TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FDA to Look at BPA

In a course change, the FDA announced that it would be attempting to change BPA's status from "food additive" to "food conduct substance" and that it would be engaging in an extensive safety review of the product, which is in myriad food containers and other plastic packaging.


January 16, 2010 in Food and Drink, Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Personal Injury Roundup No. 62 (1/15/2010)

Apologies for the delay; more students showed up than I expected!

Reform, Legislation, Policy

  • Waivers as risk management (SSRN)
  • Causation in asbestos cases (Legal Theory Blog)
  • Tort reform is central to Schwarzenegger's policy goals (Legal News Line
  • Georgia legislature ready to try, try again if reform measures held unconstitutional (Atlanta Business Journal
  • Missouri Supreme Court reviewing that state's reforms (KRCG)

New Lawsuits

  • Well, a look at a new lawsuit anyway, in the form of the defamation suit against some Kardashian or other (Writ
  • Family of murdered toddler sues killer, state (Honolulu Advertiser)
  • Family of doctor who died after being tasered is suing Taser International (Phoenix New Times)

Trials, Settlements and Other Ends

  • Settlement in suit against Whole Foods and others for crash, though punitives may remain; allegation is that Whole Foods brought trucking in-house without knowing how to do it well (
  • California Supreme Court denies tobacco suit appeal from $2.85 million award (SFGate)
  • Punitive damages reversed in secret videotaping case (where the tape was of Michael Jackson) (

Happy new year, everyone!


January 15, 2010 in Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Blogger Monday Spring 2010 Lineup

We are delighted to announce the Guest Blogger Monday lineup for the Spring 2010 semester:

1/25--Mike Green (Wake Forest)

2/1--Richard Epstein (Chicago)

2/8--Kenneth Abraham (Virginia)

2/15--Alan Calnan (Southwestern)

2/22--Anita Bernstein (Brooklyn)

3/1--Kenneth Simons (Boston University)

3/8--Michael McCann (Vermont)

3/15--James Henderson (Cornell)

3/22--Richard Nagareda (Vanderbilt)

3/29--David Owen (South Carolina)

4/5--Jane Stapleton (Texas/ANU)

4/12--Phoebe Haddon (Maryland)

4/19--Jennifer Wriggins (Maine)

4/26--Andrew Klein (Indianapolis)

5/3--Mark Geistfeld (NYU)


You can find a list of the fall guest blogger posts here.  We look forward to a variety of interesting and thoughtful posts again each Monday this Spring.  


- Sheila & Chris

January 13, 2010 in Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dickerson on Waivers as Risk-Management Tools

Darby Dickerson (Stetson) has posted to SSRN Sign and Release?  Using Waivers and Releases as Risk-Management Tools.  The abstract provides:

Many on- and off-campus activities provide students with tremendous educational and social benefits. But these same activities can also carry risks. As part of an overall risk-management plan for an activity or an event, a campus activities department might consider whether it is appropriate to request participating students to sign a release, waiver, or similar exculpatory agreement.

Although many think of waivers and releases simply as tools to shift risk or avoid liability, they can actually be used for our students’ benefit. If properly drafted, waivers and releases can provide students with a balanced view of the activity, convey information that will allow them to decide whether to participate, and educate them about how to stay safe while participating.

It is best to view waivers and releases as just one part of a comprehensive risk-management process, and not as stand-alone documents or single-step risk plans. It is also important to understand that an activities department should not have a “standard release.” Instead, waivers and releases should be tailored to the particular event, activity, or trip. The article expands on these and related points.


January 12, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Inaccurate Calorie Counts

So, your New Year's resolution is to lose a few pounds?   Be warned: The Los Angeles Times reports that food and restaurant calorie labels may be off by as much as 18%.    No one has sued....yet. 


January 12, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 11, 2010

NYC Takes On Salt

The New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to unveil a plan today to reduce the amount of salt in packaged foods and restaurants:

On Monday, after a year of consultations with industry, the city will release preliminary targets for sodium content. After a review, the city will unveil final targets in the spring and ask companies to commit to the program.

The system proposed by the city is complex, with reductions ranging from 10 to 40 percent for 61 classes of packaged foods and 25 classes of restaurant foods.

Like the City's efforts against trans fats, compliance with the salt reductions will be voluntary.  But, recall that when voluntary compliance did not work with trans fats, the City passed legislation requiring restaurants to eliminate trans fats. So, stay tuned.



January 11, 2010 in Current Affairs, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)