- Feds arrest almost the entire elected leadership of Crystal City, Texas, population 7,000, in corruption probe [New York Daily News] In 2005 we noted, emerging from that little town where everyone seemed to know everyone else, a highly curious $31 million verdict against Ford Motor;
- Crane collapse chasing in NYC: Eric Turkewitz shines a spotlight on the ethical debris;
- “The Eight Weirdest People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Sued” [Daily Caller slideshow, I get a mention]
- A trademark tale: departing Yosemite concessionaire can take historic place names when it goes [David Post, Coyote with a somewhat different view]
- “Legal action against soldiers ‘could undermine Britain on the battlefield’ warns chief of general staff” [Con Coughlin, Telegraph]
- Human subjects research/Institutional Review Boards: “The Obama administration is quietly trying to make it harder to study public officials” [Michelle Hackman, Vox]
- Comedians, start your engines: lawyer who sued over intimate male enhancement promotion now sues over dating service promotion [New Jersey Civil Justice Institute]
An 8-5 decision from (these days) one of the nation’s more liberal circuits in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate their disabled employees; it does not endow all disabled persons with a job—or job schedule—of their choosing. Jane Harris, a Ford Motor Company employee with irritable bowel syndrome, sought a job schedule of her choosing: to work from home on an as-needed basis, up to four days per week. Ford denied her request, deeming regular and predictable on-site attendance essential to Harris’s highly interactive job. Ford’s papers andpractices—and Harris’s three past telecommuting failures—backed up its business judgment.
Nevertheless, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Ford under the ADA. It alleged that Ford failed to reasonably accommodate Harris by denying her telecommuting request and retaliated against her for bringing the issue to the EEOC’s attention. The district court granted summary judgment to Ford on both claims. We affirm.
No, Henry Ford’s pioneering high-wage policy wasn’t intended to push up demand for the cars he made [Marc Hodak]
In EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a former Ford employee could proceed to a trial on her claim that the company was required to allow her to telecommute on a regular basis. …
[The plaintiff was a] “resale buyer” at Ford who responded to emergency steel supply issues to make sure that parts manufacturers always had an adequate steel supply on hand.
According to Ford, her job required group problem solving, including interaction with other members of the resale team and suppliers….
[The court said that while] attendance at work is still an essential function of most jobs, “attendance” can no longer be assumed to mean presence at the physical workplace.
- By convention the business/defense side isn’t fond of jury trial while plaintiff’s side sings its praises, but Louisiana fight might turn that image on its head [Hayride, sequel at TortsProf (measure fails)]
- Generous tort law, modern industrial economy, doing away with principle of limited liability: pick (at most) two of three [Megan McArdle]
- Fallacies about Stella Liebeck McDonald’s hot coffee case go on and on, which means correctives need to keep coming too [Jim Dedman, DRI]
- Interaction of products liability with workplace injury often provides multiple bites at compensation apple, overdue for reform [Michael Krauss]
- Ford Motor is among most recent seeking to pull back the curtain on asbestos bankruptcy shenanigans [Daniel Fisher; related, Washington Examiner] “Page after page he sits on the straw man’s chest, punching him in the face” [David Oliver on expert affidavit in asbestos case]
- Kansas moves to raise med-mal caps as directed by state supreme court, rebuffs business requests for collateral source rule reform [Kansas Medical Society]
- Let’s hope so: “More stringent pleading for class actions?” [Matthew J.B. Lawrence via Andrew Trask, Class Strategist]
- Abuse of out-of-state motorists an issue: “The Perils of Policing for Profit: Why Tennessee should reform its civil asset forfeiture laws” [Beacon Center, earlier]
- Manhattan: “Lawyer takes plea in $279M no-fault auto insurance fraud case” [ABA Journal]
- “AAA Warns of ‘Dangerous’ Free Market in Parking Spaces” [Matt Yglesias, Slate via Tim Carney]
- Negotiated rates on auto loans at dealerships might violate Obama administration’s disparate-impact guidelines [Roger Clegg]
- Not great for Law dot com’s credibility: Corp Counsel mag throws in with “sudden acceleration” goofery; and here’s an effort to gear up acceleration claims against Ford too.
- Ethanol group menaces Phillips with antitrust charge unless it alters franchiser rule [Alexander Cohen, Atlas]
- “Two researchers call for installing technology to disable cellphones in moving cars” [L.A.Times via Fair Warning]
- Spanish government fines filmmaker for movie poster showing “reckless driving” [Lowering the Bar] Siri, distracted driving, and police discretion [Balko]
- Parents taking care of their kids under Michigan program must pay $30/mo. to SEIU for representation [Joel Gehrke, Examiner]
- Stretching the Fifth: Joe Francis bad deposition behavior [Legal Ethics Forum]
- WaPo covers deep split on Consumer Product Safety Commission, left wants fifth seat filled ASAP;
- “Threat to Student Due Process Rights Dropped from Draft of Violence Against Women Act” [FIRE, background; Cathy Young/Reason]
- After $300K donation from Philadelphia trial lawyers, you may call him “Judge Wecht” [AP/WPVI]
- Court reverses $43M Madison County verdict against Ford [AP/Alton Telegraph, some background]
- More on CPSC’s crib ban train wreck [Commissioner Anne Northup, more, earlier]
- One man’s nightmare of false accusation [LA Times via PoL]
- How many plaintiff’s-side flicks is HBO going to air this summer, anyway? [“Mann v. Ford,” Abnormal Use]
- Apple granted “incredibly broad patent” over screen gesture technology [Tabarrok]
- Will Congress reverse this term’s much-attacked SCOTUS decisions? [Alison Frankel] Podcast on Wal-Mart v. Dukes with Brian Fitzpatrick [Fed Soc] “Wal-Mart ruling no knock-out blow for class actions” [Reuters] Contrary to some assertions, current law does strongly incentivize individual job-bias claims [Bader] More on case: Dan Bushell, and welcome Craig Newmark readers.
- Mississippi stops proceedings in $322 million asbestos case to consider judge’s possible conflict [JCL, earlier here, here]
- Nice coat, where’dja get it? [annals of incompetent crime, UK Daily Mail]
“Every time we go to hire an attorney to defend a lawsuit, as soon as we say ‘Ford Explorer,’ they charge us more money,” explains a company spokeswoman. Today’s Explorer is based on a design entirely different from the model that attracted rollover litigation in the 1990s, which doesn’t seem to matter. [Edward Niedermeyer, Truth About Cars]