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Q: What do you call 25 skydiving plaintiffs' lawyers?

A: Skeet.

Okay, how about this one:

Q: How many plaintiffs' lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Three. One to climb the ladder. One to shake it. One to sue the ladder company.

* * *
Speaking of lawyers and tort lawsuits:

Bush administration crafts rules to limit tort lawsuits

Faced with a hostile Congress, the Bush administration has found another, quieter way to make it more difficult for Democrat plaintiffs' attorneys to file lawsuits against businesses for allegedly-faulty products: It's rewriting the bureaucratic rulebook.

Pretty crafty of Bush & Co., eh?


Lawsuit limits have been included in 51 rules proposed or adopted since 2005 by agencies governing just about everything Americans use: Rx drugs, cars, railroads, medical devices and food.

Decried by left-wing consumer advocates and embraced by industry and pro-economy conservative groups, the agencies' use of their rule-making authority represents the administration's final act in a long-standing drive to shield companies from vexatious and ruinous lawsuits by Democrat-sponsoring plaintiffs' lawyers.

That's true, Ross Perot, presidents and their administrations have vast and often unilateral powers. Go figure.

There's more:

Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will wade into the issue of federal preemption as it relates to lawsuits and prescription drug labeling. A pharmaceutical company defending itself against a lawsuit is contending the suit is barred because the FDA had approved the warning label on its drug. The company is trying to overturn a $6.8 million award given to a woman whose arm had to be amputated after a negligent doctor inadvertently injected the company's anti-nausea medication into an artery.

Well, since the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of businesses and against Democrat lawyers over 80% of the time since Justice Alito replaced Justice O'Connor, I don't think it's all that presumptuous to presume the drug industry will prevail in that case.

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Incidentally, liberal law professors and their young sycophants might be inclined to project their leftism here under the guise of "states' rights." It's a weak argument; cynical and disingenuous too. There are the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses. They're right there -- in the U.S. Constitution. Plus the doctrines of preemption and the so-called "dormant Commerce Clause" have been on the books longer than Robert Byrd has been a racist.

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Here's a link to the AP article on which this entry is based. For obvious reasons it's couched in far different terms. The author and editor are biased and their agenda is tissue-paper transparent. Yet the article still is worth a perusal. There's lots of interesting info there -- especially between and behind the lines.

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Comments (4)

I'm a lawyer and I am curre... (Below threshold)

I'm a lawyer and I am currently defending a major lead paint company in a products liability suit. Your post here is nothing short of ignorant and ill-informed. The commerce clause is effective only for acts of Congress, and the Chevron case and its progeny suggest that administrative rules interpreting congressional legislation do not, in fact, preempt state tort law. Same with the supremacy clause - only for acts of congress that have a clear intent to supplant state law.

Secondly, the dormant commerce clause (a construct of the Supreme Court that bears logical relation to the intent of the commerce clause) has never been interpreted to supplant state common law tort claims. The dormant commerce clause applies to state acts that directly infringe on federal legislation governing interstate commerce.

Lastly, as a political independent, I can say that a conservative is a conservative until a tort happens to him. If a liberal is a liberal until a crime happens to him, I've seen Rush Limbaugh listeners aplenty ready to file a lawsuit against their neighbor for a tree haning over their fence, or against John Deere for a harvester that malfunctions and sucks their arm into a mechanical grain separator. Want a world without plaintiff's lawyers, take a look at China and ask yourself if you'd like to live there.

The company is trying to... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

The company is trying to overturn a $6.8 million award given to a woman whose arm had to be amputated after a negligent doctor inadvertently injected the company's anti-nausea medication into an artery.

Why in the world would the manufacturer of the medicine be liable for anything in this case?

If they are, couldn't one sue Ford if someone blows through a stop sign and hits your car?

As the resident lawyer on t... (Below threshold)

As the resident lawyer on this thread, I suppose I'll explain:

Drugs have dyes, chemicals added for odor, and different shaped bottles to help medical professionals tell them apart during the heat of an operation. They also have warnings, but most doctors should have enough knowledge without the warnings.

In this case (although I haven't read the briefs yet), my guess is that the allegations against the drug company are that the warnings did not adequately alert personnel to the fact that the drug is highly toxic intravenously. Or, more probably, the allegation is that the dyes and bottle shape were too similar to a safe drug. Again, the heat of surgery makes these things arguably important. I would consider it a very defensible case against the drug company, however.

Keep in mind that a nurse probably injected the patient, but the doctor is held responsible in some states.

And, yes, you can sue Ford ... (Below threshold)

And, yes, you can sue Ford if a car blows through a stopsign and broadsides you..... if Ford's negligent design or construction of that car was a material contributory causitive factor in the other driver failing to stop. e.g., brake pads improperly designed, etc.






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