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Around the Web, August 24

  • In today's Examiner, "Hot coffee is back!," Ted Frank marvels at the mythic quality of the "woman scalded by McDonald's coffee" litigation, adapted and distorted to help support other legal claims: "[These] new urban legends have been adopted wholesale by many law professors and by left-wing supporters of the trial bar. The latest iteration is a documentary called 'Hot Coffee'; statements by the makers show that they are buying (or at least are willing to sell) the trial bar's story hook, line and sinker."
  • Hugh Hewitt, radio talk show host and Chapman University law professor, notes the filing of the first lawsuit in Nevada over Chinese drywall and says the last thing a recovering housing industry needs is a wave of asbestos-like litigation: "If President Obama wants to push for some legislation that will actually contribute to the recovery as opposed to hindering it via massive uncertainty and exploding deficits, he'd ask the Congress for a law that limits the drywall exposure and which caps the damages --and the lawyers' fees-- in all such disputes."
  • From a few weeks ago, Miami Daily Business Review, "Federal Judge Puts Chinese Drywall Cases on 'Rocket Docket'": "With thousands of homeowners claiming their houses and health are deteriorating from sulfur-emitting Chinese drywall, a federal judge in New Orleans is intent on fast-tracking a handful of cases for trial, attorneys say....About 600 tainted Chinese drywall lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation under U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon for pretrial issues. With the help of plaintiff and defense steering committees, Fallon will select five cases to test the waters."
  • The Wall Street Journal's Weekend Interview was with the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who cites tort reform as one element -- but not the whole story -- in his state's pro-growth policies. From "Fiscal Conservatism and the Soul of the GOP": "As governor, Mr. Perry has honed in on four policy issues he believes are drawing people and businesses to the state in record numbers. Businesses like Medtronic and Caterpillar, to name two, are "coming here [because] we haven't spent all the money, the taxes are low, the regulatory climate is fair--they won't be frivolously sued--and they know when they get here that they'll find a skilled work force."
  • And in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which covers Medtronic as a local story, the personal anecdote leads the way in a report on the Medical Device Safety Act, "On mission to sue med-tech makers."

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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.