chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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    (see also client solicitation, product liability)

    Overlawyered.com commentary [through mid-June 2003. Items after that date collected here]:

    "NTSB blames pilot error, but airport told to pay $10 million", May 14, 2003. 

    Security profiling, 2002: "Rather die than commit profiling, cont'd", Oct. 14; "Profiling: a Democrat outflanks Ashcroft" (Sen. Feinstein), Jun. 10; "Airlines sued over alleged profiling", Jun. 6; "The scandal of the Phoenix memo", May 28-29; "Fearing ethnic profiling charges, bureau ignored flight-school warning", May 6; "Columnist-fest" (Charles Krauthammer), Mar. 18; "Profiling: the cost of sparing feelings", Jan. 14-15.  2001: "Profiling perfectly OK after all", Nov. 16-18; "'Politically incorrect profiling: a matter of life or death'" (Stuart Taylor, Jr.), Nov. 9-11; "Opponents of profiling, still in the driver's seat", Nov. 2-4; "Anti-bias law not a suicide pact", Oct. 3-4. 

    "'Sisters suing Southwest over "racist rhyme"'", Feb. 11, 2003.

    Forum-shopping: "Mass disasters belong in federal court", Dec. 18-19, 2002; "Crash lawyers like Boeing move" (Chicago, new HQ city, has higher verdicts), May 17, 2001; "Come to America and sue" (Concorde forum-shopping), Jan. 19-21, 2001; "French crash, German victims, American payout levels?", Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2000.

    "Lawyer's suit against airline: my seatmate was too fat", Aug. 2-4, 2002; "'Sorry, Slimbo, you're in my seats'", June 7, 2001 (& updates Dec. 15-16, 2001, Oct. 25-27, 2002); "Obese fliers", Dec. 20, 2000. 

    Cessna seat case: "AVweb capitulates to defamation suit", Sept. 16-17, 2002; "Watch what you say about lawyers (part XI)" (Wolk sues AVweb), Sept. 7-9, 2001 (& update Oct. 12-14); "'Cessna pilots association does some research....'", Aug. 24-26, 2001; "Jury orders Cessna to pay $480 million after crash", Aug. 20-21, 2001. 

    "Annals of zero tolerance: 'No scissors allowed at ribbon-cutting ceremony at Pittsburgh airport'", Sept. 23, 2002.

    "'Airline sued for $5 million over lost cat'", Sept. 3-4, 2002.

    "Flowers, perfume in airline cabins not OK?" (Canada), May 17-19, 2002. 

    World Trade Center, 2002: "Roger Parloff on 9/11 fund", Apr. 1-2.  2001: "Liability limits speed WTC recovery", Nov. 21-22; "'Company tried to capitalize on Sept. 11'", Oct. 15; "'Despite Protection, Airlines Face Lawsuits for Millions in Damages'", Sept. 24 (& Oct. 10-11); "'Lawsuits From Attacks Likely to Be in the Billions'", Sept. 21-23; "Washington Post on airline liability", Sept. 19-20; "What you knew was coming", Sept. 14-16 (& coverage generally after Sept. 11). 

    "Couldn't order 7-Up in French" (suing Air Canada for $525,000), Mar. 18, 2002. 

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

    "'Man Thought  He Was Dead, Sues Airline'" (left sleeping in darkened cabin), Oct. 10-11, 2001. 

    "'Poor work tolerated, employees say'", Nov. 15, 2001; "The high cost of cultural passivity", Sept. 21-23; "Self-defense for flight crews", Sept. 13; "Transsexual passenger's airline hassle", Sept. 12, 2001. 

    White-knuckle lotto: "'Delta passenger wins $1.25 mln for landing trauma'", Aug. 24-26, 2001; "All shook up" (jury says emotional scars from Little Rock crash worth $6.5 million), Oct. 19, 2000; "White-knuckle lotto", Oct. 8, 1999. 

    Letter to the editor, Sept. 3, 2001 (ABC vs. Parker-Hannifin); "Big numbers" (Teledyne Continental Motors $27 million settlement), April 16, 2001; "Getting around small-aircraft lawsuit reform", Jan. 29, 2001. 

    "'Airline restricts children flying alone'", Aug. 6, 2001. 

    "'Lawyers pay price for cruel hoaxes'", Aug. 3, 2001; "'The love children of Flight 261'", April 10, 2001; "After an air crash, many Latin 'survivors'" (Alaska Air claimants), Nov. 29, 2000. 

    "Needed: assumption of risk" (first-time skydiver), July 27-29, 2001; "'Skydivers don't sue'", May 26, 2000 (update July 6: Canadian diver prevails in suit against teammate) (& see Apr. 16, 2001). 

    "Getting around small-aircraft lawsuit reform", Jan. 29, 2001. 

    "'Economy-class syndrome' class action" (Australia), Dec. 13-14, 2000. 

    "All shook up" (jury says emotional scars from Little Rock crash worth $6.5 million), Oct. 18, 2000; "Diva awarded $11M for broken dream" (opera student injured in runway crash), Aug. 31, 2000. 

    "John Denver crash" (also Air France, Northwest, aviation need for tort reform), Oct. 4, 2000. 

    "Prosecution fears slow crash probes", Sept. 6-7, 2000. 

    "Retroactive crash liability" (Death on the High Seas Act), Aug. 25-27, 2000. 

    "Class actions: are we all litigants yet?" (American Airlines frequent flier class action), Aug. 23-24, 2000. 

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

    "New subpage" (this page introduced), June 16-18, 2000. 

    "Somebody to sue" (map publisher Jeppesen Sanderson sued after Croatia crash), June 1, 2000. 

    "Swissair crash aftermath" (Peggy's Cove disaster in U.S. courts), March 14, 2000; "Montreal Gazette 'Lawsuit of the Year'" (bagpipers sue Swissair for lost income), Jan. 17, 2000. 

    "Blaming good pilots" (Alaska Air crash), Feb. 24, 2000. 

    "New safety rule likely to increase death toll" (FAA and child seating on airlines), Dec. 31, 1999-Jan. 2, 2000. 

    "Attorney blames airline for passenger's drunken in-flight rage", Dec. 9, 1999. 

    "Indications of turbulence" (pilot whose mental fitness for duty was challenged wins partial back pay), Dec. 1, 1999. 

    "Some lawyers try to make nice" (EgyptAir 990), Nov. 29, 1999. 

    "From the planet Litigation" (UFO suits), Nov. 22, 1999. 

    "Grounds for suspicion" (DEA and arriving passengers), Oct. 9-10, 1999. 

    "Overlawyered skies not always safer", July 19, 1999.

    Other resources:

    AVweb includes articles by its law columnist, Phillip J. Kolczynski, on such topics as product liability, liability for homebuilt aircraft, and aircraft owner liability

    The Philadelphia-based plaintiff's firm of Wolk & Genter maintains a recruitment-oriented page on air crash liability including its commentaries on particular crashes

    Walter Olson, "Kingdom of the One-Eyed" (pilot vision and ADA), Reason, July 1998. 

    Walter Olson, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Good Beer" (alcoholic pilot and ADA), Washington Monthly, September 1997.

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

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