November 15 roundup

  • Simon Singh on need to reform UK libel law [BoingBoing]
  • Complaint: Scalia’s too darned principled on religious liberty [rebutted by Ponnuru at NRO]
  • Air Force sued after teenage rave in abandoned bunker turns bad [PoL]
  • Scathing Kleinfeld dissent in Ninth Circuit Alien Tort case [Volokh, Fisher, Recorder]
  • “Law Firm Accused of Requiring Heels, Then Discriminating When Injury Occurred” [ABA Journal]
  • Parent’s angry letter to Kansas City school board complaining that teacher laid hands on son; best part are the demands [Something Awful forums]
  • Australia: “Iconic Merry-Go-Round Is Deemed an Insurance Liability” [Free-Range Kids]
  • “Meatpacker to pay $3m for using strength test” [five years ago on Overlawyered]


  • RE: Suit against the Air Force. It would be interesting to see the Complaint, which isn’t apparently posted on-line.
    Based on the press release of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, it looks like they haven’t bothered to read the Federal Tort Claims Act. Only the US gov’t, not an agency, is the proper defendant. Next, “unspecified damages” are sought. The FTCA requires a “sum certain” (specific amount) in ad damnum. FTCA claims are limited to negligent acts or omissions by an employee of the gov’t acting within scope of employment. The alleged negligence is failure to demolish a bunker. But, that appears barred by the discretionary function exception to FTCA liability, 28 USC 2680(a). And, why California’s Recreational Use Act wouldn’t reduce duties owed the decedents to those owed a common law trespasser isn’t clear. This looks like it could be a suit filed more for its publicity value than any real hope of recovery. Still, one the hand are grieving parents and other the other are deadbeats who killed the kids and the deep pocket of Uncle Sam. In California, you can’t tell how a USDC or the 9th Circuit might handle that.

  • This has got to be the first time that Overlawyered has ever linked to SomethingAwful.

  • […] Parent who sent buzzworthy demand letter to Kansas City school board is a jazz musician [Wayward Blog, earlier] […]