From Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy, who was co-counsel in the landmark D.C. v. Heller case. [National Law Journal] More: Trevor Burrus, The Blaze. And the New York Times takes up the topic of guns and suicide, but with some pretty big omissions [Tom Maguire, Ira Stoll/SmarterTimes]
Further: “Senate Judiciary Committee Hears from Cato on Gun Policy” [Ilya Shapiro, citing contributions by David Kopel, Randy Barnett, etc.] And while Bing’s real-time reaction tracker isn’t a scientific voter survey (though the sample size is large, and there’s a partisan breakdown) it seems I was not alone in being put off by President Obama’s demagogic “they deserve a vote” State of the Union wind-up on gun control. [Mediaite]
“A federal judge Tuesday okayed a lawsuit claiming the City of Ithaca and Cornell University are liable for the 2010 death of a student.” The father of Bradley Marc Ginsburg “alleges the defendants did not do enough to prevent suicides from the [Thurston Avenue] bridge.” [Ithaca Independent]
How litigious can insurance companies be when they find themselves in the plaintiff’s seat during the process known as subrogation? This litigious, per Patrick at Popehat.
Citing text messages she sent her boyfriend shortly before the incident, Montana prosecutors contend that Justine Winter’s crash at 85 mph into an oncoming vehicle was a deliberate suicide attempt. Winter, who faces trial on homicide charges in the deaths of Erin Thompson, the woman she ran into, and Thompson’s 13-year-old son, has now sued Thompson’s estate as well as the construction company that built the interstate overpass where the accident occurred. [Daily Inter Lake, Siouxsie Law]
A lab technician in Bolton, Lancashire, U.K. kills himself after an offhand joke at his workplace is denounced as insensitive [Telegraph, Mail]
And then sues would-be suicide over foot injury sustained in the jump. The unusual case reached an Illinois appellate court last year, which ruled that a suit could proceed against the would-be suicide, though not his wife, who had also been named as a defendant on the grounds that she had requested the plaintiff’s help. [Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog]
“The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a case against Wal-Mart for selling bullets to a person without requiring her to present an identification card as required by Illinois law. Candice Johnson later used the bullets to commit suicide.” [Day, MoreLaw]
A wrongful-death suit claims the TV host’s badgering drove a woman over the brink. [AP/L.A. Times, Brian Cuban; more on Grace, and our earlier coverage of this suit; OnPoint News]
Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit to block construction. [Santa Barbara Daily Sound via Popehat]
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow John Avlon, in Forbes:
New York City spends more money on lawsuits than the next five largest American cities — Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Philadelphia — combined. The city’s $568 million outlay in fiscal year 2008 was more than double what it spent 15 years ago and 20 times what it paid in 1977.
And the odd and extreme cases continue:
A Brooklyn insurance investigator won $2.3 million this year after he tumbled onto the subway tracks with a 0.18 blood-alcohol level and lost his right leg. (“They’re not allowed to hit you just because you’re drunk and on the track,” his lawyer explained.) A corrections officer received $7.25 million after unsuccessfully attempting suicide, on the grounds that the city should not have permitted her to have a gun. (“Ms. Jones could just have easily turned her city-authorized firearm on anyone,” her lawyer said.)
The piece is adapted from a contribution to a City Journal symposium, “New York’s Tomorrow”, and there’s also an associated podcast (cross-posted from Point of Law). More: Eric Turkewitz talks back from a plaintiff’s point of view (“when you account for inflation, there really hasn’t been much change at all” [compared with 15 years ago)] (& welcome Above the Law, WSJ Law Blog readers)
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders discusses the large settlement paid by Santa Clara County to the family of Andrew Martinez, who suffered from schizophrenia and became famous as Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” before taking his own life in jail. She quotes me on the terrorizing effect of suing public managers individually and on the way outside direction of public agencies by litigators often (as consent decrees, court orders and legal avoidance layer one atop another) can add up to “management by no one at all.” [Debra Saunders, "A naked million", San Francisco Chronicle, May 24].
That’s what the federal government, if not common sense, says. But what if the fall is from the roof?