Liability roundup

  • Oakland jury tells Monsanto to pay $2 billion over claim that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, though the consensus among scientists is that it doesn’t [Tina Bellon, Reuters, earlier] Both sides in glyphosate trial bombarded Bay Area residents with local paid messaging; did Monsanto use geofencing to run ads on phones inside the courthouse itself? [Scott Greenfield, ABA Journal] Was judge in previous Bay Area glyphosate case swayed by P.R. campaign aimed at her? [Daniel Fisher, Legal NewsLine]
  • “Police say Rodriguez was looking at her phone while walking across tracks” [AP/KOIN; Oregon woman suing rail companies over injury]
  • Liability reform in Florida, so often stymied in the past, may have clearer road ahead with arrival of new state high court majority [John Haughey, Florida Watchdog]
  • Not just mesh, either: “Top 5 Eyebrow-Raising Provisions in Mesh Attorneys’ Retainer Agreements” [Elizabeth Chamblee Burch]
  • What is a Maryland General Assembly session without a special fast-track bill to hot-wire money to the benefit of asbestos lawyer Peter Angelos? But this year’s ran aground [Josh Kurtz, Maryland Matters; John O’Brien, Legal NewsLine]
  • Car accident scam in eastern Connecticut reaped estimated $600,000 from as many as 50 staged crashes [AP/WTIC]


  • The Monsanto case is disturbing. Even if you take a position outside the scientific consensus that glyphosate carries measurable risk, there are many lymphoma cases, and would you not have to show that this particular plaintiff was injured by Monsanto? If someone is struck by a hit-and-run driver, you can’t just sue some car maker of your choice. I have read comments that say that this shows that juries are composed of stupid people, but I believe that trial by jury is an important principle of our society. I hope some smart people have a solution.

  • Roundup frenzy–

    I can envision a regime where important agricultural and industrial chemicals are developed and manufactured solely outside the USA, beyond the capricious reach of US jackpot justice. The US government would be the sole importer of such chemicals, pledging the “full faith and credit of the United States” to hold the foreign providers harmless against US lawsuits. (Or the US government could develop and/or manufacture such chemicals on its own.)

    The US Congress could then decide how much fraud and waste US taxpayers should be expected to cover.