TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, February 24, 2012

Top 10 Recent SSRN Torts & Products Liability Downloads


Downloads Paper Title
1 351 Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2011: Twenty-Fifth Annual Survey
Symeon C. Symeonides,
Willamette University - College of Law,
Date posted to database: January 6, 2012
Last Revised: January 29, 2012
2 179 Smooth and Bumpy Laws
Adam J. Kolber,
NYU School of Law,
Date posted to database: January 27, 2012
Last Revised: February 16, 2012
3 102 Economic Analysis of Punitive Damages: Theory, Empirics, and Doctrine
Catherine M. Sharkey,
New York University (NYU) - School of Law,
Date posted to database: January 23, 2012
Last Revised: January 27, 2012
4 95 Corporate Liability for Extraterritorial Torts Under the Alien Tort Statute and Beyond: An Economic Analysis
Alan O. Sykes,
Stanford University - Law School,
Date posted to database: January 11, 2012
Last Revised: January 27, 2012
5 77 Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Patents: One Experimental View of the Cathedral
Andrew W. Torrance, Bill Tomlinson,
University of Kansas - School of Law, University of California, Irvine,
Date posted to database: January 29, 2012
Last Revised: January 29, 2012
6 66 Blindsight: How We See Disabilities in Tort Litigation
Anne Bloom, Paul Steven Miller,
University of the Pacific (UOP) - McGeorge School of Law, University of Washington School of Law,
Date posted to database: December 13, 2011
Last Revised: January 10, 2012
7 66 Beneficial Victims
Oren Bar-Gill, Ariel Porat,
New York University (NYU) - School of Law, Tel Aviv University,
Date posted to database: January 17, 2012
Last Revised: February 4, 2012
8 58 In Defense of Deterrence
Andrew F. Popper,
American University, Washington College of Law,
Date posted to database: January 18, 2012
Last Revised: January 18, 2012
9 59 New Private Law Theory and Tort Law: A Comment
Keith N. Hylton,
Boston University,
Date posted to database: February 1, 2012
Last Revised: February 1, 2012
10 64 Empirical Analysis of Tort Damages
W. Kip Viscusi,
Vanderbilt University - Law School,
Date posted to database: January 13, 2012
Last Revised: January 13, 2012


February 24, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Graham on Tort Law and the Assimilation of Innovations

Kyle Graham (Santa Clara) has posted to SSRN Of Frightened Horses and Autonomous Vehicles:  Tort Law and its Assimilation of Innovations.  The abstract provides:

This symposium contribution considers five recurring themes in the application of tort law to new technologies. First, the initial batch of cases presented to courts may be atypical of later lawsuits that implicate the innovation, yet relate rules with surprising persistence. Second, these cases may be identified, and resolved, by reference to analogies that rely on similarities in form, and which do not wear well over time. Third, it may be difficult to isolate the unreasonable risks generated by an innovation from the benefits it is perceived to offer. Fourth, potential claims by early adopters of the technology may be more difficult to identify and recover upon than those that arise later, once the technology develops a mainstream audience. Fifth, and finally, uncertainty among potential plaintiffs (and their counsel) regarding the existence of a cause of action and the likelihood of recovery may beget a dearth of claims that involve an innovation for a significant period of time after its initial appearance. In introducing and explaining these themes, this article considers the initial application of tort law to technologies such as automobiles, airplanes, radio and television, and Tasers.


February 22, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Loser Pays in NH and TN

Loser pay bills are moving through the legislatures in New Hampshire and Tennessee.




February 21, 2012 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Mass Torts Protocol in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has issued a new general court regulation (No. 2012-01) changing the protocol for mass torts cases.  Notable features include:

  1. No reverse bifurcation of any mass tort case, including asbestos, unless agreed upon by all counsel involved.
  2. No consolidation of mass tort cases absent an agreement of all parties, except in the asbestos program.
  3. Deferrral of all punitive damage claims.

For researchers, the order provides interesting information about the mass torts, specifically asbestos, docket in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas:

The asbestos case inventory as of February 3, 2012 numbers 770 cases.  Since 2006 when the asbestos inventory numbered 589 cases, there has been a pronounced upward trend in filings in each successive year.  Although the disposition rate remained at an average of 244 cases per year over this six year period, the Court’s disposition rate has not kept pace with filings and a significant backlog has developed and will continue to develop if measures are not implemented to ameliorate the trend.

In January and again in March, 2009, certain Court leadership invited the filing of asbestos cases from other jurisdictions and did so apparently unaware that, at that time, this Court’s asbestos program was only meeting the ABA’s suggested standards for resolving these cases in 24-25 months in 42% of the cases filed.  During a five year period from 2007 through 2011, 82.2% of the cases were disposed of within 31-36 months, leaving almost an entire fifth of the inventory undisposed after three years.


From 2001 to 2008, an average of approximately one-third of the filings were from outside the Commonwealth.  A dramatic increase in these filings occurred after this Court’s leadership invited claims from other jurisdictions.  In 2009, when published comments were offered encouraging the filing of claims in Philadelphia, out-of-state filings soared to 41% and in 2011 reached an astonishing 47%.

Preliminary Conclusion:  With regard to other Mass Tort Programs, the Court failed to meet ABA suggested standards for the disposition of cases in the HRT, Paxil, Beryllium, Phen-Fen and Vioxx matters, but achieved 100% compliance with the Avandia, Trasylol, Digitek, Firefighters’ Hearing Loss, Gadolinium and Anti-Convulsant Drugs programs.  The Asbestos Program was by far the one Mass Tort Program most out of compliance with the standards.  Significant results were achieved in HRT, Paxil and pharmaceutical mass torts.

You can download the new regulation here:   Download Philadelphia Mass Torts New Protocol

Thanks to Mark Behrens (SHB) for the news.  


February 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)