TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, July 11, 2008

Markel on Colby on Philip Morris

Tom Colby (GW) is provoking reactions all over the blogosphere this morning.  Over at Prawfs, Dan Markel (Florida State) is discussing his latest punitive damages piece in a post entitled "Revisiting Cost Internalization and Punitive Damages after Philip Morris."  Meanwhile, at Legal Theory Blog, Larry Solum (Illinois) provides a lengthy commentary on Colby's piece on originalism and the federal marriage amendment.


July 11, 2008 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Empirical Studies of Civil Liability at Northwestern

The Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth presents a Research Symposium on Empirical Studies of Civil Liability which will be held at Northwestern University School of Law, Thursday, October 9th-Friday, October 10th, 2008. This symposium brings together leading empirical legal scholars to evaluate the effects of civil liability on economic activity. The topics addressed are broad ranging and include alternative dispute resolution, tort reform, settlement behavior, and securities litigation.  The conference is organized by Professor Max Schanzenbach, Benjamin Mazur Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law.  Kip Viscusi is the Keynote Speaker.

The torts portions of the conference look promising.  There are panels on medical malpractice and punitive damages.  A sample of the panels: 

"The Cost of Representation:  Plaintiff's Legal Fees and Expenses in Texas Personal Injury Litigation" by David Hyman, Bernard Black, & Charles Silver

"Judicial Treatment of Noneconomic Compensatory Damages" by Ronald Allen & Alexia Brunet

"Why Do States Adopt Caps on Punitive Damages?" by Cathy Sharkey

"The Impact of Tort Reform on Health Insurance Premiums" by Ronen Avraham

"Does Medmal Reform Improve Access to Care in Under-Served Communities?" by Jonathan Klick

"Do Physicians Who are Sued for Malpractice Lose Market Share?" by David Dranove, Subramaniam Ramanarayanan, & Yasutora Watanabe

For more information, or to register, visit the website:


July 10, 2008 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Solomon at Prawfsblawg

TortsProf Jason Solomon (Georgia) is guest-blogging at Prawfsblawg this month.  His first two (non-torts-related) posts are here and here.

UPDATE:  A third post in the series on the U.S. News rankings went up this morning.


July 9, 2008 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Updated: Ordered Chicken, Got Shellfish, Died

So reports Consumerist (itself linking to an AJC story). The customer, a Georgia rapper, ordered the Chicken Fresco but got the Chicken Oscar (relevant part of the Ruby Tuesday menu is here, but without pictures, so I don't know how similar the items look). The case echoes the one where a cheese-allergic customer sued McDonald's after receiving cheese when he emphatically ordered otherwise, and became ill.

Update: Ruby Tuesday claims that the customer in fact ordered Chicken Oscar. Seems a bit unlikely, given the lifelong and known allergy, but there you go.


July 9, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Calnan on Duty

Alan Calnan (Southwestern) has posted an interesting tort theory piece, Duty and Integrity in Tort Law, on SSRN.  Here is the first paragraph of the abstract:

The tort concept of duty lacks integrity in virtually every popular sense of that term. It is at once incomplete, unharmonious and unbeholden to any ethical principle or moral standard. Although these problems are interrelated, each corrupts tort jurisprudence in its own unique way.

To remedy this problem, Calnan proffers a theory based in the work of legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin.


July 8, 2008 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Meat & Illness

The tomato produce salmonella outbreak has gotten the most attention recently. But the Washington Post's Checkout blog has an interesting bit about Nebraska Beef, a recent 5.3 million pound recall of ground beef, and the company's history of litigation. Among other things, in 2006, "Minnesota public health and USDA officials linked an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in ground beef that killed a Minnesota woman to Nebraska Beef, although USDA never publicly named the company as the source. The woman who died ate meatballs at a church event. Her family sued Nebraska Beef and the company, in turn, sued the church saying the volunteers who prepared the food were at fault." (Marler covers it here.)


July 6, 2008 in Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)