September 28, 2012
Bill Childs Update!
A shout out to our former co-blogger and blog founder, Bill Childs! With great excitement, we received an email from our former co-blogger's new firm announcing his new position. Bill is Senior Counsel at Bowman and Brooke in the firm's Austin, Texas office. Bill is a part of the firm's pharma and medical device product liability litigation groups.
Best wishes to Bill!
- SBS & CJR
September 27, 2012
Kaye's Products Textbook
Carolina Academic Press is publishing Products Liability Law: Cases, Commentary, and Conundra by Tim Kaye. Here is the blurb:
Products liability law is often confusing because it is in a state of constant flux as it confronts a number of challenges. Some such challenges are well known, such as the battle over the comparative merits of the Second and Third Restatements of Torts. Other equally important challenges have, however, been overlooked by other texts, such as the growing use of bankruptcy protection laws to limit the consequences of supplying defective products (as in the recent bailout-supported cases of General Motors and Chrysler), and this book sets out to rectify such omissions.
While other books leave the reader to sink or swim in a swamp of apparently contradictory doctrine, Products Liability Law lays out from the beginning the five elements common to all products liability claims. It then builds on this foundation by tackling each new area of the law in a lucid and reader-friendly manner, while explaining how each doctrine relates to the politico-economic and historical context in which the law operates.
Supplementing the text with numerous original flowcharts, tables, and other diagrams—as well as asking thoughtful questions along the way—this book charts a careful and comprehensible course through the often tempestuous battleground of products liability law.
September 26, 2012
IL: Railroad Had No Duty to Child Trespasser
Last week, the Supreme Court of Illinois handed down Choate v. Indiana Harbor Belt RR Co., in which the company was held to have no duty to a 12-year-old boy who was trespassing on the railroad's right-of-way when he was injured. Mark Weber, who was kind enough to send me the case, summarized the takeaway point. The case does not make new law, but it demonstrates the trend toward narrower liability, especially for older children engaged in clearly dangerous acts (attempting to jump onto a train).
The opinion is here.
September 25, 2012
"Philly Regrets Flood of Cases"
The Wall Street Journal reports that mass tort filings in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas have "skyrocketed from 550 in 2008 to nearly 2,700 last year. The surge left an already busy court system buried in lawsuits and scrambling to repair the damage." The article reports:
Also contributing to the surge of cases: the success of the Complex Litigation Center, a specialized Philadelphia court established in 1992 largely to handle the growing asbestos and pharmaceutical docket. The center adopted techniques that were designed to move cases through quickly, such as setting early trial dates, holding frequent meetings among the lawyers, and consolidating similar cases.
The Complex Litigation Center drew more mass-tort cases to Philadelphia. But until recently, it was largely able to manage its docket. Since 2008, the backlog of asbestos and pharmaceutical cases has shot up from about 2,600 to more than 6,100 through last month. Last year, 88% of the pharmaceutical cases were filed by out-of-state plaintiffs, according to the court.
The mess is now largely Judge Herron's to deal with. Since taking over as the administrative judge late last year, he has put into place several measures designed to reverse the trend—and to send a message to out-of-state lawyers to take their lawsuits to other courts. "Go elsewhere," he says, when asked to describe the message he is hoping to send to out-of-state lawyers. "There are a lot of really wonderful courts in the U.S., and you should make broader use of them."
September 24, 2012
Colorado Movie Shootings Lawsuits Begin
Three victims of the Colorado shootings last summer during the premier of "Dark Knight" have filed suit in federal district court against the theater owner. The suit alleges that the company was negligent in providing security at the theater. CNN has the story.