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Welcome to Novato, CA

Novato, California

About Novato:

Novato is a city located in northern Marin County, California. As of a 2000 census, the city had a total population of 47,630.

The city is home to the Buck Institute for Age Research, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, DriveSavers data recovery, as well as being the birthplace of... (More Info and Source) Novato Real Estate

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Novato Area News

BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

Bank of America apologized Wednesday for a double-billing glitch that affected some customers who made purchases with Apple Pay, the new mobile payments service that Apple launched this week.

Some customers have reported they were charged twice for the same purchase when they used Bank of America debit cards with Apple Pay.

The glitch involved about 1,000 transactions, and all duplicate charges will be refunded, said Bank of America spokeswoman Tara Burke.

Apple said "a very small number of Apple Pay users" were affected. The Cupertino, California-based computer maker has not disclosed how many customers have used Apple Pay since it became available on Monday. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told The Associated Press earlier this week that "a lot of people" had signed up.

Apple has touted the privacy and security features of the new service, saying it does not store credit card account numbers or purchase information. Instead, the company says it acts as a conduit for transmitting encrypted payment information to banks or card processors, who then send the necessary authorizations to merchants.

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:55:21 -0700

Man sentenced to 5 years for choking health care worker

A transient San Francisco resident was sentenced Wednesday in San Mateo County Superior Court to five years in prison for choking a health care worker who had provided him with housing, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Timothy Page Seith, 53, pleaded no contest on Sept. 4 to charges of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats. Prosecutors said they dismissed charges of attempted murder and dissuading a witness as part of a plea bargain.

A health care worker reportedly met Seith at a Veterans Administration hospital and invited him to spend a couple of weeks at her home because she knew he was homeless, according to the district attorney's office.

The woman came home on Nov. 27, 2013, and Seith reportedly became upset because she didn't appreciate the house cleaning he had done for her. Prosecutors said Seith became angry and choked the woman with his hands and his arm, telling her he was going to kill her.

The woman broke free and tried to call 911, but prosecutors said Seith knocked the phone out of her hands and started to choke her again. The woman was able to break free and run away. Prosecutors said police responded and arrested Seith nearby.

Judge Jonathan Karesh sentenced Seith this morning to five years in prison without the possibility of parole -- two years for assault by means of force and three years for inflicting great bodily injury.

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:37:48 -0700

East Bay family tragedy triggers heated Prop. 46 battle

Bob Pack wanted to go after the HMO doctors for recklessly prescribing painkillers to a drug-abusing nanny who ran over his 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter as they were heading for ice cream one early fall evening in 2003.

But under California's 1970s-era medical malpractice law there was a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering. Instead of pursuing a case because of the cap, he settled so he could care for his wife, who lost the twins she was carrying in the crash.

"It would have been too difficult to tackle a private trial," he said.

A November ballot initiative named after his children — Troy and Alana — seeks to raise the cap to $1.1 million. The campaign has prompted a ferocious fight between doctors and attorneys over the rights of injured patients with more than $102 million spent in one of the state's most expensive ballot initiatives.

The campaign, which exceeds the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year, underscores the effect that reforms passed in California have on the rest of the nation. The 1975 malpractice law was the first in the nation, paved the way for roughly 30 states to adopt some limits on medical malpractice payouts and used as a template for national proposals.

More than $93 million has been raised by Proposition 46 opponents, while backers have raised at least $9.1 million, as of Wednesday.

Trial lawyers and patient advocates say the malpractice law is long past due for an update. They say victims of medical negligence have trouble finding lawyers willing to take their cases and those who do discover that California has one of the nation's most restrictive payouts.

Doctors, hospitals and medical liability insurers say raising the cap would drive up medical costs, force doctors out of state and reduce access to medical care. They say it would add uncertainty to the health care system.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill that created the cap during his first term in office. It was a time of skyrocketing malpractice insurance costs that forced physicians to retire early or leave California.

The law made California rates among the lowest in the nation today. According to the California Medical Association, the average doctor in the state paid $26,511 last year in premiums compared to $99,290 in Connecticut and $137,412 in New York, two states without caps.

Under Proposition 46, the new limit would raise the cap to amount that it would have been if kept pace with inflation. The measure also requires doctors to submit to random drug and alcohol tests and require doctors to check a statewide database before prescribing drugs in an attempt to curb pill shopping.

President George W. Bush proposed a national cap of $250,000 in 2005 to stop huge damage awards as a way to reduce overall health care spending. Democrats said ceilings would simply shield bad doctors.

In 2009, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that limiting liability would lead to savings of 0.5 percent to 1 percent on health care spending, a negligible amount because so many states already have caps.

In California, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office projects that Proposition 46 would increase overall health care spending by 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent if voters approve it Nov. 4.

About 30 states have some kind of limit on the amount of damages a jury can award to patients for medical mistakes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of the restrictions are from $250,000 to $500,000 for pain and suffering.

In recent years, the landscape on medical liability has shifted as courts have ruled caps unconstitutional. Florida, for example, has joined Georgia and Illinois in overturning their caps. Other caps, including California, have been upheld.

Since Texas set a limit at $750,000 in 2003, more doctors are practicing in emergency rooms and the state is attracting doctors from states without caps, said Jon Opelt, executive director for Texas Alliance For Patient Access, which represents health providers.

Bernard Black, a law and business professor at Northwestern University who has tracked caps, said limits have benefited doctors. But for patients, health care costs tend to go up and quality tends goes down.

Dr. Richard Thorp, a general internist who has practiced medicine for 37 years and is president of the California Medical Association, said the amount is never enough for Proposition 46 proponents.

"As a society," he said, "we have to decide: What is a reasonable number to compensate someone for an adverse event and still be able to provide health care to the rest of society?"

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:25:08 -0700

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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