Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

“Let kids sue parents”

Such a grand idea from an anti-smoking campaigner up North: “Children should be able to sue their parents for exposing them to harmful second-hand cigarette smoke, an Alberta doctor says.” Dr. Larry Bryan, who worked on a provincial commission that planned out anti-tobacco measures, “says banning puffing in cars or homes would be very difficult to enforce. But he believes the message would come across loud and clear if smokers were held legally responsible for their actions through exposure-related lawsuits. “(Michelle Mark, “Let kids sue parents”, Edmonton Sun, Feb. 4).

Meanwhile, regulation creeps forward on other fronts: “Texas will join a handful of states that prohibit foster parents from smoking in front of children in their homes and cars when a new state rule takes effect January first. Under rules passed this year, foster parents can’t smoke in their homes if they have foster children living there. They also can’t smoke while driving if children are in the car. Other states with similar smoking laws include Vermont, Washington and Maine.” Roy Block, president of the Texas Foster Family Association, says rules of this sort discourage Texas families from stepping forward to offer themselves as foster parents; most states do not exactly enjoy a surfeit of applicants well-qualified on other grounds (“Texas To Prohibit Foster Parent Smoking”, AP/WOAI, Dec. 4).

February 1 roundup

  • In “State of the Economy” speech, Bush says litigation and regulation harm U.S. financial competitiveness, praises enactment of Class Action Fairness Act [Reuters; his remarks]

  • How many California legislators does it take to ban the conventional lightbulb in favor of those odd-looking compact fluorescents? [Reuters, Postrel, McArdle first and second posts]

  • Levi’s, no longer a juggernaut in the jeans world, keeps lawyers busy suing competitors whose pocket design is allegedly too similar [NYTimes]

  • Clinics in some parts of Sweden won’t let women request a female gynecologist, saying it discriminates against male GYNs [UPI, Salon]

  • Is the new Congress open to litigation reform? Choose from among dueling headlines [Childs]

  • Anti-SLAPP motion filed against Santa Barbara newspaper owner McCaw [SB Ind’t via Romenesko]

  • Uncritical look at Holocaust-reparations suits against French national railway [Phila. Inquirer]

  • Deep pockets dept.: court rules mfr. had duty to warn about asbestos in other companies’ products, though its own product contained none [Ted at Point of Law]

  • Lawyering up for expected business-bashing oversight hearings on Capitol Hill [Plumer, The New Republic]

  • “King of vexatious litigants” in Ontario restrained after 73 filings in 10 years, though he says he did quite well at winning the actions [Globe and Mail, Giacalone’s self-help law blog]

  • Sen. Schumer can’t seem to catch a break from WSJ editorialists [me at PoL]

  • South Carolina gynecological nurse misses case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever — that’ll be $2.45 million, please [Greenville News via KevinMD]

  • Five years ago on Overlawyered: we passed the milestone of one million pages served. By now, though our primitive stats make it hard to know for sure, the cumulative figure probably exceeds ten million. Thanks for your support!

January 29 roundup

  • Update to Maine Board of Tourism intimidate-a-blogger-by-litigation lawsuit: case dismissed, government official fired. [Maine Web Report; AP/Boston Globe]
  • Senter blocks State Farm Katrina class settlement. [Point of Law; Rossmiller; Woullard v. State Farm]
  • Senator Schumer (D-NY) calls for liability reform to save New York economy; Governor Spitzer shows up at press conference. [Point of Law]
  • Canadian $10M settlement for Syrian torture: that’s what we get for trusting Syria. [Frum]
  • Remember that case in Snohomish where the celebratory cannon blew up at the football game? And the plaintiffs’ lawyer complained that the injured student was getting threatened by the townspeople over his lawsuit? Turns out the student (allegedly) told a youth minister that he deliberately overloaded the cannon for “a bigger bang,” and now is (allegedly) harassing the minister. And the original threats had nothing to do with football spirit. Everett Herald]
  • Regulations drive restaurateurs from New York to friendlier (if armpittier) climes. [New York via Taylor]
  • Suit: suicide fault of auto dealership sponsoring “Hands on a Hardbody” contest. [AP/ Austin American-Statesman]
  • Nanny statism meets failure to contemplate ex ante vs. ex post thinking in UK: new Manchester police policy is to refuse to chase helmetless bicycle thieves. [Telegraph (h/t F.R.)](earlier)

  • Private eyes and lawyers among the transactions costs of rent regulation in New York. [NYT]
  • The war on science doesn’t just come from the right. [Adler @ Volokh; Sandefur @ Positive Liberty]

  • Mrs. Alito is very cool [WaPo via Bashman]

Rapper asks $900 million for Canadian border hassles

Jerome Almon, who owns the Detroit rap music label Murdercap, has sued Canadian officials demanding $900,000,000 over alleged hassles in his attempts to cross the border. Almon, whose musical oeuvre includes works entitled On Ya Neez Bitch and How Stella Got My Backhand, says that although his police record contains arrests only and not convictions, Canadian border control personnel have delayed his entry to the country on dozens of occasions, sometimes for hours. He is representing himself in the suit. (“Detroit rapper sues over alleged Canadian border hassles”, CBC, Jan. 17; Paul Egan, “Detroit record label head alleges harassment against border officials”, Detroit News, Jan. 18; P2Pnet).

January 17 roundup

  • Life in prison for adulterers, under Michigan law? [Freep]

  • An Albany personal injury lawyer favors abolishing pain and suffering damages in negligence cases [Warren Redlich]

  • Lott v. Levitt (Jan. 12, etc.) further discussed [Concurring Opinions]

  • Call us kitten fish, cont’d: some trial lawyers re-brand as “civil justice attorneys” [Fulton County Daily Report]

  • Smokers’ freedom defended, by Nobelist James Watson and Canadian columnist Jose Rodriguez [Reason, Calgary Sun]

  • Dinesh D’Souza’s new book doesn’t sound like it’s going to do any favors for his reputation. [Slate, Eric Scheie]

  • Also from Tim Noah: now that O.J.’s confessed, can the law really not lay a glove on him?[Slate]

January 14 roundup

These roundups aren’t so hard to do once you get the hang of them:

  • Boutrous on suit against “recovered-memory” doubter Loftus [W$J]. Earlier: here, here.

  • Yet another expose of the “scrumptiousness epidemic” [Beato/Reason]

  • OK to challenge jurors based on occupation, Calif. appeals court rules [Egelko/SF Chronicle]

  • UK: “Murderer and his fraudster wife are given £20,000 legal aid to fight for an IVF baby” [Daily Mail]

  • Truce, seemingly, between class-actioneers Bernstein Litowitz and Milberg Weiss [Koppel/WSJ Law Blog]

  • Behind one of the biggest med-mal awards in Canadian history, a question of whether risk of bearing twins was warned of [KevinMD]

  • Judge Patel grants class-action status to Costco gender-bias suit [Lattman/WSJ law blog]

“Danish court rejects cartoons lawsuit”

“A Danish court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Muslim groups against the newspaper that first published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered protests across the world this year.” (, Oct. 27; Volokh, Oct. 26). Syrian legislator Mohammed Habash, who heads the Islamic Studies Center in Damascus and is apparently deaf to ironic overtones, charged the Danish court with “[wanting] to impose their way of thinking on all other nations.” (“Arab dismay at cartoons verdict”, Irish Examiner, Oct. 26). Earlier: Mar. 19, Mar. 31, etc. SupportDenmarkSmall3EN.png

Canada: deported Russian spy sues for readmittance

“A former Russian undercover agent who lived under a false name in Toronto and spied for the Russian government is suing Canada’s immigration department for refusing to allow her to return here as a landed immigrant.” Elena Miller, nee Yelena Olshanskaya, thinks Ottawa should let bygones be bygones about her spy past: “I have dealt with the Canadian government in a co-operative, respectful and low-key manner, despite inquiries from the Canadian media and offers for a book/film,” she said. (Marina Jimenez, “Russian spy sues Ottawa for being left out in cold”, Globe and Mail (Toronto), Oct. 4).

“Casual pot use a disability, Alberta judge finds”

“An Alberta judge has ruled that a construction company discriminated against a man when it fired him from an oilsands project after his pre-employment drug screening tested positive for marijuana. Instead, Justice Sheilah Martin said the man — a recreational user — should have been treated the same way as someone with a drug addiction, which is considered a disability in a growing body of human rights case law across Canada.” (CanWest/reprinted at, Jun. 29; “Drug testing can be discriminatory, judge rules”, CBC, Jun. 30).

Update: Devastated by cheating spouse

In the much-watched case we discussed last week (Jun. 21), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that compensation could indeed be awarded a wife for her inability to work due to ongoing trauma from her ex-husband’s infidelity years earlier. Per the Globe and Mail:

Some legal experts said yesterday that the vague and self-contradictory nature of the ruling may encourage litigation from other estranged spouses who want to mount similar arguments based on their emotionally fragile state.

“What has opened up is a new route for people to argue that they cannot become self-sufficient,” said University of Toronto law professor Brenda Cossman.

(Kirk Makin, “Divorce ruling threatens to open floodgates”, Globe & Mail, Jun. 22).