TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Civil Recourse Symposium

Florida State is hosting a symposium on John Goldberg and Ben Zipursky's civil recourse theory on February 11 and 12, 2011.  The lineup includes torts scholars Jules Coleman, Arthur Ripstein, Ernest Weinrib, Heidi Hurd, Jason Solomon, Tony Sebok, John Gardner, Stephen Perry, and Scott Hershovitz.  It also focuses on the theory's migration from tort to other areas of private law.  In spite of my criticism, it is nice to see this theory get the attention it richly deserves.  The announcement from Florida State is here.  Larry Solum's coverage at Legal Theory Blog is here.


January 22, 2011 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Personal Injury Roundup No. 91 (1/21/11)

I'm starting to prep this roundup under the threat of yet another snow day.  Oi.

New Suits, Trials

  •  Airplane stowaway's family sues, alleging faulty security allowed the teen to get past security and into an airplane's landing gear (from which he fell to his death).  [TortsProf]
  • Fourth Fosamax trial begins.  []
  • Lawsuit looks likely by family of elderly NYC woman who died while waiting for an ambulance during the snowstorm there.  [WAMC]
  • Wisconsin suit over a parking garage collapsed filed in time to beat damages caps.  []


  • Argument heard by the Supreme Court on Anti-Injunction Act case involving a federal trial judge, who had already denied class certification, enjoining a state class action.  [SCOTUSblog, transcript at the Supreme Court's website]
  • Dismissal of pro se suit against the Kardashians, alleging that their reality TV show caused extreme emotional distress, affirmed.  [Reuters, which evidently doesn't have anything better to do with their time]

Reform, Legislation, Policy

  •  Drug & Device Law Blog continues its discussion of whether the learned intermediary rule should have an exception for drugs that are marketed directly to consumers.  [Drug & Device Law Blog]


  • Tainted spinach lawsuit settled after trial started.  []


January 21, 2011 in Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Blog on Torts & Scientific Evidence

Nathan Schachtman, a former big firm defense lawyer now practicing on his own, has started a new blog focused on torts and scientific evidence (one of my particular interests), "Tortini: For your delectation and delight, desultory dicta on the law of delicts."  It has a decidedly defense orientation, given his practice, but is essential reading regardless.

Last week, he posted a particularly interesting piece on a Daubert decision in the Avandia litigation.  Read it here, and the first followup here.


January 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chicken Little

Every year or two, I like to revisit a prediction of utter doom ("It puts roller coasters out of business") issued by the CEO of the California Attractions and Parks, John Robinson, after the California Supreme Court ruled that amusement rides should be treated as common carriers.  It's that time again, so if you're so inclined, head on over to my amusement park safety blog,


January 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chamallas on Third-Party Criminal Attack Cases

Martha Chamallas (Ohio State) has posted to SSRN Gaining Some Perspective on Tort Law:  A New Take on Third-Party Criminal Attack Cases.  The abstract provides:

Despite the prominence of the objective "reasonable person standard" in tort doctrine, it is a mistake to conclude that perspective has no place in contemporary tort law. Although explicit perspectival standards, such as the "reasonable woman standard," have gained little acceptance in torts, the perspectives and experiences of non-dominant social groups have sometimes been taken into account in key contexts that involve "culturally polarized understandings of fact" and differing judgments about what constitutes reasonably safe behavior. Notably, the battle has not been over precise formulations of the duty to exercise reasonable care, but over whether to impose a duty to exercise reasonable care in the first instance.

This Article examines third-party criminal attack claims against landlords, businesses, employers, and other entities charged with negligence for failing to detect and remedy dangerous conditions and prevent sexual assaults and other criminal attacks on their premises. The victims in these cases are often women, racial minorities, and low-income residents of high-crime areas. The Article describes the lack of consensus in the courts as to whether defendants owe a duty to take reasonable measures to guard against crime and analyzes the recent position taken by the Restatement (Third) of Torts in favor of imposing a duty in all but exceptional cases. The Article endorses the willingness of some courts in sexual assault cases to impose a duty and articulate a concept of reasonable care that requires defendants to make their premises equally safe for men and women. It criticizes the line of cases which rejects a duty of due care in high-crime areas, excuses defendants from taking precautions proportionate to the risk, and thereby fails to express a norm of equal safety regardless of where a person resides.


January 19, 2011 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Documents in Summers v. Tice

More original documents from Kyle Graham (Santa Clara), this time from that famous hunting case, Summers v. Tice

Summers's Court of Appeal Brief Download Respondents' Brief, Tice's Court of Appeal Brief Download Tice's Appellate Brief (Ct of App), Court of Appeal Clerk's Transcript Download Clerk's Transcript (Ct of App), Application for Hearing to Supreme Court of California Download Application for Hearing.


January 19, 2011 in Documents | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Family of Stowaway Suing

The family of Delvonte Tisdale, a sixteen-year-old who evaded airport security and stowed away in a plane's landing gear, falling to his death in the Boston area, has retained an attorney.  The attorney's statement, issued through a public relations agency, identified his theory of liability:

“The evidence in this case makes it quite clear which party is at fault, and the family has every intention of pursuing legal action of the highest order,” attorney Christopher Chestnut said in a statement released by a public relations firm.

He added “we intend to seek justice for a child who, although culpable for making irresponsible and immature decisions representative of his age, should never have successfully gained access to that airplane. Had airport security been up to par, he would be alive and well with his family today.”


January 18, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Healthcare Law In The Federal Courts - January 28th, Charleston

The Federal Courts Law Review at the Charleston School of Law is hosting a day-long symposium on Friday, January 28th, on "Healthcare Law in the Federal Courts."  The symposium focuses on the recent health care reform act, namely, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Barry Furrow (Drexel) will be giving the key note address, assessing the economic implications of the Act.   Brian Galle (Boston College) and James W. Ely, Jr. (Vanderbilt) will be addressing the constitutionality of the Act and the current litigation. 

Registration is free for individuals who do not seek CLE credit.  For those seeking CLE credit, the cost is $75.00.   (The program is eligible for 6.15 CLE credits based on a 60 minute hour; no ethics credits). 

If you are interested in attending the symposium, please contact FCLR Symposium Editor, Angel Heery at aoheery [at] to RSVP.



January 18, 2011 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The 25th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only a federal holiday, but also a national day of service. Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994, which established Dr. King's birthday as a day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. 

Although legislation was signed in 1983 designating Dr. King's birthday as a federal holiday, it was not observed until 1986, making 2011 the 25th anniversary of MLK Day.


January 17, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)