TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Helland & Klick on Regulation by Litigation

Eric Helland (Claremont McKenna College/RAND) and Jonathan Klick (Penn) have posted on SSRN The Relation Between Regulation and Class Actions:  Evidence from the Insurance Industry.  Here is the abstract:

Standard law and economics models imply that regulation and litigation serve as substitutes. We test this by looking at the incidence of insurance class actions as a function of measures of regulatory enforcement. We also look specifically at whether states with clear regulatory standards regarding the use of OEM parts experience less litigation over this issue. We find no evidence of substitution between regulation and litigation. We also examine the possibility that litigation is more frequent in states where regulators are more likely to be captured by industry interests, finding no support for this hypothesis either. Instead, litigation is more likely in states where similar litigation has been successful in the past, calling into question standard law and economics models in this area.


April 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Personal Injury Roundup No. 32 (4/17/09)

Here's the past week in Torts:

Reform, Legislation, Policy

  • Bill creating market-share liability for lead paint in Baltimore fails to pass Maryland General Assembly.  (Law & More, Point of Law)
  • Point:  Texas Med-Mal Damages Caps Worked.  (Point of Law)
  • Counterpoint:  Do Texas Med-Mal Damages Caps Work? (What Do You Mean By "Work"?) (Turkewitz)
  • Two pending bills in U.S. Senate would give state attorneys general the authority to file suits to enforce specified federal laws.  (Point of Law)

Trials, Settlements & Other Ends


  • United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit tosses defamation case against Rep. Murtha on immunity grounds. (Turley, San Diego Union Trib)
  • Illinois Supreme Court reverses "Lipke" rule, and holds evidence of plaintiff's exposure to other asbestos products is admissible.  (Download Nolan v. Weil-McLain) (pdf)


  • Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on "pay-to-sue" lobbying.  (WSJ)
  • NACA guidelines for settling class actions published in FRD. (CL&P)
  • Beck & Herrmann update their 50 state survey on medical monitoring claims.  (Drug & Device)

Thanks to Mark Behrens and my student John Harloe for material this week. 


April 17, 2009 in Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bridge Settlement Complete in Minnesota

Some details of the settlement are at; all settlements come from a $37 million fund set up by the Minnesota legislature.


April 16, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Top 10 Recent Torts & Products Liability SSRN Downloads

Among papers posted in the last 60 days, the top 10 papers for the SSRN Torts & Products Liability e-Journal are:

1.  Estimating the Effect of Damages Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases: Evidence from Texas
David A. Hyman , Bernard S. Black , Charles Silver and William M. Sage
University of Illinois - College of Law , University of Texas at Austin - School of Law , University of Texas at Austin - School of Law and University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Date Posted: February 26, 2009

2.  The Unfinished Daubert Revolution
David E. Bernstein
George Mason University - School of Law
Date Posted: March 7, 2009

3.  Statutory Damages in Copyright Law: A Remedy in Need of Reform
Pamela Samuelson and Tara Wheatland
UC Berkeley School of Law and University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
Date Posted: April 9, 2009

 4.  Philosophical Issues in Tort Law
John Oberdiek
Rutgers University School of Law, Camden
Date Posted: March 18, 2009

5.  The Failure of Economics in Tort Law: The Puzzle of Negligence
Shawn J. Bayern
Duke University - School of Law
Date Posted: February 26, 2009

6.  Calabresi, Posner, and Some Common Areas of Confusion: The Value of Life in Law and Economics
Carsten Gerner-Beuerle
King's College London School of Law
Date Posted: February 23, 2009

7.  Graduated Consent Theory, Explained and Applied
Tom W. Bell
Chapman University - School of Law
Date Posted: March 12, 2009

8.  Allowing Patients to Waive the Right to Sue for Medical Malpractice: A Response to Thaler and Sunstein
Tom Baker and Timothy D. Lytton
University of Pennsylvania Law School and Albany Law School
Date Posted: February 26, 2009

9.  Litigating Groups
Elizabeth Chamblee Burch
Florida State University - College of Law
Date Posted: March 14, 2009

10.  Fessing Up to Facebook: Recent Trends in the Use of Social Network Websites for Insurance Litigation
Pamela D. Pengelley
Cozen O'Connor
Date Posted: March 10, 2009

10.  Rights, Remedies, and Causes of Action
Stephen A. Smith
McGill University - Faculty of Law
Date Posted: February 19, 2009



April 16, 2009 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cal Biz Lit Live-Blogging DRI Products Conference

Follow it here.  (Via Point of Law.)


April 16, 2009 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Bizarre Warnings

Fox News has an article on odd warnings found on products.  For example, on the iPod Shuffle:  "Do Not Eat iPod Shuffle."  The article, with more tasty examples, is here.


April 16, 2009 in Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vladeck to Head FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau

David Vladeck (Georgetown) has been named Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC.   FDA Law Blog and CL&P Blog have more.


April 15, 2009 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pace Law Review Call for Papers: National Security Law and Con Law

Call for Articles, Essays, and Book Reviews: National Security and Constitutional Law

Proposals due May 15, 2009

The editors of Pace Law Review invite proposals from scholars, researchers, practitioners, and professionals for contributions to a special issue on the relationship between national security and constitutional law to be published in Winter 2010.

Pace Law School is dedicated to advancing a greater understanding among scholars and the legal community concerning the role of constitutional law in national security concerns.  This law review issue will promote an ongoing discourse on the balance between constitutional rights and effective national security.

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words by attachment to plr [at] by May 15, 2009.  All proposals should include the intended author’s name, title, institutional affiliation, contact information, and should concern issues related to the relationship between national security and constitutional law.  Book review proposals should also include (a) the title and publication date of the book proposed for review; (b) a description of the importance of the book to the general topic; and (c) any other information relevant to the book or proposed review (e.g., the reviewer’s expertise or any relationship with the author).  Authors are also welcome, but not required, to submit a CV.  We expect to make publication offers by June 1.  We encourage clear, concise, and accessible writing that will be of use to lawmakers, attorneys, and students.

Completed manuscripts of book reviews and essays will be due July 15, 2009.  Completed manuscripts of scholarly articles will be due August 1, 2009.


April 14, 2009 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 13, 2009

LA Times on Punitives

In an editorial, the LAT calls on the Supreme Court to give better guidance on punitive damages, saying the state of law today has "wasted the time of lawyers, judges and injured parties, and sometimes has led to injustices."


April 13, 2009 in Damages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nevada Panel Approves Unlimited P&S Damages for Victims of Gross Negligence

On Friday, Nevada's Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a bill that allows victims of gross negligence to sue for unlimited pain and suffering damages.  The bill now goes to the floor of the assembly.  The Las Vegas Sun has the story.


April 12, 2009 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)