California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doesn’t seem to appreciate the gutsiness of a Downey, Calif. woman’s actions, saying he finds it “shocking” that “a trusted financial institution manager would be a co-conspirator in a bank robbery and staged kidnapping, and then have the audacity to file a bogus workers’ comp claim for traumatic stress and believe she could get away with it.” [Insurance Journal, back in August but missed then; Matt Sutkoski, Matt of All Trades]
“A former University of California, Davis police officer who was fired after pepper spraying a group of students staging a protest in 2011, and whose actions went viral on the internet, is seeking workers’ compensation settlement, claiming the incident left him psychologically injured.” [ABC News]
Readers have been sending clips like this about a recent award to a Buffalo-area landowner whose property was inadvertently flooded by a neighboring developer. But this longer Associated Press report gives some context:
Lawyers on both sides said Monday that Marinaccio’s frog testimony amounted to just moments of a more than three-week trial — and may not have affected the jury’s award. The Court of Appeals, however, referred to it in a five-page decision in which it determined that while Marinaccio had been wronged, the developer hadn’t acted maliciously.
Sometimes a colorful detail is just a colorful detail.
I’ve got a short critique up now at Cato (earlier on the topic here). Proponents styled the enactment “Grace’s Law,” after a Howard County teenager who committed suicide; here’s Radley Balko on why “Laws named after crime victims and dead people are usually a bad idea.” While I believe the courts will eventually get around to striking it down, in the mean time the law will operate to chill some online speech.
P.S. Some recent thoughts from EFF’s Hanni Fakhoury on how laws can address the problem of harassment without being speech-unfriendly.
Imagine how it would change the practice of litigation if lawyers could be held answerable for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on opponents, witnesses or third parties. Of course that’s not going to happen, since our legal profession is quite good at immunizing itself from exposure to liability for the same sorts of injuries that it sues over when inflicted by others. In this SSRN paper (via Robinette, TortsProf), Alex Long of the University of Tennessee proposes a presumption that lawyers’ behavior is “extreme and outrageous,” a precondition of IIED liability, if they could get disbarred for it.
Lawyer Emmanuel Ludot “is acting for around 100 fans who are members of an association that calls itself the ‘Michael Jackson Community.’ He said that while each fan could be awarded damages of up to 10,000 euros ($A12,400), they were seeking only a symbolic euro.” Jackson’s doctor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter following the singer’s death from an anesthetic overdose. [AFP]
Even as odd lawsuit stories go, this underexplained little account of a product liability claim in Canada stands out. Conceding that having to pick gum out of one’s dentures is not plausibly deserving of C$100,000, does the plaintiff at least deserve points for honesty in averring that her depression lasted only ten minutes? [Edmonton Sun]
Per a Connecticut appeals court, looking at an employee and saying “Bang bang” does not, even when added to some other impolite conduct, rise to the level of “extreme and outrageous” behavior required to trigger a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress [Daniel Schwartz]
- Bizarrely overbroad: “Tennessee law bans posting images that ’cause emotional distress'” [Tim Lee, Ars Technica]
- “Superlawyer Stanley Chesley Faces Reckoning Tuesday” [Dan Fisher, Forbes, Cincinnati Enquirer, reporter Jim Hannah, earlier]
- More on record run-up in used car prices [Perry; my Cato take]
- Winkler County, Texas nurses case illuminates evils of prosecution-as-weapon [Texas Observer via PoL; earlier here, here, and here]
- Not a parody: claim that litigious celebs should be doing more to support Litigation Lobby [CJD]
- “Feminism by Treaty: Why CEDAW is Still a Bad Idea” [Christina Sommers, Policy Review]
- Why do agents of so many miscellaneous government agencies pack guns? [Quin Hillyer last year]
- New idea for who to sue over sex scandals [Conan show lawyer ad parody, adult content]