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Personal Injury Law Round-Up #55

round upAround here the temps are hitting the 80s, and more and more people are out and about in shorts and bathing suits. So it seems appropriate to note the post from the DC Med Mal Blog about a new study that shows skin cancer risks vary according to geography, and the Southern US, not surprisingly, has a higher rate for most kinds of skin cancers.

And there was more bad news for those of us in Austin (quite possibly the allergy capital of the world) when Singulair was linked to reports of suicide.

Not on to the tort reform stories….

The tort reform story of the week was Adam Liptak’s NYT article, Foreign Courts Wary of US Punitive Damages. Mass Torts, Turkewitz, California Punitive Damages Blog, and PrawfsBlawg.

A second big story of the week was the PRI study that shows that tort reform doesn’t work (at least according to those of us on the plaintiff’s side of the docket).

Speaking of tort reform not working, five years after enacting caps, Ohio has fewer doctors delivering babies.

One hot topic of the week is the idea of personal injury lawyers using websites that appear to be medical websites. The topic was addressed by Miller & Zois and Overlawyered (which is undergoing a design change that apparently still has a few kinks to be worked out).

MedPage Today also had thoughts on tort reform from the Clinton campaign (via TortsProf) (And it’s a timely article for those of us in Texas. Our wacky delegate process continues this weekend with each Texas senate district have conventions to elect our delegates to the state convention in June where it will finally be decided whether Clinton or Obama end up with more net delegates from our state. The likely result is that taking into account the popular vote, which was widely reported on, and the caucuses, Obama will net 1 or 2 delegates from the great state of Texas.)

Speaking of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court has sent its spokesman to defend its long wait times that received much publicity last week.

And in the “tort reform by preemption” category, an Alaska judge offered the opinion that the FDA wasn’t “capable of policing” drug safety. This is the same concern issued by Federal Judge Jack Weinstein in 2007 and us on other occasions. On the other hand, one columnist at the WSJ asks whether the FDA is tougher than its European counterparts. And on a related note, the FDA is considering allowing companies to advertise for off-label uses.

And speaking of drugs, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who wrote a paper and linked the MMR vaccine to autism, is on trial in England. I learned in the local newspaper this morning that Dr. Wakefield now resides in Austin.

In Virginia, Ben Glass asks whether nursing homes should be required to carry insurance.

And finally, the National Law Journal looks at the trend of doctors requiring arbitration agreements.

And we move around the country for the actual litigation related news…

In Minnesota, a case is proceeding that involves the common fact pattern of a child injured by a swimming pool drain. Sadly, the young girl died from the complications. But the Minneapolis Star Tribune used the occasion to run an interesting story that looks at how the death of the plaintiff affected the value of the case.

In Michigan, a jury awarded a patient’s family $9 million in a failure to diagnose case against Michigan State University docs. (This is particularly noteworthy since Tom Izzo’s Spartans are playing in the South region this weekend in Houston).

In Nevada, it appears that the Vegas endoscopy center cases will be tried as a class action.

In New York, an appellate court ruled that the 9/11 cases brought by World Trade Center clean up workers can go forward.

Also in New York, it appears we have the first lawsuit from the crane collapse.

In Alaska, Eli Lilly paid $15 million to settle the state’s Zyprexa lawsuit.

Internationally, a NY federal judge has set aside a $200 million judgment against the Palestinian authority arising from a terrorist attack in Israel.

And in perhaps the least surprising study ever, the elderly face higher risk of injury on escalators.

That’s it for this week. Thanks again for reading, 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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