Skip to content

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #51

I’m not a math genius, but I am smart enough to figure out that next week will be Personal Injury Law Round-Up #52, which probably means the one year anniversary of the Personal Injury Law Round-Up. I wanted to thank and congratulate Eric Turkewitz for starting the round-up. In his honor, I’ll learn how to insert one of his cute round-up graphics so week 52 gets the appropriate flair it deserves.

And now, on to tort reform issues…

The Riegel case continues to be a big story in the blogosphere. Tony Sebok looks at what Riegel signals for future preemption cases. (Via TortsProf). Professor Richard Nagareda of Vanderbilt has his thoughts on the decision. (Via Mass Torts). Law and More looks at what Riegel leaves unanswered. And the SCOTUS Blog has their reviews. And, of course, the Drug and Device Law Blog has their continued coverage.

I’m not sure this is litigation news or tort reform news, but the other big story of the week was the Exxon Valdez punitive damage case at the US Supreme Court. SCOTUSBlog has a complete run down of the argument and issues. The WSJ Law Blog also chimes in (and their post quotes Michael Sturley, a professor at my own University of Texas school of law —- Hook ‘em). And Blawgletter has the different perspective of how punitive damages are relevant to contingent fee lawyers. For a complete round-up of articles and posts, check out How Appealing.

Here in Texas, several plaintiffs, including former Dallas Cowboy Ron Springs, have filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Texas’s medical malpractice caps. And I wanted to provide this second link to the story from Pravda online, because really, how many times are we going to have the chance to link to Pravda. (I’m sure the “tort reform” supporters will have some witty comment about this story appearing in Pravda, but I’ll leave that to them.)

Speaking of caps, the Oregon Supreme Court has upheld its cap on wrongful death damages.

And staying in Texas, Austin appellate attorney Todd Smith highlights a story about the Texas Supreme Court entitled “Justice Delayed.”

Overlawyered has another story of plaintiff’s lawyers gone bad.

And to be fair, has the story of defense lawyers gone bad as a Mass US Dist Court judge fined Medtronic $10 million for behavior of its trial lawyers during litigation. The Court noted that “The defendants prolonged the proceedings unnecessarily (thus unduly imposing upon the jury’s time), they sought to mislead both the jury and the Court, and they flouted the governing claim construction as set forth by the Federal Circuit.” Just another story to go in the frivolous defenses file.

And finally, for all those advocating that we should follow the English system, note that an English court has allowed an addicted gambler to sue his bookmaker for personal injuries.

And on to litigation news…

Bill Childs reports on an Alaskan village that is suing various energy companies for global warming. The village has had to relocate due to flooding.

A Kuwaiti contractor is fighting the $4.9 million judgment entered against it on jurisdictional grounds. These line of cases have the potential to really change the law on jurisdiction.

A lawsuit by West Virginia smokers will proceed against tobacco companies.

A California jury rejected a $21 million suit filed by a US District Judge following an escalator accident. This story is really only noteworthy because you don’t get many suits with US District Judges as plaintiffs.

Staying in California, the California Injury Blog reports on a patient who burned to death in a nursing home.

Just a few miles down the road from us, San Antonio, Texas personal injury lawyer Beth Janicek reports on a study that finds staffing effects survival rates.

Eric Turkewitz asks whether the lady who passed away during flight would have a claim.

In Philadelphia, a jury awarded a woman $12 million in a failure to diagnose breast cancer case.  The story doesn’t have the breakdown of what the damages were for, but I’m guessing the result would have been very different in Texas.

And on to the miscellaneous news…

Another lawsuit over BAR/BRI prices.

Blawg Review #148 is at Blawg IT.

And that’s it. Thanks again for reading this week.

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

20 Years OF TRUST

For 20 years, our personal injury clients have trusted us to help get them the benefits they deserve.

Books Schuelke was a huge asset. I wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Schuelke without a moments hesitation

- Sara Hickman