Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A new alienation-of-affection case from Jonathan Turley:
Wealthy car dealer Bob Rohrman (known as “Bob Rohrrrrrrr-man” on his commercials) is suing a surgeon, Dr. Sami M. Bittar, who wooed his wife, Ronda. Of course, Rohrman must show that the couple had a loving and full relationship before Dr. Bittar made a house call and that the good doctor was the cause of the damage to the marriage.
Turley further notes some recent successful alienation cases and the resulting verdicts.
Monday, June 29, 2009
As the New York Times reports, General Motors will retain liability for unfiled products liability claims as part of its bankruptcy. Previously-filed claims, however, will be part of the bankruptcy. A hearing on G.M.'s bankruptcy plan is scheduled for tomorrow in federal bankruptcy court in New York.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
A California woman has filed suit against Nestle alleging that raw chocolate chip cookie dough gave her food poisoning, although no tests have confirmed any contamination in Nestle products and despite a clear warning on Nestle pre-packaged cookie dough not to eat the dough raw. Nestle voluntarily recalled dozens of brands of cookie dough a few weeks ago. About Lawsuits has more.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I assure you it's fabulous! Prawfsblawg has an open thread for hiring chairs. At least three schools--Notre Dame, St. John's, and Lewis & Clark--have stated in interest in hiring for Torts. The full list, including contact information, is here.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
As the National Law Journal reports, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has agreed to a $1M settlement to reimburse at least 100 families for the costs of applied behavioral analysis treatment for their autistic children.
Center for Class Action Fairness, a project founded by Ted Frank to provide pro bono representation to consumers dissatisfied with court-appointed representatives in class actions, especially with respect to settlement approval.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Torts and Compensation Systems section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) is soliciting nominations for the William L. Prosser Award. The award "recognize[s] outstanding contributions of law teachers in scholarship, teaching and service in ... torts and compensation systems ...." The two most recent distinguished recipients are Robert Rabin and Dan Dobbs. Past recipients also include luminaries such as Leon Green, Wex Malone, and John Wade.
Any law professor is eligible to nominate another law professor for the award. Selection of the recipient will be made by members of the Executive Committee of the Torts and Compensation Systems Section, based on the recommendation of a special selection committee. The announcement of the award will be made at the annual AALS meeting in January, 2010.
Nominations, accompanied by a brief supporting statement, should be submitted to Prof. Michael L. Rustad, Secretary of the Executive Committee, either by regular mail or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must be received no later than 5 pm eastern time (U.S.) on July 1, 2009. E-mail submissions at email@example.com are preferred. If you prefer to mail the nominations, please send them to the address below:
Michael L. Rustad
Thomas F. Lambert Jr. Professor of Law &
Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Concentration
Suffolk University Law School
120 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-4977
Announcement and Call for Papers
AALS Torts Group Section Meeting
January 8, 2010, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Panel: Richard Epstein’s Legacy in Torts.
Richard Epstein is among the most prominent and influential torts scholars of our times. Unmatched in breadth, his scholarly corpus displays a remarkable command of doctrinal, historical, institutional and philosophical analysis. A fiercely independent thinker, Professor Epstein has challenged conventional wisdom on core topics including: the centrality of fault to modern accident law; the reluctance of courts to allow potential personal injury victims to contract around tort law; the desirability of flexible liability standards over clear rules, the soundness of New York Times v. Sullivan, and the lack of meaningful constitutional limits on tort reform legislation.
The Executive Committee of the Torts and Compensation System is delighted to have assembled for the 2010 AALS Annual Meeting a panel of world-renowned tort scholars consisting of Jules Coleman (Yale), Jill Horwitz (Michigan), Joshua Getzler (Oxford), and Benjamin Zipursky (Fordham). The panelist will critically examine various dimensions of Professor Epstein’s work, and its potential significance for future tort law and scholarship. After Professor Epstein has an opportunity to respond, a question-and-answer session will follow.
Call for Papers
Papers written by panelists at this year’s AALS Torts Section meeting will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Tort Law (“JTL”). JTL is also at this time inviting scholars to submit papers for publication on this topic. Ordinary JTL submissions procedures and publication standards will apply. Deadline for submissions of papers is January 4, 2010, 5 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S.).
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Amalia Miller (Virginia-Economics) & Catherine Tucker (MIT-Management Science) have posted to SSRN Electronic Discovery and Electronic Medical Records: Does the Threat of Litigation Affect Firm Decisions to Adopt Technology? Here is the abstract:
After firms adopt electronic information and communication technologies, their decision-making leaves a trail of electronic information. We ask how the threat of litigation affects decisions to adopt technologies that leave more of an electronic trail, such as electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs allow hospitals to document electronically both patient symptoms and health providers' reactions to those symptoms. We find evidence that hospitals are a third less likely to adopt electronic medical records if there are state laws that facilitate the use of electronic records in court.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I hope you are enjoying the opportunity to focus exclusively on scholarship as much as I am. Without further ado...
Reform, Legislation, Policy
- Obama open to med mal reform, but not damage caps. (ABA Journal)
- States reform med mal for ER docs. (Point of Law) On this issue, AZ bill advances. (AZCapitolTimes) I prefer a different approach.
Trials, Settlement and Other Ends
- In NC: a $500,000 alienation of affections and criminal conversation award. (Overlawyered) Again, I prefer a different approach. (I'm feeling contrary.)
- Jury awards $1.8M in MI med mal death case. (Morning Sun)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Rebecca Korzec (Baltimore) has posted on SSRN her 2003 article Products Liability Harmonization: A Uniform Standard. Here is the abstract:
Among industrialized nations, the United States is unique in addressing tort law at the state rather than the national level. For example, Australia and Canada, which share a common-law heritage with the United States, have federal tort systems. The United States approach may be appropriate in some tort settings, such as in the premises liability or motor vehicle accident context (not involving a claim of products liability), where the state rule’s impact remains within that state’s geographical boundaries. Unlike the simple 'fender-bender', which occurs within the borders of one state, the typical product is manufactured and marketed nationally or internationally. Therefore, several factors suggest that uniform federal treatment of product liability laws may be a more desirable means of regulation.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
As the Washington Postreports, drug companies are getting creative in their marketing, using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and other on-line outlets to pitch their products.
The FDA is watching the development with interest. "If drug companies or others working on behalf of drug companies wish to promote [their products] using social media tools, FDA would evaluate the resulting messages as to whether they comply with the applicable laws and regulations." said Karen Riley, a spokeswoman for the agency. "Our laws and regulations don't restrict the channels that prescription drug companies choose to use for disseminating product promotional messages."
As part of President Obama's health care package, top Democrats have begun saying that tort reform is on the agenda. In particular, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told CBS's Early Morning Show that "tort reform is going to be on the table."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
As of August 1, 2009, Pace Environmental Law Review (PELR) will use a new Peer Review process to select articles for publication. Submissions will be reviewed internally and then forwarded to a select group of Peer Reviews - academics, practitioners and experts in the field, including members of Pace Law School’s world-renowned environmental law faculty. The Peer Review process will offer new and distinctive opportunities to foster continued debate and reflection upon some of the most pressing topics within the field of environmental law. Articles selected for publication will benefit from:
For more information, visit PELR's website. - SBS
For more information, visit PELR's website.
As the San Francisco Examiner reports, Congress has passed a bill giving the FDA authority to regulate soft drinks. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.
UPDATE: Thanks to blog readers Laurie Simpson and Professor Kathryn Kelly (Catholic) for pointing out that the Examiner article was meant as satire of the new tobacco legislation.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Jean Eggen (Widener) has posted on SSRN The Mature Product Preemption Doctrine: The Unitary Standard and the Paradox of Consumer Protection. Here is the abstract:
The history of the U.S. Supreme Court’s product preemption doctrine has been characterized by inconsistency and confusion. Product regulation and common-law product liability actions are primarily concerned with assuring the health and safety of the consuming public, and it is not surprising that the Court’s product preemption decisions have focused substantially on medical devices and drugs. Recent government studies have shown, however, that the FDA is hampered in reaching its safety goals by insufficient resources and increasing demands. This article reassesses the Court’s product preemption doctrine in the light of a triad of new decisions issued in 2008 and 2009. This article argues, first, that the new decisions demonstrate that the Court has embraced a unitary standard for product preemption, which merges previously discrete elements into a single, discretionary analytical process. The unitary standard lacks the desirable structure of a doctrine of this magnitude and leaves itself open to being applied in an arbitrary and unpredictable manner. This article then argues that although the Court continues to express respect for the traditional role of state tort actions in advancing consumer protection, a disconnect exists between those policy goals and the analytical process the Court uses, which places those goals in jeopardy. The unitary standard, paradoxically, invites arbitrary and unpredictable results and poses a threat to the public in the area of product safety.