TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fund to Be Created for BP Plaintiffs' Attorneys

More from George Conk at TortsToday on BP.  Judge Barbier has ordered the creation of a fund that may be used to pay "common benefit fees" to plaintiffs' lawyers in BP oil spill cases (and compensation fund payments), though those fees have not yet been awarded. 


December 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Evaluating Ken Feinberg's BP Compensation Process

DOJ has selected a firm to evaluate BP's oil spill compensation process.  Kenneth Feinberg, who led the process, welcomes the scrutiny.  George Conk (Fordham) has the story at TortsToday.  George has a piece on the issue from a symposium at Roger Williams that will be published in January:  Download Conk.diving.11.25[1].


December 28, 2011 in Current Affairs, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reconciling Punitive Damages With Tort Law

A new student note, Reconciling Punitive Damages with Tort Law's Normative Framework, in Yale Law Journal may be of interest to readers. The abstract provides:

As punitive damages have gained greater visibility in Supreme Court jurisprudence, the need for principles explaining punitive damages and guiding their application has grown. Corrective justice would seem suited to providing guidance in this arena of tort law, but unfortunately it has never satisfactorily accounted for punitive damages. This Note seeks to answer that deficiency with what the Note calls tort law’s moral accounting interest. This interest reconciles punitive damages with corrective justice within a unified theory of accountability in tort law. The Note shows how this unified theory adds practical value to the explanation and application of punitive damages. .

Thanks to François-Xavier Licari for the tip.


December 27, 2011 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Omitting Claim for Economic Damages Pays Off - $10M Verdict in Segway Fall Case

The Connecticut Law Tribune reports on an interesting trial strategy in a Segway fall case:

In the case of former Southern Connecticut University student John Ezzo, [Robert B.] Adelman and his partner, Neil Sutton, decided to take a calculated risk. They omitted any claim for treatment costs, lost income or future earnings.

Instead, they only focused on the pain and suffering “non-economic” damages, and the alleged recklessness of Segway Inc., the maker of two-wheeled, scooter-like vehicles that carry riders in an upright position.

The focus on non-economic factors paid off handsomely, in the form of a $10 million verdict on Dec. 14. The jury found Segway acted recklessly when its employees failed to provide Ezzo with a helmet during a test drive. “It’s a unique, almost never-seen-before strategy,” said a lawyer for Segway, which is currently attempting to get the verdict reduced or thrown out.

Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.


December 26, 2011 in Current Affairs, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)