Legal Roundup

  • The Pop Tort calls it for what it is. It’s not “tort reform”; it’s a license to do harm.
  • Frank Pasquale with a great post showing how the “elite consensus” that we can’t afford Medicare and Medicaid should not be taken at face value. Although he does not post as regularly as some bloggers, Pasquale is quickly becoming a “must read” blogger for me.
  • Abnormal Use replies to my post about a legal blog someday winning a Pulitzer with the eminently sensible proposition that they’ll leave the Pulitzers to other bloggers in favor of becoming “EGOTs” (a winner of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony). I have no doubt that Jim Dedman and the rest of the crew over at Abnormal Use will someday find themselves in the illustrious company of Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minelli and Barbra Streisand. Those guys are hipper than hip over there. If I ever had to square off on Jeopardy against anyone from Abnormal, I’d definitely be skipping any categories having to do with comic books, rock n roll, movies or TV and rolling the dice on Renaissance poetry or The War of the Austrian Succession or somesuch.
  • Alarm fatigue – The Boston Globe is running a series on “alarm fatigue,” the phenomenon in which hospital personnel become so conditioned to warning alarms going off that they tune them out and/or ignore them. Sometimes, though, the alarms are real and patients die as a result.
  • Cert petitions to watch – The Supreme Court may hear a case in which an Air Force officer was killed as a result of gross medical malpractice in a military hospital. The Air Force staff sergeant’s widow sued but found her legal claims barred by the so-called Feres doctrine, which holds that the military is not liable for injuries caused to service members through negligence. The reasoning behind Feres is that the federal government has to consent to being sued and the Federal Tort Claims Act (which allows some lawsuits against the federal government) does not extend to negligence claims brought by service members.
    In a 1987 case, Justice Scalia said that Feres was wrongly decided. The family of the late Air Force Staff Sergeant hopes that holding military hospitals liable for their medical malpractice will improve the quality of care in military hospitals.
  • Massachusetts escalators not inspected – In the wake of the gruesome death of a child on an escalator at the Auburn Mall, The Boston Globe investigated and found that seventy-five percent of Massachusetts mall escalators do not have current safety inspections. Yet more proof that trial lawyers do a better job of protecting us than government regulators.

This blog in maintained by the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.