Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Dayton Daily News has a story on malpractice at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Payment for VA med mal claims (paid from a federal treasury fund set aside for federal claims, not the VA budget) totaled $845M over 10 years (on a total of 4,426 claims). The peak year was 2012 with $93.3M in payouts. The article notes that VA health care providers are immune from lawsuits and details instances of bonuses given to providers who had made medical errors or administrators despite poor records at their facilities. The article also quotes attorneys arguing the early disclosure program and limits on attorneys' fees (20% on settlements and 25% on awards) reduce the amount of claims brought against the VA. On the other hand, when asked whether VA doctors were worse than other doctors, Dr. Anupam Jena, assistant professor at Harvard, said simply, "no." The article includes poignant stories by individual victims of malpractice.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Two tort reform bills have been placed on the House calendar for this week: the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act and the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act. According to Govtrack.us, both bills are scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Rules on November 12th.
Workers' Compensation Blog has more.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Yahoo Sports reports that Penn State has reached a settlement with twenty-six victims of the Sandusky sex abuse scandal:
Penn State announced Monday that it had settled a civil suit involving 26 victims from the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and will pay out nearly $60 million.....
"The aggregate dollar amount paid by the University for the 26 settled claims is $59.7 million and will be reflected in the University’s audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2013."
According to the university, it believes that its various liability insurance policies cover its settlements and defense of claims and those expenses not covered by insurance will be funded from interest revenues from the university to its own self-supporting units.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Dan Monk at WCPO in Cincinnati has a story about Tide Pods. Several companies, most notably Proctor & Gamble (maker of "Tide"), have made a single-load laundry package, designed to enhance the convenience of washing clothes. Many of them are designed with colorful swirls. Unfortunately, children seem to be attracted to the product and put it in their mouths. There have been approximately 13,000 reports of such occurrences documented by poison control centers in the last 2 years. The American Association of Poison Control Centers states there have been over 6,700 such poisoning cases involving children under 5 in the first 8 months of 2013. P&G has been responsive by making the containers opaque and more difficult to open; additionally, they launched a public safety campaign.
A Chicago grandmother, however, argues those precautions do not help prevent many accidents based on the use of this particular product. Because of the product's convenience, many people take the package with them in their laundry baskets, allowing children access. She started a Change.org petition asking P&G to individually wrap Tide Pods and change the warning label about what to do if a child does ingest a Pod. She says she is not interested in suing, but only wants to enhance the safety of the product. If someone were to sue, there is an obvious contributory/comparative negligence issue, and she acknowledges it. She says she used to say it is the care giver's responsibility to keep the product away from children, but she was in the room when her grandson put the Pod in his mouth. She states, "If you blink for a second, the baby can get it in their mouth."
Monday, October 7, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This is a great one for your class on causation:
The ABA Journal reports that a man has sued Wal-Mart for negligence in training its employees on how to bag groceries, as well as the plastic bag manufacturer, for the death of his wife. Yes, his wife allegedly died from a negligently packed plastic grocery bag. According to the Journal, the plaintiff alleges that the Wal-Mart bagger "overstuffed" the bag, which broke on the way to the car, which caused the groceries to fall on his wife's toe, which caused a cut, which caused an infection, which led to his wife's death.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
Monday, September 9, 2013
The Los Angeles Times reports on a lawsuit filed against a hospital and anesthesiologist for breach of medical privacy and IIED. According to the LA Times, the doctor "decorated a patient's face with stickers while the patient was unconscious — giving her a black mustache and teardrops under her left eye — and then a nurse's aide snapped her photo." The hospital has admitted that the incident occured.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
Friday, August 30, 2013
The ABA Journal reports that the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court has held that a remote texter can be liable for injuries caused when the text-recipient has a car accident, but only if the texter knew that the recipient was driving and reading texts while driving.
A copy of the decision is available here.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Yesterday thousands of former football players and their families reached a settlement with the NFL for $765M to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation, medical research for retired NFL players and their families, and litigation expenses. The settlement must still be approved. The full CNN story is here. Howard Wasserman has commentary at Prawfs.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Oklahoman Speaker of the House has reportedly stated that "it will take 26 to 28 separate bills to reenact the lawsuit reform legislation of 2009." The OK Supreme Court struck down the tort reform bill back in June. More from the Oklahoma Watchdog.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
The Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform recently released International Comparisons of Litigation Costs: Europe, the United States and Canada. From the description:
The purpose of this study is to compare liability costs – a phrase used here to describe the costs of claims, whether resolved through litigation or other claims resolution processes – as a fraction of GDP across Europe, the U.S. and Canada. General liability insurance sold to companies provides a basis for comparison because it covers similar types of liability costs in each country....
Key findings are as follows:
The U.S. has the highest liability costs as a percentage of GDP of the countries surveyed, with liability costs at 2.6 times the average level of the Eurozone economies (see Figure 1).
U.S. liability costs are four times higher than those of the least costly European countries in our study – Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal.
- Although the U.S. has by far the most costly liability system, our analysis shows that liability costs in the U.K., Germany and Denmark have risen between 13% and 25% per year since 2008.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
For readers with an interest in comparative or international tort law, Melbourne Law School has launched a new blog, Opinions on High, which focuses on decisions of the High Court of Australia. A recent post, for examples, examines the duty to warn in the medical malpractice context under Australian law.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Deborah J. LaFetra has an informative post at Pacific Legal Foundation on the Maryland Court of Appeals' decision in Georgia-Pacific v. Farrar. This, of course, is the "bystander of a bystander" asbestos case, where the grandaughter of a worker who worked near another worker who worked with asbestos-products sued for her mesothelioma. The Court of Appeals rejected the duty to warn.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Back in June, Chris provided a thorough summary of the Pittsburgh zoo mauling case. Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Tribune reported that the judge refused to dismiss the plaintiff's punitive damages and strict liability claims. Discovery will now begin in the case.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that a Connecticut attorney has been "charged with nine federal offenses" related to an insurance fraud scheme. The article reports:
As alleged in the indictment, Haddad, who lives in Orange, and the others defrauded insurance companies by exaggerating the auto accident injuries sustained by Haddad's clients, and the cost of their medical care, to justify larger monetary settlements with insurance companies. Authorities say more than 10 insurance carriers lost a total of approximately $2.5 million. The Connecticut Post lists Travelers, Metropolitan, Progressive, Esurance and Nationwide as being among those that were defrauded from December 2006 to February 2010.
In June, Allstate and Deerbrook insurance companies filed a federal civil lawsuit against Haddad and others involved allegedly involved in the scheme. According to the suit, beginning in 2006, Haddad and others began to "defraud Allstate by submitting bils for medical treatment that was unneccessary, worthless, and often based on fictitious clinical findings or diagnosis."
Thanks to Lisa-Smith Butler for the alert.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013