November 1, 2012
A Tribute to Jeffrey O'Connell
UVa Law Dean Paul Mahoney has eloquently penned A Tribute to Jeffrey O'Connell, which is published in the latest issue of the Virginia Law Review.
Med Mal Reform in Taiwan
The Taipei Times is running an article today about medical malpractice reform in Taiwan. Here is a sample:
The Taiwan Health Reform Foundation (THRF) yesterday said there were four major problems that patients often meet in medical malpractice disputes, and urged that the mechanism for dealing with medical disputes be codified to solve the problems.
The four major problems are “difficult to obtain critical evidence, many traps within negotiations, no access to consultation and investigation and asymmetric professional information,” the foundation said, saying that the problems were revealed by patients or their family members through their complaints to the foundation over the past year.
Among other data provided in the article, a THRF survey found that many people only demand an apology and the truth, and up to 98 percent of respondents said what they needed most was professional consultation and investigation to clarify the problem.
October 31, 2012
Porter on Parental Liability in the Age of the Helicopter Parent
Elizabeth Porter (Washington) has posted to SSRN Tort Liability in the Age of the Helicopter Parent. The abstract provides:Discussions of parental liability by courts and legal scholars are often tinged with fear: fear
that government interference will chill parental autonomy; fear that parents
will be held liable for their children’s every misdeed; and, recently, fear that
a new generation of so-called “helicopter parents” who hover over their
children’s every move will establish unrealistically high legal standards for
parenting. However, in the context of common law suits against parents, these
fears are misguided. To the contrary, courts have consistently shielded
wealthier parents — those most likely to be defendants in civil suits — from
exposure to liability for conduct related to their parenting
This Article critically examines the common law of parental
(non-) liability, both historically and in light of current cultural trends.
Parental liability takes two forms: liability for parents’ harm to their
children, and liability of parents for harms caused to others by their children.
Individually these subjects have received remarkably little scholarly attention;
together they have received none. Yet both types of parental liability are
central to ongoing cultural debates about parenting, as well as to current
controversies about the role of courts in establishing legal duty. A thorough
re-consideration of parental liability is particularly timely in light of the
new Restatement (Third) of Torts, which speaks directly to issues that are
central to both forms of parental liability.
This Article concludes that
courts should hold parents to a standard of reasonable care. The American common
law’s squeamishness about parental liability is understandable, but unnecessary.
Just as helicopter parents overreact to unsubstantiated fears of stranger
abduction based on anecdotes and media hype, limits on common law parental
liability are overreactions to unsubstantiated fears of collusion, government
interference and biased juries. To be sure, aspects of parental liability raise
significant concerns, but courts can and should address them narrowly using
established tort law principles, without imposing blanket no-duty rules. Juries,
in short, should be allowed to judge parents.
October 30, 2012
The Journal of Things We Like Lots (JOTWELL) has a new Torts section! JOTWELL provides short reviews of recent legal scholarship. The idea of JOTWELL is to identify and promote work that will be interest to others.
In the first JOTWELL Torts review, Cathy Sharkey (NYU) reviews Outsourcing Regulation: How Insurance Reduces Moral Hazard, 111 Mich. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2012) by Omri Ben-Shahar & Kyle D. Logue.