TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, October 1, 2010

Personal Injury Law Roundup No. 82 - Oct. 1, 2010

Autumn has hit in New England.  Snow and the slip-and-fall cases are no doubt close behind.  This week's roundup:

New Cases

  • In not-at-all-surprising news, plaintiffs to seek punitive damages in salmonella cases ("Food Safety News" (note: that's a press release, not a news story)
  • Victim of bullying sues school district, alleged bully's parents (

Policy & Politics

  • Legislation considered to eliminate civil immunity for some government/military contractors (

Verdicts & Other Ends

  • Iran ordered to pay punitive damages in bombing case (Daily Star)


  • Interesting, if a little muddled, Massachusetts case on duty, involving a casual softball game next to a house (Mass SJC)
  • Justice Scalia stays smoking cessation program (TortsProf)
  • New York considers tort implications of cyberbullying (
  • Supreme Court grants cert. on case involving class actions subsequent to dismissal of earlier actions (AP/Google)

Teaching Torts


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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teaching Torts with Sports

Adam Epstein (Central Michigan College of Business) has posted to SSRN Teaching Torts with Sports.  The abstract provides:

The purpose of this paper is to offer a pedagogical road map for an alternative way to engage students when arriving at the torts portion of the business law or legal environment course. It is designed to encourage utilizing sports cases and sport-related videos when teaching torts which can be effective and energizing. My research demonstrates that the prominence of sports related tort cases and examples are much more apparent in the negligence and intentional tort categories than in products liability or strict liability. More specifically, an effective way to relate the concept of negligence in sports is in the context of flying objects such as foul balls, bats, and hockey pucks. Incorporating intentional torts and sports usually begins with hits after the play, a pitcher intentionally hitting the batter, and the incidents of violence involving participants, fans, referees, coaches and parents. One of the best examples of products liability is the safety debate between using wooden baseball bats in professional baseball and the metal or aluminum bats in college baseball. Strict liability involving ultra-hazardous activities has its place for discussion in sports torts, but the breadth of litigation on the subject is clearly the least common of the four major tort categories rendering it virtually non-existent. Instructors are given hints as to how to engage students with sports torts regardless of their educational generation. Contemporary and classic cases are provided as examples.


September 30, 2010 in Sports, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free, Downloadable Torts Text

Eric Johnson (North Dakota) has posted to SSRN a full Torts text.  Johnson blogged about the project at Prawfs.


September 29, 2010 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NY Rejects Defamation and Negligent Entrustment Claims in Cyberbullying Case

Stephen Kramarksy has an article in the New York Law Journal analyzing the July decision by a New York state court judge holding cyberbullying was not an actionable tort under New York law. 


September 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Justice Scalia Grants Stay of LA Tobacco Ruling

In his role as Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit, Justice Scalia granted a stay of execution on a $241.5 million judgment to fund a smoking cessation program for the benefit of class members in Scott v. Philip Morris, a class action involving Louisiana residents.   In a five page opinion, Justice Scalia found it likely that the Court would grant certiorari and that the case raises important questions about due process limits on class actions.   Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog has commentary.


September 27, 2010 in Current Affairs, Damages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)