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Personal Injury Law Round-Up #45

The big story of the week here in Austin is Texas Supreme Court justice David Medina being indicted for arson yesterday. After the indictment was handed down, the Harris County (Houston) DA, who himself is in hot water and may be forced to resign, plans to ask that the indictments be dismissed. Apparently, the grand jury, which is described as mostly Republican (as are Medina and the DA), is now pretty upset at those statements. In fact, the assistant foreman has come right out criticized the DA for trying to protect the judge and has been quoted as saying: “If this was a truck driver from Pasadena, he would already have been tried and convicted.” I’m sure this soap opera will be followed closely in the local and national press.

Now, on to the regular content, and we’ll start off this week with the traditional look at tort “reform”…

Texas Watch has released a study finding that states with no tort “reform” have better health care systems than those states that have passed tort “reform” measures.

The Texas Watch conclusion might actually be supported by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The ACEP issued their National Report Card of Emergency Medical Services. The report card showed Texas’s caps have apparently done wonders to improve emergency room care (and I say that tongue in cheek – Texas received a D in public health/safety, a D+ in quality/patient safety, and a D+ in access to care while receiving an A+ in medical liability). On the other hand, Connecticut received great grades in access, care and safety while getting an F in Medical liability.

The FDA has proposed a new labeling regulation that will assist pharma in its preemption fight. The Drug and Device Law blog also has a post on the proposed regs.

Speaking of preemption, the ACS Blog has a post on The Emerging Threat of Regulatory Preemption. (Via TortsProf)

We were apparently a little quick to praise New Jersey’s new wrongful death statute. New Jersey governor Jon Corzine vetoed the amendments this week.

On the medical malpractice front, Eric Turkewitz has an interview with the famous “Flea.”

Michael Townes Watson at TortDeform looks at the media’s perpetuation of the medical malpractice problem.

Chris Robinette at TortsProf has a post on damage caps and physician shortages.

In the lawyers behaving badly category, sometimes the idiocy of our brethren at the plaintiff’s bar amazes me. A Florida law firm allegedly retained two investigators who paid a cruise line employee to provide confidential settlement information. Walter Olson’s title on his post addressing the story is “Great Moments in Legal Ethics.” That’s appropriate.

On to lawsuits and personal injury related items…

As reported in both the WSJ and the WSJ Health Blog, waits in emergency rooms are increasing.

And once you get out of the ER into the operating room, it’s not much better. John Day has a post on surgical errors. The DC MedMal Blog also addressed the same study.

And in the ER, you might get care you didn’t ask for (or specifically rejected). In New York, a plaintiff filed a medical malpractice suit based on a forced rectal exam. Both the WSJ law blog and WSJ Health Blog reported on the story.

From the Chicago Tribune, an Illinois jury handed down a record $22 million medical malpractice verdict.

Ed Normund has a rundown of Orlando theme park injuries.

Ray Mullman at the South Carolina Nursing Home Blog examines a study showing the disparity, along race lines, of treatment received in nursing homes.

This was from last week, but Angela Dows of the Las Vegas Injury & Accident law blog reviews a court ruling that the Tennessee Titans can’t be held liable for a shooting allegedly involving Titans players outside a Las Vegas strip club. Good news for local Austin hero Vince Young and the rest of the Titans.

For those that handle trucking accidents, Jeffrey Lowe in the Trucking Accident Attorney Blog reminds you look for violations of federal motor carrier regulations.

And we have a couple of judgments that appear to belong in the “hard to collect” file. First, a judge ordered Libya to pay $6 billion for bombings.

And next, a former law firm associate was awarded $6 million in her suit against her ex-husband that tried to kill her. Perhaps all the plaintiffs should read the Asset Search Blog.

And finally, an Illinois patient sues her eye doctor for licking her toes. (Via Consumerist.)

And in the miscellaneous matters file…

Ron Miller at the Maryland Injury Law Blog has an interesting post on jurors and the internet.

Anne Reed at Deliberations has a brilliant post on capitalizing in trial on the natural tendency to pull for the underdog.

Personally, I’m a little uncomfortable with the thought of the Nintendo Wii as training for surgery. But I would be open to a good trial lawyer game so I might be able to beat my kids in some Wii related activity.

BlawgReview # 142 is up at Susan Cartier Liebel’s Build a Solo Practice. Next up is Public Defender Stuff.

Thanks again for reading.

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

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