chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Overlawyered.com home page

Search site
  • Browse archives or browse by topic: see lists on top page
  • Articles

    Overlawyered.com home page
    Product liability
    resources and links

    (See separate pages for auto safety, aviation, environmental
    firearms, high-tech, media and tobacco litigation)
    Overlawyered.com commentary [through mid-June 2003. Items after that date collected here]:

    Pharmaceuticals, 2003: "'Diet drug litigation leads to fat fees'" (fen-phen, ephedra), May 30-Jun. 1; "Courtroom assault on drugmakers", May 27; "Mississippi investigation heats up", May 7; "Jury clears Bayer in cholesterol-drug case", Mar. 19; "New Medicare drug benefit?  Link it to product liability reform", Mar. 10-11. 2002: "Fen-phen settlement abuses: the plot thickens", Sept. 27-29 (& Dec. 16-17, 2002Feb. 25-26, 2002, Dec. 28, 2001, Aug. 18, 1999); "Ignominious wind-down to Norplant campaign", Sept. 9-10 (& Aug. 11 & Aug. 27, 1999); "You mean I'm suing that nice doctor?" (Propulsid), Aug. 1 (& see Sept. 6-8); "'Tampa Taliban' mom blames acne drug", Apr. 18 (& Feb. 1-3); "Pharmaceutical roundup" (fen-phen, contraceptive Pill, Viagra, psychiatric drugs), Apr. 16-17;  "'Can pain treatment survive our addiction to law?'" (OxyContin), Apr. 10 (& Aug. 27, May 30, Jan. 23-24, 2002, Aug. 7-8, July 25, 2001)(& letter to the editor, Apr. 11); "Omit a peripheral defendant, get sued for legal malpractice" (tetracycline), Feb. 15-17; "'Companies may be liable for drugs used in rapes'", Jan. 25-27.  2001: "Texas jury clears drugmaker in first Rezulin case", Dec. 19 (& update Jan. 9-10, 2002: it loses second trial); "For client-chasers, daytime TV gets results", Dec. 18; "Bioterror unpreparedness", Nov. 28; "Cipro side effects?  Sue!", Nov. 1; "Suit blames drugmaker for Columbine", Oct. 24-25; "'Plaintiff's lawyers going on defense'" (Scruggs represents Sulzer Orthopedics), Oct. 9; "Propulsid verdict; 'Robbery on Highway 61'", Oct. 1; "Antidepressant blamed for killing spree" (Paxil), June 13; "Mississippi's forum-shopping capital" (Fayette), May 4-6 (& see June 22-24 (Amity Shlaes)); "Anti-Ritalin lawyers still acting out", Apr. 13-15 (& Sept. 18, Sept. 22-24, 2000); "Target: Alka-Seltzer" (PPA), Apr. 6-8 (& see Sept. 10); "The malaria drug made him do it", Mar. 28.  2000: "Turn of the screw" (pedicle screw lawsuits), Oct. 24 (& see "Fee fights", Aug. 2, 2001); "'Controversial drug makes a comeback'" (Bendectin may be reintroduced in U.S.), Sept. 27-28 (& July 21, 1999); "Australian roundup" (Copper-7 IUD), Sept. 6-7; "'Lilly's legal strategy disarmed Prozac lawyers'", May 8.  1999: "World according to Ron Motley" (drugmakers among next targets of earth's richest lawyer), Nov. 1; "Rhode Island A.G.: let's do latex gloves next", Oct. 26; and see vaccines

    Vaccines: "Trial lawyers vs. thimerosal", Dec. 20-22, 2002 (& Jun. 18-19, 2003); "Vaccine industry perennially in court", Nov. 7-8, 2001; "Lawsuit fears slow bioterror vaccines", Oct. 22; "Study: DPT and MMR vaccines not linked to brain injury", Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2001; "Vaccine compensation and its discontents", Nov. 13, 2000. 

    Food, 2003: "Give me my million", Jun. 20-22; "Lawsuit's demand: stop selling Oreos to kids", May 13 (& update May 16-18: suit dropped); "Fast-food opinion roundup", Mar. 25-30; "They'll be back for seconds", Feb. 19; "Claim: marriage impaired by tough bagel", Feb. 3; "Judge tosses McDonald's obesity case", Jan. 23 (& Jan. 27-28); "U.K.: coercive campaign to constrain Cadbury", Jan. 20; "Anti-diet activist hopes to sue Weight Watchers", Jan. 13-14.  2002: "California's hazardous holiday" (acrylamide), Dec. 27-29; "Scourge of the Super-Size order", Nov. 7; "WHO demands pretzel de-salting by law", Nov. 1-3; Letter to the editor, Oct. 23; "Personal responsibility roundup", Sept. 12;  "Fat suits, cont'd", Jul. 26-28; "'Ailing man sues fast-food firms'", Jul. 25; "Sin-suit city", Jun. 10; "McArdle on food as next-tobacco", May 27 (& Jun. 3-4); "Nader credibility watch" (calls fast-food restaurants "weapons of mass destruction"), May 24-26; "The mystery of the transgenic corn", May 14-15; "'Targeting "big food"'", Apr. 29-30; "'Woman sues snack food company for spoiling diet'", Apr. 23-24; "No more restaurant doggie bags", Mar. 20-21; "Fast-food roundup", Mar. 11; "King Cake figurine menace averted", Feb. 1-3; "McMouse story looking dubious", Jan. 25-27; "Life imitates parody: 'Whose Fault Is Fat?'", Jan. 23-24.  "'Hot-dog choking prompts lawsuit'", Jan. 2-3.  2001: "There'll always be a California" (chocolate and Prop 65), Dec. 4; Letter to the editor (Wisc. exempts lutefisk from toxic-substance status), Nov. 29; "Disposable turkey pan litigation", Nov. 23-25; "'Diabetic German judge sues Coca-Cola for his health condition'" (candy bars too), Nov. 18; "'Baskin-Robbins lawsuit puts family in dis-flavor'", Aug. 2; "'Couple sues over flaming Pop-Tart'", July 30; "Feeling queasy?" (E. coli), July 27-29; "'Man sues Rite Aid over stale jelly bean'", July 20-22; "By reader acclaim: 'Vegetarian sues McDonald's over meaty fries", May 4-6; "Woman settles hot pickle suit with McDonald's", April 16 (& Oct. 10, 2000); "Putting the 'special' in special sauce" (alleged rat in Big Mac), March 29.  2000: "You deserve a beak today" (McDonald's chicken case), Dec. 6.  1999: "Are they kidding, or not-kidding?" (proposal for suits against makers of fattening foods), Nov. 15; "Toffee maker sued for tooth irritation", Nov. 5-7; "More things you can't have" (unpasteurized cider), Sept. 27; "Not just our imagination" (calls for class actions against fast food, meat industry), Sept. 25-26; "Taco Bell not liable for Ganges purification pilgrimage", Aug. 30; and see beverages

    Asbestos, 2003: "To tame Madison County, pass the Class Action Fairness Act" ($250 million against U.S. Steel), Jun. 12-15; "'Runaway asbestos litigation -- why it's a medical problem'", Mar. 18; "Class action lawyer takes $20 million from defendant's side", Mar. 15-16; "ABA endorses asbestos litigation reform", Feb. 13; "Asbestos: 'better than the lottery'", Feb. 10.  2002: "'Asbestos fraud'" (Robert Samuelson column), Dec. 18-19; "Gotham's trial lawyer-legislators" (Sheldon Silver, Weitz & Luxenberg", Dec. 13-15; "Asbestos opinions", Nov. 8-10; "Notation on Scruggs' court file: to be 'kept away from the press'", Nov. 6; "'Federal authorities say judge offered illegal payoff'", Sept. 3-4; "Saving the Crown jewels?", Jun. 26-27; "'The Tort Mess'" (Forbes, etc.), May 13; "Editorial-fest" (Time), Mar. 11; "'The $200 Billion Miscarriage of Justice'" (Roger Parloff, Fortune), Feb. 18-19; "Kaiser Aluminum bankrupt", Feb. 15-17.  2001: "'Firms Hit Hard As Asbestos Claims Rise'", Dec. 20; "'Halliburton shares plunge on verdict'", Dec. 10; "Insurance market was in tailspin before 9/11", Nov. 14; "How many lives would asbestos have saved?" (WCT), Sept. 17 (& Sept. 18, Sept. 25-26); "Warren Buffett was wrong" (USG, Crown Cork & Seal), June 27; "Columnist-fest", June 22-24 (Amity Shlaes on tobacco synergy case); "Randomness of case assignments questioned" (S.F.), April 18; "Reparations: take a number", Apr. 17 (& see Olson, Reason, Nov. 2000); "'The last tycoon'" (Angelos), April 12; "Asbestos claims bankrupt W. R. Grace", April 3-4; "GAF sues asbestos lawyers", Feb. 12-13 (& see Dec. 10); "CBS among asbestos litigation targets", Jan. 22-23.  2000: "Asbestos litigation destroying more companies", Nov. 27 (& Dec. 8-10: Armstrong World Industries bankrupt); "Owens Corning bankrupt", Oct. 6-9; "Somebody to sue" (misc. defendants), Jun. 1.  See also Walter Olson, "Thanks for the memories", Reason, June 1998; and links.

    Lead paint, 2003: "Stuart Taylor, Jr. on lead paint litigation", Mar. 5-7. 2002: "R.I. lead paint case goes to jury", Oct. 28-29 (& Oct. 30-31: mistrial).  2001: "From the paint wars: a business's demise, a school district's hypocrisy", Nov. 13; "Forbes on lead paint suits, cont'd", Jun. 8-10; "Ness monster sighted in Narragansett Bay" (Rhode Island, Ness Motley), Jun. 7 (& see Dec. 27-28, 1999 re R.I.); "Reparations: take a number", Apr. 17 (& see Olson, Reason, Nov. 2000); "'Painting the town -- with lawsuits'", Mar. 7-8; "'Bogus' assault on Norton", Jan. 18. 2000: "The right to be poisoned", Nov. 30; "A job offer for the judge", Sept. 25-26 (see also April 12, 2001); "Maryland: knowledge, notice not needed to sue landlords over lead", Apr. 24; "Game over four decades ago: let's change the rules" (retroactive Md. legislation), Mar. 15; see also Baltimore Sun special coverage); "New York court nixes market-share liability for paint", Jan. 17. 1999: "'The Dutch Boy isn't Joe Camel'", Nov. 10; "Covers the earth with litigation", Oct. 14. 

    "Texas's giant legal reform", Jun. 18-19, 2003.

    "Artificial hearts experimental? Who knew?", Oct. 23, 2002.

    "Sorry, wrong number" (Angelos vs. cell phones), Apr. 23, 2001; "By reader acclaim", Jan. 11, 2001 (& Oct. 1-2, 2002: judge dismisses case). 

    Beverages: "Litigation good for the country?" (Carl T. Bogus), Aug. 19, 2002; "British judge rejects hot-drink suits", Mar. 29-31, 2002 (& Aug. 10, 2000); "'Diabetic German judge sues Coca-Cola for his health condition'", Nov. 18, 2001; "'Group sues Starbucks over tea ingredient'", Sept. 10; "By reader acclaim" (maker of cup holder), Jan. 11, 2001; "'Court says warning about hot coffee unnecessary'" (Nevada Supreme Court), July 18, 2000; "Now it's hot chocolate", April 4; "Next on the class-action agenda: liquor?", March 22, 2000; & see Sept. 10, 2001.  For burns from hot beverages that were under the control of the complainant, see also personal responsibility page. 

    "Read the label, then ignore it if you like" (flammable carpet adhesive), Jul. 12-14, 2002. 

    "Pitcher hit by line drive sues maker of baseball bat", Apr. 19-21, 2002. 

    "Warning on fireplace log: 'risk of fire'", Jan. 25-27, 2002; "'Wacky Warning Label' winners", Jan. 19-21, 2001; "Never iron clothes while they're being worn" (more contest winners), Jan. 18, 2000 (& letter to editor, Jan. 21-23). 

    "'How many people will this kill, I wonder?'" (EU product liability, blood suppliers), Jan. 18-20, 2002. 

    "Defoliant litigation proves evergreen" (Agent Orange), Jan. 7-8, 2002 (& see Apr. 3-4). 

    "Under the Christmas tree" (BB guns), Dec. 21-23, 2001. 

    "Segway, the super-wheelchair, and the FDA", Dec. 13-14, 2001. 

    "Can't find the arsonists?  Sue the sofa-maker", Nov. 19-20, 2001; "Somebody to sue" (furnishings and building-supply cos. sued after fire), June 1, 2000. 

    Breast implants, 2002: "Pharmaceutical roundup" (silicone implants popular in Canada), Apr. 16-17.  2001: "Fee fights", Aug. 2. 2000: "O'Quinn a top Gore recount angel", Dec. 15-17; "'Hush -- good news on silicone'", Nov. 29; "No breast cancer link", Oct. 23; "From our mail sack: hyperactive lawyers", Sept. 22-24; Feds file Medicare recoupment lawsuit over silicone implants", April 6; "Study shows breast implants pose little risk", March 20.  1999: "No spotlight on me, thanks" (John O'Quinn obtains gag order against lawyers for dissatisfied clients), August 4; "Never saying you're sorry", July 2 (& see other links, below) 

    "Disclaimer rage?" (GPS software), Oct. 15, 2001. 

    "Target: trade associations" (National Spa & Pool Institute case), Sept. 5, 2001. 

    "Latex liability, foreseeable or not", July 26, 2001; "Breakthrough for plaintiffs on latex gloves?", July 18, 2000; "Rhode Island A.G.: let's do latex gloves next", Oct. 26, 1999. 

    "Claim: inappropriate object in toothpaste caused heart attack", May 29, 2001. 

    "While you were out: the carbonless paper crusade", Apr. 25, 2001. 

    "Plastic cup blamed for child's autism", Apr. 9, 2001. 

    "Tendency of elastic items to recoil well known", Mar. 6, 2001; "Hunter sues store over camouflage mask", Jan. 12-14, 2001. 

    "'Juries handing out bigger product liability awards'", Feb. 2-4, 2001. 

    "Anti-Ritalin lawyers still acting out" (trade association liability), Apr. 13-15, 2001; "Promising areas for suits", Dec. 7, 2000. 

    "Product liability criminalized?", Oct. 20-22, 2000. 

    "Product liability: Americanization of Europe?", Oct. 18, 2000. 

    "Senator Lieberman: a sampler" (sponsored product liability reform), Aug. 8-9, 2000. 

    "Never too stale a claim" (suits against manufacturers over products built in early 20th century), Jul. 14-16, 2000. 

    "'Backstage at News of the Weird'" (liquid drain cleaner), Jun. 29-Jul. 1, 2000. 

    "'Skydivers don't sue'", May 26-29, 2000. 

    "House passes liability reforms", Feb. 24, 2000.

    "Driving up housing costs" (Calif. construction defect cases), Dec. 10, 1999. 

    Computer glitches: "Toshiba and Ford, in the same boat", Dec. 2, 1999; "Don't redeem that coupon!" (Andrew Tobias), Nov. 24-25; "How I hit the class action jackpot" (Stuart Taylor), Nov. 17; "More details on Toshiba", Nov. 5-7; "Toshiba flops over", Nov. 3, 1999. 

    "Class actions vs. high tech", Nov. 23, 1999. 

    "Baleful blurbs" (publishers' liability for inaccuracies on book jackets), Nov. 16, 1999. 

    "Foam-rubber cow recall", Oct. 22, 1999. 

    "Reform stirrings on public contingency fees", Oct. 15, 1999. 

    "This side of parodies" (fictional account of self-inflicted icepick injury), Oct. 5-6, 1999. 

    "Fertilizer manufacturers not liable for World Trade Center bombing", Aug. 23, 1999. 

    "Plus extra damages for having argued with us" (liability for global warming?), Aug. 19, 1999. 

    "Overlawyered skies not always safer" ("self-critical analysis" issue), Jul. 19, 1999. 

    Other links:

    Breast implants:

    Gina Kolata, "Panel Confirms No Major Illness Tied To Breast Implants", New York Times, June 21, 1999

    National Institute of Medicine 1999 study

    Reason magazine "Breaking Issues

    Food and Drug Administration update

    Breast Implant Litigation Page (Prof. David Bernstein, George Mason U.)

    Marcia Angell, "Science on Trial: Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case", Manhattan Institute Civil Justice Memo, August 1996. 

    Walter Olson, review of Marcia Angell, "Science on Trial" (National Review, November 11, 1996) 


    Marc Arkin, "Products Liability and the Threat to Contraception" (Manhattan Institute Civil Justice Memo, February 1999). 


    Asbestos FAQ (Okla. DOL); Coalition for Asbestos Resolution (articles, edits); AsbestosLitigation.com; Asbestos Institute (Canada); British Asbestos Newsletter; "Asbestos Litigation 101" (attorney David Shaw). 

    Other resources:

    The home page of Overlawyered.com editor Walter Olson contains a listing of his writings on product liability.

    (See separate pages for auto safety, aviation, environmental
    firearms, high-tech, media and tobacco litigation)

    Overlawyered.com was launched on July 1, 1999. (About this site...)

    Original contents © 2003 and other years The Overlawyered Group.
    Technical questions: Email Webmaster