By reader acclaim: the family of a Pennsylvania woman who attended — but did not participate in — a New Jersey “Polar Bear Plunge” charity event has sued the event sponsors and many others. Tracy Hottenstein was last seen alive around 2:15 a.m. on the night of drinking after the festivities, and was later discovered in the bay having, per Cape May County authorities, “died accidentally from hypothermia and acute intoxication.” In addition to the event sponsors, the suit names “the owners of two bars she was at on the night she died and the couple who invited her to dinner at their home that evening. Also named is the hospital where she died and the doctor who pronounced her dead, as well as the Sea Isle City Police Department and individual officers who — the suit claims — did not allow rescue workers to perform lifesaving treatment for hypothermia after they discovered Hottenstein had no pulse.” [AP/NJ.com]
- “Father demands $7.5 million because school officials read daughter’s text message” [KDAF via CALA Houston]
- How many different defendants can injured spectator sue in Shea Stadium broken-bat case? [Melprophet]
- Prominent trial lawyer Russell Budd of Baron & Budd hosts Obama at Texas fundraiser [PoL]
- DNA be damned: when actual nonpaternity doesn’t suffice to get out from under a child support order [Alkon, more]
- “Sean Coffey, a plaintiffs’ lawyer-turned-candidate for New York Attorney General, made more than $150,000 in state-level campaign contributions nationwide over 10 years.” [WSJ Law Blog] “Days before announcing a shareholder lawsuit against Bank of America, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli accepted $14,000 in campaign donations from a law firm hired to help litigate the case.” [WSJ]
- Big new RAND Corp. study on asbestos bankruptcy trusts may spur reform [Lloyd Dixon, Geoffrey McGovern & Amy Coombe, PDF, via Hartley, more, Daniel Fisher/Forbes, background here and here] Update: Stier.
- Public contingency suits? Of course the elected officials are in control (wink, wink) [The Recorder via Cal Civil Justice]
- Copyright enforcement mill appears to have copied its competitor’s website [TechDirt via Eric Goldman]
- “Trial Lawyers vs. Toyota” [Holman Jenkins, Jr./WSJ] Rep. Towns’s hearing didn’t even pretend to be other than showcase for trial bar [Wood, PoL; Henry Payne coverage in National Review here, here, here, and here] And make way for the inevitable investor suits [Daily Breeze]
- “Obama open to curbing medical malpractice suits” [AP/WaPo] Related: The Hill; advice from Newsweek’s Evan Thomas [Jim Pinkerton]
- Why doesn’t the Securities and Exchange Commission hire finance people? “They’re overlawyered. They’re poisoned by lawyers.” [Harry Markopolos interviewed by Deborah Solomon, N.Y. Times]
- “Plaintiffs Lawyer’s ‘Reptile’ Strategy Bites Back” [Fulton County Daily Report] Plus: Max Kennerly wonders why it was admitted into evidence;
- “Facebook plus divorce equals flammable situation” [Tampa Bay Online]
- Officials get wined, dined and more: “Paying public pensions to sue” [Forbes]
- Parents sue many defendants in Colorado ice cream shop crash [Denver Post]
- Called for jury duty yesterday, and Tweeting the results: arts critic/biographer Terry Teachout and conservative writer Michelle Malkin.
California: “Stanley Hilton, 60, of Hillsborough, said in unique court papers that his wife of 13 years divorced him and took their young triplets with her last year because of ‘around-the-clock’ jet noise at SFO. …Hilton last week sued (PDF) SFO, Hillsborough, the counties of San Mateo and San Francisco, dozens of airlines and jet manufacturers, and the real estate agents and couple that sold him his home on Darrell Road for $1.475 million in April 2003.” Hilton, who is representing himself pro se, “is a former civil litigation attorney with a law degree from Duke University and was an active member of the State Bar of California for most of the past three decades, records show. However, the Bar said courts deemed Hilton ineligible to practice law in August.” [San Mateo County Times, SF Chronicle “The Scavenger”, Lowering the Bar.]
- Unsafe at any read: new Ralph Nader novel panned by Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation [Barnes and Noble Review via Suderman, Reason]
- Microsoft says “most, if not all” customer data from T-Mobile Sidekick smartphones has been recovered, but class action lawyers say they’re undeterred [Seattle P-I]
- Sue them all and sort things out later? Lawsuit over Air France Airbus crash off coast of Brazil names long list of aerospace suppliers as defendants [Reuters]
- “No cash for this clunker”: opposition mounts to proposal for Massachusetts public law school [Boston Herald editorial via Legal Blog Watch, earlier link roundup at Point of Law]
- Ralph Lauren experiences Streisand Effect over skinny-model nastygram [Althouse, earlier]
- High-profile L.A. plaintiff’s lawyer Walter Lack speaks under questioning about role in Nicaraguan banana-worker suit against Dole [Recorder, earlier, background] And: “Dole on a Roll: Court Declines to Enforce $97M Judgment” [WSJ Law Blog, Bloomberg]
- Miller-Jenkins lesbian custody case, much meddled in by conservative religious groups, recalls the ways divorced dads get cut out of their kids’ lives [Glenn Sacks/Ned Holstein via Amy Alkon, background]
- Daniel Kalder speculates on why the New York Times editorially “purred with approval” of the new FTC blogger regulations in such an “impressively superficial” way [Guardian Books Blog]. More on FTC’s semi-backtracking on the controversy: Media Bistro “Galleycat”, Publisher’s Weekly, Galleysmith. And having been hoping for ages to get a link some day from blogging legend Jason Kottke, this one will go in the souvenir file [Kottke.org]
“A woman hit by a Danish tourist driving a rental SUV outside the Olema Deli has filed a lawsuit against the Dane, the delicatessen and Dollar Rent a Car.” [Gary Klien, “Woman files lawsuit in Olema bench mishap”, Marin Independent Journal, Calif.]
Medford, Mass.: 14-year-old Ashley Burns was performing an airborne role in a cheerleading routine when she fell and fatally ruptured her spleen. Now her mother is suing the gym where it happened, two accrediting organizations (the U.S. All Star Federation for Cheer and Dance Teams, and the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators) and other defendants. (Donna Goodison, “Mom files lawsuit in cheerleader’s ’05 death”, Boston Herald, Oct. 21).
The (genuine) International Olympic Committee and other defendants should be made to pay, according to Texas-based class-action lawyer, Jim Moriarty, who wants “millions of dollars” for 400 victims worldwide. “The lawyer alleges the IOC was aware beijingticketing.com was operating with trademarked Olympic symbols emblazoned on the site,” but failed to act speedily enough or effectively in getting the impostor site shut down. (“Olympic ticket scam: class action”, Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 23).
- Another compilation of the hundred best law blogs, with a familiar name among the nine “general” picks, so thanks for that [“Criminal Justice Degrees Guide” via ABA Journal]
- Europe has a transnational association of personal injury lawyers, funded by the EU, but with no wheeler-dealer, masters-of-the-universe vibe in evidence [PoL]
- Delta wasn’t liable in Kentucky Comair crash, but some plaintiffs sued it anyway in what their lawyer describes as an “abundance of caution” — that’s a diplomatic way to put it [Aero-News Net; link fixed now]
- U.K.: Mom told she’d need to pass criminal record check before being allowed to take her own son to school [Telegraph]
- Regular coverage of the litigious exploits of delusional inmate Jonathan Lee Riches, if you’ve got the stomach for them [Dreadnaught blog]
- Federal Circuit reverses $85 million infringement verdict won by Raymond Niro, blasted by critics as original “patent troll” [AmLaw Daily]
- “Determined to defeat lawsuits over addiction, the casino industry is funding research at a Harvard-affiliated lab.” [Salon]
- Hired through nepotism by in-laws, then fired after divorce, sues on grounds of “marital status discrimination” [eight years ago on Overlawyered]
Sealed Air makes polyethylene foam for packaging material. The Great White plaintiffs allege that polyethylene foam in the soundproofing was part of the reason the Rhode Island Station nightclub fire spread so fast, killing 100–though they have no evidence that Sealed Air manufactured the foam in the club, not to mention the fact that the packing foam was never intended to be used as building material. Not to worry: with joint and several liability in Rhode Island, Sealed Air faced billions of dollars of potential liability because all of the other deep pockets (dozens of defendants ranging from a radio station to four other foam manufacturers to Anheuser-Busch to the bus that transported the band to the concert to a television station that covered the fire) have settled, Sealed Air couldn’t risk being held even 1% liable, especially given that at a trial plaintiffs would have no incentive to blame empty-chair or empty-pocket or settling defendants. Sealed Air will pay $25 million in protection money. (AP; Providence Journal; TortsProf). The miscarriage of justice continues, but the remaining defendants are apparently judgment-proof.