- Clean Water Act’s citizen-suit procedure can “be a huge money maker” for private groups: “Policing for profit in private environmental enforcement” [Jonathan Wood]
- “Chicago Alderman Tells Property Owners to ‘Come Back to Me on Your Knees’ or Face Zoning Changes” [Eric Boehm, Reason]
- Wetlands: “Farmer faces $2.8 million fine after plowing field” [Damon Arthur, Redding Record-Searchlight]
- Urban bike lanes are green religious monuments, writes Arnold Kling, a biker himself;
- Climate change shareholder disclosure: “Class action lawyers have become very clever at developing these cases for profit.” [Nina Chestney, Reuters]
- “Why full compensation for property owners might lead to more unlawful takings” [Ilya Somin]
Worries “that many delivery jobs would disappear” are cited among the reasons San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee is sponsoring a ban on delivery robots in the city, prompting this response:
San Fran economics, in 3 steps!
Step 1: Pass $15 minimum wage.
Step 2: Robots take delivery jobs.
Step 3: Ban robots to save delivery jobs. https://t.co/Uj21cnvKuQ
— Michael Saltsman (@Mike_Saltsman) May 31, 2017
Commenters have several suggestions for Steps 4 and beyond, including (@railboss): “Complain there aren’t any decent restaurants anymore with reasonably priced food or that deliver.”
- “Torts of the Future: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies” [U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform]
- “After paying out millions, Detroit pushes new law protecting cities from claims over bad sidewalks” [WXYZ]
- Fire doors at U.N. cut and repurposed to make cabinets, court rules original manufacturers not liable for failure to warn of asbestos dust risk should doors be cut up [Lynn Lehnert, Asbestos Case Tracker]
- Woman sues bar that served her over her later drunk driving accident and injuries allegedly suffered in police custody [Penn Record]
- Can members of a class action be identified? Supreme Court should resolve circuit split on the important class-action-certification issue of “ascertainability” [David E. Sellinger and Aaron Van Nostrand, WLF]
- Federal court in the Eastern District of New York gets lots of food marketing lawsuits [Emily Saul and Danika Fears, New York Post, Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
After a biker was badly injured by a speeding motorist on Gerritsen Avenue in Brooklyn, a jury in 2011 held New York City legally responsible for not having more speeder-unfriendly street design. The city is now instituting such changes, which according to one advocate should no longer be deemed “subject to debate.” The city was held 40 percent liable, but paid 95 percent or $19 million of a $20 million settlement. “‘This ruling from New York’s highest court puts an end to the notion that traffic safety improvements should be subject to debate and contingent on unanimous local opinion,’ said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. ‘The scientific verdict has been in for several years: traffic calming works to save lives and prevent injuries.'” [Alissa Walker, Curbed]
Twenty-five years ago the Manhattan Institute, with which I was affiliated for many years, launched its extremely successful periodical City Journal. (Longtime editor Myron Magnet, now editor-at-large, has an account here of some of its triumphs.)
The very first issue had a piece from me on alternate side of the street parking. Contributors to that first issue, under founding editor Richard Vigilante, included William Tucker, Rick Brookhiser, Terry Teachout, Carolyn Lochhead, Mark Cunningham, Peter Salins, Rupert Murdoch (!), and others. My work appeared in City Journal most recently this summer with a profile of the work of Eric Schneiderman as New York attorney general (“Inspector Gotcha”) and you can read all of my contributions to the magazine here, on topics ranging from the case against slavery reparations to the struggle between Westchester County and HUD.
Congratulations to this excellent magazine as it enters its second quarter century under editor Brian Anderson.
The town of Perrysburg, Ohio, wants to use a “quick-take” procedure to condemn land on one side of a road so as to widen it and add a sidewalk or bike path. But some of the land is in adjoining Middleton Township, not in Perrysburg. Can they even do that? [Maggie Thurber, Watchdog]
Marshall, Texas, famed as patent plaintiffs’ forum of choice, returns a $663 million False Claims Act verdict against Trinity Industries in guardrail supply case [Insurance Journal; earlier on the unique qualities of the Eastern District of Texas, earlier on the Trinity litigation here and here]
And more Marshall fun: Texas patent holding company files 49 lawsuits in a week, isn’t listed on own office building’s directory [Legal NewsLine]
“Dominique Sharpton posted pictures to Instagram showing she completed a difficult mountain climb in Bali, Indonesia — even though her suit says that ‘she still suffers’ debilitating pain after twisting her ankle in a street crack in Soho last year.” [New York Post and more (“Al Sharpton’s daughter sues city for $5M after spraining ankle”)]
They say the neon lights are doomed on Broadway:
The feds say many of Times Square’s huge and neon-lit billboards must come down or the city will lose about $90 million in federal highway money.
The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included, Kramer reported.
Blame lawmakers, not the current DoT administrators, says Marc Scribner of CEI:
This is a classic example of Congress passing stupid laws, ordering regulators to implement them stupidly, and then forgetting about them until unintended consequences spring up down the line.