TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, May 28, 2010

Personal Injury Roundup No. 78 (5/28/2010)

Note: The Roundup will take the summer off due to our varied and crazy travel schedules.  But, based on the recent survey, we know it's an important feature, and it will return just as soon as is feasible.  In the meantime, happy summer!

New Suits

  • Civil suits seek to go after creators and distributors of child pornography (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • Deluge of lawsuits filed after removal of Hackensack police chief (
  • Gene Simmons sued for allegedly assaulting a makeup artist (AP via Google)


  • Suit brought by mom over a hospital's retention of her son's heart after his death dismissed by intermediate appellate court (
  • Appellate court finds that running a car in an enclosed garage isn't a sufficiently obvious risk to support granting a motion to dismiss pre-discovery (Overlawyered, and links and comments therein)

Policy, etc.

  • Preemption (or lack thereof) in the new motor vehicle safety bill (Point of Law)

Trials, Settlements and Other Ends

  • Suit against Tom Brady & Gisele alleging that bodyguards shot at photographers dismissed for lack of jurisdiction (Reuters)


  • Woman describes the aftermath of an injury that made her speak with a foreign accent, including discussing mockery of her suit in the media (Washington Post)
  • Chinese drywall suits get class status (Miami Herald, more updates at The Pop Tort)


May 28, 2010 in Roundup | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Andy Popper Named American University Scholar-Teacher of the Year

American University President Neil Kerwin has recognized TortsProf Andy Popper as the university's Scholar-Teacher of the Year for 2010.  Congratulations to Andy!


May 27, 2010 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PA Considers Rejecting Castle Doctrine, Adopting "Stand Your Ground"

The PA House Judiciary Committee is debating whether to replace the "Castle Doctrine" with a "Stand Your Ground" law.  In essence, the Castle Doctrine allows a homeowner to defend the home (and its "curtilage") with deadly force if the homeowner is attacked there.  By contrast, Stand Your Ground laws, which have been passed in 18 states, allow homeowners to use firearms against intruders whether the intruder directly threatens the homeowner or not.  In addition, Stand Your Ground laws eliminate the duty to retreat if possible when attacked in a public place.  PennLive has the story.  When the Stand Your Ground laws first began to circulate five years ago, Tony Sebok (Cardozo) wrote a column discussing the differences between them and the Castle Doctrine.  His Findlaw's Writ column is here.


May 27, 2010 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Perry on Empowerment

Ronen Perry (Haifa) has posted to SSRN Empowerment and Tort Law.  The abstract provides:

Empowerment, a somewhat nebulous construct, has been a key concern in many disciplines in recent decades. It may be generally defined as an increase in individuals’ control over their lives, and may operate on two interdependent levels: personal and societal. This article advocates the utilization and optimization of tort law and practice as an empowering mechanism in cases of power abuse. It systematically analyzes the empowering and disempowering effects of the law and the legal process and explains how to enhance the former and diminish the latter.

Via Solum/Legal Theory Blog.


May 26, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Popper's "Tort Reform" in Text Format

Earlier Andrew Popper's "Tort Reform" book received publicity both here at TortsProf (Sheila) and at the VC(Todd Zywicki).  West has now announced that it will be available not only in electronic format (as originally advertised), but also as a traditional text (in paperback).  It will be available in time for the fall semester.


May 26, 2010 in Books, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pretty Please! Reader Survey - We Need Your Input!

If you have not already done so, please take our brief reader survey.   It is only five short questions.  

Click here to take the short survey.  We appreciate your feedback.



May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Soda Tax News From Philly and NY

The New York Times reports that New York Governor Patterson is trying to move his proposed soda tax through the legislature by pairing it with a sales tax exemption for bottled water and diet soda.

In Philadelphia, however, the soda tax failed to move out of City Council and Mayor Nutter asserts the Council's budget will force layoffs.  The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.


May 24, 2010 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)