Archive for the ‘Personal Injury Law Round-Up’ Category

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #38

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #38 is up at Perlmutter & Schuelke. So while the ABA chooses to ignore the field of personal injury law, Brooks Schuelke shows that it’s blawgosphere is as vibrant as any other, with an ever-expanding array of law, policy and links.

Personal Injury Law Round-Up is Back!

As readers know, I stopped doing the personal injury law round-ups because it was too much to sustain for one person on a weekly basis if I also wanted to write about other stuff (and have a law practice).

So thanks to Brooks Schuelke, who has picked up the ball to run with it. In this abbreviated week, he did a great job right out of the box and also introduced me to blogs I’ve never seen.

So head over to Personal Injury Law Round-Up #37. And please, if you have your own blog, let your own readers know with a link. Those links are a small thank you for the time that was put in creating the round-up.

If others would like to take a turn spinning around the PI blogosphere one week, or be part of a weekly rotation, please let me know. You can email me at Blog [at]

Personal Injury Law Round-Up – Final Edition

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog presents the final edition of the Personal Injury Law Round-Up, as a couple of changes are being made as I hit my first year anniversary…

We’ll start with the issue of tort “reform”:

In a resounding victory for patients, an Illinois court found that a tort “reform” damages cap is an unconstitutional violation of due process and equal protection by artificially limiting what medical malpractice victims can receive for their pain and suffering. Mark McKenna has more with a link to the decision; And Justinian Lane at TortDeform explains that the failure of this “reform” made no difference for an insurer’s decision to stay in the state;

[Edit – 11/19/07: In an email to me, Robert Peck of the Center for Constitutional Litigation, who argued the case, alerted me that the decision was ruled unconstitutional based solely on separation of powers issues. It was therefore unnecessary to reach the other issues.]

John Day gives some statistics from Tennessee on medical malpractice suits, settlements and more, in the context of why further tort “reform” is not necessary;

Ron Miller discusses how non-economic damage caps may be considered discriminatory toward women;

Justinian Lane at TortDeform follows the Texas story of tort “reform,” to find out who benefited, and who didn’t;

At TortsProf, guest blogger Chris Robinette discusses the efforts in Arizona to kill off as many emergency room negligence cases as they can by raising the standard of proof to “clear and convincing evidence;”

Kanye West’s mother died during cosmetic surgery in California, and Hans Poppe wants to know if he would be able to find a medical malpractice lawyer to investigate if he wanted to because, you guessed it, tort “reform” that caps damages;

Also at TortsProf, Robinette finds a notebook from a student of William Prosser (Prosser on Torts) has surfaced, with some of the legendary professor’s thoughts.

And into litigation:

Not in suit yet, but…Nine children were hospitalized after eating Aqua Dots that used a toxic glue, according to The Consumerist. The product came from China, naturally.

John Day and on the discoverability of insurance policy limits (which is standard disclosure in New York);

Bill Childs on a suit against the KKK for the beating of a man, with the announced purpose of putting the Klan out of business;

Bill Marler discusses the lame excuses Cargill is giving for distributing contaminated beef;

From the land of settlements: Drug and Device Law has more on the Vioxx settlement and expands upon a subject I mentioned in my marathon Blawg Review #134 (discussed just after the 21 mile point), that being the impact of those that choose not to settle, which are likely to be the more substantial cases. And as Ed Silverman points out at Pharmalot, the settlement is only for U.S. claimants. Ted Frank has a good round up of analysis on the potential problems spots at Point of Law; And Howard Erichson reports on a plaintiffs-only conference to discuss the settlement;

From the miscellaneous category: New York State practitioners should take note of a reversal in Raffellini v. State Farm regarding the issue of whether a “serious injury” threshold applies to supplemental insurance. No Fault Paradise has the scoop;

And finally:

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Links to this post:

turkewitz rounds up tort “reform”
eric turkewitz’s weekly round-up on ny personal injury law blog includes the latest on tort “reform” on the web. check it out. browse the links to the other blog posts–they’re worth it–as i’m certain you’ve already read and thoroughly
posted by Kia Franklin @ November 16, 2007 12:03 PM

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #35

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog brings you the week that was:

We start with pre-litigation issues:

I’ve covered Texas with some frequency recently (see: Texas Tort “Reform” and the New York Times, Round-Up #31, Round-Up #33). And so, following up, a Houston Chronicle article discusses a lot of doctors angry at the state’s medical board for its aggressive investigations, which started when Texas also granted some immunity for negligent conduct with its tort “reform” (via Kevin, M.D.). The number of disciplinary actions brought against physicians has nearly tripled since 2001.

And since we’re starting with the Lone Star State, you might as well check out Texas medical-blogger GruntDoc writing on one of his favorite topics, “defensive” medicine that is actually good care. The cardiac death of a 33 year old man waiting for hours in the ER without tests tends to put things in sharp focus. Don’t miss the comments;

The Boston Globe ran a piece last Friday on the efforts to curb medical malpractice in Massachusetts;

The New York Times Blog ran a piece on the emotional toll of medical malpractice victims, raising once again the issue of doctors saying they are sorry (via Ben Glass);

As the story of beef tainted with eColi continues to grow, Bill Marler tells us that not only are the Canadians having problems with the same beef, but the left hand of the Canadian government doesn’t know what the right hand is doing (are we exporting bureaucrats in addition to beef?);

From bad beef to bad products, the Consumerist says over 14 million products have been recalled due to lead contamination so far this year;

Two stories from the I’m Sorry Department: Jacob Goldstein at the WSJ Health blog asks, Does Medical Liability Mean Never Saying You’re Sorry? While The Medical Quack reports on the flip side: An actual apology from a hospital for its medical malpractice;

The myth of arbitrary medical malpractice verdicts continues at White Coat Notes (via Kevin, M.D.) despite research that shows juries actually favor doctors and that plaintiffs rarely win a weak case. Nevertheless, even in the face of empirical evidence, we should expect immunity-seekers to continue propagating the myth of frivolous litigation;

Medtronic heart defibrillator leads were in the news last week after a recall (Personal Injury Round-Up #34), and this week again on the front page of the WSJ. Cardiologist-blogger Dr. Wes discusses the ramifications;

And in my own neck of the woods, disbarred New York personal injury attorney Richard Boter pleads guilty in court to stealing $148K from clients, a result that came out of the New York District Attorney’s probe into the use of runners to recruit clients (see previously: New York Personal Injury Attorney Probe Catches Another Ambulance Chaser);

And in to litigation we go:

The family of a 12 year-old New Yorker has filed a $25M Notice of Claim (notice of an intention to sue) against the City of New York for releasing the MRSA (a drug-resistant staph infection) infected boy from the emergency room of a city hospital, who later died. The amount, by the way, is well in excess of anything the judiciary would allow even if awarded by a jury. And 10,000 hand sanitizing pens are about to get distributed to city school kids in a sign of deep worry and possible panic regarding the MRSA infections;

A trial lawyer reflects on being called for jury duty;

An Arizona doctor accused of medical malpractice when three different people died during or after liposuction, has fled, according to Ron Miller;

Returning to Bill Marler, he is less than amused when Nebraska Beef, defending itself for selling eColi contaminated meat, decides to sue a church that served its tainted product;

Jeremy Colby reports on the growing body of law regarding the constitutionality of the Graves Amendment (granting immunity to auto renting and leasing companies from vicarious liability) with a New York lower court ruling that upholds the law;

Newdorf Legal has suggested questions for experts at depositions (rules in your jurisdiction may vary as what is allowed, but a good list to start with);

On Halloween, Proof & Hearsay reports that an entire jury in a lead paint case came in dressed in judicial robes (via Deliberations);

John Day discusses what happens to the verdict when counsel misbehaves in front of the jury;

A disastrous fire that killed 100 people at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island in 2003, set off by fireworks while the band Great White was playing, has resulted in additional settlements, as per TortsProf Bill Childs;

From the Trial Technology Department, Mac users get a quick tutorial on using Keynote to make blow-ups for the jury at The Trial Technologists View (via The Mac Lawyer).

And finally:

Enjoy the weekend.

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Links to this post:

the story of health care reform 2009: ask the nurse—child with
q. my sister and her 4 year old daughter live with me. the child has synovial sarcoma. she has one more round of chemo to go. during the last hospital stay the nurses and doctors never asked her if she was in pain and they forgot to
posted by Tom @ June 30, 2009 11:31 PM

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #34

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog brings you the week that was:

Let’s start with some pre-litigation issues:

The New York Medical Examiner, under the leadership of long time Chief Charles Hirsch, has rejected the September 11 attack as a cause of death for a 34 year-old retired cop that worked long hours on the pile. There is no lawsuit here, just parents that wants their son recognized as victim of the attack;

Dainius A. Drukteinis (M.D. and J.D.) discussed the legal issues presented when a consultant refuses the request of the ER doc, at NY Emergency Medicine;

Tort “reform” took center state at a Republican presidential debate. Overlawyered’s Walter Olson explains how Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson squared off against each other;

And since we’re on the subject, tort “reformers” like to blame lawyers for “defensive medicine” that increases health care costs, and sometimes the media picks up their talking points. But as Grunt Doc explains after Kevin, M.D. appears on a CBS Evening News report, there is often a reason for that “defensive” procedure;

Ed Van Dorn discusses what happened in New Hampshire after the state instituted a medical malpractice screening system. Did it result in an efficient, time and cost saving method of disposing of claims as tort “reformers” argued would happen? Or did it cause delay, delay, delay (as perhaps, they privately hoped);

Florida dismisses a case against a pharmacy from the family of a teen that OD’d on Oxycontin he got from his college roommate. The drugs had been stolen by a friend of the roommate, and the pharmacy had less than adequate security (via Overlawyered);

Beck/Herrmann discuss a law review article by TortsProf Bill Childs, and broach the subject of litigation driven scholarship. Bill adds some more thoughts at his own place;

Judge Richard Posner tackles Should Hosts Be Liable for Serving Liquor to Guests Who Cause Accidents While Driving under the Influence? The response comes from his co-blogger, Prof. Gary Becker;

Cardiologist Dr. Wes has some thoughts on a recall by heart defibrillator maker Medtronics, due to concerns the lead may tear inside the body: As the advertising by attorneys heats up:

The Newark Star-Ledger has a piece on one of my pet issues: Fake medicine, real problem (via Pharmalot). Why is it a pet issue? Y0u can read the counterfeit drug resource page at my firm’s website or click on counterfeit drugs in the sidebar here;

From today’s New York Daily News:

A bogus Brooklyn dentist dumped a 71-year-old woman onto the curb like garbage after she began foaming at the mouth and lost consciousness in his chair, police said Thursday.

Zagat’s is now rating doctors. Can attorneys be far behind?

And in to litigation we go:

From the Celebrity Lawsuit Department: Tennessee Titans Pacman Jones has been sued for a shooting outside Vegas strip club, according to John Day; Is a Kid Rock lawsuit far behind?

Tainted food guru Bill Marler is no doubt exceptionally busy these days with the outbreaks of eColi. But that doesn’t stop him from blogging, in this case regarding the New York Times article on the problems at Topps;

Medical malpractice suits against cruise lines are getting tossed out with some regularity, according to the Wall Street Journal, based on assertions that the cruise ship doctor is not a crew member, but an independent contractor. And since the doctor is not usually American and the malpractice occurred on the high seas, they must be sued in their own country, and often can’t be found leaving the victim without any recourse (W$J, ABA Journal synopsis);

Award winning blogger Matt Lerner at New York Civil Law examines the liability issues of a common carrier in New York, as New York’s high court rules on the subject;

The Maryland high court tossed out a case by a powerlifter that was injured trying to hoist 530 pounds. At issue, Ronald Miller explains, was the relationship between the concept of assumption of risk for sporting activities, and the allegations that the spotters were negligently trained;

A $30M medical malpractice case was tossed out by a 5-1 majority of the Ohio Supreme Court, due to the conduct of “famously obnoxious” attorney Geoffrey Fieger (via TortsProf);

Ted Frank at Point of Law has a piece on jurors in long trials v. short trials. While his synopsis of a recent study probably won’t come as too much of a surprise, it is worth the look;

Settlements are often tricky in personal injury cases, as it is not easy to place a value on an individual’s pain and suffering. A new service, according to Ron Miller and Evan Schaeffer, tries to assist.

And finally:

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #33

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog brings you the week that was:

We start, as always, with pre-litigation issues:

Adam Liptak in his Monday Sidebar column for the New York Times takes on the very high price of Google ads for attorneys, mostly those who deal with personal injury. Cited in the article are blawgospheric regulars Ted Frank, Walter Olson and Prof. William Childs. Oddly absent from the column is any interview with people who actually run the ads;

Following up on the Texas tort “reform” issue in the October 5th Times (see Texas Tort “Reform” and The New York Times and Personal Injury Law Round-Up #32), there are two letters to the editor worth noting: Kenneth E. Raske, President of the Greater New York Hospital Association printed in the Times and Jay Harvey from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (which the Times apparently declined to run, but is offered via Bob Kraft’s P.I.S.S.D.);

And Stephanie Mencimer at The Tortellini points out that of all those docs heading into Texas, none seem to be going to the poor counties, just the rich ones already stocked with docs, with more on the subject from Perlmutter & Schuelke;

Kia Franklin at TortDeform has a piece on the White Coat of Silence, with medical practitioners at health care giant Kaiser Permanente being punished for reporting negligence concerns over their colleagues;

Anne Reed tackles the subject of ferreting out anti-Semitism in voir dire over at Deliberations, fresh on the heels of comments made by David Duke in drag while on the Donny Deutsch show;

Doctor Anonymous reports that a dentist charged with fondling the breasts of 27 women has his defense ready: It was medically necessary (via Kevin, M.D.).

And on to some actual litigation:

A federal judge has allowed suits against airlines to go forward that charge them with causing deep vein thrombosis when a passenger complained of pain from a cramped seat and was denied the opportunity to move to a less-cramped space (Justin Scheck, The Recorder, via;

New York’s high court has refused to recognize the independent tort of spoliation of evidence, according to Thomas Swartz at New York Legal Update;

In Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court said a podiatrist can not testify against an orthopedist in a bunion surgery case, according to Leon Aussprong (M.D., & J.D.) at his new Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog;

In New York, about 9,000 ground zero workers may be near a billion dollar settlement (Daily News via TortDeform);

That potential settlement comes as the first of the September 11 suits gets set for trial (see: September 11 Judge Says Families Should Settle And Move On) before Judge Alvin Hellerstein, in the Southern District of New York. He made pre-trial rulings on the damages phase for the remaining 16 claims — which will precede the liability phase in hopes of encouraging settlements — according to this New York Times report;

Colin Miller makes his Personal Injury Law Round-Up debut with a post at EvidenceProf regarding the suit against Lindsey Lohan, and the admissibility of a police report (I also note that under New York law the result he suggests would likely be different) (via TortsProf):

Last week a jury returned with a verdict of $134.5M in compensatory damages against Wyeth related to its hormone replacement drugs Prempro and Premarin (Personal Injury Round-Up #32). Then the jury said “Oops!” because it had included punitive damages in its award, and so it reduced the award by $100M. And what did they then do in the punitive phase? To no one’s surprise, they gave the money right back. (Howard Erichson at MassTorts, with more at Pharmalot);

Emergency room physician Shadowfox ruminates on a $5.4M medical malpractice verdict in the state of Washington over at Movin’ Meat, and says his first instinct is sympathy for the doctor, not the family of the decedent (via Overlawyered).

And finally…

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #32

The New York Personal Injury Law blog brings you the week that was:

Before getting to the lawsuits, let’s look at related issues:

From the Department of Medical Mishaps: The Medical Quack lets us know that a man’s dentures were lost during surgery, and found a few days later in his throat;

Last week I wrote about Texas tort “reform” and the New York Times article on the increasing number of doctors in Texas. The Times, I asserted, blew the statistics it used regarding increasing disciplinary actions, asserting a mere 8% rise instead of 79%. This was noted by Prof. Bill Childs at TortsProf, who has now started a study of the disciplined physicians to see how many are new arrivals. Prof. Tony Sebok at FindLaw also picked up the story with Does Texas Really Have More Doctors as a Result of Medical Malpractice Reform? Why a New York Times Article Making that Claim Is Seriously Misleading.

This is not the first we’ve heard about Texas and doctors (nor likely the last), as Prof. Charles Silver wrote in November 2006 at TortDeform: What’s Up Doc? Not The Number of Physicians Practicing in Texas, with more discussion in the comments with Ted Frank. As the new doctors get credentialed and set up their practices, we will see, perhaps, if doctors facing troubles in one state pack their bags and flea to Texas, as I think they will due to the various immunities and protections afforded to them for negligence;

A battle over three jailed lawyers in Kentucky related to misappropriating tens of millions in legal fees heated up even more with the discovery that an assistant to one of the lawyers was an FBI mole that tape recorded conversations (ABAJournal). Was the wiretapping ethical will be the next issue, according to the Kentucky Law Review;

Personal injury attorney John Arthur Eaves, Jr is running for Governor of Mississippi, but as MassTorts prof Howard Erichson explains, it isn’t on the usual Democratic platform;

As many as 40 doctors, nurses and other hospital employees are under investigation or suspension for leaking information regarding the medical care of actor George Clooney after a motorcycle accident (via Kevin, M.D.). Bob Coffield at Health Care Law Blog tackles the HIPAA violation, as does Orac at Respectful Insolence and girlvet at Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse;

Dr. Wes has information on “fake” medical board certifications, something to keep in mind when checking the credentials of any medical witness that claims to be “board certified;”

And now on some actual lawsuits:

John Bisnar at the California Injury Blog has sued the California Supreme Court regarding its issuance of an unpublished opinion that strikes down a jury award. The suit is premised on a violation of due process and equal protection rights. Days later, Daniel Solove posts, Should Courts Issue Unpublished Opinions? at Concurring Opinions, wondering where the compelling argument is for such things;

Kentucky has sued Purdue, according to Bill Childs, for misrepresentation of the addictiveness of Oxycontin, for the expenses related to treatment;

Sean “Diddy” Combs, rapper, promoter and marathon runner, has been sued in New York with an allegation that his guards beat the stuffings out of a fellow promoter at at a Bronx nightclub (via Sui Generis). The suit claims $5 in damages, though making this type of claim violates New York’s prohibition against specific damage claims as per New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules, section 3017(c):

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries or wrongful death, the complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, interpleader complaint, and third-party complaint shall contain a prayer for general relief but shall not state the amount of damages to which the pleader deems himself entitled. (See also New York Cleans Up Claims Act);

A cop has sued the parents of a brain damaged child (via Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft). The child had been pulled from the family pool and the officer was there for resuscitation and slipped on the water. So where is the negligence? Was the family supposed to mop up the water while trying to save the life of their child?

Blackwater has been sued for its activities in Iraq by the Center for Constitutional Rights, also from TalkLeft, for allegedly opening fire on unarmed Iraqis;

A trial against Allstate (PI Round-Up #31) based on improper claims procedures has resulted, according to Kentucky Law Review, in a defense verdict; And blawger Hans Poppe pops up in another interview;

A $143M verdict came in against Wyeth related to increases in breast cancer for those that took hormone replacement therapy Prepro/Premarin (Howard Erichson, Mass Torts); [Update from MassTorts: Jury reduces damages by $100M, as they had included punitive damages in the compensatory award. Punitive damage hearing to follow.]

The Legal Reader notes a Rocky Mountain News story of a Colorado judge that tossed out a $1.2M verdict because, he said, the plaintiff’s attorney engaged in “disrespectful cockalorum, grandstanding, bombast, bullying and hyperbole.” (Other than that, your honor, how was the show?)

Notorious child killer Joel Steinberg succeeds in getting part of the $15M judgment against him thrown out by New York’s high court. (Decision, Launders v. Steinberg). I covered the matter previously in: NY Child Killer Wants $15M Award Tossed — Decision May Have Wider Repercussions. More commentary by Nicole Black at Sui Generis;

And Evan Shaeffer has a list of upcoming Vioxx trials, for those who are keeping score.

And finally:

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #31

The New York Personal Injury Law blog brings you the week that was:

Let’s start with what’s really important. Me. I’m pleased to announce that this blog (and this round-up) has been added to an electronic law library at Western New England College, School of Law via their monthly Cybercites. Thanks to TortsProf Bill Childs (who was also added) for the heads up.

And now off to the races, with a top-heavy helping of tort “reform” pieces from various states:

Ben Glass
gives an example of the harshness of Virginia’s tort “reform” law that caps both economic and non-economic damages, which sacrifices the most badly injured on the alter of insurance company profits; and Wisconsin’s harsh “reform” statute that forces the taxpayers to pick up the tab for repeatedly negligent doctors;

Out of California, J. Craig Williams at May It Please The Court looks at the same tort “reform” issue in California, and the immunity for negligence so many medical practitioners now enjoy;

In Texas, Dr. Forney Fleming, a leading tort “reform” advocate that seeks immunities and protections for defendants and has done the talking head bit on TV for the cause, turns out to have been reprimanded by the Texas Medical Board on one case and accused by the Board of providing substandard care to at least six others. You can get lots of the gory details at TortDeform, The Burnt Orange Report, and Perlmutter & Schuelke, including that he has also been sued at least 14 times and admitted to practicing medicine while drugged up. But hey, you know that it is all really the fault of those darned plaintiffs’ attorneys, right? Stay low so the black helicopters don’t get you;

Texas tort “reform” also landed on the front page of today’s New York Times, with a focus on the huge increase in doctors flooding into the state. But did the Times blow the story on the escalation of disciplinary actions also occurring? I hit that subject earlier today with links to many other bloggers on the subject;

And at Overlawyered, tort “reformer” Walter Olson addresses Fred Thompson’s opposition to congressional limits on liability on federalist grounds. Those on my side of the bar may be surprised at Olson’s opinion;

Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper this week presented Insurance companies fight law on punitive payouts on CNN, as the industry fights back against a law that punishes them for bad faith. No Fault Paradise ruminates on just how such a law would work;

Moving on to the problems of those injured in accidents, a new report referenced by Stark & Stark, finds that those who have suffered a brain or spinal injury are 33% more likely to file for bankruptcy;

From the Department of Dangerous Crocs: Are the popular shoes dangerous on escalators? A rash of accidents and injuries, reports the Southern California Injury Blog, have been appearing around the nation and could give rise to product liability suits;

We’ll need good shoes to climb the ivory tower to visit TortsProf Sheila Scheuerman, who has a useful list of the 10 top downloads in tort and liability law from the Social Science Research Network;

And from the Department of Blown Apologies: Thomas and Friends customers were sent an apology for lead paint in their toys. And a gift!!! Which was painted with…ahem…lead paint. Story at The Consumerist.

And off into litigation we go…

Arkansas prepares a $600M lawsuit against pharmaceutical makers for marketing off-label uses of their goods (Lawsuits and Judgments);

Greedy Trial Lawyer has info Allstate being the “Good Hands People,” at least for those that accept their low ball offers, and the trial starting this week against Allstate for fraud. The Poppe Law Firm Blog also has coverage. I previously asked about “Allsnake here.

Tony Seebok at FindLaw continues with the second of his two-part series on Vioxx and whether class action certification is appropriate (part one is in Round-Up #29 with other Vioxx posts): When Is A Class Action Superior to Multiple Individual Lawsuits?;

When 21 million pounds of ecoli tainted hamburger beef gets recalled, it is time to check in with food poisoning guru Bill Marler for the scoop, and yes, the lawsuits against Topps have already started. And late-breaking news, the company is going out of business, proving once again the ruthless efficiency of capitalism: If you screw up, your company goes down;

A furious federal judge has levied up to $5M in sanctions against defense counsel and their clients in a medical insurance class action (via ABAJournal);

In Kentucky, a case against McDonalds regarding a strip search has gone to the jury, with Kentucky Law Review providing many links. Hans Poppe was interviewed by local television for the story, and gives his opinion. (Addendum: Late-breaking, according to an email from Hans, there is a $6.1M verdict against McDonalds with $1.1M in compensatory damages and $5M in punitive damages);

In Miami, a retained surgical sponge has resulted in a $2.4M medical malpractice verdict;

Isiah Thomas, James Dolan, and the owners of the New York Knicks, have been hit with an $11.6 million punitive damage award for sexual harassment in a New York courtroom. Ted Frank at Overlawyered complains the award is too high, but of course the award must still pass judicial review at the trial court level and an appeal. The case is far from over;

Isiah Thomas and Clarence Thomas. Both about race and both about sexual harassment and both at the same time. What were the odds? Bridget Crawford at Feminist Law Professors ties together the two Thomases and sexual harassment, as does Megan Izen at RaceWire, Lisa Takeuchi Cullen at Time-blog, Kia Franklin at TortDeform and Michael Dorf at Dorf on Law (my own thoughts on the judge are here: Is Clarence Thomas Playing the Race Card Again?)

But litigation sometimes keeps going, even after verdict or settlement. Alexandra Lahav at MassTorts covers the story of New York’s continuation of prisoner strip searches in violation of a prior settlement, that may affect tens of thousands of people.

And finally:

Enjoy the weekend.

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Links to this post:

nastygram: don’t you dare post this nastygram on the web
ted has briefly mentioned (oct. 8) the recent doings of an outfit called dozier internet law, whose cease and desist letter to a consumer-complaint site not only demanded that the site take down certain statements about dozier’s client,

posted by @ October 12, 2007 1:06 AM

more directbuy complaints (before they hired dozier internet law)
for those joining late: directbuy is a “home improvement” company with a mixed track record. there’s a number of mixed reviews of their services, available from both blogs and mainstream media outlets. more recently, after a blogger at

posted by (Dan tdaxp) @ October 10, 2007 11:19 AM

what is dozier internet law’s donald e. morris’s motive?
i am not a lawyer. but i am interested in law, and two posts at new york personal injury attorney deserve mention. both relate to dozier internet law, the lawyers for directbuy that sent a copyrighted cease-and-desist letter to a blog

posted by (Dan tdaxp) @ October 10, 2007 7:29 AM

lawfake backlash: directbuy + dozier internet law
as i wrote on dreaming 5gw, these are some of the many blogs: community of information and technology experts,; esoteric appeal,; i hate linux,; legal fixation,; new york personal injury law blog,; online liability blog,; overlawyered,

posted by (Dan tdaxp) @ October 09, 2007 7:55 AM

lawfare backlash: directbuy + dozier internet law
posted by dan tdaxp. many blogs, including. community of information and technology experts,; esoteric appeal,; i hate linux,; legal fixation,; new york personal injury law blog,; online liability blog,; overlawyered,; slashdot,

posted by @ October 09, 2007 12:15 AM

lawfare backlash: directbuy + dozier internet law
posted by dan tdaxp. many blogs, including. community of information and technology experts,; esoteric appeal,; i hate linux,; legal fixation,; new york personal injury law blog,; online liability blog,; overlawyered,; slashdot,

posted by @ October 09, 2007 12:15 AM

lawfare backlash: directbuy + dozier internet law
posted by dan tdaxp. many blogs, including. community of information and technology experts,; esoteric appeal,; i hate linux,; legal fixation,; new york personal injury law blog,; online liability blog,; overlawyered,; slashdot,

posted by @ October 09, 2007 12:15 AM

here come the crocs suits
the comfortable footwear can apparently lead to “shoe entrapment” accidents at the tops and bottoms of escalators, attracting lawyers’ interest. (southern california injury law blog, oct. 1)(via turkewitz). more: earlier escalator suits
posted by @ October 09, 2007 1:11 AM

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #30

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog presents the week that was:

A mixed bag of stuff this week, all of it interesting…

A big front page article in the New York Times on Sunday is one I wanted to blog, but didn’t get the time for: At Many Homes, More Profit and Less Nursing. It seems that Wall Street has been scooping up nursing homes, cutting medical care to the bone, and reaping the profits. And the patients? A predictable result of injury, death and lawsuits. But hey, they got those profits! Some commentary here: Lara Pettiss Harrill, Angry Bear, NewsInferno, The Consumerist, Financial Armegeddon;

The New York Post has a column on New York’s medical malpractice insurance problems (via Kevin, M.D.), but it’s too bad the Post didn’t first find out what the real cause of the problem is, as I posted in Why New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Jumped 14%;

A million baby cribs have been recalled after three deaths, and Perlmutter and Schuelke want to know whether the recall came about due to the deaths, or due to the impending publicity:

The London Sunday Times peeks behind the scenes at a drug counterfeiting operation in, where else, China, as per Adam Fein at Drug Channels;

Do doctors now need to take a personality test to obtain medical malpractice insurance (The Medical Quack)?

Ben Glass relates from northern Virginia, that a politician has figured out a way to blame trial lawyers for the massacre at Virginia Tech. I kid you not, check out the post;

Ron Miller reports on the Maryland medical malpractice “crisis” that wasn’t, and asks if it now time to roll back the “reforms” now that the cooked books have been opened up;

As those that follow drug cases know, the FDA tried in 2006, without congressional approval, to simply claim that their federal regulations regarding drug approval trump state law. This would result, if upheld, in stopping state action in “failure to warn” lawsuits. This federal power grab, by an administration that tries to call itself “conservative,” has been hotly disputed, especially since Congress declined to go along. Beck/Herrmann has a scorecard of drug preemption rulings to date on the subject. They also have a medical device preemption scorecard. And for those whose eyes glaze over at the concept of federal preemption for drugs or devices, they also provide a primer on the subject that will get you up to speed.

But…are the primer and drug scorecard outdated already? Ron Miller reports on legislation signed this week that makes clear that regardless of FDA approval, the duty to warn remains with the pharmaceutical companies to adequately provide a meaningful warning about the risks associated with the use of their product. A copy of the bill and the comments of legislators on the subject can be found at People Over Profits;

Are you having trouble with a hip or knee implant? The New Jersey Law Journal reports today on a $311M settlement of kickback charges against four manufacturers as they wooed doctors to use their products;

Consumer Law and Policy blog has a piece on anti-plaintiff bias in the Texas Supreme Court:

TortsProf reminds us of a classic res ipsa case…a toe found in chewing tobacco. I’ll be using that cite in the coming weeks in an appeal I am now working on;

Kevin M.D. points to a Newsweek article about spotting medical mistakes and saving lives;

Are laws suits all “about the money” as some like to claim? Apparently not, as this hospital apologized to the parents of a patient that died via a video, and posted it on the web. This facilitated the settlement (via Overlawyered);

A follow-up to the Charlie Weiss medical malpractice story: Kevin M.D. had linked to an article in the Massachusetts Medical Report on what’s its like from a doctor’s perspective to have a malpractice trial. But in the same issue I also found a front page story on the post-game analysis of the defense verdict in the Weis med-mal trial, so the link is good for two stories;

We’re used to seeing punitive damage awards decreased, but here a judge has increased them with respect to a telephone lineman being left a paraplegic after an accident (TortsProf Bill Childs);

If you took the case on contingency, you only get paid at the end. But paid how? From WSJ commentary, a problem of attorneys double-dipping on the legal fee, getting paid once from the client and a second time from the adversary (via How Appealing.

And finally for the weekend:

Enjoy the weekend, and pray for the Mets.

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York.)

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #29

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog brings you the week that was:

The pre-litigation section this week is topped by lawyers, and not their clients, this week…

Miami attorney Louis Robles was headed to his own criminal trial, and MassTorts Prof Howard Erichson explained why no one wanted to try the case. Which is one reason it was then resolved with a plea that includes a 15-year sentence (ABA Journal). Along the same lines, Howard Bashman rounds up posts on the guilty plea of class action king William Lerach; And today co-class-action King Melvyn Weiss was indicted , though Scott Greenfield is wondering where the big crime is;

Less prominent lawyers are also in the bad side of the news: Three New Jersey attorneys have plead guilty to orchestrating false insurance claims (New Jersey Law Journal). As always, the rotten apples in any particular group always make the rest of the group look bad. (On a side note, I wonder if a lawyer wearing scuba gear while filing a complaint might also belong here);

Point of Law points to a series in the San Francisco Examiner on the profession; which Robert Ambrogi at Law.Com Blog calls “blatantly one-sided;”

Ronald Miller discusses the way that insurance companies sometimes race to the door of a negligence victim to get a quick settlement, often offering pennies on the dollar. Does Miller think that’s a good idea? Guess first, then read. He also wonders if medical malpractice verdicts are fair to doctors;

No round-up would be complete without something on tort “reform” and this one is no different with Ken Shigley reprinting a critique from his friend Jay Cook of Athens, GA;

It’s not a lawsuit yet, but you can bet it will be shortly: The tasering of audience member Andrew Meyer during a speech by John Kerry has lit up the Internet. Why a taser was needed when the guy was already on the ground being held by six cops will no doubt be the subject of endless discussion, which promptly started (Simple Justice, Above the Law, Althouse, Concurring Opinions). Other issues, such as whether he had committed such a grave transgression as to deserve his initial removal and of Senator Kerry’s response are also likely to fill a few blog posts going forward. And it will certainly fill the airwaves, at least until the next celebrity arrest or missing blond-haired white girl;

Counterfeit drugs is an issue I cover from time to time. So add to this round-up the busting of a massive counterfeit drug operation in the U.K. (FightTheFakes) as well as more on drug diversion here in the United States, brought to you by The Whistleblower Law Blog and Pharmafraud;

In the Safety Department, Bob Kraft discusses a new radar being used in Texas: It catches tailgaters, not speeders. Hey, bring one to my neck of the woods!

Now on to the actual litigation…

Voir dire in New York is pretty straightforward, and often very fast paced (questioning 30 jurors in 60 minutes will do that). There is little time for shtick. Not so elsewhere as Walter Olson discusses at Overlawyered in the BP explosion case where attorney antics clearly soared over the line of legitimacy;

TortsProf Bill Childs has a particularly interesting wrongful death case against U-Haul (though “interesting” is most likely not the word the bereaved family would use);

In White Plains, New York, a man who served 16 years in prison for a killing he did not commit has brought suit in federal court against the police and medical examiner for fabricating evidence;

From the Department Of The Weird, you would think that a Nebraska State Senator suing the Lord Almighty would take top honors, or perhaps that He (or She) sent a messenger to answer the suit. But you would be wrong. On the Pharm reports that a man woke up during his own autopsy. Oops.

Just because a lawsuit starts doesn’t mean you will get to the jury: The family of Rachel Corrie — the Washington state activist that was killed by a bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 while the Israel Defense Forces were conducting activities — had their suit against Caterpillar dismissed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mary Whisner at the Washington School of Law explains the basis of the dismissal;

In the Department of Merck: City and State of New York have sued Vioxx maker Merck alleging fraud. Merck is also in the news because a trial is starting in Florida regarding Vioxx (LaBovick Injury Law Blog) and, as Tony Sebok reports from his FindLaw column, the New Jersey Supreme Court decertified a Vioxx class action (part 1 of 2);

I’ve been following the September 11 suits coming up for trial in New York, and a bunch more just settled. There are 21 cases to go set for trial in the coming weeks;

In the Department of Appeals, a Florida doctor admits he gave false testimony at a trial (via Kevin, M.D.).

And finally, for the weekend:

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

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