TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Univ. School of Law

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Victims of 2004 GM Crash Sue to Reopen Case

Victims of a Saturn Ion crash in 2004 are suing GM to reopen a case over the death of one person and serious injuries of another.  GM settled the case for $75,000 and argued the driver was 100% to blame.  Now lawyers argue the case should be reopened in light of the recall of defective switches in many of GM's cars, including the Ion.  The Chicago Tribune has the story.

--CJR

June 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seattle Doctor Suspended for Sexting During Surgery

His malpractice premiums may rise next year.  WaPo has details.

--CJR

June 10, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Behrens & Silverman on the Garlock Bankruptcy Order

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wright Comments on R3 Intentional Torts

The discussion draft of the Restatement Third, Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons, was discussed this morning at the American Law Institute annual meeting.  

Richard W. Wright (IIT Chicago-Kent) submitted the following comments on the draft:  Download ALI Intentional Torts RWW comments

- SBS

May 20, 2014 in Conferences, Current Affairs, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Foreseeability & Duty in New Mexico

Deborah J. LaFetra blogs over at Pacific Legal Foundation about a new case by the New Mexico Supreme Court,  Rodriguez v. Del Sol Shopping Centerwhere the court held that "a foreseeability-driven duty analysis is inappropriate." 

Visit Deborah's post for a more on the case. 

- SBS

 

May 12, 2014 in Current Affairs, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NLJ on GM's Use of Ken Feinberg

...is here; Sheila is quoted.

--CJR

May 6, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 2, 2014

VA: $8M in Case of Woman Who Froze to Death

A Virginia jury in Montross has ordered a restaurant owner to pay $8M to the daughters of the man's wife, who froze to death on their property in 2010.  The woman's body was found partially covered with snow about 80 yards from the couple's house.  The jury foreman reported that jurors believed the woman's death could have been prevented if defendant/husband had done more to find her; defendant did not report her disappearance for 48 hours.  Virginia Lawyers' Weekly has the story.

--CJR

May 2, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Turkewitz on $9B

Here.

See also Alberto Bernabe.

--CJR

April 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

VA: Jury Awards $5,001 in Coffee Urine Suit

Do not pee in a co-worker's coffee urn.  Compensatory damages were $1 and punies were $5,000.  This case reminds me of the 1872 Illiniois case of Alcorn v. Mitchell, in which a jury awarded $1,000 to a plaintiff who was spat upon.  Virginia Lawyers Weekly has details.

--CJR

April 9, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Med Mal Allegation: Hospital Froze Woman to Death

A med mal filing in California accuses a hospital of negligently placing a live patient in a morgue freezer and freezing her to death.  Originally, the family sued for mishandling of a corpse, an exception to limitations on negligent infliction of emotional distress.  New evidence, however, caused the family to sue for wrongful dealth.  The case was originally dismissed, but was reinstated by an appellate court.  The hospital expressed remorse, but does not comment on pending cases.  CNN has the story (video).

--CJR

April 4, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tort Reform in Louisiana

The Lousiana Legsilative session began last Monday, and a bunch of tort reform bills have been introduced: 

  • HB 799 - prohibiting contingency fees in outside counsel contracts
  • HB 482 & 483 - venue in latent disease cases 
  • HB 917 - lowering the monetary threshold required for a jury trial to $0
  • HB 925 & SB 414 - regulation of the lawsuit lending industry

Coalition for Common Sense has links to the bills and a summary of the bills' status.

- SBS

March 18, 2014 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Litigation Financing and Mass Torts

In "Would Litigation Financing Improve Mass Torts," the National Law Journal examines an article by Professor Byron Stier suggesting that plaintiffs should be allowed to sell their claims to financial entities.   As Chris mentioned in an earlier post, Byron's article was part of the "Perspectives on Mass Tort Litgiation" symposium held at Widener last April. 

- SBS

March 10, 2014 in Conferences, Current Affairs, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Memoriam: Professor Ted Eisenberg (1947-2014)

Eisenberg_header_short

I am sorry to report the passing of one of the great empirical legal scholars of our day: Professor Ted Eisenberg (Cornell).  Professor Eisenberg, age 66, died on Sunday from a heart attack.  From the Cornell statement:

Known as the “grandfather of empirical legal studies,” Eisenberg was a passionate teacher, beloved colleague, and prolific scholar during his 33 years at the Law School.

A legendary figure in the areas of bankruptcy, civil rights, and the death penalty, Eisenberg has used innovative statistical methodology to shed light on such diverse subjects as punitive damages, victim impact evidence, capital juries, bias for and against litigants, and chances of success on appeal. He is the founder of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Eisenberg taught courses on bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law, constitutional law, civil rights, contracts, federal income taxation, and empirical studies of the legal system.

 

- SBS

Photo atttribution:  Cornell Law School

February 25, 2014 in Current Affairs, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LOL: Smartphone Defense in PI Litigation

A new article in Albany Law Review addresses a growing issue of personal responsibility:  the use of cell phones as a causal factor in accidents.  In Don't Text, Talk and Walk: The Emerging Smartphone Defense in Personal Injury Litigation, Robert Lang explores recent case law where the plaintiff and/or defendant was distracted on a cell phone at the time of an accident. 

Some possible exam material in this one! 

- SBS

February 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 3, 2014

February ABA Journal Article on Generic Drug Liability

The February 2014 issue of the ABA  Journal features an article on liability for generic drugs: "Generic drugs leave a bad taste for patients filing tort suits."

- SBS

 

February 3, 2014 in Current Affairs, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Behrens & Appel on Medical Monitoring in NLJ

Recently the New York Court of Appeals rejected medical monitoring.  Behrens and Appel approve:

The New York Court of Appeals reached the right conclusion. For over 200 years, one of the fundamental principles of tort law has been that a plaintiff cannot recover without proof of a physical injury. This bright-line rule may seem harsh in some cases, but it is the best filter courts have developed to prevent a flood of claims, provide faster access to courts for those with reliable and serious claims, and ensure that the sick will not have to compete with the nonsick for compensation.

The full op-ed (behind a pay wall) is here.

--CJR

January 29, 2014 in Current Affairs, Damages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Comment on Con Ed's 9/11 Tort Claims

Over at Jurist, Guest Columnist Alexis Campos, a 2L at Stetson, examines the Second Circuit's recent decision denying ConEd's negligence claim against the builders and designers of the Towers.

- SBS

January 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Negligent Design of FDA Approved Drug

On January 21, 2014, the Pennsylvania Sureme Court finally* decided Lance v. Wyeth.  The court held that drug manufacturers could be liable for negligent design of an FDA approved drug.  I believe this is the first jurisdiction to accept this theory.   Drug & Device Blog has a thorough analysis of the opinion.

- SBS 

 

*finally because the case was argued in 2011 and has been pending before the state supreme court for nearly three years.

January 27, 2014 in Current Affairs, MDLs and Class Actions, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Flood Insurance

This is slightly off-topic, but I know a significant number of torts professors also teach insurance courses.  My hometown newspaper, The Patriot-News, does an excellent job of independent reporting.  Today's paper has a great series on flood insurance (highly relevant to a river town like Harrisburg) and the effects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012.  The online version at PennLive is here.

--CJR

January 26, 2014 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Medical Malpractice SOL Violated State's EP Clause

Ruthann Robson at Con Law Profs reports on a Washington state case, where the court held that a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims violated the state constitution's equal protection clause.   Robson has a full dicussion of the decision at Con Law Profs

- SBS

January 20, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)