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Personal Injury Law Round-Up #54

I love this time of year. Spring rolls in, the weather’s great, and most importantly, the NCAA basketball tournament is gearing up. My University of Texas Longhorns are a #2 seed, and I’m very hopeful that they’ll get a chance to play in the Final Four in San Antonio, an hour from Austin. Times like this make me thankful we have a sports bar in the building.

But enough reminiscing. It’s on to the personal injury news. And as always, we’ll start with tort reform……

At TortDeform, they ask where is the discussion of tort reform and civil justice issues during this election? Unfortunately, as I noted in Personal Injury Law Round-Up #47, most voters don’t care about tort reform issues.

Sheila Scheuerman at TortsProf has a look at SorryWorks. Along the same lines, Eric Turkewitz has an interesting post on Why Patients Call Lawyers. Number 1 on the list is that patients feel betrayed because the docs won’t level with them. We’ve also written on this before.

The National Association of Manufacturers looks at the Eliot Spitzer scandal’s affect on tort reform. As a bonus, it contains a cite to Turkewitz’s blog.

And the Health Beat Blog notes a study that tort reform hasn’t effected payments or other measurables in the tort reform debate.

We often bemoan the lack of jury trials, but the “decreasing chance for advocacy” phenomenon extends to Texas appellate courts as well. Texas appellate lawyer Todd Smith (on his new LexBlog blog) calls out the Texas Third Court of Appeals for the new trend of denying requests for oral arguments.

And speaking of appellate courts, the Texas Supreme Court backlog of cases has been in the news this week. The Dallas Morning News Trail Blazers blog covered the story. As did Austin’s KVUE. (Thanks to the good folks at Texas Watch for the tip to the DMN story.)

And finally, in the lawyers behaving badly category, the criminal trial against a personal injury lawyer accused of defrauding a client and falsely inflating legal settlements ended in a mistrial.

Now, on to the personal injury news…

One of the big medical error stories of the week was the Dennis Quaid interview on 60 Minutes. Several blogs commented on it, including us, Dr. Z’s Medical Report, Pharmalot, and the Dallas Injuryboard site.

Also in the medical malpractice arena, a Minn. hospital has admitted removing the wrong kidney of a cancer patient. Sadly, this problem isn’t all that unusual.

Staying with med mal, Ben Glass reports that a Massachusetts teenager was awarded $500,000.00 (plus $309,000.00 interest) for a lost testicle. I don’t want to be too graphic, but that’s not enough. Especially for a teenage boy.

From the NYT, Eli Lilly discussed off-label marketing for Zyprexa.

Speaking of pharma issues, at least some believe a counterfeit substance may be behind the heparin poisonings. Turkewitz also has a post on it.

The NYT also reports on a couple of construction site disasters. First, it reports that an NTSB report on the Minneapolis bridge collapse found that construction workers placed 99 tons of sand over two of the bridge’s weakest points. And then, they also report that the failure of a nylon strap caused the New York crane collapse.

Also on the NYC crane collapse, a New York city inspector has been criminally charged with falsifying records saying he inspected the crane when he had not.

For those handling car wreck cases, a new study confirms that pain last longer than previously expected.

And in the City of Brotherly Love, a jury handed down a $25 million asbestos verdict.

And on to the miscellaneous news….

For all of us that were a year into a case and asking, “what were we thinking?” John Day has a post on case selection.

Anne Reed has another good post that looks at the use of jury questionnaires. Anne’s blog is outstanding. If you try cases and don’t read it regularly, then you are doing you and your clients a disservice.

The Lean and Mean Litigation blog has the Zen of a winning litigator.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the tournament, and have a great 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

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