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Personal Injury Law Round Up # 63

The quality of the Personal Injury Law Round-Up should increase round up - 3dramatically because I have a capable law clerk that has arrived on the scene to help me out.

On to tort reform and lawyer-type issues….

Not a tort reform issue per se, but one big issue this week was whether lawyers should have to disclose whether they carry legal malpractice insurance. A task force of the Texas Supreme Court has rejected a proposal that would make it mandatory for lawyers to disclose whether they have malpractice insurance to clients. On the West Coast, California is moving the other way toward a disclosure requirement. I think Texas is going in the wrong direction, and you can read more of my thoughts here. One of the other big tort reform issues also comes out of Texas, and that’s a debate about whether med mal reform is working. Joe Nixon, the state representative most responsible for passing med mal caps, had an editorial extolling the virtues of tort reform in last Saturday’s WSJ entitled “Why Doctors Are Heading to Texas.” At the same time, the Dallas/Fort Worth Fox affiliate ran its own story finding caps didn’t work. My thoughts are in a post from earlier this week. You can find other thoughts on this story from the WSJ Health Blog, Legal Medicine, Overlawyered, and TortDeform.

On to litigation news…

In the med mal arena, Sorry Works! had a good week. For those of you not familiar with this movement, the New York Times has shed some light on a new method of dealing with medical malpractice claims. Doctors may be interested in capping their damages by just saying, “I’m sorry.” Some medical centers have changed their approach to patient claims by “promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation,” instead of “deny and defend.” The key is communication rather than concealment. Apparently, the apologies have worked medical miracles as caseloads and legal defense costs have decreased. (I wonder if the hospital gives out hugs, too.) The Injury Board also has some insight on this issue. You can also find more at the ADR Prof Blog, Turkewitz, KevinMD and TortDeform. I’ve also written about it before here. This is of particular interest to Texas readers because I have heard from one state rep that a pseudo “Sorry Works” bill will be filed during the next Texas session.Something tells me that a hug and an apology might not always be sufficient. For instance, a Cincinnati woman was awarded $22.6 million by a jury for her daughter’s brain damage caused by a medical birthing mistake. Staying on the topic of medical liability, military hospitals and physicians may soon be on the hook.

A new bill will allow medical malpractice claims to be brought against the military. You can view the bill here.

Along the lines of malpractice, a Wisconsin man is awarded $3.2 million after losing his left leg. And if you haven’t heard, the family of an injured little league player has filed suit against Louisville Slugger. There are comments all over the blogosphere about this. This may belong in the lawyers behaving badly category, but a Kansas City parachutist has a dispute with her lawyers — they filed her suit and she wants it dismissed, but it’s too late say the lawyers.

Back to Texas, a family filed a lawsuit after their helicopter crashed.

And there’s no lawsuit yet, but probably will be. Prominent advertising personal injury lawyer Brian Loncar was in a wreck with a fire truck late last Friday. He is expected to recover. His Bentley? Not so much.On the pharma front, the FDA is finally stepping up and will start mining more databases for safety problems.

The Maryland Accident Blog had a stunning statistic that should trouble us all: 1 out of every 3 Maryland motorists are text messaging while driving.

The same blog had a link to a story from Today’ saying that the nation’s truckers are seeking permission to use larger trucks on the nation’s highways. Being a border state, Texas, and Austin in particular, should be concerned about this.Speaking of truckers, the GAO released a report this week that described a drug testing system that allows truck drivers to continue driving.

For miscellaneous news…

Since we have all updated from telegram to e-mail, I thought this might be interesting. While on the topic of technology influencing procedure, here are some tips when trying to conduct “e-discovery.” John Day has What It Takes to be a Great Trial Lawyer,” part 17 and part 18. All of you lawyers out there should get a subscription to

“The Jury Expert.” See Anne Reed’s consistently outstanding blog for details. Norm Pattis has a great series of posts on his personal observations of the Fieger trial. Very interesting reading, indeed.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and don’t burn anything during the Memorial Day barbecue.

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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