Posts Tagged ‘damages’

“Canada keeps malpractice cost in check”

Susan Taylor Martin in the St. Petersburg Times has some striking numbers:

For neurosurgeons in Miami, the annual cost of medical malpractice insurance is astronomical — $237,000, far more than the median price of a house.

In Toronto, a neurosurgeon pays about $29,200 for coverage. It’s even less in Montreal ($20,600) and Vancouver ($10,650).

Among the reasons why: in 1978 the Canadian Supreme Court imposed (on its own) nationwide limits on pain-and-suffering recoveries, adjusted for inflation and now just over $300,000. A single mutual insurer covers most doctors and takes an aggressive approach to defending claims. Most cases are tried before judges. Billboard and TV advertising by lawyers is much less prevalent in Canada. And so forth — all aside from the loser-pays principle.

August 10 roundup

  • Annals of legal marketing: law firm says its flyers offering to sue landlords over sexual assault on premises were left indiscriminately on car windshields, and it didn’t mean to target the woman who found it on hers and assumed it referred to her case [New Jersey Law Journal, Legal Blog Watch, Legal Ethics Forum]
  • “The Bankruptcy Files: Inside Michael Vick’s ‘Excessive’ Legal Bills” [AmLaw Daily]
  • Panel spanks U. of Illinois law school for admitting students at behest of politicos, but goes easy on the pols themselves [Ribstein, more, earlier here, here, here]
  • Youths who obtained big settlement in San Francisco Zoo tiger attack are having more encounters with the law [SF Chronicle, earlier]
  • Czech Republic: Suit by communist professor against critical students still in progress after 18 years [Volokh]
  • More thoughts on Florida lawmakers’ criminalization of purported gang signals, on MySpace and elsewhere [Citizen Media Law, earlier]
  • RIAA case: does the Constitution restrain unreasonable statutory damages? [Kennerly]
  • Eager law grad hoping to make a career of suing foodmakers over obesity [six years ago on Overlawyered]

“Court orders Jammie Thomas to pay RIAA $1.92 million”

For sharing 24 songs [earlier]. A range of reactions: Ray Beckerman (believes case is headed for third trial), Max Kennerly (absurdly high damage awards happen more often when jury distrusts truthfulness of defendant), Amy Alkon (“Stealing from really, really rich people is still stealing”), Ron Coleman and more (case should prompt a reexamination of issue of statutory damages).

“Former employee wins $4.1 billion”

Not a misprint: the arbitration award in Chester v. iFreedom Communications Inc., (PDF), in favor of a former chief marketing officer fired without cause, was really $4.1 billion with a b. [Dennis Westlind, World of Work via Ohio Employer’s Law; JAMS, Los Angeles]

P.S.: A commenter at an Alabama site: “So much for mandatory binding arbitration always favoring the big company.”

P.P.S.: More on how it happened, including serious lapses by the defendant in responding to the action, from AmLaw Litigation Daily, National Law Journal, and Daniel Schwartz.

Mystery pink-diamond disappearance, cont’d

On Point News has an update on the defense’s motion for a new trial in the unusual federal case (with spy-thriller overtones) we covered in January. “The defense has already gotten some post-trial relief. In a May 13 order, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose threw out the $2.3 million award on the criminal theft claim, leaving intact the $1.7 million for conversion and $8,400 for unjust enrichment.”

“Website ordered to pay $125,000 over ‘haunted’ mill claim”

Melissa Duer and her husband own a property that includes the state of Ohio’s only surviving grist mill, built by her ancestor, Eli or Elias Staley. Stories that the property is haunted have circulated for many years and were relayed in the book “Weird Ohio” and on the (apparently unrelated) website Forgotten Ohio. The Duers sued the authors of book and site on the grounds that by giving publicity to the stories they had helped attract many curiosity seekers to the site, forcing the couple “to spend thousands of dollars on security measures at the mill including $35,000 for an estate dog, Duer testified at a March hearing”. A judge ruled for the book defendants, “saying those responsible for [“Weird Ohio”] did not place the Duers in a false light, had no intent of emotional distress and had not trespassed or caused anyone else to trespass on the property.” However, Columbus resident Andrew Hamilton did not respond in defense of his website Forgotten Ohio (where it looks as if the disputed passage may still be standing, in the “Clark County” section, though other accounts place the property in Miami County) and the judge awarded a default judgment against him of $125,000. The Duers’ lawyer, Jeremy Tomb of Troy, says the couple intends to appeal the judge’s ruling in favor of the book, which has dropped the Staley story from its second printing.

The damages claimed included: $1,921 for an invisible fence; $1,710 for private security; $27,606 for diminished value to the property from rumors it is haunted; $57,217 in legal fees; $6,340 in litigation expenses; and $35,000 for the dog.

Duer testified extra money was spent on the dog specially trained to be under command.

“We didn’t want just any pet or regular dog that could possibly bite people,” she said in court.

Pictures said to be of the Staley Mill appear at [Nancy Bowman, Dayton Daily News]

“Jeweler Awarded $3.8M for Theft of Mystery Diamond”

Did the fabulous pink diamond actually exist? That was one of the issues in the legal fight — which in places reads more like a spy thriller than like a conventional business dispute — between plaintiff John Stafford, a jeweler in Miami Township, Ohio, and defendant Julius Klein Diamonds of New York. A federal jury sided with Stafford, who said he had paid $8,000 in cash for the gem from a mysterious seller in Las Vegas; the eventual verdict came in at more than 400 times that sum. (OnPoint News; Dayton Business Journal;