TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Rebuttal to the Atlantic Amtrak Piece

Yesterday Chris posted a link to an Atlantic piece, written by Andrew Cohen, critical of the cap on damages in railroad accident cases.  Ted Frank has some pointed criticisms that are worth reading as well.


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I feel bad for Ted Frank's students if this piece the level of honesty and analysis they get. I agree that it's hard to get really worked up about the unfairness of the cap in the Amtrak statute (as opposed to most state-law damage caps which are profoundly unjust and opf course operate most harshly on the most grievously injured persons). But the atmospherics of Frank's piece are a joke. Andrew Cohen used the phrase "Sophie's Choice" three times because the trial judge used it in his opinion (and I'm a fellow landsman as well). And isn't "trial lawyer greed" an all-encompassing stock phrase of the kind Frank claims to deplore?

Posted by: Charles Siegel | Jul 28, 2011 12:13:36 PM

No one forced Cohen to compare a damages cap to Nazi cruelty three times; that the judge also did so offensively hardly excuses Cohen, who could've ignored (or, better yet, disdained) the blunder instead of reiterating it. My relatives didn't die in death camps so Cohen could have a facile metaphor to tar his opponents with.

I'd make a substantive defense of my critique, but I haven't seen any substantive criticism of it.

Posted by: Ted Frank | Aug 1, 2011 3:25:46 PM

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