Proximate cause jury instruction was further clarified by a Washington appellate court when the court reversed the asbestos defense verdict in Clevenger v. John Crane, Inc. In the case, plaintiff Era Clevenger alleged that her deceased husband’s forty-year history of occupational exposure to asbestos (in the Navy, as a city water department mechanic, and as a pipefitter) resulted in his death.
Continue Reading Toxic Tort Monitor: Proximate Cause Jury Instruction Further Clarified by Washington Appellate Court

The proverbial hacksaw inside a prisoner’s birthday cake has been supplanted by a new technological trend for bringing contraband into the jailhouse – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). As early as 2015, a fight broke out at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio when a drone carrying tobacco, marijuana, and heroin crashed into a yard inside the facility. That same year, a drone trafficking hacksaw blades, a cellphone, and Super Glue crashed into a maximum security prison in Oklahoma. Similar plots have been attempted in more than a dozen states nationwide, leading states like North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas to ban drone flights over correctional facilities. Perhaps to save us from another pre-emption fight over UAS operational restrictions, the federal government is now following suit.

Continue Reading FAA Adds to No-Fly Zones for Drones After Prisoners Smuggle Drugs, Weapons Through the Skies

Gun controlThree of the four states to consider tightening their gun-control laws pass new initiatives on Tuesday. Gun-control was on the ballot in Washington, Maine, Nevada, and California.

In California, which already has some of the nation’s most stringent gun laws, voters approved a measure that will outlaw possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, require permits to buy ammunition, and extend California’s program that allows authorities to seize firearms from owners who bought guns legally but are no longer allowed to own them. The gun-control measure, pushed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, was approved by 62 percent of voters as of Wednesday morning. The full text of the measure can be found here.
Continue Reading Gun-Control Ballot Initiatives