A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of August 29 – September 4.



Lawsuit Blames Negligent Six-Year-Old

Kevin Underhill | Lowering the Bar

“A judge will now have to decide whether the six-year-old can be held legally responsible for her actions,” says the Telegraph about a case pending in Austria. According to the report, the accident she’s accused of causing “took place on the slopes of Hochhäderich mountain in the Bregenzerwald forest,” and I assumed the reporter just made those names up but they turn out to be real places. The girl, who was part of a group taking ski lessons, allegedly “made a sudden turn” into the path of an adult skier, and the two collided. The adult woman claims to have been seriously injured by this, and although you’d think the six-year-old would have gotten the worst of such a collision, the article says nothing about any injuries to the girl.

Full story.



New Jersey Federal Baked Goods Fraud Class Actions Are Toast

Steve McConnell | Drug & Device Law

Almost on this date in 1901 (tomorrow actually), Teddy Roosevelt for the first time uttered in public the immortal phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. It is hard to find people who do not admire that statement.  It is harder to find people who actually practice it. These days we are accustomed to wimpy parents and blowhard politicians who talk tough but do nothing.   As a result, you get teenagers gobbling up the cheese-of-the-month delivery and Russia gobbling up Crimea.  We also encounter some soft-hearted and -headed judges who speak loudly and wield no stick – at least when it comes to clamping down on bogus lawsuits.  Corporate defendants hauled/haled/but-definitely-not-hailed into court are held to ludicrously high standards, while plaintiffs dwell in a world of do-overs and feckless flexibility.

Full story.



Applying Choice-of-Law Principles to Punitive Damages Claims

David R. Kott, Gary R. Tulp and Desiree Grace | New Jersey Law Journal

In 2008, the New Jersey Supreme Court established New Jersey’s adherence to the “significant relationship test” in choice-of-law determinations. The court made clear that, pursuant to that test, there is a presumption in personal injury cases that the law of the state in which the injury occurred will apply. Critically, though, the court clarified that choice-of-law analyses must occur on an issue-by-issue basis, thereby allowing for the law of the forum state to apply to certain issues and the law of the state in which the injury occurred to others.

Full story.



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