A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of July 19-25.


Invoking Anti-Fraud Law, Louisiana Doctor Gets Rich

Peter Loftus | Wall Street Journal

William LaCorte keeps a half-dozen marble paperweights at his medical practice in this New Orleans suburb, engraved with images of checks from a lucrative sideline: suing companies for alleged health-care fraud.

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N.J. Turnpike Authority, Florida Pizza Restaurants Spar Over Logo

Richard Khavkine | The Star-Ledger

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants to be clear: It is not in the restaurant business, in this state or any other. To underline the point, the agency has filed a federal lawsuit against a Florida chain of two New Jersey-themed pizza places, claiming the restaurants’ yellow-and-green logo too closely resembles the Garden State Parkway sign, according to the New Jersey Law Journal, which first reported the story.

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When Tort Defendants Die, Should Any Punitive Damages Claim Die With Them?

Eugene Volokh | Volokh Conspiracy

An interesting question that has split state courts…

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Airbnb Guest Won’t Leave, Forcing Condo Owner to Begin Eviction Proceedings

Debra Cassens Weiss | ABA Journal

A San Francisco woman found out about the downside of a 44-day Airbnb rental after the renter refused to leave her Palm Springs vacation condo. The guest who overstayed his welcome has renters’ protections under California law because he was in the unit for more than 30 days…

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BP Claimant, Attorneys, Ordered to Return Settlement Cash

Amanda Bronstad | The National Law Journal

A New Orleans law firm at the center of an investigation into misconduct surrounding the processing of payments from BP PLC’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement must return $357,000 paid to a client based on allegedly fraudulent claims.

Full Story.


Judge Tosses Defamation Suit Brought by Real-Life Kramer Who Inspired ‘Seinfeld’

Jacob Gershman | Wall Street Journal

No damages for you! So ruled a New York judge who dismissed a defamation suit this week brought by the real-life inspiration for the oddball “Seinfeld” character Cosmo Kramer against a former writer for the classic sitcom.

Full Story.


NJ Man Sues Over Breyers ‘All Natural’ Marketing

Richard Newman | The Record

A man from Mount Laurel is suing Unilever, maker of Breyers ice cream, saying the company’s claims that its products were “all natural” were “false, misleading, inaccurate and deceptive.”

Full Story.