Maurice Owens fell down dramatically in an elevator at Washington, D.C.’s Potomac Avenue Metro station, and blamed it on a banana peel. Authorities say that not only did a surveillance camera show him dropping the peel himself, it also caught him glancing up at least three times at the camera itself before the incident. [Washington Post]
Now a slip and fall litigant wants a million dollars from the Harlingen, Tex. eatery. [AP/El Paso Times]
In the New York legislature, bowling alleys are hoping to win a law protecting them from slip-fall liability arising after their customers wear store-rented shoes outside the building and either slip there or track snow or other slippery matter back inside. Weather hazards have been tripping up more customers of the ordinarily indoor sport, it seems, since the state enforced a complete indoor smoking ban. The trial lawyer association is dead set against the bill; its president claims that the bill “undercuts the constitutional right to a trial by a jury” — presumably on the theory that it somehow undercuts trial by jury for a legislature to roll back any instance of liability for anyone anywhere. That’s sheer nonsense, of course — otherwise, it’d have been unconstitutional for legislatures around most of the country to have abolished the old heartbalm torts of breach of promise to marry and alienation of affection. [Albany Times-Union via Future of Capitalism] More: Lowering the Bar.
Floating staircases, indoor rock formations, open firepits, moss-slicked ledges: if you try to raise a family in a Mid-Century Modern home, don’t be surprised if someone calls Child Protective Services on you. [Projectophile]
- Harold Lasswell and Myres McDougal’s influential article on legal education figures prominently in Schools for Misrule; Henry Manne says their scheme of actual classroom pedagogy did less well [Bainbridge]
- Deanship of local plaintiff’s attorney at St. Louis U. is short, colorful [NLJ]
- GW lawprof trips, falls at Denver Law event, now in court [Above the Law]
- Law reviews requiring authors to sign indemnity clauses. Reason for alarm? [Dan Markel, Prawfs]
- Out-of-touch law academy, vol. 18: Duke prof dismisses floodgates arguments on principle [Ted Frank]
- “Should Law Reviews Consider Race When Selecting Articles?” (and do they?) [Josh Blackman]
- Insurance is an undercovered topic in the law school curriculum, so Randy Maniloff decides to do an intervention [Coverage Opinions, PDF, lead article]
- Officials: “36% of car-insure claims bogus” in NYC [NY Post]
- Unseen but looks promising: “Cultures of Tort Law in Europe” [Journal of European Tort Law via TortsProf]
- “The Limits of Texting Accident Lawsuits” [Ronald Miller]
- Lawmakers wonder whether there’s some way around Missouri Supreme Court’s “no med-mal reform on our watch” attitude [Kansas City Star]
- Trial lawyers unhappy as Michigan high court toughens standards on slip-fall suits [AP/Detroit News]
- Fast track: Illinois legislature moves to increase fees lawyers can recover in med-mal cases [Madison-St. Clair Record]
- New Jersey municipalities have stake in litigation reform [NJLRA]
Lowering the Bar on the complaint in a San Francisco trip-fall case:
Sure, you could write “plaintiff tripped on the curb,” but that almost makes it sound like it might have been plaintiff’s fault. Writing instead that “the curb disrupted the motion of plaintiff’s foot” makes it clear that the curb was the bad actor here. …
The curb’s co-defendant, Gravity, settled before trial.
Through garden tours and charitable dinners, Chrissie D’Esopo has raised some $175,000 over the years at her beautiful home in Avon, Ct., near Hartford. Following a lawsuit over a slip and fall — not to mention the claim filed by the visitor’s uninjured husband — she’s decided to call it quits, but might reconsider on hearing of a recently passed Connecticut recreational-immunity law that extends legal protection to property owners who do not profit from a visitor’s presence. Notes a commenter: “This is why we can’t have nice things.” [Hartford Courant]
…had a great career in litigation after his fall [Pearls Before Swine cartoon, Sept. 23]
The site My OB Said WHAT?!? sums up a paradox that many hospital visitors have noticed:
“You’re not ready to leave until you can walk out of here.” – L&D Nurse to mom being wheeled out upon discharge.
Many hospitals do hold to a formal policy on the subject. Thus Methodist Hospital of Houston: “When your doctor has discharged you and you are ready to leave, you will be escorted out in a wheelchair by hospital staff.” Why necessarily in a wheelchair, when you may be perfectly capable of walking?
The Chamber-backed Southeast Texas Record has a theory. It’s the same theory endorsed at Yahoo Answers. As for whether patients actually fall and hurt themselves on the way out of the hospital, it appears from this Eastern District of Pennsylvania case (PDF) that, yes, it happens.