TortsProf Blog

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

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Liability Considerations for Driverless Cars

At JD Supra, Chris Jones of Sands Anderson in Virginia discusses some of the considerations, which include the expansion of products liability into automobile accident cases and the potential need for a post-sale duty to warn in jurisdictions that have not adopted it.

July 14, 2015 in Products Liability, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hubbard on the Application of Tort and Regulation to Robots

Patrick Hubbard (South Carolina) has just published Sophisticated Robots:  Balancing Liability, Regulation, and Innovation in the Florida Law Review.  The abstract provides:

Our lives are being transformed by large, mobile, “sophisticated robots” with increasingly higher levels of autonomy, intelligence, and interconnectivity among themselves. For example, driverless automobiles are likely to become commercially available within a decade. Many people who suffer physical injuries from these robots will seek legal redress for their injury, and regulatory schemes are likely to impose requirements on the field to reduce the number and severity of injuries.

This Article addresses the issue of whether the current liability and regulatory systems provide a fair, efficient method for balancing the concern for physical safety against the need to incentivize the innovation that is necessary to develop these robots. This Article provides context for analysis by reviewing innovation and robots’ increasing size, mobility, autonomy, intelligence, and interconnections in terms of safety—particularly in terms of physical interaction with humans—and by summarizing the current legal framework for addressing personal injuries in terms of doctrine, application, and underlying policies. This Article argues that the legal system’s method of addressing physical injury from robotic machines that interact closely with humans provides an appropriate balance of innovation and liability for personal injury. It critiques claims that the system is flawed and needs fundamental change and concludes that the legal system will continue to fairly and efficiently foster the innovation of reasonably safe sophisticated robots.

January 27, 2015 in Scholarship, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GA: Parents May Be Liable for Negligent Supervision in Failure to Have Child Take Down Fake Facebook Page

On October 10, the Court of Appeals of Georgia allowed a claim to go forward against the parents of a middle-school-aged child who created a fake Facebook page for a classmate and posted defamatory statements.  In Georgia, parents have a duty to supervise their children with regard to conduct that poses an unreasonable risk of harming others.  The court's decision was based on the fact that the parents did not compel their child to take down the fake Facebook page after they became aware of it.  The page remained up for approximately 11 months after the parents learned of its existence.  The case is Boston v. Athearn

Thanks to Mark Weber for the tip.

October 21, 2014 in Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 8, 2014

TX: New Remedy for Online Defamation

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that a court can order an author to delete a defamatory post, but cannot prohibit the author from reposting the statements because that would be an unlawful prior restraint of free speech.  The deletion remedy is novel.  The Texas Lawyer has the story

September 8, 2014 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rustad on Cyber-Torts

Mike Rustad's Global Internet Law in a Nutshell covers a fair amount of tort-related material you  may find helpful.  The preface, outline, and chapter one are available here.

--CJR

February 12, 2014 in Scholarship, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tort Liability for Autonomous Cars

A colleague asked me about this last week; I confess that I had not considered it.  Now Kyle Colonna has posted his Note to SSRN.  Entitled Autonomous Cars and Tort Liability, the abstract provides:

With the passing of time, cars are becoming more autonomous and independent of human intervention. However, with this shift in control from humans to technology, there also comes a shift in liability. While autonomous cars will eliminate many accidents caused by human error, many others will result due to technological malfunctions. In order to ensure that autonomous cars enter the marketplace in a timely fashion, the liability of autonomous car manufacturers requires mitigation. This Note examines the legal issues surrounding autonomous cars, including tort liability, and proposes a means by which the liability issues surrounding autonomous cars may be fashioned in order to effectuate a timely implementation of autonomous cars in the marketplace.

--CJR

November 13, 2013 in Scholarship, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SF Bay Area eDiscovery Forum

Brendan Kenny, who launched Twin Cities eDiscovery Forum a year ago, is back at it:

The SF Bay Area eDiscovery Forum is having its inaugural meeting on October 21st, 2013 from 8:00–9:00 a.m. at the offices of Hanson, Bridgett, LLP, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco. RSVP to Chelsea Doctors by at CDoctors@HansonBridgett.com or by phone at 415-995-6465, by October 18, 2013.  

The first meeting will discuss e-mediation.

And here is a link to the invitation: http://tinyurl.com/lekrvyz

--CJR

October 16, 2013 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

VA: Facebook "Likes" Admissible, But Defamation Punies Award Cut

In a federal case in Virginia, the number of"likes" an allegedly defamatory Facebook page received was admissible, but a punitive damages award was reduced.  Peter Vieth of Virginia Lawyers Weekly has the story:

A federal judge says a dog trainer who claimed he was defamed by online accusations of animal abuse was entitled to tell a jury how many people “liked” the offending Facebook page, a federal judge has ruled.

Nevertheless, U.S. District Judge James Cacheris said the jury’s “grossly excessive” $60,000 punitive damages verdict in favor of the dog trainer should be cut by three quarters. Cacheris says the defendant can either accept the reduction of punitives to $15,000 or take a new trial.

The full story is here.

--CJR

September 5, 2012 in Damages, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Podcast on Medical Apologies

WHYY has a podcast on medical apologies featuring Richard Boothman, chief risk officer at the University of Michigan Health System, and Thomas Gallagher, a physician and associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center.  Listen here: 

http://www.whyy.org/podcast/081809_110630.mp3

Thanks to David Raeker-Jordan for the tip.

--CJR

September 4, 2009 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Miller & Tucker on Incentives of Adopting Electronic Medical Records

Amalia Miller (Virginia-Economics) & Catherine Tucker (MIT-Management Science) have posted to SSRN Electronic Discovery and Electronic Medical Records:  Does the Threat of Litigation Affect Firm Decisions to Adopt Technology?  Here is the abstract:

After firms adopt electronic information and communication technologies, their decision-making leaves a trail of electronic information. We ask how the threat of litigation affects decisions to adopt technologies that leave more of an electronic trail, such as electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs allow hospitals to document electronically both patient symptoms and health providers' reactions to those symptoms. We find evidence that hospitals are a third less likely to adopt electronic medical records if there are state laws that facilitate the use of electronic records in court.

--CJR

June 20, 2009 in Scholarship, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)