December 7, 2012
JOTWELL: "A Preference for Strict Liability?"
Over at JOTWELL, I have a review of Joseph Sanders, Matthew B. Kugler, John M. Darley and Lawrence M. Solan, Torts as (Only) Wrongs? An Empirical Perspective (Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No 302, 2012). From the review:
In a compelling new sociological study, however, Joseph Sanders tests the idea of tort as wrongs (and only wrongs), and adds to the scholarly debate about tort’s rationales. Sanders persuasively argues that—far from being “at the margin of tort law” —from the public’s perspective, strict liability reigns supreme. In four discrete studies, Sanders assessed whether the public believes fault or wrongdoing is a requirement for tort liability. His thoughtful article presents some surprising findings that should have those of us in the academy taking another look at the purpose of tort law.
December 6, 2012
Criminalization of Formerly Tortious Conduct
Over at the Faculty Lounge, Beth Haas (Drexel) is asking whether criminalizing conduct that was formerly only tortious (prohibiting not pricing, in the law and economics lexicon) impedes safety investigations. The post is here.
December 5, 2012
Explosion in Chemistry Class
Last week, a local middle school chemistry class ended in an explosion. Seven people were injured and two were transported via helicopter to John Hopkins. Fortunately, all seven are now out of the hospital. The chemistry teacher is reputed to be extremely cautious, and it is not yet clear what happened to cause the explosion. The Patriot News (Harrisburg) has an article, including contributions from Widener TortsProf Randy Lee, about the legal issues in suing over such an incident.
Those of you struggling to write an exam might consider this as the basis for a question. By tweaking the facts a bit, you can test negligence, contrib, assumption of risk, battery, sovereign immunity, etc.
December 4, 2012
"Reforming the Tort System: Freeing the Patient"
Psychology Today has an article by John C. Goodman, Ph.D., on "Reforming the Tort System: Freeing the Patient." The article examines medical malpractice liability by contract, rather than the tort system. Goodman is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and President and Kellye Wright Fellow in Healthcare at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
December 3, 2012
Torts Blogs in the ABA Blawg 100
A shout out to the torts-related blogs in the ABA's 6th annual "Blawg 100":
Abnormal Use - "an unreasonably dangerous products liability blog dedicated to the discussion of federal and state products liability litigation" by the attorneys at Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.
Drug and Device Law - "Jim Beck's personal views (and those of several other attorneys) of various topics that arise in the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation"
Overlawyered - "chronicling the high cost of our legal system"
New York Personal Injury Law Blog (Blawg 100 Hall of Fame!!)- Eric Turkewitz's blog on "New York personal injury law, medical malpractice, the civil justice system, and cases of interest"
Tort Talk - "updates, trends, and thoughts regarding Pennsylvania Civil Litigation Law by northeastern Pennsylvania insurance defense attorney Daniel E. Cummins"