New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Personal Injury Law Round-Up


June 29th, 2007

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #18

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

Before heading over to the courtroom, we look at risky conduct that leads to lawsuits and check to see that the courthouse doors are open:

Dispute resolution often needs a courthouse, and with corporate interests always looking for ways to get immunity through tort “reform,” TortDeform presents: Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly has exposed tort deform for what it is: Chamber of Commerce anti-lawyer propaganda based on myths instead of hard data;

And over at the Maryland Injury Law Blog, Ronald Miller scratches his head at a doctor who thinks that limiting the rights of patients is “the most important thing on the planet.” Someone give that guy a newspaper;

Courts mean nothing without a judge…and since New York’s judges have now gone 9 years without even a cost-of-living pay raise, so our Chief Judge has threatened a lawsuit. But Jason Boog at Judicial Reports sees a potential alternative: Will New York Judges Go On Strike?

In the risk management department, the RFID Law Blog reports on a new bill to help stop counterfeit drugs breaking into our drug supply chain (via Adam Fein at Drug Channels);

And before we get to our new clients and litigation, Rob Sachs from ShragerLaw shares some insight as to why some Philadelphia hospitals are doing well, why some do poorly, and who the bad ones want to blame;

Also regarding hospitals, Kia Franklin at TortDeform takes on the issue of patient dumping in Los Angeles;

As the new client walks into the office, we are reminded of a post from Kevin, M.D. about chatty doctors who lose the focus of the exam when talking about personal events, and we wonder if we make the same error while making small talk with the new client;

And into the courthouse we go…

A federal judge sitting in New York has allowed a Zyprexa class action to go forward, according to Prescription Action Litigation;

Medical care in prisons jumped to the news in The BLT: Blog of Legal Times, as they report on a suit brought due to deprivations of medical care for those incarcerated;

The Medical Quack reports that a medical malpractice case resulted from triple-bypass surgery being done. It seems the doctor was looking at the angiogram films of another patient
(via Kevin, M.D.);

TortsProf William Childs has links to a bunch of new personal injury matters this week: A Kentucky Amusement park ride that resulted in a 13-year-old having both feet sliced off; (with more on theme park safety from Sluggobear and the Kentucky Law Review); Settlement discussions on the Boston death of a woman when a tunnel at the Big Dig collapsed, and a Las Vegas “gentleman’s club” altercation involving strippers, bouncers, guns, biting and a former pro-football player;

From tragic to bizarre, the Consumerist writes of a Taco Bell Employee that Allegedly Spit and Urinated in Food;

From bizarre to comical: Lowering the Bar gives us a woman who sued for emotional distress because she was not in the lottery;

From comincal to pathetic: Manny at QuizLaw brings us the case of a woman who injured her jaw because Starburst Fruit Chews were, well, too chewey. I hope the attorney who took this wasn’t counting on it to make the rent. And if you guessed that Overlawyered might also have the story, you would be correct;

Following closely behind the Starburst suit in the cateogry of “what the hell was the lawyer thinking?”…from Thomas Swartz at New York Legal Update, a lawsuit that drives the good lawyers crazy because it should never have been brought — a woman who sued after falling while ice skating, when some 15 minutes before her fall, she observed that the skating surface was deteriorating, and there were ice chips, bumps, and wet spots on the ice. Fancy how that happens after people have been skating;

Can a child sue his own parents for negligence in failing to properly put him in his child seat? The Minnesota Supreme Court says yes in this case reported by The Injury Blog;

And a New Jersey court rules a duty owed by the passengers of a car to aid an injured man, from John Day at Day on Torts;

Billy Merck at Above the Law has a: Lawsuit of the Day: Belk Cosmetics Contractors Win Damages for Being Watched. Who needs a real window to play Peeping Tom, when you can snoop via video?

When you can get an opposing witness to testify multiple times, it ususally helps a case, and litigants in the September 11 litigation got just such a bonus when former EPA head Christie Whitman gave congressional testimony, and Joe at Tort Burger — Hold the Reform brings us some of the details;

As the trial goes on, I have always wondered just how much background knowledge the jury has on certain subjects. I’m not the only one to wonder, as Anne Reed writes in What Do They Know? which followed up on a Newsweek poll about the lack of knowledge some Americans have on various subjects;

When you started that case, I hoped you picked the right lawyer. As Andrew Bluestone from New York Attorney Malpractice Blog points out, this claimant thinks she did not, after netting just $6.60 from a $35,000 settlement. She has now brought a legal malpractice suit against high profile New York personal injury attorneys, the Barnes Firm; (See also, Suit ‘winner’ nets pocket change, via Buffalo Pundit)

Some causes of action award legal fees, such as this consumer fraud claim in New Jersey regarding Vioxx. Mark Herrmann at Drug and Device Law complains that the legal fees were $4.9M on a claim that was only worth $4,000 (also Ted Frank at Point of Law) So with that kind of risk, why didn’t Merck try to settle that particular claim?

Of course, that case for attorneys fees is not to be confused with that of former Judge Robert Bork who asked for lawyers fees in a New York personal injury case, with a small problem being that such fees are not permitted, even if successful;

After verdict, the action isn’t always over, as Princeton Insurance found out the hard way, after a $75M verdict (reduced to $37.5M) in a dram shop case. They had apparently failed to negotiate in good faith on the $1M policy, and they are now stuck with a $21.4M bill ( via The Legal Intelligencer);

As you pack your bags and go home for the weekend, or a full one week Fourth of July respite, a few things to mull over:

Enjoy the upcoming holiday week…

(Submissions for next week’s edition, if I feel like doing one, can be made to –>> blog [at]

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

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