Friday, June 11, 2010
A Florida wrongful death suit is testing the reach of the state's worker's compensation statute. The suit against Publix alleges that the store had no policy or procedure for dealing with workplace violence, and that the resulting shooting by an ex-employee was "substantially certain to occur." The plaintiff's lawyer argues that the state's worker's comp law should not apply because it amounts to an "unconstitutional denial of access to the courts." ABA Journal has more including a link to the complaint.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I would like to begin by thanking Martha and Jennifer for their fine book and for asking me to comment on it. If you are planning to read one book on torts in the next five years this should be it. This was a book that was waiting to be written. Twenty five years ago, many of us were interested in a feminist and critical analysis of tort law, but none was forthcoming. Tort law seemed to be ripe for feminist commentary. After all, it was centered upon that most masculine of creatures, the average reasonable man. In addition, it purported to balance the needs of victims and perpetrators and was perhaps the only area of law where it was conceded that perpetrators have needs too. And finally, torts had rendered women and people of color virtually invisible as identity groups. When we asked the feminist question – Where are the women? – the answer was: Here, there and everywhere but not clustered around feminist concerns. Nevertheless, thirty years after MacKinnon’s book on sexual harassment had shown how feminists could revolutionize whole areas of the law, no book was forthcoming. Until now. Finally we have such a book and the question is: Why did it take so long. Thinking about this question will help us to understand what a brilliant book this is. It will also help us to appreciate that there is nothing simple about critical theory and that this is especially true when it analyzes a subject such as torts where the subordinated have been rendered invisible.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender, and Tort Law by Martha Chamallas (Ohio State) and Jennifer Wriggins (Maine) was published a little over a week ago by NYU Press. The advance reviews:
"This book is brimming with insights about how societies do and should express what matters in assigning liability for human pain and loss." Martha Minnow (Harvard)
"This book asks important questions about the tort system....A promising direction for scholarship...." Keith Hylton (Boston University)
An "Author Meets Readers" panel discussed the book at Law & Society late last month. Catharine Wells (Boston College) was kind enough to provide me a post based on her remarks from the panel. Her guest post will be up tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The ABA Journal reports that a federal bankruptcy judge has held that, under Texas law, "sending an e-mail message with a hyperlink to a defamatory blog post can be considered a publication for the purposes of a libel claim." The court further found that the email satisfied the actual malice standard for public official defamation claims. Notably, the libel defendant had not written the blog post, but only included links to the blog posts in his email.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the story.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Last week, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law the Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act (S.B. 138). The bill creates a new code section that provides "[n]o private right of action shall arise from any Act enacted after the effective date of this Code section unless such right is expressly provided therein." While barring implied rights of action, Part (b) of the Act preserves breach of a statutory duty as evidence of negligence.
Ted Frank at Point of Law has more and links.