July 26, 2008
A.M. Best: Med Mal Leads Captives' Premium Decline
From the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch:
OLDWICK, N.J., Jul 25, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Falling medical malpractice premiums led to a 15% drop in net premiums written between 2006 and 2007 for a composite of captive insurance companies, but captives overall benefited from favorable underwriting trends, according to a new A.M. Best Co.'s special report in BestWeek U.S./Canada.
July 25, 2008
Granite Countertops: The Next Wave of Tort Suits?
Sometimes the first sentence of an article says it all:
Plaintiffs lawyers are advertising on the Internet for clients whose granite countertops are emitting high levels of radon.
If necessary, the rest of the story from the ABA Journal is here.
Massachusetts Accepts Loss of Chance Doctrine
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court acknowledged, for the first time, that the loss of chance doctrine was good law in that jurisdiction:
"Where a physician's negligence reduces or eliminates the patient's prospects for achieving a more favorable medical outcome, the physician has harmed the patient and is liable for damages," the court said in a decision written by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall.
Damages will be awarded proportionate to the diminished survival rate caused by the physician's negligence. The full story is here.
July 24, 2008
Sharkey on Preemption, Part II
The Northwestern University Law Review's Colloquy has just uploaded part II of Cathy Sharkey's essay What Riegel Portends for FDA Preemption of State Law Products Liability Claims.
Hilden on Defamation Online
Julie Hilden's column this week on Writ discusses some advantages held by online news sources in the context of defamation litigation (focused largely on the shallow pockets of bloggers) and suggests some ways that bigger players might achieve similar results.
July 21, 2008
Sharkey on Preemption
This morning, the Northwestern University Law Review's Colloquy posted part I of Cathy Sharkey's What Riegel Portends for FDA Preemption of State Law Products Liability Claims. Part II will be available on Thursday.
New FDA Dissent Website
A very interesting new site, Thoreau-FDA.com, has been launched, purportedly by current and former FDA employees concerned about the operation of the FDA, in particular in drug review, and in particular about directives from "upper management."
The domain is registered to James Dickinson, who operates FDAweb.com, but he states he just allowed his name to be used for registration. (Query whether that's consistent with ICANN's policy requiring accurate contact information -- and also observe that the group could, for nine bucks, registered the domain anonymously through the registrar they're already with, GoDaddy.com. But that's all a little beside the point, I suppose.)
Kaiser Family Foundation on Candidates' Healthcare Proposals
The Kaiser Family Foundation, through its Health08.org website, has posted [PDF] a side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates' proposals for healthcare policy. Sen. McCain cites "tort reform" as a way to reduce costs. On a fairly cursory review of the candidates' websites, I think it's fair to say neither candidate has liability measures as anything close to central to their campaigns.
(Disclosure: I have made a modest contribution to Obama's campaign, but have no other involvement in the campaign.)