- ObamaCare challenge: D.C. Circuit vacates Halbig decision for en banc rehearing [Roger Pilon, earlier]
- ACLU and SEIU California affiliates oppose trial lawyers’ higher-damages-plus-drug-testing Proposition 46 [No On 46, earlier] As does Sacramento Bee in an editorial;
- Rethinking the use of patient restraints in hospitals [Ravi Parikh, Atlantic; legal fears not mentioned, however]
- Certificate of need regulation: “I didn’t know the state of Illinois had a standard for the maximum permissible size of a hospital room.” [John Cochrane]
- In China, according to a study by Benjamin Liebman of Columbia Law School, hired malpractice mobs “consistently extract more money from hospitals than legal proceedings do” [Christopher Beam, The New Yorker]
- Overview of (private-lawyer-driven) municipal suits on painkiller marketing [John Schwartz, New York Times, earlier] More: Chicago’s contingency deal with Cohen Milstein on opioid lawsuit [LNL] More: Rob Green, Abnormal Use.
- “So In The End, The VA Was Rewarded, Not Punished” [Coyote]
“Following in the footsteps of two California counties, the city of Chicago this week filed suit against five pharmaceutical companies, contending that they drove up the city’s costs by overstating the benefits of their addictive painkillers and failing to reveal the downside of taking the drugs.” [ABA Journal, Bloomberg] The city’s press release asserts, among other things: “there is no scientific evidence supporting the long-term use of these drugs [opioids] for non-cancer chronic pain.”
Suits like this are typically, though not invariably, concocted by private law firms which then pitch them to governments hoping for contingency-fee representation deals. (Orange and Santa Clara are the California counties that have signed on to such actions.) For more on the war on painkillers and their marketing, check the ample resources at Reason mag from Jacob Sullum, Brian Doherty, and others; note also a recent book, A Nation in Pain by Judy Foreman, via Tyler Cowen. Our earlier coverage is here.
For Daniel Taylor to be convicted of a murder committed while he was actually behind bars, at least three things had to happen: 1) a supposed confession extracted by Chicago police; 2) a conveniently corroborative sighting of Taylor at the scene by another cop; 3) improper withholding of exonerating evidence by the Illinois prosecutor. A Center on Wrongful Convictions video (via Balko)(& welcome Above the Law readers).
Following up on the sensational Blue Line crash at the Chicago Transit Authority’s O’Hare Airport terminus: “The CTA’s contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union authorizes the agency to fire rail operators who have had two serious safety violations in a short period of time [emphasis added], and officials said the two incidents when [Brittney] Haywood dozed off qualify her for termination.” Falling asleep just once at the controls of a train wasn’t enough! [CBS Chicago] More: Bill Zeiser, American Spectator.
Martha Neil at the ABA Journal reports on a setback for one fast-out-of-the-gate filing over the fate of Flight 370:
“These are the kind of lawsuits that make lawyers look bad—and we already look bad enough,” Robert A. Clifford, one of Chicago’s best-known personal injury lawyers, told the Chicago Tribune earlier, calling Ribbeck’s filing “premature.”
Much more from Eric Turkewitz.
P.S. Representatives of American law firms swarm bereaved families in Peking and Kuala Lumpur, talk of million-dollar awards: “a question of how much and when.” [Edward Wong and Kirk Semple, NY Times]
…circa 1897,” in Chicago. It is well recognized that a legal culture of entrepreneurial claims-making and suit-filing, especially as regards road and transport mishaps, had emerged in some large American cities by the early Twentieth Century. But its development in all likelihood can be traced to even earlier points than that, perhaps stimulated in part by the widespread electrification of urban streetcar lines (previously animal-drawn) in the early 1890s. [Kyle Graham]
The practice of destroying guns seized by police makes approximately as much sense as shredding money that falls into local governments’ hands, unless, like the Chicago police department, you adopt the view that “guns are the equivalent of free-roaming cobras, being lethal and unmanageable by any means except elimination.” [Steve Chapman, syndicated]
- “You can’t prove that favoritism influenced FDIC” in going easy on brass at Chicago bank [Kevin Funnell]
- Securities and Exchange Commission won’t give up bid for more power in stale cases despite 9-0 SCOTUS loss [my new Cato Institute]
- Is JP Morgan paying an enforcement price for Dimon’s outspoken criticism of regulators? [Prof. Bainbridge; WSJ (reporting claims that “it took Mr. Dimon too long to shed a combative stance with regulators… In April the bank’s two top regulators told Mr. Dimon and his board that they had lost trust in management.”)] More on Standard & Poor’s claims that it was targeted for retaliation by federal government [Peter Henning, NYT DealBook, earlier]
- Judge rules against law passed by Chicago on bank-owned vacant buildings [Chicago Real Estate Daily]
- Post-merger derivative claims: “Delaware refuses to feed the sharks” [Bainbridge]
- Payday lending fight pits New York regulator against some Indian tribes [Funnell, Native American Financial Service Association]
- Stay on the line to learn more about the Verizon/Vodafone deal, or just press the star key to sue now [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
- More commentators weigh in on the truly horrible new federal campus speech and discipline code [Harvey Silverglate /Juliana DeVries, Minding the Campus; Wendy Kaminer, The Atlantic; Will Creeley, HuffPo; Scott Greenfield; Reason TV; my two cents] More: Greg Lukianoff, WSJ.
- Feds: states must impose extensive disability-rights regime — including obligations to accept students with difficult accommodation needs — on private/religious schools participating in voucher programs [Bagenstos, Disability Law; Ramesh Ponnuru (noting that loading new regulatory burdens onto private and religious schools may not be displeasing to school choice opponents in the administration)] NYC’s famous selective/performance schools obliged to take special ed kids who can’t meet standard entrance or audition requirements [Inside Schools]
- Volunteer-led school band survives shutdown attempt by Oregon teachers’ union [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
- AFT: donate to groups that oppose our aims, and we’ll see that you pay [Jason Bedrick, Cato]
- Chicago: “Teachers union plans to file civil rights suits to stop school closings” [Chicago Tribune]
- Newly passed Minnesota “anti-bullying” law will expand state control over local schools [Pioneer Press] Court proceedings over alleged taunting and insults proliferate under New Jersey’s law [Star-Ledger via Reason]
- “Graduates, your ambition is the problem” [Roger Pilon on the president’s Ohio State commencement address]