settles for $6 Million After Losing Leg in State Island Ferry Crash

March 18, 2008

A New York City man reached a settlement with Shriram Agni, who lost a leg in a Staten Island ferry crash in October 2003. In the tragic crash, 11 individuals were killed and dozens injured. Agni, who was returning home from work when the crash occurred, had to have his leg amputated as a result of the personal injury he sustained, and spent a year recovering before returning to work at his state job. Records show that the city has settled up to two-thirds of the 186 personal injury claims made as a result of the crash for around $34 million total.

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$7 Million to Non-Native Hawaiian for Admissions Discrimination at Hawaiian Native School

A non-native Hawaiian student reached a $7 million settlement with Kamehameha Schools to resolve a lawsuit alleging that the school's admissions policy was discriminatory by giving preference to native Hawaiians. The Star Bulletin news report indicated that the civil rights lawsuit was widely disputed and received much public attention because of the attack it made against the school's longstanding admissions policy that has been in place for over one hundred years and the charitable mission to education children of Hawaiian ancestry. Kamehameha Schools settled the lawsuit just days before the US Supreme Court was to decide whether or not to hear it.

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Nebraska preacher claims $1 for lawsuit alleging unconstitutional removal

A Kenesaw, Nebraska man named Kevin Pulver resolved his disputed lawsuit with the city of Hastings, Nebraska over allegations that he was unconstitutionally prevented from preaching publicly near the city's community college. Pulver claimed that officers removed him from his spot near Hastings College three separate times in 2005 by threatening to arrest and cite him for various infractions. The suit also sought to have the Hastings' city ordinance on "disturbing the peace" declared unconstitutional. According to the agreement with the city, Pulver will receive a reimbursement of his attorney's fees and expenses of $10,000, but his claim for damages was settled for only $1. No word on how Pulver plans to use the money..

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$500,000 settlement to class-action accessibility lawsuit against Coffee Bean coffee shops

A recent class action lawsuit brought against International Coffee and Tea, LLC for alleged accessibility discrimination against the hearing and visually impaired was settled for $500,000. The $500K amount will go to a damages fund created for participants in the lawsuit. Additionally, the company will alter its Coffee Bean shops to provide access for those with disabilities, including better access for wheelchairs or scooters and for the hearing and visually impaired. Those eligible for participation in reimbursement include those who had been to a Coffee Bean location in California between October 24, 2005 and December 10, 2007, as well as anyone who was prevented from doing so in that period..

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$337,000 for negligence to inmate suffering from heart failure

Former Olmsted County, Minnesota inmate Kevin Keller reached a $225,000 settlement with the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners to resolve a lawsuit claiming that the county did not get him to a hospital soon enough when he was showing symptoms of heart failure while in jail. The 54-year-old man was being held on charges of domestic assault when the incident occurred. In addition to the $225,000, the county will also pay Keller $112,000 towards medical costs he had incurred as a result of their negligence..

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$2.5 Million from Eastern Michigan U for Negligence in Wrongful Death

The family of 22-year-old Eastern Michigan University student Laura Dickinson arrived at a settlement of $2.5 million with the university to halt any potential lawsuits that the family might bring against the university for the wrongful death of their daughter in 2006. According to sources close to the story, the university's lack of security and surveillance were factors of negligence that made them liable in Dickinson's death. In addition to the lawsuit with the family, the university was sued by the US Department of Education for violating the federal Clery Act, and ordered as a result to pay a fine of $357,500 for its deficiencies in the areas of security and surveillance. It is the largest fine in the history of the Clery Act.

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Cephalon Pays $425 Million to Resolve Justice Dept. Suit over Off-Label Drug Marketing

Drug company Cephalon reached a $425 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit filed by the US Justice Department on charges of off-label marketing of its pain reliever Actiq. Actiq is approved by the FDA for cancer treatment, but physicians often prescribe the drug for other pain relief, including migraine headaches. Physicians are allowed to prescribe FDA-approved drugs for any condition, but the drug manufacturer may not promote the drug for any other use than the one approved by the FDA. To settle the lawsuit, Cephalon agreed to a misdemeanor count of violating the US Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and has agreed to enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.

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$350,000 Settlement for Collapsed Culvert

Maureen Bryer filed a lawsuit on May 13, 2000 against Niagara County, New York after she was seriously injured in an auto accident involving negligence on the city's part. Bryer was driving on Wilson Burt Road in Wilson, New York one morning after there had been torrential rainfall the night before. Bryer's lawsuit said that she was driving 50 to 55 mph when her car struck a 14 foot wide culvert that had collapsed. Bryer had originally sued for more than $1 million, alleging that the county was negligent in road maintenance. The county argued that the collapse of the 75-year-old culvert was never reported. There was testimony from a sheriff's deputy who said that he drove over it about five hours before Bryer did and that it was fine at that point. Niagara County paid Bryer $350,000 as part of the settlement to resolve the dispute.

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Family of Disabled Woman Receives $135,000 for Wrongful Death

The family of Julie Teenor, a developmentally disabled woman from Guthrie, Oklahoma who died in 2005 after being scalded, reached a $135,000 settlement with the Commission for Human Services, alleging that negligence by the department caused the wrongful death. Teenor died on August 10, 2005 when she was left unsupervised by a worker for the Developmentally Disabled Services Division of the Department of Human Services. Her mother, Jane Hollenbeck, filed a lawsuit in Tulsa County to recover damages. The Commission for Human Services agreed to pay $135,000 to Teenor's family, while other defendants reached confidential settlements with Hollenbeck in August at a court-ordered mediation session.

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Minnesota Family Reaches $300,000 Settlement in Murder of Daughter

The family of Minnesota teenager Dru Sjodin has settled with the state of Minnesota for $300,000, ending a lawsuit they brought against the state after Sjodin was kidnapped and killed by a convicted sex offender. In the suit, the family alleged that the state of Minnesota had released Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., her assailant, from prison seven months before the girl disappeared. According to court records, Rodriguez was convicted before, but the state opted not to list him as a sexual predator. Rodriguez was later sentenced to death in 2006 for the kidnapping and killing of Sjodin.

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Widow Agrees to $2.3 Million Settlement for Stabbing of Eye Surgeon Husband

The widow of an eye surgeon who was murdered by a fellow eye surgeon has agreed on a settlement amount of $2.29 million with Pima County, Arizona. In this bizarre tale of professional jealousy taken to extremes, former eye surgeon Bradley Alan Schwartz hired hit man Ronald Bruce Bigger to kill another eye surgeon Brian Stidham, which he did by stabbing Stidham to death. In wife Daphne Stidham's lawsuit, she alleged that the county's negligence in not informing her husband of known death threats to her husband played an important part in his wrongful death. Legal fees for the lawsuit were paid by the county because Brian Stidham worked for the government at the time of death.

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$40,000 to New Mexico Woman for Police Officer Requesting Kiss

22-year-old Mayra Leyva of New Mexico settled a police misconduct lawsuit with the city of Las Cruces alleging that former police officer Anthony Coble requested a kiss from her in exchange for tearing up traffic tickets. She did comply with the request, but later sued the city for civil rights violations and personal injury. Coble is facing criminal charges for the stop as well, and it's not his first run-in with the law either: in April 2005, he was charged with receiving a bribe and illegally disposing of a traffic citation. The $40,000 settlement will be paid through the city's liability fund.

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Mobile, AL Family Receives $1.8 Million for Wrongful Death of Prison Inmate

Dana Carpenter, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit after her husband, inmate James Carpenter, died in Mobile, Alabama Metro Jail, received a $375,000 settlement from the city to resolve the suit. James Carpenter died July 28, 2000 after a flesh-eating bacteria ravaged his body while he was shackled to a bed in his jail cell. The settlement amount comes in addition to $1.45 million paid to the family from then-Sheriff Jack Tillman to settle his liability in the suit. From that amount, each of the Carpenter's two children received $350,000, and the rest went to pay legal fees.

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McDonald's Employee Receives $6.1 Million for Sexual Abuse on the Job

A McDonald's employee received a verdict of $6.1 million from McDonald's for an incident in which she was stripped and searched at the request of someone posing as a police officer. A caller posing as a police officer requested the manager to strip and search Louise Ogden, who he described, and the manager and her fiancé held and abused the girl for nearly 3 1/2 hours at the request of the caller. Ogden's lawsuit contends that McDonald's failed to properly inform her and other employees, including the manager involved, of the caller, who had been attempting similar stunts at other McDonald's stores. The verdict amount includes $1.1 million on compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages. The manager is currently on probation for a misdemeanor conviction, and her fiancé is serving 5 years in prison for sexual abuse of Ogden during the ordeal.

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New Mexico Men Receives $1.2 Million from DNA Testing Agency for Paternity Scam

Steve Barreras, of New Mexico, received a jury verdict of $1.2 million in compensation for receiving a fabricated positive paternity test from a DNA testing company in Albuquerque. An employee of Mobile Blood Services apparently worked in cahoots with his ex-wife, Viola Trevino, in order to fabricate paternity results for Barreras with blood from another adult daughter. From the test results, Barreras was liable for child support amounting to over $20,000. In fact, Trevino had no daughter, but managed to fool not only Barreras but the state Human Services Department for five years!

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Reckless Dancer Cuts Rug, $51,000 Check

Calling all dancers! Be careful out there-one wrong step could cost you thousands! Susan Schneider of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois was slapped with an order to pay $51,473.13 to plaintiff Renate Pesche for "dancing too wildly" in a local pizzeria lounge and causing personal injuries to Pesche. In the suit, Pesche claimed that Schneider and a group of partygoers pulled her and other diners onto the dance floor in the lounge attached to a Gino's East pizzeria. While in a state of intoxication, Schneider bumped into Pesche and pulled her to the ground after falling. Pesche sustained injuries to her arm, resulting in two surgeries.

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Florida Children and Families Department Pays $6.45 Million for Negligence

The Tallahasee Democrat reports that the Florida Department of Children and Families was hit with a verdict to pay $6.45 million to anonymous plaintiffs for negligence, in a case where it failed to investigate one of its counselors properly. Counselor Robert Taylor, a convicted felon, had been providing substance abuse and other counseling to teens and children, despite the fact that he did not possess a license to do so. Upon hiring, Taylor had produced fabricated credentials, including a fake Masters degree. The plaintiffs, families of two children who received counseling from Taylor in 1997 and 1998, alleged that if the state had done any kind of background check on Taylor, the details of his lack of a license, as well as his felony conviction, would have come to light. Taylor was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 130 years in prison in 2000, after one of the children in this case committed suicide by hanging in 1998.

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$500,000 awarded for dog bite

A federal judge recently awarded more than $500,000 to a man who sustained dog bite injuries after he was attacked in his sleep by a Washington K-9 unit dog in 2003. In May, Ken Rogers was originally awarded $1 million by a federal jury, but his attorneys asked for legal fees because the jury found the incident had violated his civil rights.

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$434,000 awarded for Internet mismatch

A federal jury recently awarded $434,000 to a woman who was introduced to her abusive husband through an Internet matchmaking service. Nataliya Fox sued Encounters International of Bethesda, alleging fraud and negligence. Nataliya met James Fox through the international matchmaking agency in 1998 and the two were married after three months. Nataliya Fox said her husband had beaten her and that the owners of Encounters International told her she would be deported if she left the marriage. Hospital workers testified that they found Fox's face to be bruised and her chest bones broken after her husband had beaten her while she was breastfeeding her child. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the United States.

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$1.25 million pothole settlement approved

The city of Manhattan recently agreed to a $1.25 million settlement with a woman who claimed she drove into a pothole on Atlantic Avenue in 2002. The hole was three feet long and four feet deep and the 56 year old woman suffered from neck and back injuries afterward. The City Law Department defended the settlement.

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$35 million awarded for wrongful death

A California Circuit Court jury recently awarded $35 million to the family of a man who died after a treatment at a detoxification center in 2004. Danny Oppenheim Jr. was enrolled in a detoxification program at Project Straight, a now defunct drug program, under the care of Dr. Aeneas Guiney. Project Straight involved itself with the detoxification of people addicted to heroin, methadone and painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and morphine. Allegedly, a very cursory pretreatment physical exam failed to determine Oppenheim's history of hypertension and reactions to anesthesia. When Oppenheim lost consciousness from anesthesia, he was placed on life support and died several days later. The jury verdict went against Guiney, who lost his license in 2006 after the death of Oppenheim and another patient.

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$21 million awarded for "wrongful birth"

A Florida jury recently awarded more than $21 million to a couple who claimed a doctor misdiagnosed a severe birth defect in their son, leading them to have a second child with similar problems. Daniel and Amara Estrada claimed that Dr. Boris Kousseff failed to diagnose their first son's genetic disorder, known as Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, which involves the body's inability to correctly produce or synthesize cholesterol. Had the disorder been correctly diagnosed, a test would have indicated whether the couple's second child was afflicted and they would have terminated the pregnancy. Kousseff, a specialist in genetic disorders, told the Estradas that they should be able to have normal children in the future. The jury decided that Kousseff was 90 percent negligent and that an unnamed doctor in Orlando was 10 percent at fault.

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$1.2 million awarded for amusement park death

A Pennsylvania jury recently awarded $1.2 million to a couple whose daughter was killed in 2002 when an amusement park roof broke loose during a storm. During the storm, strong winds toppled a pavilion housing The Whip ride at Kennywood Park. Stephanie Wilkerson was struck by the collapsing roof and pinned against a metal fence. The jury awarded the money to compensate for future lost wages, services and for the loss of "comfort and society."

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Breast Implant Lawyer Required to pay $35.7 Million For Collecting Improper Fees

More than 3000 breast implant litigation clients of John O'Quinn will receive a portion of the $35.7 million ruling made by an arbitration panel on Thursday. The lawsuit brought by the women in 1999 claimed O'Quinn took money from their settlements to pay fees they had not agreed to pay him.

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Dram shop liability suit results in $20 million from PA insurance company

A Pennsylvania insurance company's refusal to settle a case for the policy limit of one of its policyholders, the Ivyland Café bar, has resulted in a settlement of $20 million for the victim of a previous suit. Earlier in the year, an incident involving the impairment of a highway construction worker hit by an intoxicated manager of Ivyland Café, the construction worker was awarded a reduced sum of $37.5 million, a figure which could have been avoided if the insurance company would have agreed to settle at the policy's limit. According to dram shop act liabilities, an establishment serving alcohol may be faulted for its contribution to the state of intoxication of an intoxicated person who injures or kills another person. In the new award, the insurance company agreed to pay the construction worker $20 million on behalf of the Ivyland, from its insurance obligations. The settlement proved to be the largest bad faith claim for insurance in Pennsylvania history.

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$54 million granted to daughter of nursing home neglect victim

Lori Keith, a resident of New Mexico, was recently awarded a total of $54 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, in a verdict against ManorCare, Inc., which operated nursing homes in Albuquerque, including the one where her mother resided at the time of her death in 2004. The jury ruled that the nursing home was guilty of negligence for its lack of proper care for the 78-year-old woman, Barbara Barber, which led to her untimely death shortly before she was to leave the facility to live with family. ManorCare Inc. denies any negligence on its part, and is expected to appeal the verdict.

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$5 million settlement agreed for mid-air collision

The family of a crop duster pilot who was killed in a midair collision with an Air Force training jet has recently been paid a $5 million settlement. Carl Dierks Nash II was killed as he flew over Hollister, Oklahoma in 2005 when he collided with a T-37B training jet from Sheppard Air Force base, which was piloted by two airmen. A federal report says both Air Force pilots failed to maintain adequate visual lookout, though the sky was hazy. Both Airforce pilots were manually ejected from the plane and suffered only minor injuries. The settlement is to be divided amongst seven recipients.

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$54 million awarded for wrongful death

An Albuquerque jury recently awarded $54 million to the family of a woman who bled to death while in the care of a major nursing home chain. Barbara Barber died in 2005 at an Albuquerque ManorCare residential facility, apparently because employees did not follow their own procedures. Allegedly, ManorCare attempted to cover up the incident by throwing away her bloody pillow, sheets and her adult Depends.

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$20 million settlement for drunk driving accident

A Pennsylvania road worker will soon receive a $20 million settlement because he was struck by a drunk driver after leaving a bar in 2001. Joseph Tuski was left quadriplegic when a car driven by Michael Petaccio struck him as he directed traffic. The tavern Petaccio had exited is owned by his parents, who were deemed responsible for Tuski's injuries. A jury originally awarded Tuski $75 million, but the tavern had only $1 million in insurance.

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$5,000 awarded for arm injury

A $5,000 settlement was recently granted to the parents of a public school student who significantly injured his right arm after tripping over a wrestling mat while moving furniture during a detention period in 2004. The Columbia Public School District's insurance company will pay the damages to offset the medical bills. Court documents stated that the school district had been given notice that Dylan Mitchell had previously suffered a knee injury that would limit his physical activity. They maintain that it was this older injury that caused Dylan's knee to collapse, resulting in the arm injury.

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$6.2 million awarded for Foster Care Abuse

A Washington jury recently awarded $6.2 million to four siblings who were repeatedly abused in foster care for six years. The King County jury ordered the state to pay the award, which it found negligent in licensing and monitoring the Seattle and Tacoma foster homes where the children stayed. Most of the Williams siblings stayed at the home of Pearl Hall between 1993 and 1998 where they were beaten with extension cords, belts and shoes. Hall, who is now dead, was convicted in the King County Superior Court of child rape and molestation.

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$122 million awarded for plant explosion

A Kentucky jury recently ordered a chemical company to pay $122 million to an insulation plant where several people were killed during an explosion in 2003. CTA Acoustics used combustible dust made by Hexion Specialty Chemicals to make insulation for heating systems and Ford vehicles. Federal regulators concluded that accumulating dust had ignited the explosion, which destroyed the plant. CTA argued that Hexion failed to warn of the danger posed by the powdered resin Durite because the warning labels were not in clear view when the Durite was delivered.

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$750,000 settlement for Wal-Mart sit down

A Wal-Mart in Texas recently agreed to pay a $750,000 settlement to the family of a suspected shoplifter who was suffocated to death by an employee who sat upon him in the store parking lot. Stacy Clay Driver was believed to have exchanged stolen goods for $94 worth of store credit on a gift certificate. A loss prevention employee chased him from the store and sat on him as he lay face down in the parking lot. The attack was shown from medical examination to have caused his death.

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$1.2 million Settlement for Brained Boxer

The state of Kentucky recently agreed to pay $1.2 million to a former heavyweight boxer who suffered heavy brain injuries during an allegedly unsafe fight. Former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Greg Page fell into a coma after a fight and suffered a stroke during the subsequent surgery. The lawsuit alleged that the members of the Athletic Association failed to meet their duty, under the law, to provide an ambulance or medical personnel with appropriate resuscitation equipment and failed to have a physician continuously present on site. The complaint also said the state failed to provide health insurance to cover Page for his fight injuries. The state admitted no liability in the settlement which was agreed upon to avoid the cost of litigation.

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$2.7 million awarded to Injured Jockey

A Pasadena jury recently awarded $2.7 million to a former jockey who fractured his spine after spilling from his horse during a race in 2003. The judgment was the culmination of a lawsuit filed against Huntington Ambulance regarding Laffit Pincay's career-ending injury. Pincay's horse, Trampus Too, had clipped the heels of Rainman's Request, causing him to fall from his mount during the day's fifth race. Pincay's attorney argued that Huntington Ambulance had not followed proper procedure following his injury. Pincay's injuries indicated that he should have been put on a board and fitted with a full body and neck brace. Instead, Pincay was told to walk into an ambulance and was deposited at the track's first aid station. The jury determined that if proper procedures had been taken, Pincay would have been able to ride again.

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$2.4 million awarded for Smoker's Wrongful Death

A California jury recently awarded $2.4 million to the family of a 40-year-old smoker who died of lung cancer. The jury held Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA and Reynolds American liable in the wrongful death verdict of Leslie Whiteley, according to the Tobacco Products Liability Project. The jury awarded punitive damages against Reynolds American's R.J. Reynolds, although the amount has not yet been determined.

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$9 million for Fungicidal Related Birth Defects

DuPont Co. has tentatively agreed to pay $9 million to settle two lawsuits alleging that the fungicide Benlate caused birth defects in children. DuPont said it had reached a tentative settlement of lawsuits filed in 1997 on behalf of children in Britain and New Zealand born without eyes or with abnormally small eyes. The plaintiffs alleged that the birth defects were the result of the children being exposed to Benlate while in the womb. Dupont, Inc. began manufacturing Benlate in the 1950's and halted production in 2001 due to mounting crop damage claims. The company has paid out more than $1 billion in settlements and legal fees on claims of damage from Benlate.

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$228,000 Awarded to Dog-bitten Teen

An Iowa jury recently awarded $228,000 to a teenager who was bitten by a German shepherd four years ago. The Clinton County jury ruled that Mark Johnson, the dog's owner, must pay damages to Christopher Crabtree and Clinton National Bank, his conservator. Crabtree suffered permanent muscular and nerve damage in his right forearm. Crabtree's mother Wanda was awarded $11,729 to cover medical expenses.

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$156,000 for Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement

The city of San Francisco has agreed to a $156,000 settlement when the former head of the city's Building Inspection Department after she was pressured to keep working after she had given birth. The settlement calls for Amy Lee to receive a cash payout of $21,693 for her suffering, 20 weeks of reinstated paid maternity leave valued at $67,540, and $66,800 in attorney fees. The settlement was paid by the city to prevent Lee from filing a sexual harassment case after she was said to be afflicted with "pregnancy brain" during her job confirmation hearing.

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$35-$625 for Explosion Evacuation

A Montgomery County, Ohio jury recently issued a verdict ordering that 31 people receive between $35 and $625 in compensatory damages each, plus evacuation expenses following the 2003 Isotec explosion. The two-week trial represents one portion of a class-action lawsuit concerning Isotec in which more than 3,000 people are included as plaintiffs. The explosion occurred when a nitric oxide blew up, injuring one worker. The blast led to the evacuation of more than 500 homes and 2,000 people living within a one-mile radius of the plant. The Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge found the blast to be a result of Isotec's negligence.

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$786,760 awarded for groin injury

An Akron, Ohio jury recently awarded $786,760 to a man who allegedly has endured years of pain after his left testicle was struck by a broken weight-machine at a local YMCA athletic club. Jason Houston, then 22, was lifting about 150 pounds on a leg extension machine when the cable snapped. Houston reportedly left college and has been limited in employment opportunities because he cannot walk at a normal pace and cannot run.

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$117,350 for inmate's broken foot

A Hawaii state circuit judge recently ordered the state to pay a former prison inmate $117,350 after he jumped off the top bunk in his cell at the Halawa Correctional Facility and broke his foot in 2004. The incident is the latest in a litany of inmate injuries related to the lack of ladders on the facilities' bunk beds. The state paid six prison inmates $5,000 last year for injuries they suffered after falling or jumping from bunk beds in their prison cells. A seventh inmate alone received $6,000. The circuit judge found the state "grossly negligent" for not addressing the problem sooner.

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$11 million awarded to ambulance door victim

A Hudson County jury awarded $11.6 million to a man in Hoboken, New Jersey for personal injury damages sustained in a 2004 accident. Michael Brady was suffering from a severe chronic pain syndrome after breaking his foot in 1999, when the driver of an ambulance swung the vehicle's door into his crutches. The resulting accident caused Brady to fall down and break his foot again. Multicare Ambulance, a Phoenix-based company, was held responsible for the injury, which worsened following the accident.

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$14 Million to Skier

A King County jury awarded $14 million to a skier who was paralyzed in 2004 after crashing at the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort terrain park. Kenny Salvini, 26, broke his neck while attempting a jump which had already been declared unsafe due to prior injuries. Salvini no longer has use of his arms or legs. The verdict found the area operator Ski Lifts, Inc and the Summit at Snoqualmie ski area jointly responsible for Salvini's injury.

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$8.4 Million for Man Killed in Explosion

The family of Victor Rodriguez agreed upon a $8.4 million settlement as part of a $90 million lawsuit surrounding a 2004 pipeline explosion in Walnut Creek, CA. Rodriguez, a welder for Matamoros was one of over 12 laborers injured or killed in an accident which resulted in settlements ranging from $275,000 to $25 million to workers or involved families. Rodriguez's family settled with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the pipeline owner, and subcontractor Comforce for part of the agreement; they had settled the rest with construction contractor Mountain Cascade and East Bay Municipal Utility District last year. State investigators blamed employees of Kinder Morgan and Comforce for making errors while mapping the pipeline's path. The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office is still considering filing criminal charges in what is considered the nation's deadliest pipeline explosion in two decades.

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Family Awarded $100,000 after Amusement Ride Injury

The state of Ohio has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement to the family of Leonard Ward, a 56 year old man who was fatally injured on a water slide at Long's Retreat and Family Resort in 2003. Ward died two days after a 36-pound beam of rotted wood struck his head while descending the resort slide. Ward's widow and son filed the lawsuit, claiming the Ohio Department of Agriculture was negligent and should have ordered the removal of the rotting beams. Despite the Pike County Court verdict, the department is admitting no fault or liability in the settlement.

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$7.6 Million for Playground Seizure

A Los Angeles jury verdict decreed that the Los Angeles Unified School District pay $7.6 million to the family of an epileptic boy who suffered a seizure at school. Steve Martinez's family maintains the district was liable for the boy's injury, claiming that their response was inadequate. The boy was allegedly playing basketball at the playground court when he seized up and fell, at which point his heart stopped. The family claims that five to 10 minutes passed before CPR was administered, since no adults were supervising the child. The boy is now paralyzed and in a minimally conscious state. The district has not decided whether to contest the verdict.

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Family Awarded $1.2 Million for Sewage Flooding

A Maryland family has been awarded $1.2 million after a jury determined that the city of Brunswick's failure to maintain a sewer line was responsible for the family's home being flooded with urine and feces on two occasions, in November of 1999 and again in January of 2000. The couple said they never wanted to go to court-they only wanted the problem fixed. If it had been, they say, they would still be in their former home, which appraised at $126,000 near the time of the incident. Instead, the city refused to settle, and now finds itself on the hook for $1,252,135.

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Pennsylvania Woman Awarded $875,000 for Doctor's Failure to Diagnose Cancer

A Pennsylvania jury has awarded $875,000 to a woman whose doctor failed to diagnose her breast cancer, but a judge may increase that award to more than $1 million if the court determines that the doctor and his insurance carrier unreasonably failed to settle the case. The plaintiff in the case noticed a lump in her breast in 1998 and visited the doctor, who incorrectly interpreted her mammogram and told her that she did not have breast cancer. More than a year later, as her symptoms worsened, the woman sought another doctor's opinion and was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Testimony at trial indicated that the cancer had progressed from Stage I to Stage II during the delay caused by the misdiagnosis, creating a greater risk of fatality.

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$69,000 Settlement in First Amendment Right Lawsuit over Student Expulsions

Four students were expelled from the Knightstown Intermediate School in Knightstown, Indiana after distributing a home movie that depicted a teddy bear killing a teacher. Three of the students sued the school district for violating their first amendment rights. The school district's insurance company will pay the $69,000 settlement.

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$44,880 Award Goes to Nanny of Redskins Owner

Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, was ordered to pay his former Nanny $44,880 for unpaid overtime hours she worked between April 2003 and November 2004. Juliette Menonca demanded $180,000 for the overtime hours she worked in caring for Snyder's three children. The Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland found Menonca's claim for additional wages valid but did not explain why the lesser amount was awarded to her.

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$250,000 awarded by Jury to Man Who Acquired Hepatitis A at Taco Bell

Thomas Shepard ate tainted onions at a Taco Bell stand located in a gas station in Fruitland Park, Florida. He was among 23 people who contracted hepatitis A in an outbreak traced to the Taco Bell. Shepard had lapsed into a coma in 2000 as a result of the exposure. Shepard was the only one not to agree to a settlement. A jury awarded Shepard and his wife $250,000 for personal injury damages.

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$13.55 Million Largest Iraq War Injury Settlement

Chadwick Helmuth, Honeywell, Boeing, MPB Co. and Aircraft Gear Co. will all contribute to the settlement awarded to two Army pilots who were injured in a helicopter accident. The accident occurred when the gearbox in the helicopter failed causing the Apache Longbow to crash resulting in severe spinal injuries to both men.

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$4 Million Added in Punitive Damages Against NorthWestern Energy

Retirees sued NorthWestern Energy in 2004 for cutting off their Montana Power pensions. The 15 retirees named in the suit claimed the board never informed them that their supplemental pensions were discontinued. The retirees just stopped receiving checks. A jury previously awarded more than $1 million to each of the retirees for emotional distress plus $2.3 million to cover the cancelled pensions. The additional $4 million is for the punitive damages ordered after a recent two-week civil trial in Butte, Montana.

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American Airlines to Pay $400,000 in Racial Profiling Case

A jury in Massachusetts ruled on Friday that American Airlines should pay a South Florida man $400,000 for denying him service in a 2003 incident in which the man was escorted from the plane with two other men. John Cerquiera was left stranded without explanation when attempting to fly home to Florida after visiting relatives in Boson, MA. Cerquiera said three Massachusetts state police officers questioned him and later released him. He was reportedly informed in a subsequent email from American Airlines, "Our investigation has revealed that our personnel perceived certain aspects of your behavior, which could have made other customers uncomfortable on board the aircraft." The jury agreed with Cerquiera that he had been a victim of racial profiling and was denied service because the airline believed he was of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian heritage. Cerquiera is Portuguese.

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