Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Podcast on the wrongful death case against gun manufacturer related to shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Last month I reported that the families of nine of the 26 people killed two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting.  In my previous post, you can find a link to the complaint and my comments.

A couple of days ago, the Lawyer2Lawyer network broadcast the podcast that appears below on the issues raised by the case.  The panelists agree with some of my original comments including the fact that the case is not likely to be successful, but they discuss many other interesting issues.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the "play button" below or by going here.

UPDATE 10-14-16:  Several sources are reporting today that the lawsuit has been dismissed.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Indiana Court of Appeals upholds constitutionality of damages cap -- UPDATED

A few days ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of that state's damages cap for claims against the state which sets the limit for compensation at $700,000 per person and $5 million per incident.  Unfortunately, I don't have more details so I can't comment fully.  I will say this:  I assume that the cap is on non economic damages and not on all damages but I am not sure.  Based on that assumption, I will repeat what I have said in the past.  I am not in favor of caps (and certainly not of a cap that limits out of pocket expenses and other economic damages), but compared to most other states I know of, this cap is relatively generous.  Compare it to the limit in California which is set at $250,000.  (A proposal to increase that cap failed late last year but may be revised again this year.)

Thanks to the TortsProf blog for the update on Indiana.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

NY Times article on the effect of tort reform on litigation against auto manufacturers

I have often argued that the purpose of tort reform is not to limit frivolous litigation (as claimed by tort reformers), but to limit valid litigation.  Not too long ago, the NY Times published an article that supports my view.  It discusses the effect of Wisconsin's damages cap on the ability of law firms to take cases against the auto industry.  You can read the article here.

Max Kennerly has a comment on the article here, called "Tort Reform Kills."