A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of July 9-15.


This ‘Professional Plaintiff’ Has Sued 11 Employers

Ross Toback  and Bruce Golding | NY Post

Employers, beware — hire this guy and you’ll probably wind up getting sued. A Bronx man who has worked for 11 companies since 2007 has filed suit against every single one, court records show.

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Plaintiffs in BP Oil Spill Case Accuse Their Own Lawyers of Fraud

Alison Frankel | Reuters

The reputation of the plaintiffs’ bar – always a vulnerable target for the business lobby – has not been enhanced by long-running litigation stemming from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The good work by members of the plaintiffs’ steering committee, who negotiated and subsequently defended one of the biggest private settlements in U.S. history has been overshadowed by accusations against their supposedly less scrupulous colleagues.

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How Pokémon GO Players Could Run Into Real-Life Legal Problems

Brian D. Wassom | The Hollywood Reporter

Augmented reality games encourage players to travel throughout the real world and enable them to interact with digital characters and objects programmed to appear as if they exist at specific points in physical space. The appeal of this gaming mechanic is evident from the sci-if game Ingress, released a few years ago, and the massively popular new AR app Pokemon GO, which requires players to visit various real-life locations in order to discover, capture and train digital creatures from the Pokemon universe.

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Fox News Suit Could Hinge on Disparate Arbitration Stances in NY, NJ

Charles Toutant | New Jersey Law Journal

A sexual harassment suit filed against Fox News Network chairman and CEO Roger Ailes by former anchor Gretchen Carlson is influenced by varying climates in New Jersey and New York when it comes to arbitration agreements. An agreement in Carlson’s contract to submit employment disputes to arbitration would not survive scrutiny under New Jersey law but would likely survive a challenge under the law of New York, those lawyers said. New Jersey’s stricter scrutiny of such agreements likely played a major role in the decision by Carlson’s lawyers to file her sexual harassment suit against Ailes in that state, some lawyers said.

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Fee Fight Blights $1.3 Billion Chinese Drywall Case

Alison Frankel | Reuters

The litigation over allegedly defective Chinese-made drywall should be a triumphant emblem of the American tort system. After seven years of wrestling with scores of defendants, many of them based in China, a bellwether trial in federal district court in New Orleans and more than a year of settlement negotiations, plaintiffs’ lawyers negotiated a series of five complex, interconnected settlements that will deliver about $1.3 billion of value to thousands of property owners, many of them Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana residents rebuilding after hurricane devastation. As the lawyers who led the case explained in their June 7 fee allocation proposal, the settlements will allow homeowners either to receive cash compensation or remediation to get rid of construction materials that supposedly emit toxic fumes and corrode light fixtures.

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It’s Long Past Time For Tort Reform

Derek Hunter Derek Hunter | Townhall

It’s become as American as apple pie. When something awful happens, someone gets sued. It’s one thing when there is obvious fault or negligence, but we’ve gone from being a nation of individual responsibility to a culture that seeks a payday out of any tragedy.

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Trampoline Park’s Arbitration Clause Too Vague, Court Says

Fola Akinnibi | Law360

A New Jersey appeals court ruled Tuesday that an arbitration clause in an indoor trampoline center’s liability release is unenforceable, reversing a lower court ruling on the grounds that the agreement didn’t specifically say customers were giving up their right to a trial.

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