Sunday, June 28, 2020

Wisconsin reaffirms that criminal defendants must show actual innocence to support malpractice claim against former defense counsel

Long time readers of this blog may remember that I have posted many stories commenting on the fact that many (probably most) jurisdictions require former criminal defendants to prove actual innocence as a requirement to support malpractice claims against their criminal defense counsel.  In recent years, a number of jurisdictions have rejected this notion, but it still seems to be the majority approach.

I am writing about this again today to report that earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin reaffirmed its position on this in a case called Skindzelewski v. Smith, which you can read here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

New article refutes arguments regarding "defensive medicine"

In a new article entitled The Paradoxes of Defensive Medicine, authors Michael Saks & Stephan Landsman review the evidence behind the belief that medical malpractice claims lead to defensive medicine and find little support for it.  This is not surprising for those who follow the literature and history of the "tort reform" movement, of course, but it is always good to see new articles on the issue.  The abstract of the article states, in part:
For decades, “defensive medicine” has been the leading argument driving reforms of medical malpractice laws throughout the United States. Defensive medicine is the presumed practice of administering excessive tests and treatments as a stratagem for reducing healthcare providers’ risk of malpractice liability, despite the absence of any expected benefit for the patient. The practice is widely believed to exist throughout American healthcare as a response to fears of malpractice litigation, and thought to be enormously wasteful of healthcare dollars. In consequence, it has become a justification for law reforms insulating the healthcare industry from tort liability. These claims are promoted by the healthcare industry even though they imply that most providers routinely engage in healthcare fraud and violate their own ethical rules. 
If you subscribe to SSRN, you can download the article here.

Podcast: legal implications related to autonomous vehicles

Long time readers of this blog may recall I have posted a few comments and links related to legal and ethical implications related to the use of autonomous vehicles.  See here, here, here, here and here.

Adding to that list, here is a recent podcast on the subject.

Court allows former NFL player lawsuit against helmet manufacturer to proceed

The First District Appellate Court of Illinois held in Nakamura v. BRG Sports, LLC that a former NFL player’s personal injury suit against his helmet manufacturer stemming from a severe concussion the player suffered was allowed to proceed. 

The decision was based only on an issue of whether the case was barred by the statute of limitations, so it will be very interesting to see how far the case goes since it is rare for sports participants to succeed in claims for injuries suffered while participating in the sport.  And given what we now know about concussions in sports like football and hockey a successful claim against a helmet manufacturer for an injury related to a concussion in a football game could open the doors to a floodgate of litigation.

Go here for more on this story.