TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Family of Flight Attendant on Air France Flight 447 Seeks Suit

The family of a flight attendant killed when AF447 crashed near the coast of Brazil on June 1st is seeking legal action against the airline.  Reuters has the details.


August 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Call for Articles and Essays: Recent Developments in New York Law

Posted by request:

The editors of Pace Law Review invite proposals from scholars, researchers, practitioners, and professionals for contributions to our second annual issue addressing recent developments in New York law to be published in Spring 2010.

This issue will explore a wide range of recent developments in the laws of New York State, including but not limited to areas of criminal law, civil litigation, family law, property law, constitutional law, tax law, bankruptcy law, and municipal law. Authors may also discuss proposed changes to New York law, at the state or local level.

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words by attachment to by October 1, 2009. All proposals should include the intended author’s name, title, institutional affiliation, contact information, and should relate to an area of New York State law.  Authors are also welcome, but not required, to submit a CV. We expect to make publication offers by October 8. We encourage clear, concise, and accessible writing that will be of use to lawmakers, attorneys, and students.

Completed manuscripts will be due November 24, 2009.


August 21, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Personal Injury Roundup No. 47 (8/21/09)

It finally feels like summer in western Massachusetts, and yet here we are finishing up 1L orientation, with classes starting next week!  I've got to get to school for the orientation picnic, so it'll be a little briefer than usual...

Reform, Legislation, Policy

  • Mandatory reporting of medical errors?  (TortsProf)
  • Regulation through litigation in the context of chicken houses (Washington Post)
  • An overview of assumption of risk in baseball (Point of Law)
  • Tort issues as part of health care reform (Daily DishFollowupNevada Appeal, many other places -- a sampling here)
  • Indiana teachers now have immunity from suit for some classroom activities (WIBC)

New Lawsuits

  • Eric Turkewitz contemplates various suits arising (or potentially arising) from Michael Jackson's death (NY Personal Injury Law Blog
  • Defamation suit filed, and dropped the same day, against "Skanks of New York" blogger (TG Daily
  • New details in suit against Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (KDKA)

Trials, Settlements and Other Ends

  • Lilly to pay $22.5M to settle West Virginia's marketing claims regarding Zyprexa (CNN)


  • $6M in trial over misdiagnosis of infant's infection (AboutLawsuits)


  • AkinMears (mesothelioma lawyers) among remaining advertisers on Glenn Beck (Gawker
  • Fraud in pesticide lawsuits (WSJ
  • TortsProf guest blogger Monday starts, well, Monday with Jeffrey O'Connell (UVa) (TortsProf)


August 21, 2009 in Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday's Guest Blogger: Jeffrey O'Connell


Our first guest blogger is the University of Virginia's Jeffrey O'Connell, co-author of the principal work that proposed no-fault insurance.

After O'Connell graduated from Harvard Law School, he was a trial lawyer in Boston with the firm of Hale & Dorr. He began teaching at Virginia in 1980 after 16 years at the University of Illinois. He also has taught at the University of Iowa and has been a visiting professor at Northwestern, the University of Michigan, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Washington, and Oxford and Cambridge universities in England. He was the recipient of Guggenheim fellowships in 1973 and 1979. In 1989 he was the Thomas Jefferson Visiting Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge University and, in 1991, the John Marshall Harlan Visiting Distinguished Professor at New York Law School. In 1992 he received the Robert B. McKay Award for Tort and Insurance Scholarship from the American Bar Association.  In 1999, The American Lawyer listed O'Connell as likely to be viewed as one of "the Lawyers of the Century" based on his work reforming tort law.

O'Connell has served on the board of directors of Consumers Union, the Educational Advisory Board of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Medical and Safety Committee of the NCAA.
Since 1966 he has written or co-written 12 books dealing with accident law, published dozens of articles on tort and insurance law, and lectured extensively throughout the United States and the world.

On a personal note, Jeffrey was my Torts professor and I served as his research assistant.  Although Torts professors are familiar with his voluminous scholarship (in a recent book review, future guest blogger Adam Scales called him "indefatigable"), I can attest that he's a virtuoso classroom teacher as well.  His post is entitled "Tort Liability as Social Insurance," and he attaches a 35-page paper to expand on the theme (indefatigable indeed!).


August 20, 2009 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is "Gluten-Free Beer" Really "Beer"?

As USA Today Reports, on Monday, the FDA began regulating the world of "gluten free beers."  These beverages are not made from the malted barley of the traditional sudsy brew, but from alternative ingredients such as malted sorghum or rice. 

FDA Law Blog has more. 


August 19, 2009 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Californians Sue Facebook Over Privacy Issues

According to the Associated Press, five Californians have filed suit against Facebook alleging privacy law violations.  


August 18, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Products Liability Prof Blog Seeks Products Liability Prof Bloggers

Head there for details.  We certainly like being part of the network and look forward to seeing who takes over that blog.


August 17, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Announcing Guest Blogger Monday!

We are delighted to announce a new feature at TortsProf Blog:  Guest Blogger Monday.  A distinguished line-up of Torts professors will be visiting on Mondays and writing about their recent scholarship, teaching ideas, and other torts-related topics. 

Our fall schedule includes Jonathan Cardi (Kentucky), Martha Chamallas (Ohio State), John Goldberg (Harvard), Keith Hylton (Boston), Tim Lytton (Albany), Jeffrey O'Connell (Virginia), Mike Rustad (Suffolk), Adam Scales (Washington & Lee), Tony Sebok (Cardozo), Jason Solomon (Georgia), Frank Vandall (Emory), and Ben Zipursky (Fordham).  In addition, Ken Abraham (Virginia), Mike Green (Wake Forest), David Owen (South Carolina), and Jenny Wriggins (Maine) will guest in the spring. 

We hope you enjoy this new feature.

--Sheila and Chris

August 17, 2009 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mandatory National Reporting of Medical Errors?

The "Dead by Mistake" series reported by Sheila here  is affecting policy debates.  Rep. Jim McDermott, a Seattle Democrat heavily involved in health reform legislation, believes mandatory national reporting of medical errors should be a top priority in Congress.  The Houston Chronicle has the story.


August 16, 2009 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)