Posts tagged as:

September 11

With encouragement from both Congress and an active plaintiff’s bar, victims and survivors have been suing various foreign entities in U.S. courts charging complicity, sometimes indirect and roundabout, with participants in international terrorism. But a suit against Bank of China over a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack suggests that “when it comes to battling global terror, civil suits by American citizens often do more harm than good.” Both the United States and Israel have reportedly negotiated with the Chinese institution to develop ways of combating illicit money transfers, but privately directed damages litigation tends to deter cooperation and perpetuate mistrust, and is hard to call off even when it has begun doing real harm to diplomacy. Even when lawsuits against some of the more obvious bad actors succeed, “the U.S. government has for years blocked financial judgments awarded to American plaintiffs against Iran and other foreign governments. Why? Such judgments are seen as conflicting with American foreign policy interests.” [James Loeffler and Moria Paz, Slate]

Earlier on lawsuits over terrorism: suing U.S. government over Kenya, Tanzania embassy bombings; Ted Frank 2007 essay; everybody “except the guys who did it“; Egyptian hotel forum-shopping; Tanzania gem smuggling; 9/11 suits and more.

January 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 10, 2014

{ 2 comments }

Torts roundup

by Walter Olson on December 30, 2013

  • Bad lawsuit on bad theory: “Cantor Fitzgerald, American Airlines Settle 9/11 Lawsuit” [Financial Advisor mag]
  • New Jersey court: only golfer, not his companions, responsible for yelling “Fore” to warn of errant ball [TortsProf]
  • “The New Lawsuit Ecosystem: Trends, Targets and Players,” 158-page report for Chamber of Commerce, topics include emerging areas of litigation (food class actions, data privacy); also lists leading plaintiff’s lawyers in various areas [Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform]
  • “Eleventh Circuit Stacks Deck Against Defendants in Never-Ending Engle Product Liability Litigation” [Cory Andrews, WLF]
  • Beck vs. Prof. Chemerinsky on prescription drugs and pre-emption [Drug and Device Law]
  • “Outrageous Court Decisions: O’Brien v. Muskin Corp.” [Schearer; above-ground pool dive defect claim, New Jersey 1983]
  • New York rejects medical monitoring cause of action [Behrens]

{ 1 comment }

Environment roundup

by Walter Olson on January 17, 2013

Environmental roundup

by Walter Olson on June 20, 2012

  • Nebraska Sen. Johanns proposes bill to curb EPA surveillance overflights (which, contrary to some erroneous reports going around, are manned flights) [Daily Caller, earlier]
  • “Time to Discard the Precautionary Principle at the CPSC” [Nancy Nord]
  • Victimology beats science with 9/11 dust fund [Point of Law, ACSH] Two NYC plaintiff’s firms fight over $50 million in 9/11-responder fees [Reuters]
  • “Court dismisses climate change ‘public trust’ suit” [Katie Owens, WLF]
  • Erin Brockovich promotes Fridley, Minnesota cancer cluster, local man “eager to hear” her spiel [StarTrib, earlier]
  • Jonathan Adler guestblogs on environmental policy at The Atlantic [Volokh]
  • Businesses’ donations on environmental advocacy? Never trust content from “Union of Concerned Scientists” [Ron Bailey]
  • Talking back to “Gasland,” the anti-fracking advocacy flick [Ron Bailey and more, Mark Perry, Business Week on local economic impact]

October 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 31, 2011

  • A pack of gum, e.g.: “What the Proceeds of a BlackBerry Class Action Could Buy” [Rebecca Greenfield, Atlantic Wire]
  • A million law firm ads later: “Pfizer’s Anti-Smoking Drug [Chantix] Isn’t Riskier Than Patches, FDA Says” [Bloomberg]
  • Over 9/11 attacks: “Court Recommends al-Qaida Pay $9 Billion to Insurers” [NYLJ]
  • Green alarmism over cosmetics — justified? [Dana Joel Gattuso, CEI; related here, here]
  • Arpaio-Thomas follies continue in Arizona courtroom [Coyote, earlier]
  • Upcoming: November 4 conference “Silenced” in D.C. on blasphemy laws and hate speech; Bruce Bawer, Nina Shea et al. [Federalist Society]
  • “I dreamed I swayed the jury… in my Maidenform bra” [Retronaut, scroll]

{ 2 comments }

October 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 6, 2011

March 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 14, 2011

  • A San Francisco cosmetic surgeon sues her online critics — in Virginia? [Paul Alan Levy, CL&P]
  • SCOTUS ruling in “cat’s-paw” case could gut summary judgment in many bias suits [Hyman]
  • Cuomo spokesman’s smart retort to Litigation Lobby attack on Medicaid reform panel [LoHud.com]
  • “Tennessee Cops Posed as a Defense Attorney To Get Suspect To Incriminate Himself” [Reason]
  • “Illinois golfer not liable for head shot” [Lowering the Bar]
  • Trade friction mounts due to anti-India provisions in Zadroga (9/11 recovery workers) compensation bill [PoL]
  • Is a tax-funded federal nonprofit entity funneling money to environmental suits against the government? [Ron Arnold, Examiner]
  • FCRA class action deemed “lawsuit abuse problem in a nutshell” [Examiner editorial]
  • “Fatherhood by Conscription: Nonconsensual Insemination & the Duty of Child Support” [Michael Higdon, SSRN via Instapundit]

{ 4 comments }

January 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 24, 2011

  • Trouble with hunting bad/burdensome regulations: most of them have entrenched advocates [NY Times] “Obama — the Great Deregulator?” [Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe]. Earlier here and here;
  • Now we find out: tax hikes on outsourcing in 9/11 compensation bill infuriate India, were never vetted by Hill tax panels [PoL; more on Easter eggs in bill] Law firm that advertises for 9/11 dust clients is fan of Sen. Gillibrand [Stoll]
  • France will stop censoring some historical images of smokers in ads [NY Times]
  • “2010: The Year of the Angry, Company-Suing Plaintiff” [WSJ Law Blog] “The most sued companies in America” [Fox Business, counting federal-court suits only]
  • Death by drunk driving: As bad as purposeful murder? Worse? [Greenfield]
  • EPA gets specific on its plans to advance “environmental justice,” combat disparate racial impact in project siting, etc. [WLF, Popeo, earlier here, here, here, etc.]
  • Winners of Chamber’s “Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2010″ competition [US Chamber ILR]
  • “If the FCC had regulated the Internet” [Jack Shafer, Slate]

Lowering the Bar (channeling Dave Eyvazzadeh at Wired/Autopia) has some word on other unusual lawsuits filed by that Hillsborough, Calif. man who’s suing multiple defendants over San Francisco Airport noise and congestion [earlier]

April 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 4, 2009

  • The wages of addiction: former basketball star Roy Tarpley settles his $6.5 million ADA lawsuit against NBA and Dallas Mavericks [Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sports Law Blog]
  • One result of litigation-fed “vaccines cause autism” scare: parents turn to dangerous quack treatments [Arthur Allen, Slate; in-depth coverage at Kathleen Seidel's and Orac's sites]
  • Julie Hilden on First Circuit “true statements can be defamatory” ruling [FindLaw, earlier here and here]
  • More coverage of conviction of Kentucky lawyers for grabbing much of fen-phen settlement [Louisville Courier-Journal, earlier]
  • Judge dismisses most counts in lawsuit against Richard Laminack of Texas’s O’Quinn law firm [Texas Lawyer, earlier; FLSA overtime claims remain]
  • All but three of the outstanding 9/11 airline suits due to settle for $500 million [AP/NorthJersey.com]
  • One needn’t make the Community Reinvestment Act a scapegoat for unrelated credit woes to recognize it as an ill-conceived law [Bank Lawyer's Blog]
  • U.K.: Woman who plays classical music to soothe horses told she must pay for public performance license [Telegraph]

The New York Times quotes my testimony to the hearing on H.R. 847.

Unfortunately, the story incorrectly refers to AEI as a “lobbying organization,” which it is definitively not. It is unimaginable how the Times could have made this mistake, given that just three weeks ago, they had to correct an identical mistake; the senior editor has promised me a correction.

{ 4 comments }

I just got to the September 15 issue near the bottom of my pile of unread mail, and there’s an excellent piece of reporting by Jennifer Kahn on the case of James Zadroga, the police officer who worked at Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11 whose death was attributed to exposure to dust and was a symbol for the thousands of plaintiffs in that litigation–until the New York medical examiner found evidence that prescription drug injections were responsible for the lung scarring.  Kahn’s article is tremendously damning on that question.  Zadroga’s name was successfully used to get legislation passed in New York state, and similar legislation (on which I testified) is pending in Congress to open the taxpayer fisc to thousands of questionable claims.

October 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 17, 2008

  • Anyone suing over anything dept.: Kansas City attorney Mary Kay Green sues McCain, Palin, for supposed hate speech against Obama [KC Star, Feral Child, Above the Law; related, my article the other day for City Journal]
  • Got $331K from victim fund claiming severe injuries from Pentagon 9/11 attack, yet “kept playing basketball and lacrosse and ran [NYC] marathon in under four hours two months after the attacks” [Maryland Daily Record]
  • Krugman claims Fannie/Freddie not big culprits in mortgage meltdown, but Calomiris and Wallison show him wrong [Stuart Taylor, Jr., National Journal; also note this Goldstein/Hall unlabeled opinion piece from McClatchy pushing the Krugman line]
  • Government bailout of newspapers? Who’s trying to float this idea, anyway? [Bercovici/Portfolio via Romenesko] Update: maybe this?
  • Colluded with chiropractor to generate bills for imaginary treatment, then pocketed clients’ insurance settlements without telling them [Quincy, Mass., Patriot-Ledger; Bruce Namenson sentenced to 5 years and "cannot practice law for at least 10 years after he gets out of jail"]
  • Ontario: “Killer awarded $6K over wrong shoes in prison” [National Post]
  • “Is there any doubt that Lucy grew up to be a lawyer?” [Above the Law on Doyle Reports, Judge Robertson ruling in patent case]
  • Jury hits Jersey City, N.J. rheumatologist with $400K verdict (including $200K punitives) for not hiring sign language interpreter at his own expense for deaf patient [NJLJ, Krauss @ PoL]

{ 7 comments }

September 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 3, 2008

{ 2 comments }

“A federal judge in Manhattan took the unusual step on Thursday of overturning settlements in four lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, saying the firm that negotiated the deals was seeking excessive legal fees and that the settlement amounts themselves were unreasonable.” Judge Alvin Hellerstein declared that to give the Maryland-based firm, Azrael, Gann & Franz $7 million for representing four Pentagon workers’ families “would reflect a very large windfall,” given that the firm’s “entire strategy seems to have been to coast on the work of others.” Hellerstein also noted that the settlement figures, averaging $7 million per victim, seemed out of line with earlier 9/11 awards for the families of modest wage earners. (Benjamin Weiser, “Judge Overturns Accords in 4 Suits by 9/11 Victims”, New York Times, Jul. 26). More: David Giacalone.

{ 2 comments }

June 7 roundup

by Ted Frank on June 7, 2008

  • Monday’s polar bear panel at AEI is a panel about the law of polar bears and the effect of the FWS decision to list them as threatened, rather than a panel featuring polar bears. So no fish will be served. Volokh’s Jonathan Adler will be there, though. [Volokh; AEI]
  • Limiting lawsuit abuses lowers costs from litigation, creates jobs in long run. [Engler & McQuillan @ Detroit News]
  • HBO to small businesses: prepositions are okay, but conjunctions will lead to injunctions. [Baltimore Sun]
  • A one-sided love letter to Cozen O’Connor in the Philadelphia Inquirer over its September 11 litigation is a bit too revealing about its deep-pocket searches: “Cozen lawyers also had to be sure that such a defendant made financial sense, for the firm and its clients.” Culpability, of course, isn’t in the equation; and the newspaper story fails to account for the public-policy implications of having trial lawyers stepping on foreign policy. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • Life imitates “The Office”: law firm offers “love contracts” for dating workers. [ABA Journal]
  • More evidence of FDA overwarning, even when the science and law does not justify it. [Kyle Sampson @ Product Liability Law 360]
  • Business tries to bully small website with litigation; small website successfully fights back. [CL&P Blog]
  • “[Ron] Paul accomplished the one thing he’s always been good at: using political appeals to get people to send money. I don’t feel freer.” [Henley via Kirkendall]
  • “It’s infuriating how all three presidential candidates prattle on about the need to fight global warming while also complaining about the high price of gasoline.” [Postrel]
  • Story on Vioxx settlement and Merck winning reversals heavily quotes me. [Product Liability Law 360 ($)]

{ 1 comment }