Some consider the Renaissance Italian cleric (whose feast day is today) to be patron of p.r. practitioners and lobbyists, and at least one comic tale, prefiguring the later Public Choice theme of “Bootleggers and Baptists,” tends to back them up. I explain at Cato at Liberty.
Daniel Fisher at Forbes gives the manufacturer’s side of the story behind a massive whistleblower suit seeking billions from J.M. Eagle over its supply of plastic pipe to public water and utility systems. Qui tam lawyers Phillips & Cohen give their side of the story here. Here’s Fisher on the law firm’s success:
The firm was founded by John Phillips, who as a congressional staffer helped draft a 1986 law that made it easier to pursue whistleblower cases. He subsequently earned enough to become a major Democratic Party donor and now serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Italy.
Update: Phillips & Cohen writes to say that the above quotation “contains an error: John Phillips was never a congressional staffer.”
“Francesco Schettino, former captain of the Costa Concordia, has sued, claiming wrongful termination from his job after the accident, according to his lawyer.” [L.A. Times] “As you may recall, there were a few questions about whether Schettino’s conduct was entirely up to snuff on the night of the accident. First, there was the whole running-into-a-rock problem, of course, but he was also criticized for then fleeing the ship before all the passengers were evacuated.” [Lowering the Bar]
“Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L’Aquila. A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter. Prosecutors had said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake after studying tremors that had shaken the city.” [BBC, earlier] More: Orac.
Speaking of science and the Italian courts, Italy’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a litigant claiming cellphone use caused his brain tumor; most authorities have found no such link [Telegraph]
My new post at Cato at Liberty is on Italian labor law professors Pietro Ichino and Carlo Dell’Aringa, who live under police protection because of their support for liberalization of the job market; two other professors, Massimo D’Antona and Mario Biagi, have been killed by Red Brigades gunmen. More: Coyote.
“In 2009, an earthquake devastated the Italian city of L’Aquila and killed more than 300 people. Now, scientists are on trial for manslaughter.” [Stephen S. Hall, Nature via Arts & Letters Daily]
“Experts who told L’Aquila city officials there was no risk of an earthquake six days before last year’s catastrophic quake are under investigation for gross negligent manslaughter, prosecutors said Tuesday.” [La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno via Megan Sever, Earth Magazine]
The Italian government passes a law against “molecular cuisine”, barring use of liquid nitrogen and chemical additives in restaurant kitchens. It expires in less than a year, though. [Caput Mundi Cibus via Tyler Cowen]
Apparent theory: YouTube should screen and monitor everything before it goes up. [TechDirt, American Lawyer, Jim Harper/Cato at Liberty, New York Times]