“The Story of Asbestos Litigation in Texas and Its National Consequences”

Texas was once the largest center of asbestos litigation in the U.S., with mass recruitment of workers claiming injury from past exposure although displaying no symptoms. Now, more than 40 years after the landmark Fifth Circuit Borel v. Fibreboard case which originated with a Beaumont worker’s complaint, Texas has enacted the nation’s most extensive legislation laying down rules for the conduct of asbestos litigation, much of it aimed at curtailing cases with poor evidence of causation or injury. A new report from Texans for Lawsuit Reform describes and defends the state’s actions.

Kentucky joins Louisiana in adding police to hate-crime protected group list

A police union’s national campaign continues to bear fruit as Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill making Kentucky the second state, after Louisiana, to include police as a protected group in hate crime law. For principled conservative opponents of hate crime laws as a category, now would be a good time to speak up, wouldn’t it? [Beth Reinhard, WSJ] Such “Blue Lives Matter” bills continue to be introduced elsewhere around the country at both state and municipal levels [Julia Craven/Huffington Post, Tim Cushing/TechDirt]

Medical roundup

Judge Posner and the much-too-pampered cats

Eike v. Allergan, a consumer class action certification case about allegedly over-generous allotments of fluid in eyedrop dispensers, raises two questions: how’d this case get past the motion-to-dismiss stage? And, second, how did Judge Richard Posner manage to go out on such a very extended cat metaphor in a case having nothing to do with cats? [Lowering the Bar, Chicago Tribune, ABA Journal]

ADA: “Needle-Phobic Pharmacist Loses $1.8 Million on Appeal”

“Reversing and remanding a $1.8 million jury verdict, the Second Circuit found Tuesday that Rite Aid was justified in firing a needle-phobic pharmacist who refused to administer immunizations.” [Courthouse News] The man’s trypanophobia — fear of needles — gave him a discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the Second Circuit ruled the evidence “compels a finding that immunization injections were an essential job requirement.” [Dan Schwartz]

Report: USDA inspectors wrote up meat packing owner over pamphlets in breakroom

According to reports last month in the religious press, the owner of a small meat-packing operation in western Michigan left some pamphlets around in the breakroom reflecting his views on same-sex marriage (opposed) and got written up for it by inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose duties, it seems, include spotting and demanding prompt rectification of hostile-environment harassment, in this case consisting of the printed word. [Reformed Free Publishing Association, Gene Veith] And Stephanie Slade of Reason has a big essay on religious liberty, in which I’m quoted, in Jesuit magazine America.

Banking and finance roundup