July 19, 2012
Susan Saladoff & Victor Schwartz Discuss "Hot Coffee"
Back in late February, Widener screened the documentary "Hot Coffee" in honor of Scott Cooper's status as incoming President of PA Justice. As part of the event, Susan Saladoff, the director, appeared via Skype to discuss the movie and answer questions. Victor Schwartz, General Counsel for the American Tort Reform Association, also appeared to discuss the movie and answer questions. As far as I know, this is the first time the two "appeared" together, even if it was via Skype. Ms. Saladoff had already started talking when the recording began; the video is about 45 minutes long. Enjoy!
July 18, 2012
Chinese Fisherman Sue Over BP Oil Spill
Chinese fisherman who make their living in the Bohai Sea are suing in U.S. courts over the BP oil spill. George Conk has the details, including a copy of the complaint at Torts Today.
July 17, 2012
Mom Sues Justin Bieber For Hearing Loss
An Oregon mother filed suit last week against the singer Justin Bieber for hearing loss allegedly caused by the "frenzy of screams" that Bieber incited in his young fans at his 2010 Portland concert. The complaint alleges that Bieber exacerbated the noise by flying over the crowd in a metal gondola. TMZ has more, including video of the gondola if you are interested.
I'd think this would make a good assumption of the risk hypo in class. I mean concert goers know concerts are loud, right?
July 16, 2012
Union Leader Op-Ed on Early Offers
Representative J. Brandon Giuda has an op-ed in the Union Leader that explains New Hampshire's early offer law. Rep. Giuda was one of the legislators heavily involved in its negotiation and drafting. The most significant point he makes is a confirmation of a suspicion I have had for some time. If the claimant requests an early offer, rejects that offer, and then fails to receive at least 125% of that offer from the tort system, the claimant will pay the health care provider's attorney's fee for the early offer process only. That will likely be quite cheap. This obviously ameliorates the fear of those who have been arguing that the scheme was too draconian. My hope is that it is a strong enough disincentive to prevent claimants from gaming the system. If claimants believe there is no downside to requesting an early offer, almost all of them will. If many claimants consistently refuse the offers, the health care provider will decide it is a waste of time and will stop making offers, meaning this needed alternative will no longer be available to claimants. There is reason to hope that those who request the offer have already decided they prefer the certainty of economic loss delivered quickly and the offers that are made will be accepted at a substantial rate, but only time will tell.
SCOTUS Blog Symposium on Alien Tort Statute
SCOTUS Blog is hosting an on-line symposium on the Alien Tort Statute, and in particular the Court's decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.