- “It is not always sunny in Philadelphia for product liability lawyers – especially defense lawyers like us,” – Jim Beck, writing in this post, entitled “It’s Sunny in Philadelphia,” at the Drug and Device Law blog. How can you not read a post with that introduction? (Unfortunately, however, there is no mention of Green Man in this particular post.).
- Brian Comer at the South Carolina Products Liability Law Blog has a nice post analyzing South Carolina warning law and how it might be applied in the context of cell phone use while driving cases. We previously posted on that topic here. In his post, Comer concludes:
[T]his is the area of law that is applicable to cell phones and whether there is a duty to warn about cell phone use while driving. It is pretty obvious (and a matter of common sense in my opinion) that there is a risk associated with looking at a cell phone, fumbling with it, holding it, trying to press those small numbers on it, or otherwise trying to use it while doing a dangerous activity, such as driving. Why? Because the user is devoting attention to the cell phone instead of the potentially dangerous activity in which they are engaged: driving a 4,000 pound vehicle at a rate of speed and on a road with other vehicles, cyclists, etc.
So, is there a duty to warn a cell phone user not to use their cell phone while driving, or to use caution? Though I am sure that someone may try and make this argument (if they have not already), this seems to be a classic case of “obvious risk.”
He may be right. As commonplace as cell phones are today, it is difficult to imagine a jury of 12 individuals (all of whom likely have cell phones themselves) abandoning the common sense idea that a driver is responsible for his own actions while on the roadway. Cell phone providers would have a strong argument that the driver’s actions at least were a superseding cause of the injury-producing activity. However, the common sense approach to refuting liability may not be as convincing against a manufacturer of new age, interactive, electronic devices designed specifically for installation directly in the driver’s dashboard.
- “We hold that the limitation on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions set forth in section 2-1706.5 of the Code violates the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution and is invalid. Because the Act contains an inseverability provision, we hold the Act invalid and void in its entirety. ” Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hosp., — N.E.2d —-, Nos. 105741, 105745., 2010 WL 375190 (Ill. Feb. 4, 2010) (citations omitted) [PDF]. The Illinois Supreme Court found that the $1 million limits for hospitals and their personnel and $500,000 limits for doctors operated as an “unconstitutional legislative remittitur.” (Link courtesy of the Mass Tort Litigation Blog by way of the In the Jury blog).
- The WSJ Law Blog reports on Merck’s recent settlement of shareholder lawsuits arising from its withdrawal of Vioxx from the market.