Because of a mounted dashboard camera, you can watch the footage of a Quincy, Ill. municipal transit bus on its seemingly uneventful ride until an oncoming car suddenly loses control and swerves directly into its path. [KHQA] If you do watch the footage, released by the plaintiff’s lawyer, see whether you would have predicted that the legal outcome of the crash would turn out to be “city pays $4 million to passenger in car that lost control.” (& welcomeReddit readers).
“This January, the justices stopped [attorney James] Wylder’s argument dead in its tracks once again, concluding that the McLean County Circuit Court should have dismissed his three negligence suits against Illinois Central Railroad. Wylder had argued that Illinois Central was responsible for the alleged asbestos-related injuries of workers at an asbestos plant because the asbestos had arrived there by rail.” [Chamber's Madison County Record, more; background on "asbestos conspiracy" line of Illinois cases, LNL]
East St. Louis: “In yet another ‘swoon and fall’ case against a church, an Illinois woman claims she was injured during a church service when a parishioner who was receiving the ‘spirit’ fell backward, knocking several other worshippers into her.” Most “slain in the Spirit” suits are filed either by the worshiper who loses consciousness and falls or by a designated “catcher”; this one is on behalf of an injured bystander [Matthew Heller, On Point News; earlier here, here, here] “New tort: Gottvertrunkenism” [@Sam_Schulman]
Politicos mobilize against risk that Wal-Mart will bring fresh produce choices to Harlem [Greg Beato] India frets about whether to allow chain stores, recapitulating a debate U.S. once went through [Tabarrok, MR]
Colorado legislators honored at a luncheon where I spoke [CCJL]
Congratulations to the outstanding Abnormal Use for winning the ABA’s “Blawg 100” vote for best torts blog; we feel pretty good about placing third without mounting a campaign. While exploring that site, don’t miss its stellar coverage of the tendentious documentary “Hot Coffee”.
“Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was dropped Tuesday from hearing all asbestos cases less than a week after her campaign committee received $30,000 in contributions from three metro-east asbestos law firms.” [Belleville News-Democrat, followup (says she'll return money); Chamber-backed Madison/St. Clair Record, followup]
Illinois courts may finally be tiring of liberal applications of “civil conspiracy” doctrine under which “Asbestos companies bear a sort of collective guilt and thus plaintiffs can sue companies they never actually had any contact with. Jurors in Bloomington have ordered up more than $120 million in damages against companies including Honeywell and Owens-Illinois, even though those companies never sold products to the plaintiffs, or employed them in their factories.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
Neurosurgeons in Cook and four other counties pay nearly $230,000 a year, obstetricians nearly $140,000, and general surgeons nearly $100,000. The legislature in Springfield had voted liability limits, but last year the Illinois Supreme Court, in a decision hailed by organized plaintiff’s lawyers but condemned as lawless by many others, struck down those limits. [Heather Perlberg, Medill]
I’ll be talking on Monday at noon at the University of Indiana-Bloomington Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Ind., about my forthcoming book Schools for Misrule. Prof. Bill Henderson will comment. On Tuesday I’ll speak to law students at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, again at noon, with Prof. Larry Ribstein commenting. Student chapters of the Federalist Society are sponsoring both events. If you’re there, please feel free to introduce yourself.
February 21. Bloomington, Ind. Indiana University Law School, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
February 22. Urbana-Champaign, Ill. University of Illinois School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter. Commenting will be Prof. Larry Ribstein.
March 3. Washington, D.C. Cato Institute Policy Forum. Commenting on the book will be the Hon. Douglas Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals, and moderating will be Cato legal director Roger Pilon.
March 10. University of Minnesota, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter. Commenting will be Profs. Brad Clary and Oren Gross, and moderating will be Prof. Dale Carpenter.
March 16. New York, N.Y. Manhattan Institute luncheon (invitation). Commenting will be James Copland, Manhattan Institute.
March 22. Washington, D.C. Heritage Foundation forum. Commenting/moderating: Todd Gaziano, Heritage Foundation.
March 28. Boulder, Colo. University of Colorado School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
March 29. Laramie, Wyo. University of Wyoming School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
March 30. Sacramento, Calif. McGeorge School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
April 6. New York, N.Y. Manhattan Institute Young Leaders evening event (private).
April 7. Washington, D.C. American University Law School, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
April 13. Washington, D.C. Book club appearance (private).
April 27-29. Dallas, Tex. Heritage Foundation Resource Bank meeting (private).
Always check in advance with the hosting group for venues and exact times; some events open to the public require advance registration. The book’s official publication date is March 1, and copies should be arriving in the bookstores soon.
A nonprofit in suburban Chicago each year encourages its woodworker members “to craft and donate wooden Christmas toys to less fortunate children.” After donating upwards of 700 toys a year in the past, it will have to discontinue the program in future since it can’t afford the third-party testing required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, sponsored by area members of Congress Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “Woodworking hobby magazines have pegged prices for third-party testing as high as $30,000 for 80 items.” Testing is particularly impractical for items made from donated/recycled wood, since each donated wood source needs to be put through separate testing. Another triumph for CPSIA! [Jenette Sturges, Sun-Times/Beacon-News]
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from John Bate’s 1635 book, The Mysteryes of Nature and Art, Wikimedia Commons.
“Former Illinois State trooper Matt Mitchell is asking the state to compensate him for injuries from a crash in which he hit and killed two Collinsville sisters at triple-digit speeds.” Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after the incident, in which, headed for an accident scene, he “was driving 126 mph in busy day-after-Thanksgiving traffic on Interstate 64 near O’Fallon while sending and receiving e-mails and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone.” “People get hurt at work all the time,” said Mitchell’s lawyer, Kerri O’Sullivan of St. Louis’ Brown and Crouppen. “It’s our job as lawyers to help people with the difficult and complicated administrative process of worker’s compensation.” [Belleville News-Democrat]
Get your copy today!My new book tackles the question of why so many bad ideas come from the law schools. "Cutting-edge commentary, hard-hitting, witty, astute." -- Publisher's Weekly. "Excellent... A fine dissection of these strangely powerful institutions" -- Wall Street Journal.