Entries by Justinian Lane

5th Circuit Upholds Damage Caps

Maybe in a generation or two we’ll get some jurists who are hostile to placing handcuffs on the courts. (Reuters) – A federal appeals court has upheld Mississippi’s $1 million cap on what people can recover for pain and suffering in a case with direct bearing on pharmaceutical product liability and medical malpractice cases. A […]

Proposed Utah Tort Reform WILL Lead to More Lawsuits

If I’m an attorney in Utah and this bill passed, I’m going to file suit ASAP just to protect my clients.  Personal-injury lawyers say the change would force their industry to file more lawsuits instead of first seeking settlement. Clients could also lose out on significant cash payouts—in some cases, it’s months or even years […]

Mother Jones on Italian Color

Seems like every time there is a major ruling on arbitration, some federal judge or another praises the efficiency of arbitration and criticizes the judicial system.  I wish all of those judges would just quit the bench and go become arbitrators. If the court rules in favor of Amex, big companies will essentially be able […]

Will Texas Tort Reform Case go to SCOTUS?

I hope not, because I think it’s a safe bet the Court will back the law, and then other states will use that decision as a template on how to restrict our legal rights. He plans to appeal Spears case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. In 2003, the Texas legislature […]

More on the NHTSA Recall Shenanigans

This what regulatory capture looks like, folks.  Between the Obama administration’s fear of being painted as “anti-business” and the self-interest of regulators who want cush jobs at the automakers, this is what we get: In 2008, NHTSA’s defect investigations led to a record 191 recalls, according to agency data. But the same year, the Center […]

Arkansas considering tort reform amendment to state constitution

I’m not going to look it up, but I bet Andrea Lea got a nice amount of campaign contributions from the insurance industry. House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville, says consensus is forming for a proposed constitutional amendment on tort reform, and she sees other ideas gaining traction. Source: Arkansas […]

NHTSA – opaque or transparent?

The article presents both sides of an important issue: Whether or not the NHTSA releases enough information to the public regarding auto safety investigations. The information that would be available to consumers and safety advocacy groups if early investigatory work were public includes testing, correspondence with manufacturers, injuries and deaths, says Allan Kam, a former […]

Connecticut may ban smoking in cars with small children

Where is the Herman Cain campaign when you need it?  Ok, I don’t think we ever needed it, but…. this is exactly the sort of thing that will get the tea partiers incredibly riled up.  After all, if parents don’t have the right to expose their children to harmful carcinogens when their immune systems aren’t […]

Don’t let these recalled pet foods kill your dog or cat

Please check your pet foods and treats to make sure they haven’t been recalled for salmonella.  Your furry friends deserve five minutes of your time. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that Kasel Associates Industries Inc. is recalling all pet treats it manufactured from April 20 through Sept. 19, 2012 due to potential […]

“Shit, just ship it.” That sums up why I became a lawyer.

Whether you call them sock puppets, flacks, or lickspittles, there are a ton of people out there who just can’t or won’t believe that big corporations ever act irresponsibly.  To them I say, “Shit, just ship  it!”  Those were the words of Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell when he decided against waiting for […]

Europe refuses to approve diet pill already approved here

Remember fen-phen?  If you don’t, it was a diet pill that basically did the equivalent of dropping your heart valves into a Vitamix and hitting pulse.  For whatever reason, it seems like most diet drugs seem to come with serious heart risks.  European regulators are more risk averse than their American counterparts, and they have […]

Death, taxes, and…

Insurance bad faith claims.  Any time there is a natural disaster a few bad actor insurance companies drag their feet or deny legitimate claims.  Looks like a couple of NY insurers are being investigated for potentially engaging in that kind of alleged conduct.  (Probably should have thrown a purportedly in there for safety’s sake.) New […]

First Amendment trumps everything, say couple of idiots in Oregon

When I was something like 14, I read some zine (remember those?) about how everyone had a lot of rights under the Constitution they didn’t know about.  One of them, it claimed, was that everyone had a right to drive without a driver’s license.  Since I was at least a year away from being eligible […]

The Medical History of Asbestos

For those who don’t know, I’m a mesothelioma lawyer and an asbestos lawyer in addition to representing folks hurt by dangerous drugs and medical devices.  The last quarter of the year slows down a lot for me and I’m now able to dedicate some time to blogging and tending to my various web sites.  The […]

Trial Lawyers Can’t Fix Regulatory Capture

I wish I had the drive and passion for Internet advocacy that Lou Lombardo has.  He is the force behind Care For Car Crash Victims, and he is the definition of a tireless advocate.  Every fifteen minutes (it seems) I get an e-mail from him regarding auto safety in America.  If you are interested in […]

What the “reformers” really want

I saw a news article earlier today about a new proposal in Michigan. Apparently the Republicans in the Senate believe that the best way to fix the economy is to prohibit medical malpractice cases unless the plaintiff can prove the doctor intentionally caused the injury. In other words, doctors can be totally negligent and they’re […]

Zoloft, Topamax, and Birth Defects

What do Zoloft and Topamax have in common?  They’re both widely prescribed to women of childbearing age, and they are both associated with certain types of birth defects.  Several women have contacted me recently who believe their childrens’ birth defects may have been caused by Zoloft or Topamax.  I’m in the process of reviewing their […]