A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of Oct. 4-10.
N.J. Assembly Panel OKs Patent Troll Bill; Civil Justice Group Opposes State Fix
A New Jersey Assembly panel approved Thursday legislation aimed at preventing individuals or companies from making false patent infringement claims in the state.
N.J. Lawmakers Push Bill Aiming To Curtail Patent Trolls
Michael Booth | New Jersey Law Journal
A committee of the New Jersey Legislature is urging passage of legislation that would make it easier for companies to fight off lawsuits filed by so-called “patent trolls.”
N.J. Supreme Court Associate Justice Solomon Sworn in by State’s Chief Justice
Michael Phillis | The Record
The state’s chief justice presided over an official swearing in ceremony Wednesday for state Supreme Court Associate Justice Lee Solomon, whose nomination in May appeared to calm tensions between the governor’s office and the legal community over the makeup of the state’s high court.
Judiciary Moving 13,000 Mass Tort Cases to Bergen, Middlesex
Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal
Atlantic County, home of New Jersey’s largest mass tort docket with over 20,000 cases, will lose more than 13,000 of them over the next month or so when they are transferred to Bergen and Middlesex counties as part of a judiciary initiative to more evenly distribute the caseload.
Assembly Panel Takes Testimony on Paid Sick Leave, but Does Not Vote
Andrew George | NJBIZ
The Assembly Labor Committee turned its attention to statewide paid sick leave legislation Thursday, drawing testimony from business owners and groups on both sides of the issue.
New Mass Torts Judge Tosses Four Accutane Cases
Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal
In rulings likely to have repercussions that will reverberate through the 7,300-plus Accutane cases that are centralized in Atlantic County, N.J., Judge Nelson Johnson has dismissed four bellwether cases on statute of limitations grounds.
The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever
Nathaniel Rich | New York Times
In Louisiana, the most common way to visualize the state’s existential crisis is through the metaphor of football fields. The formulation, repeated in nearly every local newspaper article about the subject, goes like this: Each hour, Louisiana loses about a football field’s worth of land. Each day, the state loses nearly the accumulated acreage of every football stadium in the N.F.L. Were this rate of land loss applied to New York, Central Park would disappear in a month. Manhattan would vanish within a year and a half. The last of Brooklyn would dissolve four years later. New Yorkers would notice this kind of land loss. The world would notice this kind of land loss. But the hemorrhaging of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands has gone largely unremarked upon beyond state borders. This is surprising, because the wetlands, apart from their unique ecological significance and astounding beauty, buffer the impact of hurricanes that threaten not just New Orleans but also the port of South Louisiana, the nation’s largest; just under 10 percent of the country’s oil reserves; a quarter of its natural-gas supply; a fifth of its oil-refining capacity; and the gateway to its internal waterway system. The attenuation of Louisiana, like any environmental disaster carried beyond a certain point, is a national-security threat.
New Mexico Burger King Manager Attacked Customer Over Cold Onion Rings: Lawsuit
Joel Landau | NY Daily News
Cold onion rings led to an attack involving a switchblade and Taser at a New Mexico Burger King, alleges a customer. Robert DeYapp filed a lawsuit against the fast-food franchise last week after he said the manager Francisco Berrera tried to attack him after he asked for his onion rings to be heated up, reports Courthouse News Service.
ConAgra Kosher Labeling Suit Left To A Higher Power
Emily Field | Law360
A Minnesota state judge Monday threw out a proposed class action accusing ConAgra Foods Inc. of misleading consumers by marketing its Hebrew National hot dogs as kosher, saying the court could not constitutionally rule on an entirely religious dispute.
Pancake Flap: Aunt Jemima Heirs Seek Dough
Jere Downs | The Courier-Journal
Born a slave in Kentucky in 1834, Nancy Green was the first Aunt Jemima “Mammy.” Nearly a century has gone by and Aunt Jemima no longer resembles a servant, having swapped her red bandanna for pearls and soft curls in 1989. Now a lawsuit claims that Green’s heirs as well as the descendants of other black women who appeared as Aunt Jemima deserve $2 billion and a share of future revenue from sales of the popular brand.
Famous Food Lawsuits Worthy of ‘Better Call’ Saul Goodman
Michael Y. Park | Bon Appetit
AMC has greenlit a spinoff series for Breaking Bad’s breakout supporting character Saul Goodman—and happier we could not be. So we’re hoping that Vince Gilligan and Bob Odenkirk don’t mind if we suggest a few juicy frivolous food lawsuits—all 100% real court cases (but don’t sue us over that claim)—that our favorite shady shyster could sink his teeth into.
If You’ve Bought A Red Bull In The Last Decade, You’re Due $10
Emily Thomas | The Huffington Post
This may come as a shock to you, but the slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings” is a big, fat lie. Red Bull will not make you sprout feathered appendages, turn you into Usain Bolt or grant you the mental prowess of Stephen Hawking. Shhh, shhh, we know this is hard to hear. But we’re going to get through it together.
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