A former laboratory technician at a biopharmaceutical company and his wife were awarded close to $70 million by a Florida state jury over claims he developed mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing products at work. At the end of the two-week trial, the jury found against GEA Mechanical Equipment (“GEA”), an equipment company, for its negligence in distributing the alleged asbestos-containing products and failing to adequately warn plaintiff of the related health hazards.
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The proverbial hacksaw inside a prisoner’s birthday cake has been supplanted by a new technological trend for bringing contraband into the jailhouse – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). As early as 2015, a fight broke out at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio when a drone carrying tobacco, marijuana, and heroin crashed into a yard inside the facility. That same year, a drone trafficking hacksaw blades, a cellphone, and Super Glue crashed into a maximum security prison in Oklahoma. Similar plots have been attempted in more than a dozen states nationwide, leading states like North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas to ban drone flights over correctional facilities. Perhaps to save us from another pre-emption fight over UAS operational restrictions, the federal government is now following suit.

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There has been much debate recently about state income tax rates and/or states having no income tax at all. Recently on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said he knows a lot of people who do what they can to avoid spending 180 plus days in his current state of Connecticut in order to avoid paying income tax there (Connecticut is currently considering hiking its state income tax rate). The reality is that while spending 183 days in a no income tax state like Florida can help establish residency there, meeting this threshold does not completely resolve the residency question or eliminate the legal requirement to file tax returns and/or pay income tax in other states. Indeed many states with income taxes are cracking down on “snowbirds” who attempt to claim residency in places like Florida and Nevada (no income tax states), but who also maintain homes in income tax states like Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan.


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