Oct 04 by Andy Gillin

The Largest Class Action Lawsuits & Settlements

It has been a big year for class action lawsuits. Most recently, thousands of Toyota drivers have sued the Japanese auto giant for injuries and loss of investment resulting from unintended acceleration, and victims of the BP Gulf oil spill disaster are lining up to take on the British oil conglomerate in court. Both of those budding class action battles pale in comparison to the legal storm about to engulf WalMart, which is being sued for gender discrimination by more than a million women in potentially the largest class action suit ever. To put this in perspective, we decided to round up a list of other massive class action titans over the past two decades.

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Jun 06 by Andy Gillin

Lionel Hutz Lawsuits In The Simpsons

On the air for more than 20 years, the iconic family cartoon sitcom “The Simpsons” has covered just about every topic you can think of. So it’s no surprise that the show has addressed – and mocked – many legal issues. In fact, The Simpsons has managed to cover personal injury law, sexual harassment, false advertising, criminal law, food safety, copyright law, and more. While the plots of these episodes themselves are hilarious, they wouldn’t be quite as great without shuckster attorney Lionel Hutz (Phil Hartman). We’ve compiled a list of our favorite lawsuits in the Simpsons, in chronological order.

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Aug 08 by Andy Gillin

6 Important California Bike Accident Lawsuits

Getting hit by a car while walking or riding your bicycle is an awful thought. So the image of a pack of cyclists being run over by a SUV is nothing short of terrifying. Last year, four cyclists were injured in San Francisco’s Mission District after a man in an SUV allegedly ran them down in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a “six-minute rampage.” The driver, David Mark Clark, now faces four counts of attempted murder, and his attorney has unofficially said Clark will seek an insanity plea. Click through for five more important California bike accident lawsuits.

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Jun 20 by Andy Gillin

Top 10 Powerful Legal Documentary Films

People who follow the news in the United States are not strangers to disturbing legal stories that often dominate the headlines. From the Casey Anthony trial that concluded last month, to the Scott Peterson verdict years before, and even the controversial O.J. Simpson murder case nearly 20 years ago, it’s often difficult to avoid the day’s most followed legal stories. But there are thousands of legal stories that go unnoticed each year by much of the general public, or are nearly forgotten years later. In the four following examples, documentary film makers have exposed and revitalized those stories to create powerful documentary films discussing a variety of troubling legal issues. We’ve compiled the trailers for the films Hot Coffee, Capturing the Friedmans, Deliver Us From Evil, and Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, along with short descriptions and reviews.

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Jul 13 by Andy Gillin

PG&E Dodges Blame in San Bruno Pipeline Explosion Lawsuits

After flubbing their initial response to last September’s massive San Bruno pipeline explosion, utility Pacific Gas & Electric seemed to take responsibility for the accident, and even bought full-page ads in area newspapers proclaiming “We Apologize.” But in court filings this week, PG&E has backtracked, denying any blame for the deadly pipeline explosion and suggesting that other parties were at least partially responsible in order to dodge millions of dollars in damages from more than 100 lawsuits.

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Jun 22 by Andy Gillin

Court Shields Google Maps from Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits

We’ve all used Google Maps to find the best route to our desired location. What originally began as a resource for drivers has since expanded to include directions suggestions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and riders of public transportation. Of course, this raises a number of safety implications, since pedestrians and cyclists are always in more danger than motorists while navigating city streets. But if a pedestrian or cyclist is injured while following Google Maps directions, should they be able to sue the internet search mega conglomerate? A Utah district court ruled recently that Google is not liable since they did not owe the victim a duty, and since the company provides a valuable public service that is applied generally to all consumers.

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Feb 11 by Andy Gillin

Plaintiff Law Firms Charge Ahead Despite Toyota Report

n what has widely been considered a rebuke to plaintiff law firms taking on Toyota for personal injury and economic claims resulting from the company’s unintended acceleration problems, a government study concluded this week that none of these car accidents were the result of electrical malfunctions. Instead, the report said, all unintended acceleration accidents were caused by either driver error or manufacturing problems like sticky accelerator pedals and brake pads. But despite the difficult news, plaintiff law firms are charging ahead with lawsuits against Toyota.

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Jan 04 by Andy Gillin

Report: FDA Allowed Major Oversight Loopholes for DePuy Faulty Hip Implants

Late last year, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would recall hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics, a division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson due to an abnormally high number of hip implant failures, which some predicted could easily surpass 12,000. At the time, DePuy critics were quick to note that the ASR hip implant models hit the market without FDA oversight thanks to a loophole that greenlights a product if it is similar to a device already approved by the agency. Last month, the New York Times published a scathing report about DePuy and the FDA, showing just how easy it was for the J&J subsidiary to put a dangerous product on the market.

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Sep 24 by Andy Gillin

Recent Bike Accidents Show Need for Stronger Laws Protecting Cyclists

As more Americans take to the streets on bicycles in order to reduce their carbon footprints, unclog the streets, and get some additional exercise, traffic laws often prove insufficient to protect cyclists in the case of traffic accidents. Since the roads were originally made with cars in mind, existing rules are frequently dangerous to cyclists since drivers are typically reluctant to share the road. Currently, only 13 states have criminal penalties for drivers who kill cyclists. Noticeably absent is California, which had 131 bike fatalities in 2008 alone, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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Aug 20 by Andy Gillin

Legal Humor Roundup: Battle of Television’s Greatest Lawyers

Since this blog focuses mostly on consumer safety, there’s not much opportunity to write about legal humor. But there’s a lot to go around, and every once in a while (especially on a Friday), it’s nice to dive in and see what has made blawgers chuckle recently. This week, the “Battle of Television’s Greatest Lawyers,” outlawed eye-rolling, and toad lickers.

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