“Several hospitals in New York City are eliminating or trimming malpractice insurance, and at least two of them have no further reserves to pay claims. Some hospitals in other cities, particularly jurisdictions known for large malpractice awards, are also going uninsured, the New York Times reports.” [ABA Journal]
The Newspaper of Record suggests that occupational-health regulators are improperly dragging their heels about ordering night spots to reduce internal noise levels to which entertainment workers are exposed. [Cara Buckley, New York Times] Earlier here, here.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on TV the other day answering a question about why the public doesn’t demand the enactment of gun control after the Colorado theater shooting: “Well, I would take it one step further. I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, we’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you [unless new restraints are enacted].” James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal‘s “Best of the Web” calls out the Gotham mayor:
A police strike, as Bloomberg figured out a day late, is illegal in itself. Bloomberg’s strike would be for the purpose of curtailing the citizenry’s constitutional rights. The mayor urged an unlawful rebellion by government employees against their employers, the people.
Taranto also notes:
And whether Bloomberg meant to suggest a real strike threat or an empty one, it seems obvious that such a move would be counterproductive. The prospect of police shirking their duty to protect the citizenry strengthens, not weakens, the case for private ownership of firearms and other tools of self-defense.
It’s enough to make you wonder whether Bloomberg is secretly a passionate admirer of the Second Amendment and keeps saying things this outrageous from a covert intent to sabotage the case for gun control. [cross-posted from Cato at Liberty. As usual, Ken White is funnier; & Daily Caller, Mike Riggs, Scott Greenfield, New York Sun ("It is a scandal that this most basic article of the Bill of Rights is not in force now in the leading city in America because the mayor, among others, refuses to bow to the Constitution that he is bound by oath to support.")]
“A Manhattan jury has awarded a former Pace University student $9 million for medical bills, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering as a result of injuries she sustained in a 2004 accident in Pleasantville, injuries that her left her debilitated by obsessive-compulsive disorder and unable to work.” Although a brain scan taken after the incident “came up normal,” “not long after, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder began cropping up, and, over time, became increasingly severe. Grossman could no longer ride in black cars, while also developing an aversion to the number six,” among other symptoms. While the accident took place in suburban Westchester, the plaintiff lived in New York City and sued there; jurors deemed “25 percent responsible, as lawyers for [defendant] Mari argued that [plaintiff] Grossman was speeding and talking on her cellphone at the time of the accident.” No more than $1.1 million will be paid because of a prior agreement between the two sides, presumably what lawyers call a “high-low” agreement. [White Plains Journal-News/LoHud.com]
“I don’t care what the law says, you’re getting a summons,” says the officer. But property rights turn out to have their day. [Vivian Lee, NY Times "City Room"] More: Above the Law interview with Brooklyn Law student Andrew Rausa.
Business fights back in the arena of public opinion against Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban. [Michael Grynbaum, NY Times "City Room"]
More: Regarding Monday evening’s “Million Big Gulp March,” “It is not about the number of ounces in the cup,” said organizer Zach Huff. “It is about the number of liberties we have left.” [Caroline May, Daily Caller]
Since the Brooklyn loft space is out of compliance, the New York courts have decided, its owner is entitled neither to reclaim the space from its tenant nor to collect rent from her [NY Times and more via Kanner; ABA Journal]
The NYC mayor’s plan to limit sizes of sweetened drinks meets with a hail of dead cats from commentators:
- “Bloomberg is right when he says there will still be lots of opportunities for New Yorkers to consume large quantities of high-calorie drinks, which means he does not even have a sound paternalistic justification for his meddling. … it is patently absurd for Bloomberg to claim he is not limiting freedom when he uses force to stop people from doing something that violate no one’s rights.” [Jacob Sullum]
- “Trans-fats –- we were told by New York City Mayor Bloomberg –- are an exceptional case because even the smallest intake hurts the human body. Ditto, it would seem, of salt and alcohol. But we all knew he wouldn’t stop there. And he didn’t.” [Stephen Richer, WLF]
- “It’s well known, for example, that the heaviest consumers of sugary drinks are adolescent males — who also tend to be the thinnest and most active members of the population. (‘Unfortunately, increasing sugar consumption [is] unlikely to make anyone thinner, younger—or male,’ [researcher Adam] Drenowski notes.)” ["Bloomberg's Attack On Big Soda Lacks One Thing: Scientific Evidence," Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
- “[Bloomberg's] sarcasm about the inconvenience of buying two sodas is ironic, since that inconvenience is one thing that he’s counting on to drive the success of his plan.” [Mark White, Economics and Ethics]
- “I’m afraid this proposal is targeted more at class than obesity.” — Cornell economist David Just, quoted on NPR.
- “And speaking of the mayor’s commitment to freedom, who exactly is going to impose this sweeping ban? Not the people, in a referendum. Not a constitutional convention. Not even the city council. This ‘far-reaching ban,’ as the Times describes it, will be imposed on 8 million free citizens of New York by the city’s unelected Board of Health, all of whose members are appointed by . . . the mayor.” [David Boaz, Cato]
- And the inevitable Twitter hashtag, #BloombergMovieTitles: The Appropriately Sized Lebowski, I Know What You Ate Last Summer, The Taking of Pepsi One Two Three, There Will Be Blood Sugar Tests, Diet! Diet! My Darling, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Flan, Sixteen Carrots, No Country for Old Menus, and All That Bloomberg Allows (h/t @JoshGreenman, @bethanyshondark, @AnthonyBialy, @robsolo, @RobGeorge, @JoshGreenman again, @KerryPicket, @Fausta, and @Ericatwitts).
Brian Banks served more than five years in prison after an old friend “falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus”:
In a strange turn of events, the woman, Wanetta Gibson, friended him on Facebook when he got out of prison.
In an initial meeting with him, she said she had lied; there had been no kidnap and no rape and she offered to help him clear his record, court records state.
But she refused to repeat the story to prosecutors because she feared she would have to return a $1.5 million payment from a civil suit brought by her mother against Long Beach schools….
It was uncertain Thursday whether Gibson will have to return the money.
[AP via Balko, Volokh; & welcome Reddit readers]
Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, high-profile Brooklyn sex crimes prosecutor Lauren Hersh has resigned following a furor over a sex trafficking case in which “prosecutors had held on to documents showing the victim recanted rape allegations one day after making them.” [NY Post, more] P.S. Daniel Fisher reminds us of Hersh’s “starring role in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s expose of Backpage, the Village Voice’s online personals section.”
The premise is that they are a public health menace since standing water in them might afford a haven for mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. [Gideon Kanner]
New York City gets away with landmarking all sorts of properties no one would ordinarily consider to be of architectural or historic distinction. It’s almost as if the city’s using the law as a generalized development control or something [Annie Karni, NY Post via Ira Stoll]
A Bronx nonprofit that’s gotten $240,000 from taxpayers teaches followers how to squat in city buildings. “It’s breaking and entering for dummies.” [NYPost]
Choire Sicha at The Awl reports on the latest doings of New York attorney and emerging Overlawyered favorite Kenneth Mollins, seen earlier here and here.