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A World without Lawyers

August 14th, 2010

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Hospital liable for private physician’s error in $18.5M New Jersey case.

May 5th, 2010

Hospital liable for private physician’s error in $18.5M New Jersey case.

The New Jersey Law Journal (5/4, Gottlieb) reports, “An Essex County jury awarded $18.5 million in a birth defect case on April 29, and the full amount is collectible only because of a landmark appellate ruling two years ago that makes hospitals liable for private physicians’ malpractice in certain circumstances.” Hospitals are normally not liable for medical malpractice arising from acts by private physicians who operate at those hospitals. But “under Cordero v. Christ Hospital, 403 N.J. Super. 306 (App. Div. 2008), hospitals are liable if the patient has reason to believe that the doctor’s care is rendered on the hospital’s behalf.” In this case, Kim v. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, “Dr. Joan Lieser, a contract physician at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center with $1 million in coverage was found liable for failing to give a timely Caesarean section during a delivery, causing cerebral palsy at the birth of Darius Morgan, now 12, of Edison, says the plaintiff’s lawyer, David Mazie of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman in Roseland.”

BP Rescinds Waiver Requirements for Fisherman Fighting Spill

May 5th, 2010


BP rescinds waiver requirement for fishermen fighting spill. In a front-page story, the Washington Post (5/4, A1, Saslow) describes the situation facing fisherman along the Gulf Coast after authorities have prohibited the pursuit of their livelihood for the time being — BP is “hiring boats to help clean up the oil spill,” which gives them “a chance to get back in the water and back to work.” But only after attending “a three-hour training session on how to place protective booms around the marsh, the fishermen might be hired to work part time, for mediocre wages, dealing with hazardous materials for the very company whose leaking oil was threatening their welfare.”

        The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate (5/4, Lodge) reports, “BP Exploration and Production will not force fishermen to insure the corporation against possible accidents and injuries as they volunteer their boats to help contain oil spewing from a Gulf well, attorneys said Monday. James C. Klick, a New Orleans attorney for some of the fishermen, said any such agreement signed over the weekend will be destroyed.” Many of the fishermen “balked at signing the documents over the weekend.” Reuters (5/3, Brown) also covered the story.

        Fail-safe device manufacturer has $500M in liability insurance. The AP (5/3) reported, “The manufacturer of a fail-safe device on the oil well that is spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico has $500 million in liability insurance for legal claims. Cameron International Corp. says in a statement that authorities are still investigating and it has already been named in several lawsuits. It said it cannot predict if it has liability for the accident that is threatening the US coast from Louisiana to Florida.”

        More commentary. Dana Milbank writes for the Washington Post (5/4, A2) that “it may have taken an ecological disaster, but the gulf-state conservatives’ newfound respect for the powers and purse of the federal government is a timely reminder for them.” Milbank notes that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), “probably the Senate’s most ardent supporter of tort reform, found himself extolling the virtues of litigation — against BP. ‘They’re not limited in liability on damage, so if you’ve suffered a damage, they are the responsible party,’ said Sessions, sounding very much like the trial lawyers he usually maligns

Cadmium in Kids’ Jewelry from Chinese Sources Being Investigated

January 12th, 2010

Yesterday, I spoke about an AP investigation into the high levels of cadmium in Kids’ jewelry sold through Wal-Mart and other national chains.  Based on that investigation, Wal-Mart has pulled all items on its shelves identified in the AP report after lab tests showed some were made almost entirely of the toxic metal.

Now, U.S. and Canadian product safety authorities will investigate the presence of cadmium in children’s jewelry imported from China, according to an article posted on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s website.  See the article at:

The crazy patchwork quilt of federal regulations allowed this to occur:  If the products were painted toys, they would face a recall.  If they were industrial garbage, they could qualify as hazardous waste.  But since there are no cadmium restrictions on jewelry, such items are sold legally throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In an ironic and bizarre turn of events, cadmium, one of the most toxic substances known to the Centers for Disease Control, was substituted into this cheap jewelry and other metallic items after Chinese authorities and manufacturers agreed to remove lead from such items.  The discovery of the cadmium problem came just days before the head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is to deliver a speech to Asian manufacturers lauding them for abandoning the use of lead in children’s products.

I invite your feedback!

John Mittelman

Kiddie Bling Deadly to our Children

January 12th, 2010

Typical Children's Bracelet

Yesterday, I read a very disturbing story about what has recently been found in, of all things, metallic jewelry for children.  Cadmium is a heavy metal, which seems to be the latest adulterant of choice of the Chinese manufacturers of these items.   The FDA, State and local authorities have been all over the issue of excessive levels of lead in thousands of items imported from China.  Once the pressure was on, it seems that cadmium was substituted into all kinds of metallic charms, game pieces, and the like.

CADMIUM IS DEADLY…the metal is classified as a POISON, and is a KNOWN CARCINOGEN. and in the concentrations found in the items analyzed over the last few months, it can be deadly to our children.  A listing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks it No. 7 among the 275 most hazardous substances in the environment.

An excellent article on the dangers of Cadmium can be found on The Injury Board website.  The article is at:

John M