(jhuctte STATE Tuesday, September 16, 2003 — Page 5 Two firefighters were rescued by boat from atop this submerged car after they became trapped by rapidly rising waters Monday in Paradise Township in eastern Pennsylvania. (AP photo) Flooding leads to evacuations By RANDY PENNELL Associated Press Writer DOWNINGTOWN — Hundreds of residents were evacuated Monday after a downpour caused flash-flooding in Philadelphia's far western suburbs, damaging homes and turning streets into rivers. More than 8 inches of rain fell in parts of Chester County, causing the Brandywine River and its tributaries to rise above flood stage Monday morning. Basements were inundated, schools shut down, motorists had to be rescued from their submerged cars and more man 150,000 lost electrical power. There were no immediate reports of injuries. In Downingtown, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, entire blocks were deluged with brown, muddy water; roads in and out of the borough were closed and the mayor declared an emergency, ^b'out' -three "dozen 1 'people;'took shelter in Borough Hall; some of them were expected to stay at a Red' Cross shelter overnight. : • "We were literally cut off, we were cut in half. You couldn't get from the west end of town to east," Borough Manager Mark Possenti said after the floodwaters had receded. James Postell, 48, fled with his wife and four children after their basement filled with 5 feet of water in about a half-hour. The living room and kitchen got 2 or 3 inches. "I've lost tools, clothes, carpet, a lot of stuff," said Postell, who had open-heart surgery eight months ago and is unemployed. He said he doesn't have renters' insurance. Kennett Square and Avondale were also hit hard, according to Patty Mains, spokeswoman for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services. About 200 people were evacuated from the Avondale Apartments in Avondale. Another 25 or 30 residents of Brandywine Avenue in Downingtown were also evacuated. Mains said. "We have numerous reports of houses with their basements •• flooded;'nurner'6us reports bfve-' hides stuck in the water," she' said.' The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Chester County and parts of Berks and Montgomery counties through 9:30 p.m. Monday. [FREE! 20 Gallons CuHlgan BOTTLED WATER I and one month COOLER RENTAL .with this coupon* •<_ | • miuiHiMi •«•• «•»* •"«>«•»• * 1749 WILSON A«., INDIANA | BEHIND HITE ELECTRIC I I I Cap on pain, suffering discussed By MARC LEVY Associated Press Writer HARIUSBUftG — The issue of whether to limit the amount of money victims of medical mistakes may be awarded for pain and suffering dominated a Senate hearing Monday as lawmakers try to decide what, if anything, can be done to reduce doctors' malpractice insurance rates. The Legislature has passed two major medical-malpractice bills in the past 18 months that are expected to cut premiums by 15 to 20 percent in the coming years, in addition, Gov. Ed Rendell has pledged to spend $220 million a year for the next three years to subsidize doctors' premiums. But with House approval of a bill to impose caps on jury awards for non-economic damages for pain and suffering and Senate staff members working with doctors, insurers, lawyers and other groups on additional legislation, more debate seems sure to follow. At Monday's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel's chairman, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, sought to balance the benefits of imposing a $250,000 cap favored by doctors and insurers against the impact on plaintiffs who would be unable to seek more compensation. The Montgomery County Republican asked an insurance industry lobbyist to estimate how much doctors would save. "It would reduce malpractice premiums by about 20 percent. It would stabilize the underlying market, and it would bring in more insurers" to Pennsylvania, • replied Sam Marshall, a lobbyist who is president of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania. But a former executive of one major malpractice insurer, the Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange of New Jersey, said that company calculated more than 10 years ago that it would be unable to reduce premiums by more than one-half of 1 percent if the state capped pain-and-suffering awards at $250,000.: . v , . • Howard i P. Weiss, who was ,a senior vice president when he left in 1993, said the company found that most of its payouts in medical malpractice cases resulted from economic costs and very little for pain and suffering. Sides joust in Allstate agents' suit ' PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lawyers for Allstate Insurance Co: asked a federal judge Monday to throw out a suit accusing the company of age discrimination, while the plaintiffs asked for their complaint to be certified as class action. The suit, filed two years ago, contends that 6,400 agents with a median age of 50 were improperly converted from company employees to private contractors with few benefits in 2000. Allstate maintains the job reclassifications were part of a program to save $600 million a year and weren't intended to get rid of older workers. Lawyers said agents were told they had to sign a release waiving their right to sue for discrimination, or they would lose their jobs. "If rthe practices that Allstate followed here were to become commonplace, it would eviscerate employment law in this country," said plaintiffs attorney Michael Lieder. Twenty-one of the 29 plaintiffs in the suit traveled to Philadelphia from around the country to attend a 2Vz hour hearing on the case Monday but were not asked to testify. U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam did not immediately rule on any of the several motions before him. R.D. 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Windows XP Computers Tor Seniors Excel From I>agc Newsletters with Pizzazz Internet Key hoarding Microsoft Wonl Photoshop PowerPoint Publisher Speed writing QuarkX press Qukkbooks A+ Certification Medical Coding CPT Medical Terminology NuTseAidcTraining Anatomy Pharmacology Medical Coding, ICD-9-CM Official Prometric Testing Center Motorcycle Safety Program Site Microsoft Office Special] si Train ing •and Certification Site REGISTRATION: B> Mill i4I M.imill RI.. l\ PERSON Mr.-d.u r",.rs<1.n 1 i VIA THE WEB www o.i PA 1^7(11 Frfl.r. M .im 'i To expand PACE and PAGENET, you don't have to rally or picket. You just have to call. Call your state senator to help pass House Bill House Bill 888 would expand PACE and PAGENET, Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical assistance programs. These programs enable thousands of Pennsylvanians to get assistance with their prescription drug costs. This legislation is now pending before the state senate without a scheduled vote. Please encourage your state senator to get HB 888 up for vote and voted in. Call the AARP Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Hotline at 1-800-741-2570 to be connected to your state senator's office. ./l/lKP Pennsylvania Call us at 717-238-2277 or visit our Web site at wwwaarp.org/pa.
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