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Around the Web, May 2

  • The Wall Street Journal knocks Sen. Chuck Grassley's attempts to rewrite the False Claims Act in an editorial, "False Claims Gold Rush": "This reform would greatly expand the universe of false-claim targets. Today, individuals file qui tam suits against entities that directly take money from the U.S. government. Under Mr. Grassley's rewrite, lawsuits could be leveled against anyone on the ultimate receiving end of federal funds. Scientists who get federal grants via a university; artists who get endowment money; homeless shelters that receive block grants - all could be targets of disgruntled citizens looking to lodge a federal "fraud" case."
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: "A Fulton County judge has struck down the cap on monetary awards in a medical malpractice case, a decision that if upheld on appeal could undercut a major component of Georgia's tort reform laws.Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington wrote in an order released Wednesday that the legislative cap of $350,000 for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering was unconstitutional because it gave special protections to the medical profession."
  • Judge Arrington has been in the news lately for having kicked white people out of his courtroom so he could lecture the black defendants. He has since apologized and joined forces with Bill Cosby to reach out to black youth.
  • Chris Manning of Manning & Sossamon -- who represented the Chungs in the $54 million lost pants lawsuit -- was in Jefferson City, Mo., Wednesday to help launch a statewide campaign for reforms to the state's consumer protection statutes. Supporters in the Missouri Justice Alliance called for passage of HB 2241. Missourinet has the story.

  • From the law offices of Robert H. Weiss comes a news release announcing a billion-dollar consumer class action against the leading baby bottle manufacturers (Avent America, Evenflo, Gerber, Handi-Craft (Dr. Brown's) and Playtex) for their use of Bisphenol A in polycarbonate plastic baby bottles and toddler training cups. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri pursuant to Missouri Consumer Protection Laws..."Now where have heard about those laws before?
  • Much excess going on in the handling of BPA, including Howard County, Md., no longer giving out BPA-containing baby bottles in the WIC program, and Senate Democrats introducing a federal bill. The bill is S. 2928. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel takes credit for the legislation.
  • Amazon sues New York State over its new tax on interstate sales over the Internet. Previous point on the topic here.
  • New York Governor David Paterson did sign the Libel Terrorism Protection Act (mentioned below), which protects U.S. citizens against libel suits by those using other countries more expansive laws. U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has introduced a federal version, H.R. 5814.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.