Posts Tagged ‘Sheldon Silver’

Update: N.Y. auto leasing still stalled

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is still dug in to protect the state’s ultra-harsh law holding auto lessors liable for accidents involving the cars they lease, although it’s had a devastating effect on car leasing in the Empire State (Jun. 9, 2003 and links from there). Here’s the New York Daily News blasting him in a recent editorial:

The Senate wants to abolish vicarious liability, bringing New York into line with 49 other states, but Silver’s Assembly wants to have car companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars into an insurance pool that would cover accidents in leased cars. The trial lawyers are all for it because the pool would give them lots of money to grab, cash that would come from drivers in the form of higher leasing fees. And who are the trial lawyers? Arthur Luxenberg is the group’s second vice president, while Perry Weitz serves on the board of directors. And who are they? They’re the name partners of Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm that lists Silver as of counsel.

The law “costs consumers more than $130 million a year and has led to a 36 percent decline in the number of vehicles leased in New York each year, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA).” (“Vicarious liability costs New York consumers and businesses millions”, Business Council of New York State, Jun.). “More than 19 automakers and every major retail bank in New York have stopped or curtailed car leasing. …In addition, [according to trade groups], vicarious liability has contributed to the closing of 70 leasing companies since September 2000.” (“N.Y.’s Vicarious Liability Costly for Consumers and Auto Dealers”, Insurance Journal, Jul. 19). For more, see the New York State Auto Dealers Association website.

Karma ran over his dogma: Sheldon Silver sued

The New York assembly speaker, who’s done more than anyone in Albany to keep the right to sue on a continually expanding course, now faces a lawsuit charging him with tolerating an atmosphere of sexual harassment, following extremely ugly allegations of sexual assault against his chief counsel, Michael Boxley. (New York Post coverage: “Silver’s slippery slope” (editorial), Jun. 13; Frederic U. Dicker, “Victim to sue Silver”, Jun. 9; Frederic U. Dicker and Kenneth Lovett, “Silver ‘rape’ blame”, Jun. 10; Frederic U. Dicker, “Pretzel popper Silver dissed my rape claim”, Jun. 14. More on Silver: May 1, 2000; May 11-13, 2001; Dec. 13-15, 2002; Jun. 9, 2003. In other news, powerful Republican State Senator Guy Velella of the Bronx, whose law firm’s successful injury suits against New York City were mentioned in this space May 1, 2000, has fallen in a corruption scandal (“Guy Velella Pleads Guilty”, AP/WCBS, May 17).

Update Feb. 5, 2006: suit against Silver’s office settles for $500K, most of it taxpayer funds.

Archived asbestos items, pre-July 2003

Archived entries before July 2003 can also be found here.

2003:To tame Madison County, pass the Class Action Fairness Act” ($250 million against U.S. Steel), Jun. 12-15; “‘Runaway asbestos litigation — why it’s a medical problem’“, Mar. 18; “Class action lawyer takes $20 million from defendant’s side“, Mar. 15-16; “ABA endorses asbestos litigation reform“, Feb. 13; “Asbestos: ‘better than the lottery’“, Feb. 10.  2002:‘Asbestos fraud’” (Robert Samuelson column), Dec. 18-19; “Gotham’s trial lawyer-legislators” (Sheldon Silver, Weitz & Luxenberg”, Dec. 13-15; “Asbestos opinions“, Nov. 8-10; “Notation on Scruggs’ court file: to be ‘kept away from the press’“, Nov. 6; “‘Federal authorities say judge offered illegal payoff’“, Sept. 3-4; “Saving the Crown jewels?“, Jun. 26-27; “‘The Tort Mess’” (Forbes, etc.), May 13; “Editorial-fest” (Time), Mar. 11; “‘The $200 Billion Miscarriage of Justice’” (Roger Parloff, Fortune), Feb. 18-19; “Kaiser Aluminum bankrupt“, Feb. 15-17.  2001:‘Firms Hit Hard As Asbestos Claims Rise’“, Dec. 20; “‘Halliburton shares plunge on verdict’“, Dec. 10; “Insurance market was in tailspin before 9/11“, Nov. 14; “How many lives would asbestos have saved?” (WCT), Sept. 17 (& Sept. 18, Sept. 25-26); “Warren Buffett was wrong” (USG, Crown Cork & Seal), June 27; “Columnist-fest“, June 22-24 (Amity Shlaes on tobacco synergy case); “Randomness of case assignments questioned” (S.F.), April 18; “Reparations: take a number“, Apr. 17 (& see Olson, Reason, Nov. 2000); “‘The last tycoon’” (Angelos), April 12; “Asbestos claims bankrupt W. R. Grace“, April 3-4; “GAF sues asbestos lawyers“, Feb. 12-13 (& see Dec. 10); “CBS among asbestos litigation targets“, Jan. 22-23.  2000:Asbestos litigation destroying more companies“, Nov. 27 (& Dec. 8-10: Armstrong World Industries bankrupt); “Owens Corning bankrupt“, Oct. 6-9; “Somebody to sue” (misc. defendants), Jun. 1.  See also Walter Olson, “Thanks for the memories“, Reason, June 1998.

More links:
Asbestos FAQ (Okla. DOL); Coalition for Asbestos Resolution (articles, edits);; Asbestos Institute (Canada); British Asbestos Newsletter; “Asbestos Litigation 101” (attorney David Shaw).