A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of March 25-April 1.
Cristina Rojas | For NJ.com
The city’s comptroller has filed a lawsuit against the city over mandated pay raises she says were given to other employees, but not her.
Sindhu Sundar | Law360
Watered-down beer and fake mozzarella sticks are no laughing matter to consumers who expect their money’s worth. But in honor of April Fools’ Day, Law360 identified a handful of such unusual product liability lawsuits this past year, including one by a pious customer burned by fajitas while praying before his meal.
Matt Miller | Penn Live
Concluding that her own inadvisable juggling act led to her injury, a state appeals court panel has refused to revive a lawsuit by a student who spilled scalding coffee on herself at a Sheetz convenience store.
Joe Patrice | Above the Law
Several months ago we wrote about Richard A. Luthmann, the Staten Island attorney seeking trial by combat to resolve a dispute alleging that he helped a former client fraudulently transfer assets. Now a New York state judge has weighed in and determined that while Luthmann is indeed correct that trial by combat is absolutely a viable option for resolving a legal dispute, he would decline to order it in this matter.
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has put the cap on a class action lawsuit against Fresh Inc. over the lip balm leftover in the bottom of the tube. The plaintiffs’ lawyers alleged that Fresh is hoodwinking consumers into thinking there is additional product in the tube, when the twist-up mechanism of the lip balm prevents the bit at the bottom from being utilized. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed this is a violation of California’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, but the court ruled that any reasonable consumer would not consider this “deceptive” and would understand how these tubes work.
Bob Dorigo Jones | Let’s Be Fair!
A six-figure jury verdict awarded to a woman who walked into a ladder while texting on her cell phone could be the new poster child for the dysfunction happening in America’s courts today.
Steven M. Sellers | BNA’s Class Action Litigation Report
Greed is undermining class actions, according to Ted Frank, founder and director of the Center for Class Action Fairness in Washington. Consumer and other class settlements often pay more to trial lawyers than to their clients, Frank says, and he’s devoted his professional life to fighting that trend.
Jacob Gershman | Wall Street Journal
A California blind man has won a disabled-rights case against a Colorado-based luggage retailer accused of failing to make its commercial website accessible to the visually impaired. Lawyers for the plaintiff said the ruling broke new ground in an expanding litigation area.