A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of October 10-16.
NJCJI President Marcus Rayner has a letter to the editor in the Asbury Park Press this week responding to their recent article about the DWI detainee who got the green light to sue the cops for injuries sustained because she was too drunk to sit in a chair without falling out of it.
A lot of digital ink has been spilled this week detailing how the #AuntFromHell sued her nephew because she broke her wrist when he jumped into her arms at his 8th birthday party. Now there’s nothing wrong with putting out some good click-bait every now and then, but when reporters have the opportunity to tell the full story but choose not to, there is something fishy going on.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is a very convoluted law that regulates virtually everything bought and sold in the state of New Jersey. It is also the genesis of hundreds of lawsuits. One CFA lawsuit we’ve been closely following is Josh Finkelman’s battle against the NFL over the price of Super Bowl tickets (the case even made our CFA Hall of Shame).
Nick Farr | Abnormal Use Blog
Recently, an Alabama man filed suit against Sears Roebuck & Co. after losing several fingers while operating a Craftsman table saw. According to a report from the Cook County Record, Victor Ingram’s fingers came in contact with the saw’s blade while he was “acting reasonably and exercising all due care for his own safety.” As a result of the accident, Ingram had to have multiple fingers amputated on his left hand. The suit alleges that the table saw was known to Sears (which owns Craftsman) to be dangerous when it was designed and manufactured. Specifically, Ingram alleges that Sears knew of available technology which could better guard the blade and which could trigger the blade to shut off if the blade made contact with flesh. However, the table saw did not incorporate such technology. The suit contains causes of action for product liability, negligence, and breach of implied warranty of fitness.
Ira Neil Richards and Aaron J. Fickes, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP | Law360
“Ascertainability” — that is, whether class members can be ascertained with administrative efficiency — continues to develop as a significant issue in class certification. Two recent opinions, Brecher v. Republic of Argentina, No. 14-4385, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16493 (2d Cir. Sept. 16, 2015), in which the Second Circuit adopted ascertainability as a separate class-certification requirement, and In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-md-2002, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124799 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 18, 2015), in which the court applied what has been called “heightened ascertainability” within the Third Circuit, demonstrate how the developing law on ascertainability can impact a class certification outcome. Ascertainability, though, is not necessarily developing uniformly or consistently as a distinct class certification requirement. Significantly, the Seventh Circuit has expressly rejected the concept. It has even come under criticism from judges within the Third Circuit. For practitioners, it is therefore critical to know the law of the circuit in which you are litigating and to continue to closely monitor developments in ascertainability.
Wall Street Journal
If you sue a company, and the company offers to settle by giving you exactly what you asked for, can you keep suing anyway? On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear a case in which the head plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit is offered everything he wants but litigates regardless.
Kale Williams | San Francisco Chronicle
A tourist visiting the Bay Area for Fleet Week last year was doing nothing more than reading and napping under a tree in a federal waterfront park in San Francisco when a 16-pound pine cone fell on him and crushed his skull, his lawyer said Monday.