TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, July 6, 2007

Suit To Be Filed Against TB Traveler

The Toronto Star reports that at least three passengers who sat near Andrew Speaker, the TB traveler, plan to file suit in Canada next week.   (Prior posts on the potential liability of Speaker are available here and here). 


July 6, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Top 10 Torts Downloads on SSRN

Listed below are the top 10 downloads for papers posted on SSRN from May 7, 2007 to July 6, 2007 in the Journal of Torts & Products Liability Law : 

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 187 Limiting Liability in the Greenhouse: Insurance Risk-Management Strategies in the Context of Global Climate Change
Christina Ross, Evan Mills, Sean B. Hecht,
LaCroix Davis LLC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Environmental Energy Technologies Division, University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 23, 2007
Last Revised: May 30, 2007
2 97 Plaintiphobia in State Court? An Empirical Study of State Court Trials on Appeal
Theodore Eisenberg, Michael Heise,
Cornell University - School of Law, Cornell University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 23, 2007
Last Revised: May 24, 2007
3 91 Dispatches from the Tort Wars: A Review Essay
Anthony J. Sebok,
Brooklyn Law School,
Date posted to database: May 10, 2007
Last Revised: June 25, 2007
4 85 Defense Costs in Medical Malpractice and Other Personal Injury Cases: Evidence from Texas, 1988-2004
Bernard S. Black, David A. Hyman, Charles Silver, William M. Sage,
University of Texas at Austin - School of Law, University of Illinois College of Law, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Austin,
Date posted to database: June 4, 2007
Last Revised: June 8, 2007
5 74 Illusory Losses
Cass R. Sunstein,
University of Chicago Law School,
Date posted to database: May 2, 2007
Last Revised: May 16, 2007
6 52 Trends and Duration of Medical Malpractice Cases: Some Evidence from the Italian Court of Cassation Decisions (1970-2005)
Veronica Grembi,
Istituto di Economia e Finanza, Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, University of Rome La Sapienza,
Date posted to database: April 28, 2007
Last Revised: April 28, 2007
7 41 Resolution of Mass Tort Claims in the Bankruptcy System
Douglas G. Smith,
Kirkland & Ellis LLP,
Date posted to database: May 18, 2007
Last Revised: May 31, 2007
8 37 Rights, Duties, Liabilities, and Hohfeld
Andrew Halpin,
Swansea University School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 26, 2007
Last Revised: April 26, 2007
9 32 Tort Liability Litigation Costs
Joni Hersch, W. Kip Viscusi,
Vanderbilt University Law School, Vanderbilt University Law School,
Date posted to database: June 10, 2007
Last Revised: June 27, 2007
10 30 Vincent as a Negligence Case: A Justificational Analysis
Peter M. Gerhart,
Case Western Reserve University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 21, 2007
Last Revised: June 7, 2007

July 6, 2007 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Posting May Be Interrupted

Over the next few days, posting will depend on one of us getting to various small-town libraries during their seemingly random hours on our respective vacations.  Fear not (as if you were fearing): we will return.

July 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SCOTUS Grants Cert in Medical Preemption Case

The Supreme Court granted cert in Riegel v. Medtronic Inc., No. 06-179.   The question presented is:

Whether the express preemption provision of the Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360k(a), preempt state law claims seeking damages for injuries caused by medical devices that received premarket approval from the Food and Drug Administration.


July 3, 2007 in Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Forbes Reports on Best And Worst States To Be Sued In

As reported in Forbes, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has issued survey results naming West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama as the five worst staes to be sued in. 


July 3, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Philly Food Critic's Anonymity Threatened By Litigation

The food critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer was unimpressed by a steak he got at a restaurant called "Chops," and said so in a review.  The restaurant, displeased, sued for libel, contending that he received (and knew he received) a steak sandwich without bread, not an actual steak.  And now, the Philadelphia Weekly reports, his videotaped deposition may be shown publicly, causing significant harm to his ability to remain anonymous.

(I observe that the Chops comment section has some negative comments about the lawsuit too.) (Update: As commenter LCC (also known as my sister) notes, the negative comments have disappeared.)


July 3, 2007 in Goofy Cases | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Pardons, Commutations, & Negligence Per Se

So: How, if at all, will the commutation of Scooter Libby's prison term affect the civil suit brought against Libby (and others) by Valerie Plame?

I think not at all, since the conviction stands, so, to whatever extent negligence per se applies -- and I actually don't think it will, given the actual charges of which he was convicted -- the basis would still be there.  But I do wonder what effect an outright pardon would have.  I assume it's come up before.  Anyone?


July 2, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TO Sues Nightclub

Wide receiver/annoying person Terrell Owens, about whom I had happily heard little for a few months, has sued NYC nightclub Avalon for deceptive trade practices for using his name and likeness in advertising.  He's seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitives.


July 2, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CR on Park Safety

The Consumer Reports Blog has a post about Kathy Fackler, an activist (and friend of mine) seeking better reporting and oversight of amusement rides (fixed site and portable).  Kathy runs, a site I've linked to before, though I don't necessarily agree with everything she says.

I've mentioned it before, but it's worth noting again since regular readers may be getting bothered by the recent stream of amusement-related posts: I find amusement safety interesting not just because I'm a fan of amusement parks, but also because it's a relatively small industry where you can see almost all of the issues in tort law.  You've got dramatically varied regulation, both state- and federal-level; interesting arguments about personal responsibility; huge variety in operators (from judgment-proof mom & pop shops to Universal); fun questions about what the benefit is in any risk/benefit calculation; and so on.  I use examples from the amusement context throughout my Torts class and they seem to work very well.


July 2, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One Plaintiffs' Lawyer on the Starburst Suit

John Day addresses the suit here.  Let's just say he's not impressed.


July 2, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

FDA Officials Acknowledge Calendar Failings

The Post reports that FDA's top officials failed to properly report meetings with industry as required by regulation.  The FDA calls it an administrative oversight; others contend it is representative of a broader lack of openness.

The meetings that have since been disclosed are almost all related to negotiation of user fee regulations -- i.e., not the meetings about specific drugs, approvals, actions, and the like.  Public Citizen's Sidney Wolfe proposes that lower-level meetings should be required, since that's where much of the rubber-meets-road stuff happens:

Frequent FDA critic Dr. Sidney Wolfe called it "ridiculous" that the FDA had failed to post the calendar listings but suggested the requirement should be expanded to cover even lower-level employees at the agency. It's those employees, Wolfe said, who spend the most time meeting face-to-face with drug companies.

"Before decisions that seem to be going in the wrong direction from the public health perspective, it might be nice to know a company was in there," said Wolfe, of the watchdog group Public Citizen.


(I do a small amount of work for pharmaceutical companies.)

July 1, 2007 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Bit More on Rye

The newest story indicates that the victim was not trying to ride, but was instead finishing loading the ride at the end of her shift.  The new shift's ride operator started the ride while the victim was still in the ride area and was unable to stop the ride before the victim was thrown and killed.

(We'll get back to more straight-up torts stuff soon, honest.)


July 1, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)