July 7 roundup

  • Correct result, yet potential for mischief in latest SCOTUS climate ruling [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, my earlier take]
  • Wouldn’t even want to guess: how the Howard Stern show handles sexual harassment training [Hyman]
  • Philadelphia: $21 million award against emergency room handling noncompliant patient [Kennerly]
  • Antitrust assault on Google seems geared to protect competitors more than consumers [Josh Wright]
  • “They knew there was a risk!” Curb your indignation please [Coyote]
  • Theme issue of Reason magazine on failures of criminal justice system is now online;
  • “Why Your New Car Doesn’t Have a Spare Tire” [Sam Kazman, WSJ]


  • Mr. Kennerly has a sorry, if not that strange, view whereby the supposed better judgements of doctors mandates that they perform miracles. The patient was, in my dad’s word, a sad sack, unwilling to deal responsibility with his disabilities. That Mr. Kennerly sees a $21 million award to Mr. Campbell as reasonable is mind boggling. What is it with the bar that so many of its members are horrifically unthoughtful.

  • When neither Larry, Curly, nor Moe takes responsibility for a decision, it’s hard for anyone to believe the decision was the right one. Juries routinely accept the “can’t perform miracles” argument, which is why the overwhelming majority of medical malpractice verdicts are for the defendants. In that case, nobody stood up and said “I was the one who treated him, and what I did was right.” Instead they pointed fingers at each other.

    Little wonder the jury didn’t credit them with heroic actions they themselves disclaimed.

  • For Mr. Kennerly: Why would not knowing exactly who did what when in this case generate an award of $21 million, the lifetime earnings of 10 average guys? The patient was treated and left the hospital in pretty good shape. The $21 million made this an important case. Without that horrendous award, the care for this particular fellow would not be memorable.

    A diagnoses of type I diabetes was a death sentence before 1923. The treatments of diabetes, even my type II, are routine miracles. But sometimes miracles are not available, Pancreatic Cancer for example. In the case in question, the emergency doctors should not be required to make up for failings by the patient, his family, and social service.