March 30, 2012
New Orleans Saints's Bounty Program: An Intentional Tort?
Over at The Atlantic, Jake Simpson ponders whether the New Orleans Saints could face tort liability for the "bounty program," where players were paid incentives to injure opposing players:
"There's always the possibility of litigation," said Gabe Feldman, sports law professor at Tulane University Law School. "The real question is the likelihood of success."
Feldman said that current or former players who were injured on plays that may have involved bounty programs could file an intentional tort claim in state court. Defendants in a tort claim could include players, coaches and even top Saints officials if they were aware of the bounty scheme.
March 29, 2012
TX: Med Mal Cap Upheld
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that Texas's cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases is not an unconstitutional taking of private property. News Radio 1200 has the details.
March 28, 2012
MO: Constitutional Challenge to Med Mal Cap
Yesterday the Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on whether that state's 2005 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases violates the state constitution. In 2011, a jury decided that physicians failed to act when an unborn child showed signs of distress in the womb. The child was born with cerebral palsy and will not progress beyond the mental capacity of a three-year-old. The jury awarded $4,821,000 in total damages. Of that amount, $1.45M was non-economic and was reduced to $350,000 pursuant to the cap. The Springfield News-Leader has the details.
March 27, 2012
Two Oil Spill Lawsuits Filed
A Nigerian village has filed suit against Shell in London over a 2008 spill in the Niger Delta Region. Bloomberg Business Week has more.
Salt Lake City residents have filed suit against Chevron over a 2010 spill into Red Butte Creek. WaPo (AP) has more.
March 26, 2012
House Passes Tort Reform Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed nationwide tort reform measures as part of a bill repealing the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, created as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Per an ABA summary, the bill, H.R. 5, the "Protecting Access to Healthcare Act," would
- Cap noneconomic damages at $250,000 in medical suits,
- Allow courts to reduce contingent fees and to redirect damages to plaintiffs,
- Create a “fair share” rule in which each party would be liable only for its share of any damages, pre-empting state laws that call for joint and several liability, and
- Abolish the collateral-source rule.
The Senate is unlikely to consider the bill, and President Obama has threatened to veto it, if passed. The Hill's Floor Action Blog has more.