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Personal Injury Law Round-Up #64

lasso imageThis week, Chris Robinette and Bill Childs over at Torts Prof both posted their list of blogs that they regularly read. I’m happy to be in both of their lists. And it looks like Chris has a bit of catching up to do. By my count, he’s over twenty-five blogs behind Bill (and now I wonder how he has time to teach).

We’ll start off with the tort “reform” news…

Starting with Texas, Dallas attorney Barry Barnett has an interesting opinion that the Texas Supreme Court is conducting its own tort reform by eroding the rights of juries.

After being rejected by his constituents, Joe Nixon continues to spread his gospel on tort “reform”. I’m sure most of you have seen his report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation Center for Economic Freedom but probably not everyone has seen the outstanding article from the Tyler, Texas Morning Telegraph. (The Texas Public Policy Foundation is an Austin conservative “think tank” founded and funded by James Leininger – a Texas businessman who has spent millions of his own money trying to press for school vouchers. Interestingly, it also has employed defeated Texas representative Talmadge Heflin, another tort reformer voted out of office.)

Perhaps Texas can set the example for Oregon. Oregon is seeking reform to better protect government entities. Although a state statute already caps malpractice cases at $200,000 when the state is involved, a recent supreme court ruling in the state has increased governmental liability by allowing employees of state hospitals to be sued.

While Oregon may be concerned about the government, California has its eye on the plastic surgery business. The state is looking to nip/tuck its laws regulating doctors performing cosmetic surgery after the high profile death of the mother of hip-hop star Kanye West. West’s mother died immediately after surgery while getting liposuction and a breast augmentation. Following her death, it was discovered that her surgeon was not board certified. California lawmakers hope to follow in Florida’s footsteps in making patients more aware of their physician’s credentials in order to prevent surgery related injuries and deaths.

Now, on to the litigation news…

It was a good week for Merck, as a Houston court of appeals overturned Lanier’s Ernst Vioxx verdict and a New Jersey Court struck down a Vioxx verdict there. The WSJ blog, among others discusses it.

Relating to the above mentioned plastic surgery field, a Pennsylvania doctor gets hit with a $20.5 million award against him in a case brought as a result of his teen patient’s death during liposuction. Lowell Steiger has his thoughts.

In New York, a mother was awarded $17 million after a c-section gone bad. The hospital cut the connection between her pancreas and bladder during a caesarean delivery. As a result, pancreatic acid and urine filled her cavity and burned through some of her organs. Something tells me the labor contractions were cake compared to that. has hired a new head honcho to handle its litigation. Settlements for its Celebrex and Bextra cases may be in the future.

Now that summer has arrived and we’re all having backyard barbeques and swim parties, you’ve been warned.

A Los Angeles jury awarded a Georgia man $9.7 million in an asbestos suit after he developed mesothelioma as a result of serving as a Navy machinist in Long Beach.

And on to the miscellaneous stories…

John Day has parts 19 and 20 in his How to Be A Great Trial Lawyer series.

And mediation as a reality TV show?

Thanks again for reading, and have a great weekend.

Brooks Schuelke

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