Tag Archives: Sovereign Immunity

Barbara Mancini, Allegedly Guilty Of Mercy For Her Father

  First, an important credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer has devoted a half-dozen stories to the plight of Barbara Mancini. All the facts described in this post come from their reports.   Joseph Yourshaw, 93 years old and a World War II veteran who had served in the Battle of the Bulge, was in home-hospice dying from kidney failure, end-stage diabetes, and heart disease, with additional complications from a stroke and pain from arthritis. Barbara Mancini was a nurse in Philadelphia and, it seems, quite a good daughter, as she had made the 2-hour trek up to Pottsville in Schuykill County ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Can The City Of Philadelphia Be Sued Over The Center City Building Collapse?

  Philly is still reeling from the horrific Center City building collapse last week. Every conversation I’ve had included both shock over the poor oversight of high-risk work like demolition and the conclusion that, surely, the City will be sued and will pay something towards the victims. Most everyone, including other lawyers who don’t do catastrophic injury work, are shocked to hear that it is unlikely that the City will be liable.   The primary cause of disaster is obvious: the work crew performed appallingly amateurish work. Taking down a building literally joined to other buildings isn’t rocket science, but ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

A Trial Lawyer’s Guide To Taser Lawsuits

I suppose it’s unsurprising that criminal defense lawyers and plaintiff’s lawyers would all have concerns about the use of Tasers — the Taser victims and their family members end up in our offices — but even prosecutors and municipal and state defense lawyers (speaking off the record, of course) express dismay at the frequency and manner in which Tasers are used.   By Amnesty International’s count, since 2001 over 500 people have died in the US as a result of Taser use. Police departments have just begun admitting there’s a problem. Cincinnati’s police chief has admitted Tasers can kill. Seattle ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Thoughts On Liability For The Chesterfield, NJ School Bus Accident

[Update II, April 30, 2012: As some media outlets have reported, our law firm now represents the Tezsla family. The below post was written and published before we were retained and should not be considered the family's or our law firm's official statement on the case.] [Update, February 24, 2012: The NTSB confirmed several facts this morning, including the school bus driver's statements that his line of sight was obstructed and so he inched forward at the intersection and that he never saw the dump truck. The investigators also said the dump truck was overloaded past its weight limit, which, as ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Brain Injuries, Not Lawyers, May Spell The End Of Football

[Update, September 2014: I wrote the below post in February 2012, when a prominent economist and blogger seriously claimed "The most plausible route to the death of football starts with liability suits." In a mere two-and-a-half years, the tide has turned considerably, and it had nothing to do with liability suits. Jason Kottke recently collected multiple articles by die-hard football fans explaining why they won't watch the sport any more. More and more people can't handle the greed, the violence, and the damage — just today, Esquire had a piece on the league's disgraceful handling of Ray Rice's domestic abuse. Professional ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Pennsylvania School Districts Should Be Fully Responsible For Bus Accidents

From a safety standpoint, school buses are like commercial airlines. Mile-for-mile, they're one of the safest modes of transportation; as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration noted a decade ago while reviewing whether or not to require seat belts in school buses (more about crashworthiness here), the fatality rate for school buses is 0.2 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled as compared to 1.5 fatalities for cars. Like with commercial airliners, though, if a school bus accident does occur, then it's likely to cause a lot of damage, and the accident is likely the result of colossal negligence. Current ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Law Professors: Check Legal Blogs Before Adding Your Two Cents

The big legal news in Pennsylvania last week was of course the indictment of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for allegedly sexually abusing at least eight children on or around Penn State. Being a civil litigator who has sued universities and has represented victims of sexual abuse on college campuses, I felt compelled to say something, so I wrote about Penn State's potential liability in civil lawsuits brought by the victims. I reviewed and cited cases and statutes; you know, the stuff lawyers do when they want to get things right. Then I read the news today, oh, ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Can Sandusky’s Sexual Abuse Victims Sue Penn State?

[UPDATE, July 12, 2012: The independent report by Louis Freeh's law firm has been released. It is damning, to say the least, concluding there was a "total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims." Blame is rightfully heaped upon Paterno, Spanier, Curley, and Schultz.] [UPDATE, June 22, 2012: Jerry Sandusky was convicted on almost all counts. Reuters quoted me talking about the effect of the prosecution and conviction on the civil lawsuits pre-verdict here and post-verdict here. Short version: Penn State, as I had hoped, is signaling their ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

When The Duty To Serve And To Protect Spirals Out Of Control

  Via Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko writes about the $2 million settlement of the Sal Culosi case: Fairfax County detective, David Baucum, overheard [Culosi] and some friends wagering on a college football game at a bar. "To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends," a friend of Culosi's told me… "None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting 50 bucks or so on the Virginia/Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation." Baucum apparently did. After overhearing the wagering, Baucum befriended Culosi. During the next several months he ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn

Federal Circuit Reinstates Fair Credit Reporting Act Suit Against The United States

Bormes v. U.S., 2009-1546 (Fed. Cir. November 16, 2010), isn't the type of suit you see every day: On August 9, 2008, Bormes, an attorney, filed a law-suit on behalf of one of his clients in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois using its online document filing system. Bormes paid the filing fee using his credit card, and the transaction was processed through the government’s pay.gov system. The govern-ment then provided Bormes with a confirmation webpage that appeared on Bormes’ computer screen. The confir-mation page contained the expiration date of Bormes’ credit card. That's a problem. ... Continue Reading

Tweet Like Email LinkedIn