Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I have been gone for weeks for our winter break, but I wanted to take a moment away from all the vacation family fun to wish everyone a great new year!

Thank you for reading and supporting the blog. I will continue to do my best to keep up and bring you news and commentary in the new year.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

What would it be like if ATRA's tort reforms were actually implemented?

The PopTort wonders what would the world look like if the American Tort Reform Association could get its tort reform proposal approved here.  Hint:  it would not be a pretty picture.

New report on regulation (or lack thereof) of generic drug manufacturers

The Center for Justice & Democracy has published a new "white paper" called America’s Unaccountable Generic Drug Industry; How Legal Immunity Could Be Making You Sick. You can read a short comment on it here.

One of the last remaining claims arising out of the September 11 attacks to settle

More than a dozen years after the Sept. 11 attacks, a last major piece of litigation against the airline industry and other defendants moved toward an end on Tuesday, as the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald revealed that it would settle its lawsuit for $135 million.  Go to Torts Today for more on the story.  For my coverage of other aspects of the litigation go here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Case against Kansas City Royals for injury caused by mascot is now before the Missouri Supreme Court

Long time readers of this blog might remember my posts on a case filed back in 2010 by a spectator at a Kansas City Royals baseball game who was struck in the eye by a hot dog thrown by the team's mascot.  As I said in my original post on the case, it is often stated that spectators at a baseball game assume the risk of getting hit by foul balls.  Technically speaking, this is not necessarily correct since the issue in those cases is not really a question of assumption of the risk, but rather one of whether the defendant owes a duty to the plaintiff... but that is another story.  The case generated much commentary (see here for links).

Eventually, the case went to trial and the jury found for the defendant.  I commented on the verdict here, where I also posted a video of the mascot throwing hot dogs.  You can judge the conduct for yourself.

The jury's verdict, however, was recently reversed and, as I said in my post on the opinion, that was the correct decision.  (In that post, I have a link to the opinion itself, if you want to take a look at it.)  As opposed to many of the other cases on the subject of sports injuries, the court in this case does a better job of explaining the issue.

What is interesting is that the question in the hot dog tossing case is whether there should be a duty to protect spectators from risks involved in watching baseball games other than the risks inherent to the game of baseball.  As the court suggests, the answer at this point is "maybe" if the risk is inherent to the game but probably no, if the risk is not inherent and, more so, if it is created by the negligence of the defendant himself.

Do the risks created by a mascot throwing promotional items arise from the inherent nature of a baseball game?  The question is now before the Missouri Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments last month.  Here is a comment on the argument.

New study on possible effects of "energy drinks"

If you have been following the controversy over whether so-called "energy drinks" are dangerous (particularly to minors), you will be interested in this story on a new study that suggests that popular drinks like Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar may affect the way the heart beats, causing it to have more forceful heart contractions, which increases potential heart risks.

I have posted a number of stories on this topic.  See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How much do you know about medical malpractice?

The PopTort has a quiz here.  The lessons are not new to those who follow this topic:  malpractice happens more often than people think, there are fewer lawsuits than people think, and so on.