TortsProf Blog

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Widener Univ. School of Law

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Friday, July 24, 2015

GA: Non-Parties May Be Apportioned Fault

At JD Supra, Vonnetta Benjamin & Michael Sullivan of Womble Carlyle address a recent Georgia Supreme Court case:

The Georgia law regarding apportionment of liability in tort cases became more clear this month with the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision in Zaldivar v. Prickett, et al.  Before the Court was the question of whether a non-party which is not “liable” to the plaintiff as a matter of law could be considered by the trier of fact as a non-party responsible, in whole or in part, for the “fault” which caused the underlying injury thus reducing the liability of the defendant by the percentage of that fault under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, commonly known as the Georgia Apportionment Statute.  The Court’s answer was “Yes”.

The rest of the column is here.

July 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

American Museum of Tort Law to Open in September

Renovations are complete and the countdown to opening Ralph Nader's project in Winsted, Connecticut continues.  The Litchfield County Times has the story.

July 23, 2015 in Current Affairs, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dernbach on the Netherlands Climate Change Case

John Dernbach is blogging at the American College of Environmental Lawyers about last month's case from The Hague District Court requiring the Netherlands to reduce carbon emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.

July 21, 2015 in Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

NE: No Sovereign Immunity for Accident Caused by Corn Mash on Highway

Political subdivisions involved in the clean up of a corn mash spill onto a highway were denied sovereign immunity in a recent Nebraska case because they were on notice of the incident, had a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem, but failed to do so.  Iowa State's CALT has details.

June 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nail Salon Chemicals: A Mass Tort Risk?

The National Law Review discusses here.

June 8, 2015 in Current Affairs, MDLs and Class Actions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 1, 2015

TX: $27M Premises Verdict Against McDonald's

The largest premises verdict in Texas in the last decade, for the deaths of two teenagers, was handed down against McDonald's last month.  One of the victims was beaten in a McDonald's parking lot in College Station, Texas, and the other was killed in an auto accident while a friend attempted to get her and the first victim to the hospital.  The theory of the case was lax security; the argument was based, in part, on the fact police had been called to the restaurant at least 20 times in the last year and McDonald's never hired security or installed cameras.  PR Newswire has details

June 1, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FL: Med Mal Cap Not Retroactive

The Florida Supreme Court ruled last week that Florida's 2003 medical malpractice cap is not retroactive to damage done prior to the law's passage.  WCTV has details.

May 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 22, 2015

KS: Negligence Standard Reaffirmed for Escaped Livestock

Details at Iowa State's Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation.

May 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Culhane on Amtrak Cap

Widener's John Culhane at Slate:  "A Cruel Cap."

May 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Frats are "Major Liability" According to Two-Thirds of Risk Managers

Inside Higher Ed has details.

Thanks to David Raeker-Jordan for the tip.

May 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 18, 2015

LA: Migration of Chemicals from Spill Not a Continuing Tort for SOL Purposes

A Louisiana appellate court has held a 1983 chemical spill does not constitute a continuing tort that tolls the statute of limitations.  The court also held CERCLA does not preempt the state statute of limitations.  Ned v. Union Pac. Corp. is discussed at JD Supra.

May 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nondisclosure Agreements in Med Mal Settlements

William Sage is lead author on a study of nondisclosure agreements in med mal settlements.  Using the Texas closed-claim database, the authors determined nondisclosure clauses were included in 88.7% of settlements.  This is not surprising to me, but the authors also concluded the clauses were broader than necessary to protect the doctors and hospital, and even broader than needed to avoid attracting other claimants.  Monthly Prescribing Reference has a story, with links to the study.

May 15, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

IL: Court to Decide Duty Question for 911 First Responders

Kirk Jenkins at JD Supra has analysis here.

May 13, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PA: Med Mal Cases Decline Again

Pennsylvania med mal cases filed in 2014 have hit an all-time low since tracking began in 2000, and are down 46.5% from the base years of 2000-2002.  Only 1463 cases were filed across the Commonwealth last year.  In a separate category, of the 2014 verdicts in med mal cases, 81% were for the defense. 

Central Penn Business Journal has the story.

May 12, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 4, 2015

AL: Bill to Overturn "Innovator Liability"

Last year, the Alabama Supreme Court let stand its holding that name-brand manufacturers can be liable for misrepresentations or failures to warn in regard to generic drugs they did not manufacture or distribute.  (Coverage here)  Now the legislature has sent a bill to the governor that would overturn the result.  The bill passed the Senate 32-9 and the House 86-14.  Legal Newsline has the story.

May 4, 2015 in Current Affairs, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CA: Janitorial Mistake is Not Professional Negligence

A California court of appeal has overturned a trial court holding that a woman who slipped on a wet floor in a hospital was subject to MICRA's one-year statute of limitations.  Holding that a janitor's conduct is not "professional negligence," the court of appeal applied the two-year statute for ordinary negligence suits.  The Metropolitan News-Enterprise has the story.

April 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CO: Commercial Tenant Not Liable for Slip-and-Fall

A woman tripped on an uneven area of sidewalk and was injured.  She settled with the owner of the commercial property and then sued one of the tenants.  The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the contention that the tenant in this case was also the landlord:

“The clinic was not in possession of the sidewalk because it had only a right of non-exclusive use and the landlord retained responsibility for maintaining that area,” the ruling said. “Second, the court concludes that, under the terms of the lease and the facts of this case, the clinic was not legally responsible for the condition of the sidewalk or for the activities conducted or circumstances existing there. It therefore holds that the clinic is not a landowner within the meaning of the Premises Liability Act.”

The Denver Business Journal has the story.

April 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mini-Asbestos Roundup

On Thursday, Arizona Governor Ducey signed into law a bill requiring plaintiffs to disclose asbestos claims they have filed or intend to file.  The legislation, referred to as a transparency law, is justified as necessary to keep plaintiffs from double-dipping from asbestos trusts.  Today's News-Herald has the story.

In other asbestos news, the California Supreme Court will hear an appeal regarding the status of "take home" asbestos claims.  The lower appellate court denied the claim.  The Pacific Legal Foundation provides information on the case and argues against such claims here.

April 13, 2015 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TX: Watching Soccer Not a Recreational Use

Plaintiff was injured while watching her daughter play soccer.  She sued the owner of the facility; the owner defended by asserting the recreational use statute.  The Texas Supreme Court held that watching soccer is not a recreational use within the statute. 

Iowa State's CALT has details.

April 9, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

FL: $4.5M Wrongful Death Award in Premises Case

In 2005, two siblings were shot to death in their Florida apartment.  The Florida Supreme Court recently upheld a $4.5M premises liability verdict against the owner of the apartment complex, based on the failure of the owner to repair a security gate at the gated complex.  The criminal case is still unsolved.  LawyersandSettlement.com has the story

April 8, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)