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Mar 20, 2012 Generic Drugs Proving Resistant to Damage Suits

QUOTE: Across the country, dozens of lawsuits against generic pharmaceutical companies are being dismissed because of a Supreme Court decision last year that said the companies did not have control over what their labels said and therefore could not be sued for failing to alert patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Now, what once seemed like a trivial detail — whether to take a generic or brand-name drug — has become the deciding factor in whether a patient can seek legal recourse from a drug company.

New York Times
Mar 15, 2012 Virginia Tech to review negligence verdict in 2007 shooting rampage

QUOTE: Virginia Tech plans to consider all its options after it reviews a jury verdict that found it was negligent in a 2007 shooting rampage that left 33 people dead, including the gunman....Virginia Tech failed to notify students early enough following the discovery of two shooting victims at West Ambler Johnston dormitory.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jul 15, 2011 No Vacancies, but Some Reservations

QUOTE: BP argued that “there is no basis to assume that claimants, with very limited exceptions, will incur a future loss related to the spill.”...Under the formula, settlements would generally be double the demonstrable losses from 2010, with money previously paid by the fund subtracted.

New York Times
Jul 06, 2011 Settlement Is Reached in Suit Over Katrina Grants

QUOTE: Federal officials announced on Wednesday that they had reached a settlement with a group of homeowners who sued the federal government and the State of Louisiana alleging discrimination in the state’s Road Home program, which distributed grants to those whose houses were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding.

New York Times
Jun 15, 2011 Watching the Detectives

QUOTE: Because the department ignores lawsuits, it cannot analyze or learn from them; instead, the city effectively writes off these suits as the extraordinarily high cost of doing police business. In contrast, a small but growing group of police departments around the country have found innovative ways to analyze information gathered from lawsuits. They investigate lawsuit claims as they would civilian complaints, and they discipline, retrain or fire officers when the claims are substantiated.

New York Times
Oct 26, 2010 Judge Tells LimeWire, the File-Trading Service, to Disable Its Software

QUOTE: injunction on Tuesday that will essentially shut down LimeWire, the big music file-sharing service that has been mired in a four-year legal struggle with the music industry. The case has already resulted in the company and its founder being found liable for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

New York Times
Jun 03, 2010 Prosecuting Crimes Against the Earth

QUOTE: Criminal prosecution cannot restore the gulf or end the suffering of the people who live along its shores. But it could ensure just punishment. And it would make it more likely that the companies involved would pay all claims for damage to the gulf coast, because the $75 million cap on liability, set by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, does not apply in criminal cases.

New York Times
May 28, 2010 Google's WebM license could undermine the meaning of 'open source': Google's adoption of non-OSI-approved license could create a raft of problems for open source users

QUOTE: For better or worse, an OSI-approved license has become the de facto requirement for vendors calling themselves or their products "open source." When Google, one of the largest supporters of open source, goes out and purposefully circumvents the OSI, what signal does this send to other vendors?

Apr 21, 2010 Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA

QUOTE: Seven years ago, the Havasupai Indians, who live amid the turquoise waterfalls and red cliffs miles deep in the Grand Canyon, issued a “banishment order” to keep Arizona State University employees from setting foot on their reservation — an ancient punishment for what they regarded as a genetic-era betrayal....their blood samples had been used to study many other things, including mental illness and theories of the tribe’s geographical origins that contradict their traditional stories.

New York Times
Aug 10, 2009 Litigants become their own lawyers: Hiring an attorney isn't cheap, so these days more people are navigating the justice system themselves. But courtrooms can be tough for amateurs.

QUOTE: Legal service has never come cheap. But lawyers, judges and other experts say that for many people, the recession has made it a nearly impossible expense. So more litigants are navigating the often-bewildering justice system by themselves... But the trend still alarms many observers, who say courtrooms weren't made for amateurs.

Chicago Tribune
Aug 06, 2009 Watch out, developers: Here come the lawyers (Tech's Bottom Line)

QUOTE: They [Microsoft and Linux Foundation] claim that the guidelines [to sue software makers for buggy software] are likely to lead to a flood of expensive lawsuits against both large commercial vendors and small-scale open source developers.

Jun 19, 2009 Analysis: $1.92M fine in music piracy case could hurt RIAA: Retrial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset ends with massive fine imposed on her

QUOTE: The massive $1.9 million fine imposed by a federal jury yesterday in the retrial of a Minnesota woman [Jammie Thomas-Rasset] accused of pirating 24 songs may could end up hurting the Recording Industry Association of America's anti-piracy campaign... That's because the sheer size of the verdict hammers home just how unreasonable the RIAA's damages theory for copyright infringement is...

Apr 04, 2009 Tainted drywall from China is driving owners from their homes: A toxic substance is suspected of causing corrosion, health problems, and foul odors, bringing lawsuits and calls for government action

QUOTE: The discovery of sulfur-emitting compounds within the [Chinese]imported construction materials has sparked a national investigation, numerous lawsuits, and a scandal that is feared to have affected as many as 100,000 homes, a majority so far in Florida.

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 17, 2008 RIAA Decries Texas Woman as 'Vexatious' for Demanding File Sharing Trial

QUOTE: The Recording Industry Association of America is labeling a Texas woman "vexatious" for her refusal to pay the record labels $7,400 for allegedly infringing 37 songs on the Kazaa file sharing network.

Jun 21, 2008 Duke football loses on field, wins in court

QUOTE: Duke University avoided paying the University of Louisville $450,000 for opting out of three football games, but the school had to trash itself to do it.

News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
May 19, 2008 DNA cleared them, but they'll never feel free

QUOTE: Blackburn said these wrongly convicted men get "a double-whammy screw job." He said there's little help from the government to transition back into society and they're still viewed as criminals once they're out of prison.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 24, 2008 Arbitration and your rights on the job

QUOTE: Consumer rights advocates contend arbitration strips away your right to be heard in court and that a speedy decision isn't necessarily a just decision. "Flipping a coin is quick, too, but that doesn't mean it is a good way to decide the facts of a case," says [one San Francisco lawyer]. "This type of for-profit justice is a scandal. American citizens should not have their cases decided in secret tribunals with no right of appeal."
Jan 23, 2008 Court Rules Inmates Can't Sue for Property Loss

QUOTE: ...the Supreme Court's decision yesterday that [Abdus-Shahid M.S. Ali] is barred from suing rests on an ambiguous federal statute that has confounded the courts and sharply divided the justices...It involves the word "any."

Washington Post
Dec 07, 2007 Bill Would Give Tax Break to Exonerated Prisoners

QUOTE: Yesterday, a bill that would exempt exonerated prisoners from paying federal income taxes on compensation received for a wrongful conviction was introduced by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York. The measure pushes the issue of taxation to the forefront of the debate over how to compensate the wrongly convicted properly for the years they spent behind bars.

New York Times
Oct 01, 2007 Lead-paint suit may thin burden of proof

QUOTE: What sets it apart is a 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that Thomas' attorneys don't need to prove the companies manufactured the specific paint that made him sick. All they have to prove is that the companies were making lead paint when the homes in which Thomas lived were built, from 1900 to 1905, that the paint sickened him and that the manufacturers knew of that danger.

Oct 01, 2007 Insurers fight law on punitive payouts

QUOTE: Insurance giants like Allstate, State Farm, Safeco and Farmers have poured more than $8 million into the referendum battle. Their goal is to convince voters to reject a law passed earlier this year that could force insurers to pay up to triple damages and lawyer fees if they fail to pay a legitimate claim and then lose in court.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Sep 04, 2007 Little Noticed 9/11 Lawsuits Will Go to Trial

QUOTE: Lawyers for the defendants in the coming damages trials — United and American Airlines; airport security companies; Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer; and others — say the lawsuits are misguided, that the aviation industry played by the government rules at the time, and that the terrorists knew what they could get away with.

New York Times
Aug 28, 2007 Open source court ruling impacts debated: Licensors could be deprived of ability to stop violations, but the case may not set a solid precedent

QUOTE: The case raises questions about the rights of those who release software via open source. "What rights do they have, and how strong are those rights?" Hall asked.

May 30, 2007 What do states owe the exonerated? States' compensation for wrongful imprisonment ranges from zero to millions of dollars.

QUOTE: The cases are typical results of the patchwork of compensation laws in the US, say experts. Last month, the 200th person was exonerated due to DNA evidence, but the majority of those released have gotten nothing but an apology – and sometimes not even that. As DNA exonerations become more plentiful – and more publicized – some states are moving on the compensation front.

Christian Science Monitor
May 18, 2007 18 Years in Prison? Priceless. How do they figure out compensation for people who were wrongly convicted?

QUOTE: [Compensation for wrongful conviction--Ed.] should account for the victim's lost time, lost wages, and physical and mental suffering, as well as the effects on his or her family.

May 07, 2007 Journalists Intend to Sue Hewlett-Packard Over Surveillance

QUOTE: To try to uncover leaks from board members, private investigators examined the phone records of nine journalists who covered the company, as well as the records of some of their relatives. While the dispute revolves around the issue of how the journalists’ careers may have been damaged by having their phone records examined, the threat to sue also raises the question whether it is proper for a news organization or its reporters to sue a company they cover. It is certainly not common.

New York Times
Feb 20, 2007 Supreme Court Nixes Award Against Philip Morris

QUOTE: Justice Stephen G. Breyer said jurors may take into account that harm caused to others shows reprehensible conduct, but "a jury may go no further than this and use a punitive damages verdict to punish a defendant directly on account of harms it is alleged to have visited on nonparties."

Washington Post
Oct 31, 2006 Supreme Court case: Are jury awards too high?: The High Court hears Tuesday a case where the widow of an Oregon smoker got $79.5 million.

QUOTE: The being closely watched to see whether a majority of justices are willing to issue strict guidelines to identify when a punitive damage award is unconstitutionally excessive.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 17, 2005 Robin Hoods or Legal Hoods?

QUOTE: Though Mr. Lerach and Mr. Weiss are not named in the indictment either, both are clearly embroiled in a wide-ranging investigation, the outcome of which is likely to influence how all plaintiffs' lawyers practice, as well as the potential civil penalties for corporate wrongdoing. As a result, the inquiry has reignited heated debates about the tort system, debates that have come to a head in recent years.

New York Times
Mar 08, 2005 How Much Is Your Stolen Music Worth? Probably more than you think.

QUOTE: When the digital pirate can be shown to have "willfully" violated intellectual property rights (knowing it was an infringement), statutory damages go as high as $150,000 per song, movie, or album.

Oct 04, 2004 Putting A Price on Innocents' Lost Years: Exonerations Up, Md. Lacks Formula For Restitution

QUOTE: As DNA testing frees increasing numbers of innocents from prison, Maryland and other states across the country are facing a politically sensitive and morally complex calculus: What is the value of a life unjustly spent behind bars?

Washington Post
Nov 12, 2003 Parents of teen who set school ablaze billed; $715,000 tab stirs liability questions

QUOTE: ...parents of a teen who set fire to Howell High School last year must pay $715,000 in restitution is raising questions about the limits of parental liability in criminal cases.

Detroit Free Press
Sep 29, 2003 Panel Slashes Libel Verdict Against Paper

QUOTE: In a dissenting opinion, two justices said the paper's willingness to depict the woman as a convict without making "even the slightest effort" to determine if its representation was accurate warranted punitive damages.
Jul 05, 2003 Truth or Consequences: How Much to Tell Buyers Is Tricky Terrain for Sellers

QUOTE: Sellers are often unaware how many of their property's defects or how much of its history they, or an agent representing them, must legally divulge to potential buyers.

Washington Post
Jan 28, 2002 Sept. 11 Families Accused of Greed

QUOTE: "The perception has gone from us generating all this sympathy to a situation where people think we are as greedy as a pack of wolves,"...

Washington Post
Jan 18, 2002 The Damaged Spirit of the Sept. 11 Fund

QUOTE: The proposed rules turn the Congressional legislation on its head, unbalancing it by reducing likely awards to levels far below the economic losses suffered by victims and their families while protecting airlines and others that might be sued.

New York Times
Dec 14, 2001 Sympathy, Uncertainty for Hostages: Judge in Tehran Embassy Case Says Law May Keep Them From Collecting

QUOTE: ...U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said he was torn between "my heart" and the terms of the agreement that freed the hostages in 1981, which requires the U.S. government to "bar and preclude" lawsuits by the former hostages.

Washington Post
Jul 06, 2001 Court Case Seeks to Define a Catholic Priest's Family

QUOTE: While the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco...was held by Islamic radicals for nearly 19 months in Lebanon in the 1980's, his relatives back home in Joliet, Ill., felt the anxieties shared by all the hostages' families.

New York Times