Friday, June 30, 2023

Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit finds that TSA screeners are subject to liability under the Federal Torts Claims Act

 As reported in the TortsProf blog:  The Fourth Circuit has now joined the Third and Eighth Circuits in holding that TSA screeners are subject to suit pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Osmon v. United States, 66 F.4th 144, 147 (4th Cir. 2023) (“[T]he FTCA permits people who allege they were assaulted by TSA screeners to sue the federal government.”).

Saturday, June 10, 2023

OpenAI Sued For Defamation Over Statements Created by ChatGPT

It has finally happened: someone has sued ChatGPT maker OpenAI over an AI “hallucination” (i.e., confidently spewing out something that is blatantly wrong). The complaint, filed by Mark Walters, in state court in Georgia, argues that OpenAI made up false and defamatory claims about himself.   TechDirt has the full story here.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Federal Court denies motion to dismiss, allowing claim for emotional distress based on pre-impact terror to move forward

As reported in Day on Torts:

A federal judge in Chicago has agreed to allow a jury to consider whether airplane crash victims experience preimpact terror before their deaths.  Faced with no Illinois law directly on point, the federal court determined that the reasoning in  Haley v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 746 F.2d 311, 314-15 (5th Cir. 1984), was persuasive.  The Haley court found the courts of Louisiana would permit recovery for emotional distress “during a negligently produced ordeal”

From the opinion:

A jury could reasonably infer from the evidence that will be presented at trial that the passengers on ET 302 perceived that they were going to crash, horrifically, to their certain death. Boeing has not demonstrated that Illinois authority bars plaintiffs from recovering for the preimpact emotional distress they suffered as a result, and the Court concludes that the Illinois Supreme Court likely would permit recovery of such damages.

The Court also concluded that there was sufficient evidence of emotional distress to create a jury question given the anticipated testimony about the movements of the plane before the crash.

You can read the opinion here.