Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ohio pension fund sues Freddie Mac for fraud

An Ohio pension fund filed an investor class action lawsuit against Freddie Mac, accusing the mortgage finance giant of securities fraud for failing to disclose risks from its investments in the subprime mortgage market.  Ohio Attorney General Marc Dan, who filed the suit in U.S. District Court, the Northern District of Ohio, on Tuesday said Freddie Mac had "secretly and intentionally participated in one of the largest housing investment deceptions in modern U.S. economic times."  According to Dann, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System suffered losses of up to $27.2 million as a result of the fraud.  Attorney General Marc Dann said in a statement the company improperly bought risky home loans that fell sharply in value and led to huge losses for Freddie Mac.  Dann said Freddie Mac, a private company that holds a federal charter, was "deeply invested in the subprime mortgage industry and failed to disclose that it was not protecting itself from the billion-dollar risks it incurred."  A spokesman for Freddie Mac declined to comment.  The suit was filed on behalf of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and all other purchasers of Freddie Mac stock between Aug. 1, 2006, and Nov. 23, 2007. The pension fund is seeking to be the lead plaintiff in the class action suit.

More at Reuters or HERE.

January 24, 2008 in Retirement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Seniors line up for free transit rides beginning in March

Illinois state officials say about 4,000 senior citizens have pre-registered for a new program that will allow the elderly to ride public transit for free.  During a news conference in downtown Chicago, Governor Rod Blagojevich says response has been so strong that the state is adding a second toll-free number to accommodate callers who are registering for the program.  The free rides for people over 65 begin in March. They were part of a contentious deal between the governor and state lawmakers to fund Chicago area mass transit.  Seniors can register by calling the Illinois Department on Aging at 1-800-252-8966, 1-800-447-4278 or going online at\


January 24, 2008 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More recent articles on elder abuse

Sexual abuse of nursing home residents a growing problem

The details about John R. Riems' alleged assaults against nursing home residents seem grimly familiar to social workers.  They say assaults against mute and helpless victims fit a pattern.  The victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes tend to be people who "are just not able to defend themselves because of physical disabilities or cognitive impairments or just general frailty," said Sharon Merriman-Nai, co-manager of the National Center on Elder Abuse.  "We do typically see if we have those kinds of complaints, the victim is someone who is not generally a good reporter," echoed Beverley Laubert, Ohio's Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Laubert's office investigates complaints about nursing home care in Ohio.  Riems, recently fired from his position as a nurse at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center, is accused of raping a 55-year-old man unable to talk or see because of a stroke.


January 24, 2008 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sri Lankan man forgotten in jail for fifty years--without a trial

  A Sri Lankan man has been released from prison after spending 50 years on remand, his lawyer said Monday.  D.P. James, now 80, was arrested in August 1958 for attacking and wounding his father with a knife.  He was sent to jail, then moved to a psychiatric hospital, and then discharged back to jail -- where he was forgotten about.  Lawyer Dharmavijaya Seneviratne said James, who was never put on trial, was a victim of prison bureaucracy.  "James went to jail when he was 30. He has been robbed of his youth and is now a grey-haired man of 80 with failing eyesight," lawyer Dharmavijaya Seneviratne said.

The prisoner was only noticed last month after he fell ill and was hospitalised in Colombo, forcing prison authorities to go through his paperwork.  The lawyer said James, originally from the small village of Ibbagamuwa, about 100 kilometres (63 miles) from Colombo, did not complain about his long-running detention because he was ignorant of the law.

A local court released him last week on bail, and apologised for the "rare, pathetic incident," a court official said.  The lawyer said compensation was now being sought.  "We are preparing the papers to file a case seeking compensation for 1.5 million rupees (14,000 dollars) and use the money to pay for his medical and other welfare bills," Seneviratne said.

Source/more:  Yahoo News,

January 14, 2008 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Not elder Law: World's oldest footprints are in jeopardy

They are the world's oldest human tracks, a set of footprints pressed into volcanic ash that have lain perfectly preserved for more than three-and-a-half million years. Made by a group of ancient apemen, the prints represent one of the most important sites in human evolutionary studies, for they show that our ancestors had already stopped walking on four legs and had become upright members of the primate world.

But now the Laetoli steps in northern Tanzania are in danger of destruction. The footprints, although reburied 10 years ago and covered by a special protective coating, are suffering storm erosion, while trees and plants begin to grow through the historic outlines.

The Laetoli steps were discovered in 1976 by scientists led by the late Mary Leakey, mother of conservationist Richard Leakey. They found a couple of prints that had been exposed by the wind and then uncovered a trail that led across an expanse of volcanic ash, like footprints left behind by holidaymakers walking on a wet beach.

The researchers could make out the arch of each foot, the big toe - even the heel. The prints had clearly been made by creatures who had long adapted to walking on two legs. Yet tests showed the prints had been made about 3.6 million years ago.

More in The Guardian,

January 14, 2008 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16

Now is the time for your organization to begin planning its activities for National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16.  For more information on this event, or to become a state liason, visit

January 14, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AARP seeks fulltime senior litigation attorney

Senior Attorney-Litigation (Health/Long-Term Care)

AARP Foundation Litigation provides legal advocacy on behalf of older persons in courts nationwide is seeking an attorney to participate in public interest health and long-term care advocacy.   You will work collaboratively with a team of attorneys in a friendly work environment on AARP amicus briefs and significant impact litigation.  You will bring national recognition to AARP and the AARP Foundation as a leader and expert in health and long-term care law.  This position is located in our Washington, DC office.

Requirements:  Member in good standing with the DC Bar or eligible for admission; 8 years of related legal advocacy experience with at least 5 years complex litigation experience; and experience in health law such as Medicaid, Rx litigation, and long-term care.  Some travel required based on cases/issues.

Qualified candidates are invited to apply on-line at: (see AARP Foundation).  We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that values workplace diversity.

January 14, 2008 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)