Inter Alia on the Internet – Ultra Mega Mega Edition
I’ve been busy over the past few days, so there’s a ton of stuff to catch up on. And yes, the title is a South Park reference.
- Why do people have such a bad opinion about pharmaceuticals? FiercePharma discusses a survey on that very issue. I’d like them a lot more if they didn’t sell to foreign countries at prices well below what we have to pay in the U.S.
- Another tax-and-spend liberal? When the private sector refused to build a sports complex because it wouldn’t be profitable to do so, what small-town mayor raised taxes by 25% and built it with taxpayer money? Here’s a hint: She’s running for VP.
- Does back-patting suggest a “good old boys” network? Some Virginia judges are asking prosecutors not to pat cops on the back in court.
- Will “reformers” complain on the grounds of Federalism that Federal courts are interfering with the Florida Supreme Court’s determination of Florida law? Probably not, since the ruling helps big tobacco, which pays many “reformer” salaries.
- The North Carolina Trial Blog looks at McCain’s and Obama’s record on tort “reform” issues.
- And here’s an article suggesting that McCain’s “reform” positions are subject to influence.
- Has hell frozen over? I’m making friends at Overlawyered.
- Speaking of Overlawyered, I remember reading that Ted Frank is putting together a “Law professors for McCain” program. Apparently, they’re not putting their money where their mouth is, as 95% of law professor contributions went to Obama.
- Another sad story along the lines of Kitty Genovese.
- Preemption strikes again: An autism suit was thrown out when a judge found that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act preempts state tort claims. I know the autism/vaccine link is a hotly disputed area that inflames a lot of emotions. Before anyone attacks me for daring to cover this, remember: I have no position on whether vaccines cause autism. I would merely prefer these cases to be decided either by a jury, or via summary judgment.
- Who files frivolous lawsuits? Big corporations, with attorneys who get paid by the hour. Take the recording industry. It’s filed 30,000 lawsuits that have little or no factual basis. Try not to be deafened by the “reform” movement’s silence on this issue.
- This flip remark from Michael Krauss summarizes the “reform” movement’s attitude towards consumer safety: “Thinking of using a new and potentially beneficial chemical compound? Get that crystal ball out first!” No one wants corporations to use crystal balls. We want them to use common-sense and proper tests, as they apparently didn’t with polybrominated diphenyl ethers. (PBDE’s) Common-sense tells you that kids put stuff in their mouths. Now it turns out that infants and children have 3-5 times more PDBE in their bodies than adults do. Let’s just hope PDBE’s don’t cause health problems. P.S. – The “state of the art” defense he mentions in asbestos cases was in many cases a total lie.
- Another reason people dislike pharmaceuticals is likely their refusal to disclose important public health information. Thankfully, Judge Weinstein in New York puts the public first and has unsealed a number of documents about Zyprexa.
- At the L.A. Times: “Drug makers seek shield from lawsuits.”
- Ever wonder why it’s impossible to get Right Wing or Left Wing nutjobs to listen to reason? Turns out we’re biologically wired to ignore information we don’t like.
- Now Wal-Mart’s labor practices are being criticized in Mexico.
- Did you know that Islamic law (called Shar’ia) forbids taking or paying interest? Here’s an interesting post about how adherents to Shar’ia try to do business in a world in which interest is ubiquitous. Sure, living a life according to Shar’ia is tough, but at least you won’t be plagued by payday loans.
- Pharmaceuticals are moving a lot of their drug development efforts to India. I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason they’re doing so is to make it more difficult and more expensive to bring product liability lawsuits.
- Target (and other stores) are employing sophisticated private police forces that may be trampling our civil liberties.