The thing to keep in mind when the subject is tort reform is that any reform will remain a half solution; the trial lawyers will work night and day to find ways around reform. That's the lesson from the American Tort Reform Foundation's annual Judicial Hellholes report, which reveals new lawsuit abuses sprouting despite efforts across the country to reduce the damage from this politically powerful profession.
To the casual observer, the narratives of economic growth in American cities seem fairly obvious: the Sunbelt is adding people, the Rustbelt is failing, and big cities like New York, Chicago, Boston and D.C. are coming back. But the reality is far more complicated once you start adding real-world statistics into the picture.
Toyota had been vigorously fighting hundreds of complaints that its cars are prone to unintended acceleration. Now it's moving toward a global settlement as a consequence of a single Oklahoma lawsuit that appears to establish that Toyota can't prevail if it can't prove a negative—that its software didn't go haywire in some untraceable and unreplicable manner.
On April 22, 2011, a Missouri resident named Linda Burke received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as “Sarah.” Burke didn’t know Sarah, but that didn’t stop the caller from asking some exceptionally personal questions. Had anyone in the Burke household died after taking a diabetes drug called Avandia? Sarah “refused to tell me who she worked for, [her] address, or phone number, and hung up,” Burke said later, according to state court records.
A new report from the Institute for Legal Reform found that consumers who participate in class actions recover little or nothing as a result of the litigation. Mayer Brown researchers concluded that, in more than half of proposed class actions filed, the class members actually receive nothing.
A panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld nearly $700,000 in attorneys’ fees in a case where the client received $27,280. The defendant company argued that the fees should be much lower, considering the plaintiff lost on most of their claims.