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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting intellectual property

You've taken a multitude of steps to protect your company's intellectual property (IP). You have nondisclosure agreements in place. You've trained your employees on the risks of disclosing information to those not authorized to have it. However, your IP could still be at risk of theft by cybercriminals continue to target intellectual property.

Companies are spending more money than ever on security technology and on educating their workforce, and information technology (IT) security professionals have grown more adept at fighting cyberthreats. However, according to McAfee, a leading cybersecurity company, over 60 percent of these professionals report that their current employers have suffered a data breach.

Lawmakers seek to keep out-of-state cases out of Missouri courts

Missouri has long been the venue of choice for business litigation with a lot of money at stake -- even when the litigants have no connection to the state. Missouri lawmakers are trying to put an end to that.

Both the Senate and the House recently passed a bill that would minimize the number of out-of-state lawsuits. Many of these have flooded courtrooms in St. Louis City and Kansas City. The head of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Daniel Mehan, says, "When you have over 13,000 cases coming into St. Louis City, and only about 1,200 of those have occurred in the state of Missouri, and only 200 at best are in the city of St. Louis, I think you have a venue shopping problem."

Why texting behind the wheel is so dangerous

When they're asked about texting while driving, most people say they know it's dangerous. In one survey, over 90 percent of people acknowledged that. However, many people do it nonetheless.

Teens have the worst reputation for texting behind the wheel. It's estimated that texting while driving is the cause of over 3,000 teen fatalities annually. However, people of all ages are guilty of this unsafe practice. Unfortunately, many teens have grown up watching their parents do it.

Mizzou BioJoint malpractice case continues amid multiple motions

Plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case against a Missouri medical facility prevailed in one legal battle recently -- the release of patient outcome data that the facility was fighting to keep from being released. The case involves the Mizzou BioJoint Center at the University of Missouri (MU).

Attorneys for the defendants, which include the director of the facility, a surgeon and the university, argued that the data was protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, the judge determined that the data requested didn't violate the federal privacy law because patients' names were redacted. The procedure at the center of the case involves an alternative to knee replacement surgery to treat osteoarthritis. In the Mizzou BioJoint procedure, bone cartilage and tissue from deceased donors are used instead of metal and plastic implants.

New product-recall app extends the reach of CPSC information

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is now offering a new mobile app that provides a simple way to search for product recalls on a smartphone or other mobile device.

The free app is aimed at consumers who want to know if a product they’ve bought, or are thinking of buying, has been the subject of a CPSC recall.

Is it too late to sue for a home construction defect?

Many homeowners fret over flaws they notice in their house such as cracks in the plaster or a little water in the basement.

But for some, the nightmare scenario is finding a truly expensive or even dangerous defect in the construction of their home. And some homeowners do face genuine defects noticed as their house is being constructed or long ago built into their existing home.

Lobbyists succeed in weakening smart speaker privacy bill

While many of us have become increasingly dependent on our digital smart speaker devices like Amazon's Echo and Google Assistant to play our favorite music, create our shopping lists and basically be at our beck and call, there have been questions about just how much these devices actually "hear" and who may be listening.

Just recently, it was reported that Amazon has a team of people who transcribe audio clips from their devices to better program them to recognize words and respond to directions and questions from their owners. The company had not disclosed to customers that this practice takes place.

What are common reasons construction companies get sued?

Construction companies should always remember that if they build something, then they can get sued.

A lawsuit may be filed against them if the building that they construct deviates from the original design or if different materials are used from what was originally specified. One can even be filed against them if a project isn't kept on budget or isn't completed on time. Contractors can take steps to reduce their risk of being sued though.

Peloton facing lawsuit alleging failure to license music

Peloton has become a premier name in home fitness in the seven years since it was founded. Its appeal isn't just its machines, like its stationary bikes, which sell for about $2,000. It's the classes you can watch on the machines as you work out for a $39 monthly membership fee.

Of course, a key element of those classes is pulse-pounding music from Lady Gaga, Rihanna and other top artists. The company even has a feature that lets its members transfer songs from their online classes to their personal playlists.

Murder Conviction Reversed After Police Officers Resuse to Testify About Torture

The Illinois Appellate Court reversed the Circuit Court a second time, and transferred the case to a new trial judge, after two Chicago police officers refused to testify on whether the Defendant was tortured before his admission that he was present when two murders were committed in 1989.  The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison after he admitted he was present when the murders were committed.  During proceedings for post-conviction relief, the Defendant claimed his admissison was coerced when a police officer tortured him by burning him alive.  The State Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission found his torture claim to be credible, and two police officers who were present refused to testify about whether the Defendant was tortured.  The Trial Court twice refused to find that torture occurred, and failed to draw an adverse negative inference from the police officers refusal to testify.  The Appellate Court reversed both times, and transferred the case to a new trial Judge after the Second Appeal.  People v. James Gibson (Ill. App. 1st dist., March, 2019).

David M. Duree and Associates, P.C.
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O'Fallon, IL 62269
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Fax: 618-628-0259
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