Thursday, December 12, 2013
Imgard Griss‘How Judges Think: Judicial Reasoning in Tort Cases from a Comparative Perspective’(2013) 3 JETL 247
Donal Nolan‘Damage in the English Law of Negligence’(2013) 3 JETL259
Patrick O’Callaghan‘False Privacy and Information Games’ (2013) 3 JETL282
Paula Giliker‘Vicarious Liability “On the Move”: The English Supreme Court andEnterprise Liability’ (2013) 3 JETL 306
Quinten De Raedt‘Loss of a Chance in Medical Malpractice: A Double Application’ (2013) 3 JETL 314
Joseph A Page‘D Dobbs/ P Hayden/E Bublick, The Law of Torts, Practitioner Treatise Series’(2013) 3 JETL 328
Peter Stockenhuber‘G Messen,Der Anspruch auf Schadenersatz bei Verstössen gegen EU-Kartellrecht (2013) 2 JETL339
Olivier Moréteau‘François Terré (ed), Pour une réform du droit de la responsabilité civile, Collection: Thémes’(2013) 3 JETL 342
Jane Wright 'A Fenyes/ E Karner/ E Steiner (eds), Tort Law in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights’ (2013) 3 JETL 347
Christophe Quézel-Ambrunaz‘R Goldberg (ed), Perspectives on Causation’ (2013) 3 JETL 351
Christina Eberl-Borges‘Peter North, Civil Liability for Animals’ (2013) 3 JETL 356
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A New Jersey Superior Court reaffirmed that only the golfer taking the shot is legally responsibile for yelling "fore" for an errant shot. In Corino v. Duffy, the court held that two bystanders - friends of the golfer hitting the ball and part of the threesome - were not liable for the golfer's shot striking the plaintiff in the right eye. A copy of the decision is available here. The Legal Blitz has more on the decision.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Ken Oliphant and Barbara C. Steininger have edited European Tort Law Yearbook 2012. It contains reports on tort law developments in 28 European countries and in the law of the EU. As a bonus, there is an additional report from Israel.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Elizabeth Chamblee Burch (Georgia) has posted to SSRN Revisiting the Government as Plaintiff. The abstract provides:
This is a symposium essay dedicated to the late Richard Nagareda and written in response to Adam S. Zimmerman's piece, The Corrective Justice State.
As Professor Zimmerman recognizes, the debate over governments acting as plaintiffs and “regulating by deal” has shifted from initial questions over whether litigation produces the best public policy and whether executive officials are acting within the scope of their authority to how government actors should pursue and allocate settlements. Yet, as this first wave of controversy suggests, the slate upon which executive officials currently write is neither clean nor uncontroversial. Instead, this new debate is playing out in an unsettled landscape where those first-order questions about legitimacy remain unresolved.
When layered atop the existing controversy over the intermingling of government functions, executive officials’ relatively new allocative role may put their actions even further at odds with their traditional regulatory and proprietary functions, particularly when the action yielding the compensation is a public substitute for a private right of action. What principles should guide officials in this new role: traditional tort law, social welfare, or political equality principles such as one person one vote? More specifically, should executive officials look to tort law precepts to govern the allocation and retain concepts such as economic loss and the collateral source rule, or employ a governmental aid aspect, which would suggest a principal of equality that would not vary based on one’s income but would consider collateral sources of compensation?
Zimmerman suggests that officials have attempted to justify both their regulatory and allocative decisions with ill-suited corrective justice principles that translate poorly from the private to the public sphere. Despite reservations about whether regulation through litigation results in the best policies or offers democratic checks, he seems more willing to accept executive officials’ increased litigation role in the wake of Congressional failings and the difficulty of certifying a private class action. He thus tailors his reform proposals to target the government’s allocative function, suggesting ways to improve legitimacy and transparency in distributing recoveries, whatever the guiding principle might be.
Still, certain concerns and questions linger. First, Zimmerman narrows his focus to the second generation question of allocation, even though he raises and dismisses first-generation concerns over whether executive officials are properly acting within the scope of their authority and whether the regulatory solutions they generate through litigation are legitimate and optimal. Shoring up back-end allocation procedures, however, does not alleviate first-generation legitimacy questions or regulatory concerns. Second, Zimmerman opts not to iron out overarching systemic problems like legislative stalemates or mounting difficulty in certifying class actions, preferring instead (or perhaps more realistically) to work within the circumstances that prompt executive action. Yet, truly legitimizing process and adhering to corrective justice principles would require resolving systemic concerns about who should litigate and who should regulate. Finally, given concerns that judges already “rubber stamp” class-action settlements and that parties tend to find innovative ways to gerrymander votes and stakeholder input in areas like bankruptcy, one might question the effectiveness of Zimmerman’s proposals for enhancing due process when allocating state recovery to affected citizens.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Keith Hylton (Boston University), Haizhen Lin (Indiana University), and Hyo-Youn Chu (Kyung Hee University) have posted to SSRN Negligence and Two-Sided Causation. The abstract provides:
We extend the economic analysis of negligence and intervening causation to “two-sided causation” scenarios. In the two-sided causation scenario the effectiveness of the injurer’s care depends on some intervention, and the risk of harm generated by the injurer’s failure to take care depends on some other intervention. We find that the distortion from socially optimal care is more severe in the two-sided causation scenario than in the one-sided causation scenario, and generally in the direction of excessive care. The practical lesson is that the likelihood that injurers will have optimal care incentives under the negligence test in the presence of intervening causal factors is low.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here's a good story for the holidays. John Hochfelder shares news of his former client, recovering from injuries suffered from electrocution. Chef Eduardo Garcia is in this week's People Magazine and will be on Good Morning America soon.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Symeon Symeonides (Willamette) has posted to SSRN Issue-by-Issue Analysis and Depecage in Choice of Law: Cause and Effect. The abstract provides:
This Article discusses two interrelated features of modern American choice-of-law approaches: (1) issue-by-issue analysis, and (2) dépeçage.
Issue-by-issue analysis stands for the proposition that, in choosing the law to be applied to a multistate case, a court should focus on the particular issue(s) for which the laws of the involved states would produce a different outcome, rather than on the case as a whole. Logic suggests and experience confirms that this mode of analysis is more likely to produce individualized, nuanced, and thus rational resolutions of conflicts problems than the traditional mode of wholesale choices.
Dépeçage is the potential and occasional result of issue-by-issue analysis. It occurs when the court applies the laws of different states to different issues in the same cause of action. Although this phenomenon appears anomalous to the uninitiated, in reality it is not as problematic as it appears. For example, although the majority of American courts routinely use issue-by-issue analysis, this use produces surprisingly few instances of actual dépeçage, and, in most of those cases, dépeçage is innocuous. In the remaining few cases, dépeçage can be problematic, but courts employing modern approaches have all the flexibility to avoid it -- and they do.
The Article concludes that the low -- and easily avoidable -- risk of an occasionally problematic dépeçage is not a good reason to eschew issue-by-issue analysis in light of the clear and considerable advantages of this analysis in producing apt choice-of-law solutions.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Phil Goldberg (Shook Hardy) has published “Courts and Legislatures Have Kept the Proper Leash on Pet Injury Lawsuits: Why Rejecting Emotion-Based Damages Promotes the Rule of Law, Modern Value, and Animal Welfare.”
The article focuses mostly on cases involving negligence. The article’s first part explains what owners can get under current laws, namely economic compensation for their pet as well as any reasonable and necessary medical or other expenses incurred as a result of the incident. If the economic compensation for the pet cannot be derived through the pet’s market value, there are alternative methods for calculating damages to assure proper compensation.
The remainder of the article captures the debate over whether the compensation can include emotion-based damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of companionship. Courts and legislatures have broadly rejected these damages, and this article explains why, delving into the legal theory and social values debated when this issue arises.
In short, courts have held that the tort system does not compensate for relational attachments, including with pets. Courts have pointed out that this is the same reason why, for example, emotion-based damages are not compensable for harm to close personal relations, such as a cousin, fiancée, or human best friend, or for cherished personal property.
The article concludes that keeping emotion-based damages out of pet litigation is, ultimately, what is best for pets themselves. Adding new, uncertain liability to pet litigation would cause the price of pet welfare services and products prices to rise. If owners cannot afford to pay these higher costs, then many pets will not get the care they need.
Monday, November 18, 2013
As I mentioned, last week, the U.S. House was taking up the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act. The ABA Journal reports that the bill passed the House on Thursday. The bill reinstates mandatory sanctions and eliminates the 21-day safe harbor for frivolous claims under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
From John Day comes "Tort Reform the Song". As Day explains,
"Tort Reform - The Song" was authored as part of the American College of Trial Lawyers Sixth Circuit Conference held in April 2013 in Nashville. The Conference brought together Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee Fellows and their spouses.
It was appropriate to draw upon Nashville's incredible music history and talent as part of this program, and thus three professional songwriters, led by Ryder Lee, a law student at the Belmont University School of Law and founder and former member of The Lost Trailers helped us write a song. Ryder came into the program with the music and a strong start on the lyrics. The attendees, now co-authors of this work, contributed during the program. Ryder and I finished the work in a writer's room at Universal in Nashville and - no kidding - while sitting on the tailgate of Ryder's truck in the parking lot below Taylor Swift's condominium.
Friday, November 15, 2013
On Monday, Sheila reported that two tort reform bills, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT) and the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) might receive votes in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. FACT passed on Wednesday with a 221-199 vote and LARA passed yesterday 228-195.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Dayton Daily News has a story on malpractice at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Payment for VA med mal claims (paid from a federal treasury fund set aside for federal claims, not the VA budget) totaled $845M over 10 years (on a total of 4,426 claims). The peak year was 2012 with $93.3M in payouts. The article notes that VA health care providers are immune from lawsuits and details instances of bonuses given to providers who had made medical errors or administrators despite poor records at their facilities. The article also quotes attorneys arguing the early disclosure program and limits on attorneys' fees (20% on settlements and 25% on awards) reduce the amount of claims brought against the VA. On the other hand, when asked whether VA doctors were worse than other doctors, Dr. Anupam Jena, assistant professor at Harvard, said simply, "no." The article includes poignant stories by individual victims of malpractice.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
A colleague asked me about this last week; I confess that I had not considered it. Now Kyle Colonna has posted his Note to SSRN. Entitled Autonomous Cars and Tort Liability, the abstract provides:
With the passing of time, cars are becoming more autonomous and independent of human intervention. However, with this shift in control from humans to technology, there also comes a shift in liability. While autonomous cars will eliminate many accidents caused by human error, many others will result due to technological malfunctions. In order to ensure that autonomous cars enter the marketplace in a timely fashion, the liability of autonomous car manufacturers requires mitigation. This Note examines the legal issues surrounding autonomous cars, including tort liability, and proposes a means by which the liability issues surrounding autonomous cars may be fashioned in order to effectuate a timely implementation of autonomous cars in the marketplace.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Two tort reform bills have been placed on the House calendar for this week: the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act and the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act. According to Govtrack.us, both bills are scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Rules on November 12th.
Workers' Compensation Blog has more.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Nora Freeman Engstrom (Stanford) has posted to SSRN 3-D Printing and Products Liability: Identifying the Obstacles. The abstract provides:
Though just in its infancy, 3-D printing seems poised to transform the goods we buy, the products we use, and the world we inhabit. A question frequently raised about 3-D printing, though, is how product liability law will apply to 3-D-printed goods. Tackling that important and timely question, this Essay applies contemporary product liability law to defective products from home 3-D printers. The analysis reveals that if home 3-D printing really does take off, PL litigation as we know it may well, in large measure, dry up. And if it doesn’t, the technology threatens to unsettle the theoretical justification for product liability law’s development.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Edward Elgar Publishing announces the publication, later this month, of Research Handbook on the Economics of Torts, edited by Jennifer Arlen (NYU). From the blurb:Description
‘An indispensable resource for anyone interested in economic analysis of tort law, and tort law period. Professor Arlen has assembled an academic all-star team, and its members have prepared up-to-date, high quality, and accessible treatments of centrally important topics ranging from causation and damages to vicarious liability and insurance to tort reform and tort alternatives. With respect to the analysis of tort law through the lenses of empirical and microeconomic analysis, this is now the go-to volume.’
– John Goldberg, Harvard Law School, US
Contributors include: J. Arlen, L. Babcock, T. Baker, R. Cooter, A. Daughety, D. DePianto, S.S. Diamond, T. Eisenberg, R. Epstein, J. Furgeson, M. Geistfeld, M. Grady, M. Heise, E. Helland, D. Hensler, K.N. Hylton, L. Kornhauser, R. Kraakman, G. Miller, J. Reinganum, J. Salerno, S.A. Seabury, C. Sharkey, P. Siegelman, E. Talley, M. Trebilcock, T. Ulen, P.-E. Veel, W.K. Viscusi, A.L. Wickelgren, K. Zeiler.
Nov 2013 680 pp Hardback 978 1 84844 118 7 £180.00 / $285.00
35% discount price £117.00 / $185.00
To order online (N&S America)
Go to www.e-elgar.com once the book is in your shopping basket, enter LPBN35 in the special discount code box after you have entered your delivery details.
To order online (Europe & ROW)
Go to www.e-elgar.co.uk once the book is in your shopping basket, enter LPBN35 in the special discount code box after you have entered your delivery details.
Offer ends: 31st December 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Faculty Lounge reports that upon Dean Solomon's move to the Provost's office, TortsProf John Oberdiek will become acting Dean at Rutgers-Camden next July 1, 2014. Oberdiek teaches and writes in torts and tort theory.