Personal Injury Law Round-Up #62

Things are hopping here as we continue to prepare for a trial so this week’s edition is brief. On tort “reform”…….

One of the big tort “reform” stories of the week has been Dennis Quaid’s testimony on preemption before Congress. Unfortunately, in our society, causes often need celebrities to act as their champions before there is any traction to search for solutions (eg Lance Armstrong and cancer, Bono and extreme world poverty, and Michael J. Fox on Parkinson’s).  It now appears possible that Dennis Quaid is willing and able to step into that role.  You can watch the video of the testimony or read the transcript.  There are numerous posts on the story, including posts at DC Dicta, the Huffington Post, the Pop Tort, the Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog, and theInjuryboard national desk.

Along those same lines, Bill Childs reports that the plaintiff in the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom severed feet case traveled to Washington to testify on amusement park safety.

And locally, the Texas Supreme Court continues to receive negative press.

On to the litigation news…

In Texas, a federal court holds that the rape case against Halliburton isn’t covered by an arbitration agreement (though the plaintiff’s Title VII claims are).

Staying here in Texas, an appellate court reversed the Garza/Vioxx verdict.  There’s a little more information in Don Cruse’s Supreme Court of Texas Blog, MassTorts, the WSJ law blog and How Appealing.

Staying in the drug arena, Bayer is pulling all remaining Trasylol.

In South Dakota, even Congressmen aren’t immune for causing auto accidents.

On the settlement side, there were more settlements in the Rhode Island nightclub fire. I am most impressed with Eric Turkewitz’s in-depth analysis of the Jet Blue toilet lawsuitand followup.

And for this week’s miscellaneous posts….

John Day has What It Takes To Be A Great Trial Lawyer, part 16.

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend.

Brooks Schuelke

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #49

I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, and we have some very interesting links this week.

First, to the tort “reform” news…

I’ll start with the best post of the week, Eric Turkewitz’s How to Fool A Jury (Is It Insurance Fraud?). If you don’t click on any more of the links, click on that story. Those of us the trial bar have heard for too long about frivolous lawsuits, but the press rarely reports on frivolous defenses. The costs of litigation would go down remarkably if insurance companies or defense lawyers wouldn’t insist on asserting defenses (or here, simply manipulating evidence) that have no chance of prevailing. I recently had to defend a summary judgment that had no chance of success. The defense lawyer’s motion and evidence were probably 4-6 inches thick. After we prevailed, the lawyer said, “well, I had to try.” No. You didn’t. It was a complete waste of his client’s money, the court’s time, and my time. Alright, off my soapbox. On to the rest of the stories.

There are also some new tort “reform” sites out there. First, the Institute for Legal Reform has created I Am Lawsuit Abuse.org, which predictably contains a feature story on our friends the Chungs (via Mass Torts). And on the other end of the spectrum, the Center for Justice and Democracy has created The Pop Tort.com (via the New York Personal Injury Law blog).

On the frivolous suit front, Walter Olson at Overlawyered reports on a woman seeking $54 million from Best Buy for a lost laptop. Surprisingly, I agree with Ted’s comment that “it’s discouraging to see people learning that bringing a frivolous claim will create publicity, and the media playing along.”

Speaking of Ted, he has a post on Bush’s nomination of ATLA member Richard Honaker for a spot on the federal bench.

Overlawyered also has an interesting post about a medical malpractice reform article co-authored by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

I’m not sure it’s tort reform news, but Ed Poll at the Law Biz Blog has a post on Mass, Conn. and RI requiring insurance companies to send out notices of settlements to consumers to help reduce the number of cases where attorneys commit fraud on their clients. It’s really sad that it’s come to this.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that doctors are increasingly turning to binding arbitration. Chris Robinette posted on the article, and I shared my thoughts also.

In Georgia,a driver’s cell phone use is a big factor in a $5.2 million car wreck verdict.

And on to the litigation related news…

The California Court of Appeals reversed a $28 billion punitive damages award under Williams.

A Conn. jury awarded $38.5 million in a cerebral palsy medical malpractice suit.

Mass Torts reports that Clear Channel has chipped in its share to settle the Rhode Island nightclub fire litigation.

The John Ritter medical malpractice trial continues. And Chris Robinette’s update may be TortsProfs’ first link to E!Online. And the click through article has the well thought out legal analysis that you’d expect from E!Online.

Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer Jeff Rasansky reports on a recall of Icy Hot. That’s not good news for those of us that are getting older, but still think we’re young enough to be weekend warriors.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the list of the worst nursing homes in the country.

Bill Childs reports on another Sizzler (the ride, not the restaurant) lawsuit. Sadly, that’s my daughter’s favorite ride.

Turkewitz’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog has a great story about State Farm being sued for Civil Rico violations over sham medical exams.

And Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Lowell Steiger has a link to a crazy site where you can be a virtual surgeon. It’s both weird and pretty cool, all at the same time.

And on to the miscellaneous…

Evan Schaeffer has Powerpoint Examples From A Trial Tech, which links to a good site with those interested in presentation ideas.

Kevin MD links to a story of an expert witness who lost his medical license for exaggerating his credentials on the stand.

John Day has What It Takes To Be A Great Trial Lawyer, Part 8.

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke


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