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TD Bank and Concordia two bad guys in Florida

admin | 1/25/2012, 7:30 a.m.

TD Bank is hit with a $67 million verdict for not alerting investors that Rothstein and his law firm were running a Ponzi scheme. The jury awarded $32 million in compensation to the victims and an amazing $35 million in punitive.Many minority lawyers cheered the verdict.TD Bank uses white majority-owned law firms that hire a few minorities.And while it wants the accounts and business of Hispanic and Black individuals, it does not want to spend its money on minority law firms. In keeping with that decision, I feel some satisfaction that a South Florida jury hammered the hell out of them. In todays world, any company that does not want to do business with minorities should go out of business.I encourage everyone when contemplating the selection of a bank that you chose one that is willing to do business with your community versus just using us. On another note, the recent Costa Concordia wreck has raised a lot of questions.Can victims sue in the U.S. for their losses? The answer is probably not for Italian and European passengers and a cautious yes for Floridians. Cost Concordia is owned by an Italian company that is a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines.The travel vouchers (contracts) for passengers on the Costa Concordia have a forum selection clause that provides that all litigation must take place in Italy. This makes it very difficult for U.S. passengers to pursue their claims. Are the claims for damages capped?Yes.Carnival has put a cap on all claims at $70,000.This sum might be sufficient to cover loss of baggage, loss of a trip and other minor inconveniences, but it will not compensate a person for the loss of a loved one. As there are several people who died in this sea accident and several persons still unaccounted for, the Company would normally be facing millions in damages for the wrongful deaths, particularly in this case, where the accident was due solely to the negligence of the captain and the crew.In fact, the Captains behavior is so atrocious that most might deem it gross negligence and his actions in abandoning the passengers to their fate while he boarded a life boat as criminal and clear grounds for punitive damages. A few lawyers are already beginning to seek permission to pursue claims in the U.S. Southern District of Florida.In light of the fact that Carnival is headquartered in Miami, and many U.S. citizens bought their tickets in Florida, there is a chance that they will be able to bring suit in Miami and have the reliability of the U.S. court system to pursue their claims. By Reginald J. Clyne, Esq. Miami Times columnist rjc@clynelegal.com