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October 2003
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December 2003

ABA TIPS Magazine, The Brief, Devotes Fall 2003 Issue to Toxic Mold

The ABA's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section publishes a magazine called "The Brief", which has devoted the Fall, 2003 issue (Vol. 33, No. 1) to Toxic Mold. The articles include the following:

Tools and Strategies for Mold Bad Faith Cases

Microbial Contamination Issues: A Primer for Mold Claims

Assessing Mold Claims and Preparing for Trial, by Raymund C. King, MD, JD

Mold Cases in the United States: A Survey of Recent Reported and Unreported Decisions

Mold: Investigation and Remediation Process

TIPS also has a book out, Toxic Mold Litigation: Myth or Mayhem, by Raymund C. King, MD, JD

The Brief isn't available in full text in the Web, as far as I know, but if your firm does not subscribe, you can get it here.

Giving Thanks For Software Innovation

I've been collecting bookmarks in a folder labeled "Innovation", and it is high time to do something with them. We should all be thankful that there are brilliant folks out there trying to do great things with software.

First, some open source software:

The OpenCD -- not a CD really, but a site where you can download open source software that runs on Windows


Swish-E -- an open source file searching tool

Wilbur -- another free file searching engine

<open source directory

Convea -- open source business applications -- groupware. Open source doesn't necessarily mean free, of course, and this isn't.

Cool stuff for bloggers

CSS Vault

All Consuming -- lists of books people are blogging about

Cool stuff for webmasters

Interactive Tools' Article Manager

Enkoder by Hiveware -- scrambled email addresses on website to thwart spammers' email harvesting engines

Photographs for websites

Mold Detection Canines

I first heard about this today at my dentist's office, as my dentist and his assistant were joking about mold sniffing dogs and how mold is going to be the next asbestos. So I googled mold sniffing dogs and got this and this. Also this profile of mold dog. There is even a website called, which can help you find a mold dog and which has a streaming video available showing a mold dog in action.

Clearinghouse for Recalls

I turned on CSPAN tonight, and saw Hal Stratton, the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, giving a press conference on a new government website that is meant to be a central place where all recall information can be found:

I hope that they will fit the site with an excellent search engine on the home page that searches all recalls and nothing but recalls.

(Hal Stratton is no relation to me, at least, not within the last 150 years.)

Later: The Aussies beat us to the punch on this one.

Irreconcilably Inconsistent General Verdicts Lead Maryland Court of Appeals to Reverse Judgment for Plaintiff and Enter Judgment for Defendant

The Maryland Court of Appeals has held that where a plaintiff brings a tort claim, naming a corporation and several of its employees as defendants, and the claim against the corporation is based entirely on a theory of respondeat superior liability, a jury verdict against the corporation but in favor of the named employees is irreconcilably inconsistent and cannot stand. Southern Management Corp. v. Mukhtar Taha, No. 136, Sept. Term, 2002 (Md. Nov. 25, 2003).

Thus, a plaintiff's judgment against the corporation for $100,000 compensatory damages and $100,000 punitives, based on malicious prosecution, was reversed, judgment was entered in favor of the defendant corporation, and plaintiff takes nothing.

A 16-page dissent was written by Judge Raker, in which Judge Bell joined in part.

D.C. Court of Appeals Affirms Use of Missing Witness Instruction

In McPherson-Corder v. Chinkhota, the D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's use of a missing witness instruction in a medical malpractice case, while cautioning that its use is only allowable when stringent conditions have been met.

In this case, a 14 year old boy slipped and fell on ice, doing a split in the process, and began to have pain in his groin area afterwards. His mother took him to the defendant, his pediatrician, for an examination, and the defendant found no serious injury. The next day, the pain returned in greater intensity, and the mother called the pediatrician's office, and spoke to a different physician who was on call, who advised her to take her son to the emergency room. Not realizing the urgency of the situation, the mother and son stopped at the mall to do some shopping on the way. At the emergency room, it was discovered that the son had suffered testicular tortion, that too much time had passed to save the testicle, and it had to be surgically removed.

Plaintiffs alleged that the physician was negligent in failing to refer her son to a urologist, and in failing to advise them of the risk and urgency of testicular tortion. The jury found for the plaintiffs, awarding $200,000.

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