TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Friday, August 29, 2008

Personal Injury Roundup No. 5 (8/29/2008)

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.    Down here in the south, we are keeping an eye on Gustav and Hannah as we prepare for our end-of-season cookouts.   

Reform, Legislation, Policy

New Lawsuits

  • Extras seek $11 million from Tom Cruise for alleged injuries during the filming of Valkyrie.  [E! Online]
  • Families of bicyclists killed by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy file wrongful death suit against county.  [SF Gate]
  • Seven current and former NFL players sue Swiss bank UBS for fraud.  [Am Law Daily]
  • Malpractice action filed against Phillips & Cohen based on alleged failure to pursue a whistle-blower case.  [ABA Journal]
  • Families of Nepalese workers killed in Iraq sue military contractor KRB under Alien Tort Claims Act.  [Reuters, BBC]
  • New suit challenges South Dakota's law capping non-economic damages in med-mal cases.  [Capital Journal]

Trials, Settlements & Other Ends

  • NY state judge declined to dismiss defamation suit against criminal defense lawyer.  [NY Law Journal/]
  • Vermont judge denied RJ Reynold's request to dismiss lawsuit by VT Attorney General (on behalf of VT and 35 other states) that challenges RJR's claim that its Eclipse cigarette "may produce less risk of cancer" than other cigarettes.  [BusWeek]
  • Parties reach partial settlement in Exxon Shipping v. Baker (on remand from the Supreme Court's reduction of the punitive damages award this past summer).  [Cal Punitive DamagesHow Appealing]
  • In the Vioxx settlement, Judge Fallon caps plaintiffs' counsels' fees at 32%. [AP/, Overlawyered, Pharmalot, WSJ Law Blog]
  • Nearly 6,000 claims have been filed in last year's pet food settlement class, but the number is expected to rise before the fairness hearing in October.  [PopTort]


  • New Jersey appellate court hold state Consumer Fraud Act applies where bank employee failed to to invest a client's money in a mutual fund as promised.  [NJ Law Journal/]
  • Eleventh Circuit upholds Graves Amendment, which prevents families of people injured or killed by the driver of a rental car from suing rental car companies for damages.  [Court's opinion, NY Personal Injury]
  • Eleventh Circuit affirms trial judge's grant of summary judgment and exclusion of evidence allegedly linking Accutane to inflammatory bowel disease.  [Drug & Device]


  • New Jersey appellate court finds $100k pain and suffering award "too low," and orders a new trial in med-mal case.  [NJ Law Journal/]
  • Ninth Circuit concludes restitution award can't serve as predicate for punitive damages under California law (and affirms vacatur of jury's $700 million punitives where $0 compensatory damages were awarded).  [Court's opinion, Cal Punitive Damages, AP/]


  • If you are interested in the Dickie Scruggs saga, you should check out Roger Parloff's seven-part series.  [Fortune]
  • Beck & Herrmann analyze the decision (and provide a link to the court's opinion) in Gunvalson v. PTC Therapeutics, Inc., in which Judge William J. Martini of the District of New Jersey ordered the defendant pharmaceutical company to provide the terminally ill plaintiff with an unapproved, experimental drug.  [Drug & Device]

Goofy Stuff

  • Court TV judge appointed to Supreme Court?  No, just the latest book from Christopher Buckley.  [WaPo Book Review]

Shameless Self-Promotion (favorite posts of this week)

Thanks to:  Ted Frank and Anthony Franze for material. 

Have a happy Labor Day weekend!

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