Posts Tagged ‘autos’

September 12 roundup

  • Peer-to-peer car sharing platforms could reduce the costs of car usage, unless elements of rental car industry manage to strangle it through regulation [Jonathan M. Gitlin, ArsTechnica on Illinois Gov. Rauner’s veto of a bill to cripple startups] Are we headed toward a legal requirement that cars be designed to sense that a driver has high blood alcohol and not function then? Does it matter whether the car is self-driving? [Nicole Gelinas]
  • “11th Circuit rages against ‘incomprehensible’ shotgun complaint, concludes lawyer’s intent was delay” [ABA Journal]
  • Quackery and bluster define the lawsuit filed by NY, MD, NJ, and CT attorneys general against Congress’s curtailment of state and local tax (SALT) deduction [Reilly Stephens; more, Howard Gleckman, Tax Policy Center]
  • “Conservative/Libertarian Faculty Candidates Are Hired By Law Schools Ranked 12-13 Spots Lower Than Equally-Credentialed Liberal Applicants” [James Cleith Phillips via Paul Caron/TaxProf]
  • Coming next week: I’m set to host and moderate a Sept. 20 forum at Cato in D.C. on the Indian Child Welfare Act. Featured are three lawyers who have been involved in high-profile ICWA litigation, Timothy Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute, Matthew McGill of Gibson Dunn, and Charles Rothfeld of Mayer Brown and Yale Law School [details and registration; event not livestreamed, but video to be posted later]
  • And now for something completely different: “Charles Evans Hughes and Chevron Deference” [Gerard Magliocca]

“Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.”

“A Utah woman who in May 2018 crashed her Tesla Model S into a fire engine while having the Autopilot assist mode engaged has now sued the company in state court, claiming negligence, among other allegations.” A spokesman for Tesla says the company “has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.” [Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica]

Chicago impound confound

“It can’t be overstated what a procedural and logistical nightmare it is to get a car impounded in the city of Chicago.” [C.J. Ciaramella, Reason] Related, Atlanta area: “Lawsuit claims Doraville officials writing tickets for profit, not enforcement” [WXIA, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News] And Pagedale, Mo., a small St. Louis suburb, has agreed “to stop bankrolling itself by fining its residents into the poorhouse.” [Scott Shackford, Reason]

Liability roundup

Pickup crosses interstate median, strikes oncoming vehicle. Guess who pays $89.6 million?

Driver of pickup truck loses control on Texas interstate, crosses median and strikes oncoming semi-trailer truck. Among passengers in pickup truck are two kids, one killed and one horribly injured. Driver of oncoming semi was in own lane, did not lose control, and was driving under speed limit. Plaintiff’s creative theory: there might have been ice on the road, the Werner Enterprises manual tells drivers not to drive during icy conditions; so the driver should not have been on the road at all, and if he hadn’t it would have averted that particular collision. Werner, in its defense: not only was evidence contradictory as to whether conditions were icy or just damp, but driver guidelines do not somehow create legally binding obligations to third parties or prove negligence that could not be shown otherwise. Jury to Werner Enterprises: pay $89.6 million. [Michael O’Connor, Omaha World-Herald]

“Sacramento Wants to Boost Rail Ridership By Banning Drive-Throughs and Gas Stations Near Transit”

It’s almost as if making life inconvenient for drivers is seen as a goal in itself: “City staff [in California’s capital city of Sacramento] are drafting an ordinance that would ban building new gas stations, drive-throughs, and other auto-related businesses within a quarter mile of any of the city’s 23 light rail stations. …Other businesses ‘not considered transit-supportive’ — car lots, auto repair businesses, manufacturing sites, wholesale outlets — would still be allowed, but only if the city grants them a special permit.” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]

“Vehicle Safety Inspections Don’t Increase Safety”

When New Jersey repealed its requirement for periodic auto safety inspections, there was no statistically meaningful rise in the frequency of accidents due to car failure, or to road fatalities whether linked to car failures or not. Alex Tabarrok: “It’s time to ditch the annual safety inspection and either move to no inspection system at all or like Maryland move to a system that requires safety inspections only at transfer. I’m not convinced that is necessary either, since at transfer is precisely when the buyer will run an inspection anyway, but at least that system would reduce the number of inspections significantly.” [Marginal Revolution, New York Post editorial; Alex Hoagland and Trevor Woolley]

Liability roundup

  • “A handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers dominates MDL (multi-district) litigation. Is that a problem?” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
  • “A. 5918: Unconstitutional, Unwise and Futile Effort to Expand N.Y. Courts’ Jurisdiction” [Marc Gottridge and Lisa Fried, New York Law Journal, earlier on would-be end-run around Daimler limits on state court jurisdiction]
  • “Hawaii counties threaten to pull lifeguards off state beaches if liability bill dies” [Nathan Eagle, Honolulu Civil Beat]
  • No good reason why New York municipalities should be required to pay interest rate as high as 9 percent a year on lawsuit outlays [Adam Morey, Auburn Citizen letter to editor]
  • “Ohio Supreme Court orders halt in liquidation of defunct Chesley law firm” [James McNair, City Beat (Cincinnati)]
  • “What Should Tort Law Do When Autonomous Vehicles Crash?” [Michael Krauss; Jones Day]