“A woman is suing TripAdvisor after a runaway camel tossed her to the ground during a tour in Morocco.” [AP] One problem for the claim is the website terms of service, which “say right up front that defendants don’t actually operate the tours themselves, they just facilitate booking the tours. Interactions with the tour operators, or their camels, are ‘at your own risk.'” A further potential problem “is that camels are known to be stubborn and difficult animals… so there’s going to be a potential assumption-of-risk issue with any camel-ride-related injury claim, most likely. This may be why the camel’s alleged pregnancy is being emphasized.” There follows more on camel pregnancy, and what leads up to it, than you probably wanted to know [Lowering the Bar]
- “Firings and lawsuits follow discovery of secret bugging devices at law firm; ‘It’s very John Grisham'” [Palm Beach County, Fla.; Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]
- Save on lawyers’ fees, get to trial faster: “If I were able to do something unilaterally, I would probably institute a new federal rule that said that all cases worth less than $500,000 will be tried without any discovery.” [Judge Thomas Hardiman, echoed by Judge Amul Thapar, at Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention panel; David Lat, ABA Journal]
- “Austria: Farmer liable for hiker trampled to death by cow” [Elizabeth Schumacher, Deutsche Welle]
- “Cloned” discovery: the “name derives from the fact that the plaintiffs are attempting to clone the discovery taken by others in unrelated cases.” Courts should resist [James Beck]
- “Minnesota Supreme Court: No Primary Assumption of Risk in Skiing, Snowboarding” [Stephanie K. Jones, Insurance Journal]
- Missouri lawmakers seek to limit forum-shopping by out-of-state litigants seeking plaintiff-friendly St. Louis courts [Brian Brueggemann, St. Louis Record]
- A win for class action objector Ted Frank as Seventh Circuit allows him to challenge what he described as “objector blackmail” payments to other intervenors [Amanda Bronstad, National Law Journal, Pearson v. NBTY]
- City of Seattle pays $13 million to settle suit alleging negligent probation supervision of drunk driver [Jessica Lee, Seattle Times, Brian Flores, KCPQ, my 2005 take on Washington’s unique rules on sovereign immunity and more]
- “Family sues Dum Dum lollipop maker over son’s alleged choking incident” [Alexandria Hein, Fox News]
- Thanks to New York’s Scaffold Law, co-op and condo boards “can be held liable for millions of dollars in damages – even if the injured worker was drunk or failed to use safety equipment.” [Habitat mag] “Coverage for East Side Access [infrastructure project] has surpassed half a billion dollars” [Will Bredderman, Crain’s New York]
- As Brett Kavanaugh’s SeaWorld dissent shows, he’s a judge who takes assumption of risk seriously [ABA Journal, SeaWorld v. Perez]
- Twiqbal pleading standards continue to do good, this time in New York state courts [Drug & Device Law]
- Torts class hypotheticals come to life: tipsy axe-throwing, discussed in this space last June, is coming to D.C. [Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian] One guess why Japanese “slippery stairs” game show might not translate easily to Land O’ Lawyers [Dan McLaughlin on Twitter]
- “California lawyer pleads guilty in $50M visa scam” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]
- Claim: longstanding practice in Louisiana and Oregon of not requiring jury unanimity for felony convictions reflects states’ racial past [Angela A. Allen-Bell, Washington Post]
- “Judge Halts Copyright Troll’s Lawsuit Against A Now-Deceased Elderly Man With Dementia And An IP Address” [Timothy Geigner]
- David Henderson reviews Richard Rothstein book on history of federal encouragement of housing segregation, The Color of Law [Cato Regulation magazine]
- Class action: sellers of cold-pressed juice should have disclosed that it was high-pressure-processed [Elaine Watson, Food Navigator USA]
- “Oral Contraceptives Should be Free (From the Third-Party Trap)” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
- Arbitrator awards $17.5 million after hospital fires neurosurgeon: in retaliation, or because he didn’t disclose problems with the law unrelated to practice? [Mike Baker, Seattle Times]
- Idea of empowering government to rewrite recipes for packaged food has gotten more traction in British public health sector than here [Sean Poulter, Daily Mail]
- Encyclopedia time: you can look up a variety of health topics in the now-online Encyclopedia of Libertarianism including Michael Cannon on health care generally, Gene Healy and Bruce Benson on illegal drugs, Jeffrey Schaler on psychiatry. And the Routledge Encyclopedia of Libertarianism includes Jessica Flanigan on libertarianism and medicine;
- If treatment deviating from the standard of care is the standard for malpractice, then some patients in pursuit of unconventional therapy choose it, and the law of waivers and of assumption of risk should respect their autonomy [Nadia Sawicki via TortsProf]
- About the Washington Post’s big opioid-legislation exposé, a few questions [Robert VerBruggen]
Pennsylvania: “The family of a Jehovah’s Witness who died after repeatedly refusing blood transfusions can’t sue the hospital where doctors begged for a chance to save her life, a state appeals court ruled.” [Matt Miller, PennLive]
At some point “baseball will succumb to demands for more netting whether or not it’s what teams or most fans want. If they don’t, cities like New York will undoubtedly compel them.” [Jonathan S. Tobin, The Federalist]
Not that an entertainment business plan based in part on providing a venue for tipsy axe-throwing would ever run into litigation. But just in case it ever does, here are arguments you might offer as plaintiff [Lowering the Bar]:
Maybe you’ve heard of the “assumption of risk” doctrine, maybe you haven’t. (Well, now you have.) You will point out, probably, that there is no warning on the company’s website saying not to do whatever it is you did, or if there is a warning about that, you didn’t see it. You will argue that they didn’t have a disclaimer form for you to sign; or if they did, you didn’t sign it; or if you did, you didn’t read it. You will consider arguing that the instructors aren’t qualified, but you probably won’t because one of them is actually named “Thor,” and a jury would never believe a guy named “Thor” isn’t qualified to teach axe-throwing.
A child hurt herself falling on a playground in Dublin, Ireland, and this is what Mr. Justice Raymond Groarke of the Circuit Civil Court wrote:
She was engaged in a game of chase pure and simple and, while it is most regrettable that she became unbalanced and fell, this was simply an old fashioned accident and I fail to see any liability on the part of the school for that accident.
Lenore Skenazy comments:
Score one for those of us who understand that there is NO activity, even climbing out of bed, that is always 100% safe. So if we start outlawing activities that are generally, but not 100% completely safe, we will end up outlawing any movement whatsoever.
The judge also seems to realize that something is LOST even if a modicum of safety could be gained. Are kids really safer if they do NOT run around, use their bodies, burn calories, learn to play, deal with disappointment, organize their friends, and create something out of nothing — a game?
Nope. Kids need to play.
Reports The Independent: “The school did not seek an order for costs against the girl’s mother.”