Sad story from the Walker family

Actor Paul Walker’s father sues Porsche over fatal crash

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/11/27/actor-paul-walker-father-sues-porsche-over-fatal-crash/

Sad to see this family try to cash in and go after Porsche… Seems pretty silly… The Car was altered, the Driver and Passenger are historically know for be extremely aggressive in driving, and the conclusion of the accident shows excessive speeds were a result of the death… Why sue Porsche ! The family is far from indigent … The royalties are huge … Last film was $1.4b Gross…

Reminds me of bogus aviation claims whereby people sue the manufactures for their own negligence…

So sad… Paul was a great actor… I enjoyed his films … His death was a loss for many… I just don’t see his parents decision to sue Porsche as reasonable here …

David,
I couldn’t agree more

Such a sad and inappropriate way to drag Walker through the press. The driver was at fault, as indicated by the speed and loss of control. Cold, hard old tires on a very powerful car. Ironic given the actor’s cinematic claim to fame also. The case is a loser and the family should be ashamed. Filthy lucre.

We badly need tort reform I this country. If prevailing parties attorney fees were paid by non-prevailing party we would see an enormous decline in these frivolous lawsuits.

Our legal system encourages the jackpot mentality of the litigious.

I can’t respond to the “merit” of the sentiment expressed here, as I don’t know all the facts, but I will respond to one misunderstanding.

Almost all states have rules or statutory provisions that do provide for attorney fee reimbursement to the prevailing party.

I think that we’ve all agreed to not project the cause of accidents when it comes to a Cirrus accident; the same is true for most things in life. We do a disservice to everyone by taking a few publicly known facts, and assuming that we know a cause, or circumstances.

But just FYI, and as an example, I am posting the The Florida Statute as an example.

Justice only prevails when we have a complete understanding of all the facts. Reliance on the news media, politicians, and whispers, leads us to a self deceptive result that only satisfies our own agenda.

57.105 Attorney’s fee; sanctions for raising unsupported claims or defenses; exceptions; service of motions; damages for delay of litigation.—

(1) Upon the court’s initiative or motion of any party, the court shall award a reasonable attorney’s fee, including prejudgment interest, to be paid to the prevailing party in equal amounts by the losing party and the losing party’s attorney on any claim or defense at any time during a civil proceeding or action in which the court finds that the losing party or the losing party’s attorney knew or should have known that a claim or defense when initially presented to the court or at any time before trial:
(a) Was not supported by the material facts necessary to establish the claim or defense; or

(b) Would not be supported by the application of then-existing law to those material facts.

(2) At any time in any civil proceeding or action in which the moving party proves by a preponderance of the evidence that any action taken by the opposing party, including, but not limited to, the filing of any pleading or part thereof, the assertion of or response to any discovery demand, the assertion of any claim or defense, or the response to any request by any other party, was taken primarily for the purpose of unreasonable delay, the court shall award damages to the moving party for its reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, which may include attorney’s fees, and other loss resulting from the improper delay.

(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), monetary sanctions may not be awarded:
(a) Under paragraph (1)(b) if the court determines that the claim or defense was initially presented to the court as a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law, as it applied to the material facts, with a reasonable expectation of success.

(b) Under paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) against the losing party’s attorney if he or she has acted in good faith, based on the representations of his or her client as to the existence of those material facts.

© Under paragraph (1)(b) against a represented party.

(d) On the court’s initiative under subsections (1) and (2) unless sanctions are awarded before a voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by or against the party that is, or whose attorneys are, to be sanctioned.

(4) A motion by a party seeking sanctions under this section must be served but may not be filed with or presented to the court unless, within 21 days after service of the motion, the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected.

(5) In administrative proceedings under chapter 120, an administrative law judge shall award a reasonable attorney’s fee and damages to be paid to the prevailing party in equal amounts by the losing party and a losing party’s attorney or qualified representative in the same manner and upon the same basis as provided in subsections (1)-(4). Such award shall be a final order subject to judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68. If the losing party is an agency as defined in s. 120.52(1), the award to the prevailing party shall be against and paid by the agency. A voluntary dismissal by a nonprevailing party does not divest the administrative law judge of jurisdiction to make the award described in this subsection.

(6) The provisions of this section are supplemental to other sanctions or remedies available under law or under court rules.

(7) If a contract contains a provision allowing attorney’s fees to a party when he or she is required to take any action to enforce the contract, the court may also allow reasonable attorney’s fees to the other party when that party prevails in any action, whether as plaintiff or defendant, with respect to the contract. This subsection applies to any contract entered into on or after October 1, 1988.

Still, we need tort reform. I don’t think we can have meaningful medical reform without also addressing outrageous medical tort awards. We’ve forced our doctors work harder for a lot less income, let’s do the same for our lawyers.

I like the idea of eliminating percentage fees and making attorneys charge a flat hourly rate for all work in all cases. The ACA and insurance companies have limited the fees that doctors can charge for a given procedure, why can’t we do the same with attorneys? Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

Insurance companies limit what they pay for a given procedure, not what the doctor can charge. Big difference.

Note that the announcement was of a lawsuit, NOT a judgment or settlement. Anyone can sue for anything.

I seriously doubt that this will go anywhere. Porsche has deep pockets even compared to the Walker estate and I hope they will take a very hard line, not offer any settlement, and demand compensation for legal expenses they incur.

Looks like an incredibly stupid move on the Walkers’ part, but as they say, perhaps there’s more to the story than the media presents (d’ya think?).

Indeed. ACA is merely a partial (and woefully incomplete) step in the direction of (a) making everyone personally responsible for their own health care (mandate) and (b) making it easier for people to do that (exchanges). It is ironic when the actions of insurance companies and so-called health care management companies – which rake off a sizable layer of the cost but don’t add value to the health care marketplace – gets blamed on ACA.

Doctors can elect not to participate with insurance groups that don’t pay enough to satisfy them. Sadly, it is harder and harder for them to choose that option because the business model of the health insurers and “management” companies is to increase their power and margins by increasing market share. IOW, stifle competition.

Every dollar a health insurer pays doctors or providers is a dollar less on their bottom line. When life and health are at stake, I don’t like the incentives behind that equation.

Why?

How much is your life worth? What constitutes an “outrageous” award?

You mean, doctors have to work hard; PLEASE!

The average lawyer makes $132,000. Only about 5% even are involved in med mal, or personal injury.

So, average Joe would have who has minimal retirement, has to front lawyer fees when going up against the doctors and the insurance companies? You want to take a gander and my pay check. Your goose might be cooked.

I spent the first half of my career as a practicing lawyer ( transactional, not litigation) and the last half on the business side doing deals. And my perception, which I think comes from a not uncommon experience, is that anytime the client has a tough question or or is in a jam, they run to the lawyer. And they want answers and they want them now. And I mean on the spot 24/7 access. Their problem becomes the lawyer’s problem and the lawyer is an idiot or useless if he or she can’t solve the problem the client created. And at some point there is a transfer of blame, it’s now the lawyer’s fault. And then they inevitably bitch when they get the bill, exploding over how the attorney could have spent so many hours solving such a simple problem, forgetting that the lawyer spent his child’s birthday at the office trying to solve the client’s problem.

And on litigation the same cycle occurs. I have seen this over and over the last thirty years. It’s to the point of being tiresome when I hear jackass comments bitching about lawyers and doctors.

Bill, we could easily substitute the word “doctor” for “lawyer” in your post above and it would still be true. I think that’s a pretty common perception among service professionals of all types.

i couldn’t agree more. I have nothing but respect for the docs out there. They dedicate their lives to helping the sick and get nothing but grief from the insurance companies who get between them and the patient and the public at large. When I look at what it takes to be a Doctor and what they have to put up with, they damn well better be making a ton of dough.

The problem is rooted in an “entitlement” mindset and “There is always someone to blame” and it is exacerbated by a tort system that panders to their plaintive wails.

Maybe Porsche should sue the family, because P.W. damaged their image as a company? The whole thing is completely ridiculous …

I’ve thought alot about the tort reform question and I have decided that I would much rather have the deterrent affect of high awards against manufacturers which is the results of our current system than have the chilling affect on the filing of lawsuits that would result from the British loser pays fees system. We live in a safer society as a result, though all the waning labels are a bit obnoxious

That being said, I do think we should have reform at the jury level. In my opinion, strict products liability cases should be heard by panels of experts whom have expertise on the allegedly offending product. The levels of knowledge rquired to really provide a just verdict cannot be instilled in a jury of laypeople whom hear testimony from conflicting experts.

With that change I think most of the crazy awards would go away. But I’m a vote of one and yomv.

No, not at all. The legal team could and should collect appropriate compensation for their time from the awarded damages at the conclusion of the case just like they do now. It just wouldn’t be like they won the lottery or something. They should definitely be paid, just not allowed to make off like bandits.

My wife had a situation with her 80 year old dad that’s a good example. He was broadsided by a semi that ran a stop sign. The collision broke his neck (among other injuries) and he was paralyzed from the neck down and could never even swallow again afterwards. He was hospitalized and under 24/7 medical care for almost a year before he passed away.

The trucking company had a 1 million dollar limit on their liability insurance policy. A lawyer (supposedly a long time family friend) approached his wife (2nd wife - not my wife’s mom) and told them (unbeknownst to us) that they needed his help to make sure the insurance paid them everything they were due. They didn’t know any better so agreed to “hire” him. My wife’s dad supposedly signed the binding contract with this lawyer in his hospital room while the lawyers own son-in-law witnessed it. Never mind that he was paralyzed in the accident, was on IV morphine at the time and the scribble on the document was completely eligible!

The whole thing was uncontested. My wife’s dad made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want to sue anyone. He said it was an accident pure and simple and the boy driving that truck had no intention of hurting him. The trucking company admitted fault and authorized the insurance company to pay the entire amount. The lawyer basically took the check from the insurance company and handed it to his wife. Dennis, for all his hard work this lawyer made $300,000.00. Yes, his “fee” was 30% of the collected insurance payment. Not right, not right at all.

The problem with that proposal is what happens when they lose and have no payout to subtract their fees from. The percentage fee is intended to make up for those cases where the lawyers walk away with no payment for their efforts.

Ron, not Dennis but let me take a whack at it.

First, what happened to your father in law sounds horrible. Signing a fee agreement in a hospital room while the patient is on morphine is an outright violation of ethics and should be reported to the state bar. In addition, if the patient wasn’t competent, there isn’t a judge in the land that wouldn’t throw out the contract.

But let’s not throw out the bunch because we have one bad apple ( or even more). Let me start by saying that I am not a plaintiff’s lawyer nor will I ever be one. But most plaintiff lawyers that I know are nice hardworking folk. And every once in awhile they hit big on a case. But it is a game of averages. For every big case they hit, there are twenty behind it that they put tons of time in and didn’t get a recovery. From what I have seen, the system generally works in that the threat of a lawsuit is a deterrent effect which prevents manufacturers from producing unsafe products. To throttle down on attorneys’ ability to bring lawsuits would have a chilling effect on their willingness to file cases and would bring an end to the contingency fee arrangement.

And while those that argue that there are thousands of frivolous suits filed may welcome that, I believe some bad lawsuits are a justifable cost in a system which is desiigned to provide justice to every person, not just those who can afford to front the fees.

I respectfully disagree. I think this system allows unscrupulous attorneys to legally extort money from honest companies by threatening them with a lawsuit. If it’s cheaper to settle than to fight it, some companies will just settle. So this practice just adds to the price of doing business. Let’s just call it a proposition that can’t be refused. [;)]