March 2007


Splenda is being sued by another artificial sweetener manufacturer over the way Splenda characterizes itself.  Splenda claims on its packaging that it is “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar”.  The makers of Equal claim this is a misrepresentation.  This isn’t frivolous.  No way. 

This is one of those instances where a large corporation has filed a huge lawsuit, the type that the organizations large corporations belong to are always railing against.  However, people like the US Chamber of Congress aren’t fighting to take the large corporation’s right to sue away or cap the damages large corporations can sue for.  Yeah, corporations have the right to sue over this, but injured people should not have the right to be made whole.  How sickening.  The article is on Law.com.

This article by Robert J. Ambrogi  at Legal Blog Watch suggests that the tort reform movement should be renamed, because the nature of the movement is not reform but rather destruction of the societal safety net created to help those injured by the hands of others.   The attack on the civil justice system, by so-called “tort reformers” has been quite successful on many fronts.  But the cost to society has yet to be seen.  When those who cause damage are not held responsible for their actions, it is society who ends up paying the bill for the person who is injured and cannot afford to provide basic necessities for him or his family.  One of the suggested name changes is “destruction of the civil justice system”.  I like that one a lot.  The destruction of the civil justice system that is going on now will have real societal consequences.

 

Check out the article and offer suggestions as to what you think the movement should be called.  I have always liked Ralph Nader’s suggestion “tort deform”, but I am sure someone can come up with something to top that. 

A wreck on Sullivan Road at Sparkle Road in Central, involving a fatality has resulted in a lawsuit against the East Baton Rouge Parish city-parish government.  The wreck occurred on March 5, 2006 and caused the deaths of Lamar Canty and Edward Lawrence.  The wreck happened when the passenger side tires of the Canty vehicle left the road.  The lawsuit claims the tires left the road because the road was designed defectively.  Canty’s vehicle went out of control when he overcorrected and he struck another vehicle head-on.  Other defendants in the case are the Louisiana DOTD and the City of Central. 

There was another accident in 1993, in the same stretch of road that resulted in the death of a 17 year old and an 18 year old.  A city-parish engineer said that many changes are planned for the road, although no improvements have been made so far.  The newspaper article on the lawsuit is here.

Toys “R” Us has recalled three “Elite Operations” brand toy sets, the “Super Rigs Transport Vehicle” (Item # 087286), “Command Patrol Center” (Item # 920625) and “Troop Carrier” (Item # 773967).  The items were recalled because dangerously high levels of lead were found in the paint and also because of the laceration hazard posed by the sharp edges on the toys.  No injuries were reported with this product recall.  The recall alert can be found at the CPSC website.  

Businesses who do not like paying for “botched medical procedures and low-quality medical care” plan to ask doctors and hospitals for refunds when they commit medical errors. 

The Leapfrog Group and Midwest Business Group on Health, two business groups that purchase health care are asking health care providers to waive their fees in cases of medical mistakes.  They say that when you buy a defective car, lemon laws provide for refunds – so to medical providers who provide substandard care should give refunds.  Other insurers at looking at adding clauses to their contracts to require facilities to report medical errors to state agencies and waive fees for medical errors.http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/mcherald/business/16035739.htm

$3 Million Verdict For Mesothelioma Victim 

A jury awarded the wife of a man in New Jersey who contracted mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos, $3 million for exposure to asbestos containing talc.  The verdict was against R.T. Vanderbilt, Inc., a talc miner and Hammill & Gillespie Inc., a talc distributor.  The man, Peter Hirsch passed away in 2002 at age 53.  He had several pottery studios at the time of his death. 

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/

 

The Weber® Genesis® 320™ Series Gas Grills, manufactured by Weber-Stephen Products Co., of Palatine, Ill. has been recalled.  The gas hose attached to the side of the grill can crack or break off during shipping of the product, causing gas leaks when the product is used.  This poses a fire hazard. There were 49 reports of damaged hoses and no injuries reported. The link to the recall notice is here.

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