No discussion of personal injury law can take place without talking juries. And so, an interesting paper on medical malpractice juries by Philip Peters, Jr. at the Social Science Research Network, Doctors and Juries, is worth reading. One of its conclusions: “From the perspective of defendants at least, jury performance is remarkably good” (free download, and hat tip to Anne Reed‘s well-written Deliberations);
And since we discuss doctors and hospitals here, I want to point out something startling: A hospital CEO engaging in transparency. Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who started Running a Hospital last year, blogged Central Line Infections, both better and worse for his own hospital. This post goes hand-in-hand with the trend of states to immunize doctors for saying they are sorry to patients. If this pattern keeps up, patients might actually feel better informed, and more tolerant when errors occur, causing a decrease in medical malpractice cases.
Tony Sebok at FindLaw has the second half of his series on reopening the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund for the thousands of relief workers who were injured in the aftermath;
Brian Wolfman at Public Citizen’s Consumer Law and Policy blog discusses a danger I had not previously heard of: 15-20 million lightweight stoves installed in kitchens around the country that have an awful tendency to tip over when weight was applied to the oven door.
William Childs at his TortsProf Blog notes a new abstract at the Social Sciences Research Network called “Judicial Tort Reform in Texas.” From the abstract, it appears the tort “reform” is judicially created rather than legislatively. I wonder if former Gov. George Bush will decry the judicial activism?
Moving on to the military, Jonathon Turley at the USA Today Blog writes about the immunity the military enjoys for negligent conduct, and how there is little deterrence for military negligence beyond self-regulation, bad publicity or a political scandal. And perhaps that military immunity is why the gov’t ignores dangers? Justinian Lane of TortDeform points out a story where the military is refusing to do a risk assessment of toxic fumes near 100 military family homes. Are the two connected?
Walter Olson at Point of Law discusses Ohio’s decision to follow Rhode Island in pursuing lead paint manufacturers. (Also Byron Stier at MassTortsProf; Jonathan Adler at Volokh) My question: If the states hire private counsel on a contingency bases for such a risky endeavor (Jane Genova at Law and More), and they prevail, will the states then try to renege on the fee agreement as was done in the smoking cases?
Also at Point of Law, Ted Frank discusses experts who cut their fees after a trial is lost, in the context of an improper contingency fee arrangement;
And yet more from Point of Law, Frank discusses the categories of class action Vioxx cases;
The big Vioxx news, however, will come next week when a Texas judge is expected to dismiss 1,000 Vioxx cases from state court. This means (among many other things) that Evan Schaeffer at his Legal Underground site will have to quickly update the schedule of upcoming Vioxx trial he posted just before this news broke late yesterday.
And from the world of tabloid stories, the Duke lacrosse case was dismissed. Carolyn Elefant at the Law.com Blog speculates on possible suits the Duke players might bring.
And finally, Bill Gratsch‘s Blawg’s Blawg lets loose with some interesting statistics about the size and growth of legal blogs.
Enjoy the weekend.
(Submissions for next week’s edition may be made to blog[at]TurkewitzLaw.com)