November 26 roundup

All-automotive edition:

  • Court won’t unseal settlement arising from $105 million Aramark/Giants Stadium dramshop case for fear girl’s father will try to get his hands on money [NJLJ,, Childs; earlier]
  • Great moments in insurance defense law: you mean it wasn’t a good idea to infiltrate that church meeting to investigate the crash claim? [Turkewitz first, second posts]
  • Columnist Paul Mulshine rejoices: Ninth Circuit decision “if it stands, will lead to the end of the SUV as we know it” [Newark Star-Ledger]
  • Is it unfair — and should it be unlawful? — for insurers to settle crash victims’ claims too early? [Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog]
  • If Ron Krist prevails in shoot-out of Texas plaintiff titans, he vows to have sheriff seize John O’Quinn’s Batmobile [American Lawyer; see also Ted’s take earlier]
  • In much-watched case, Australian high court by 3-2 split upholds highway authority against claim defective bridge design was blameworthy after youth’s dive into shallow water [RTA NSW v. Dederer, Aug. 30]
  • Redesigning Toyota’s occupant restraint system? Clearly another job for the Marshall, Texas courts [SE Texas Record; Point of Law; more]
  • Bench trial results in $55 million verdict against U.S. government after Army employee on business runs red light and paralyzes small child [OC Register]
  • Vision in a purple Gremlin: her Yale Law days shaped Hillary in many ways [Stearns/McClatchy]
  • Zero tolerance for motorists’ blood-alcohol — are we sure we want to go there? [Harsanyi, Reason]
  • Driver falls asleep, so of course Ford must pay [two years ago on Overlawyered; much more on our automotive page]


  • Walter: I am genuinely curious about Yale. Why do most national catastrophes originate there?


    Legal Realism.
    HMO’s and their legal immunities.
    The Bushes and the Clintons. Kerry who wants the US to be France so Yale grads may run its central government.
    Due Process for Terrorists

    Name an idea that hurts our nation. It traces back to Yale. What is going on there?

  • Regarding the 9th Circuits ruling about SUVs: how do the courts have the power to tell the legislature and the judiciary how to regulate motor vehicle emissions?

    Is this an example of “judicial activism” run amok, or is there an actual controversy that requires judicial intervention?

    It occurs to me that on its face, it looks like there’s a real separation of powers issue here.

  • The court ruled that the regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation to enforce the law were not actually in comformity with that law.

    Sounds like an actual controversy to me.

    The law itself hasn’t been thrown out or modified, just the Executive Branch regulations which were not implementing the law’s intent.

    I remember the arguments when the law implementing the cafe standards was being passed, and the intent was to leave exemptions for construction equipment, Semi trucks and off-road vehicles.

    IMHO, calling a Ford Explorer or Hummer that is driven 99% of the time on the public roads an off-road vehicle to exempt it from the cafe standards is not in accord with the intent of the law.

    Personally I think the cafe standards law is not actually within Congress’s constitutional powers – but I realize that battle has been lost long ago…

  • “Personally I think the cafe standards law is not actually within Congress’s constitutional powers – but I realize that battle has been lost long ago…”

    ALL such battles seem to have been lost long ago. Peopl bfore I came along decided that they would not object to essentially ANY power siezed by the Feds. It’s downright depressing.