Tort reform groups have warned for a while that trial lawyer ads hyping side effects from commonly prescribed drugs might lead some patients to go off prescribed medication regimens. Now “a new paper co-authored by University of Oregon law professor Elizabeth Tippett, a key witness at last year’s congressional hearing [raising the issue], offers some empirical evidence that drug injury ads by trial lawyers and legal marketing firms do, in fact, mislead some consumers. And when those ads are deceptively framed as health warnings, Tippett and her co-author found, patients are less likely to refill or renew prescriptions.” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
When New Jersey repealed its requirement for periodic auto safety inspections, there was no statistically meaningful rise in the frequency of accidents due to car failure, or to road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]
Amid horrendous misbehavior attributed to his emotional and behavioral disabilities, the future shooter was shuttled among various Broward County schools, including an episode being “mainstreamed” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, scene of his later atrocity. Under the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which has been intensively litigated over the years, “school districts are required to provide kids with physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities a free education in the ‘least restrictive’ setting, and to accommodate the needs of such students.” [Carol Marbin Miller and Kyra Gurney, Miami Herald] He “was well-known to school and mental health authorities and was entrenched in the process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement….Beginning in 2013, Broward stopped referring students to police for about a dozen infractions ranging from alcohol and drug use to bullying, harassment and assault,” under influence of national campaign against “school-to-prison pipeline.” [Tim Craig, Emma Brown, Sarah Larimer and Moriah Balingit, Washington Post]
Lenore Skenazy, Paul Detrick & Alexis Garcia video and commentary on the annual alarmism of WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm)(earlier), which this year is out against fidget spinners as well as other popular playthings:
Also on this year’s list is the Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword, which, the WATCH team says, encourages young children “to bear arms”—as if you get a Wonder Woman toy and immediately deploy to Yemen. They also say that the “rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.” Yeah…and so does a fork. In fact, so does a candy cane, if you suck it to a sharp point.
Reader R.T. writes: “Don’t know if anyone has commented but my son’s middle school is keeping all students inside from 1-4. My law partner’s kid’s school is releasing them all at 11. Guarantee it is because they don’t want to get sued for scorched corneas.”
- California law requires cities, counties to generate elaborate plans for new housing. No need to grant permits though [Liam Dillon, L.A. Times]
- Strenuous campaigns to block fossil fuel infrastructure have helped saddle Rhode Island with some of the highest electric rates in the land [Douglas Gablinske, Providence Journal]
- Ronald Bailey reviews Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks, by Geoffrey Kabat [Reason last winter]
- Update: judge strikes down Montgomery County, Md. ban on common lawn pesticides [my Free State Notes post]
- Short video with Prof. Eric Claeys (George Mason/Scalia) on Penn Central v. City of New York (1978), the leading case in regulatory takings law [Federalist Society]
- Scientist leading WHO review of Roundup chemical knew of but omitted recent study finding no cancer risk; California went ahead and listed glyphosate anyway [Reuters Investigates, Karl Plume/Reuters on California action, Kiera Butler/Mother Jones]
Grenfell Tower tenants repeatedly complained about safety concerns; their landlord hired a lawyer who threatened to sue them for libel. pic.twitter.com/t9Rh6d0rXE
— Bruce E.H. Johnson (@BEHJ) June 19, 2017
“Grenfell Tower tenants repeatedly complained about safety concerns; their landlord hired a lawyer who threatened to sue them for libel.” [Bruce E.H. Johnson on Twitter] A fast-spreading fire at the North Kensington high-rise public housing tower resulted in more than 70 fatalities earlier this month.
Despite Fred Hartman’s claims of age discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation, a state appellate court found that the Ohio Department of Transportation was within its rights to dismiss him. After a series of three preventable truck accidents within a three-week period, the department had put him on a “last-chance agreement,” which was followed several months later by another accident. Hartman “had submitted a doctor’s note requesting accommodation for hearing loss in one of his ears.” [Jon Hyman]
Amid the wreckage left by superstorm Sandy, residents of two New Haven, Ct. neighborhoods celebrated trick-or-treating against official advice. Was that “libertarian” of them? [Mark Oppenheimer]
Buried in OSHA’s impending final rule on electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses is this little nugget. OSHA believes that you violate the law if you require an employee to take a post-accident drug test. Let me repeat. According to OSHA, you violate the law if you automatically drug test any employee after an on-the-job accident.
Allow me to pause while this sinks in.
The agency concedes that employers might still lawfully do some post-accident testing on a case by case basis so long as they are willing to develop evidence pointing to, e.g., a given employee’s drug use as an accident cause. Of course it is precisely such effectively accusatory, singling-out testing that is most likely to provoke litigation for having unfairly cast suspicion on an individual employee.