Blog: Today in Legal Reform
T-Bell Suit Latest Example of Frivolous Litigation
Last week, an Alabama law firm announced that it was dropping its lawsuit against Taco Bell over the beef used in the restaurant’s tacos. A Wall Street Journal editorial derides the suit, saying “frivolous lawsuits like this tie up the courts and cost companies millions of dollars, money that would be better spent hiring new workers or making beef tacos beefier,” and points to the case as further proof of the need for a “loser-pays” system.
A new report from Advisen found that the number of corporate and securities lawsuit filings in the first quarter of 2011 is the highest ever to start a year. The D & O Diary has more.
The Supreme Court seemed unconvinced by a lawsuit filed by six states that is seeking to force power companies to cut their emissions output. The court suggested that recent action by the EPA superseded the states’ lawsuit, the Associated Press reports.
The governor of Arizona has signed a bill that would add transparency to the state’s contingency fee contracts with outside attorneys by requiring the attorney general to show that the arrangements are cost-effective and in the best interest of the public, reports Legal Newsline.
The Wall Street Journal objects to the nomination of Jack McConnell to the federal court, saying “his changing story about his lead paint advocacy is enough by itself to disqualify him for the bench.” McConnell’s nomination has come under increased scrutiny after it was revealed that his written responses to a Senate committee differed from his testimony during a deposition about his work on public nuisance litigation.
An op-ed at GoErie.com pushes for the adoption of the Fair Share Act in Pennsylvania, which would repeal the joint and several liability doctrine that holds defendants 100 percent liable even if they share only a fraction of fault. The op-ed points out that legal reforms in other states have "lowered consumer costs, created jobs, reduced insurance costs and increased business investment and innovation."
A judge in Illinois issued a ruling that denied Honeywell the opportunity to defend itself in an asbestos case, directing a verdict for the plaintiff and instructing the jury to decide on damages. The judge issued the order after Honeywell could not force a particular consultant to testify. The Madison County Record reports on the case from Bloomington.
A federal jury ruled that Toyota is not liable for a 2005 crash in the first suit to go to trial since claims of defects surfaced in 2009. Toyota said the ruling is an "early indicator of the strength of the legal theories behind unintended acceleration claims," reports the Associated Press.
The New York Times takes a closer look at a huge class-action against Wal-Mart, exploring how appropriate class actions are for such a large and diverse group of plaintiffs, as well as addressing criticisms that such suits can fail to adequately address the concerns of the entire class.