Tuesday, May 24, 2016

N.F.L. Tried to Influence Concussion Research, Congressional Study Finds - The New York Times

Bubba Smith (78) playing for the Baltimore Colts against Joe Namath and the Jets in the Super Bowl in 1969. Smith died in 2011 at age 66.

Bubba Smith (78) died at 66.  He is the 90th NFL player

to be diagnosed  Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

N.F.L. Tried to Influence Concussion Research, Congressional Study Finds - The New York Times

When the N.F.L. agreed in 2012 to donate tens of millions of dollars to concussion research overseen by theNational Institutes of Health, it was widely seen as a positive turning point in football’s long history of playing down the long-term effects of brain injuries on players. At the time, the league said that it would have no influence over how the money was used.
But the league and its head, neck and spine committee worked to improperly influence the government research, trying to steer the study toward a doctor with ties to the league, according to a study conducted by a congressional committee and released on Monday.
“Our investigation has shown that while the N.F.L. had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research,” the study concluded. “The N.F.L. attempted to use its ‘unrestricted gift’ as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics.”
The N.F.L., in a statement, said it rejected the accusations laid out in the study, which was conducted by Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “There is no dispute that there were concerns raised about both the nature of the study in question and possible conflicts of interest,” the league said. “These concerns were raised for review and consideration through the appropriate channels.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Claims for Governmental Abuse Strengthened by China Supreme Court and Top Prosecutor

State Compensation Paid in Guangdong 1998-2009
Inline image 2
Guangdong High Court Yearbook - various years

The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procurator (Prosecutor) have announced increases in the rate of compensation for persons whose rights are violated by Government.  As the Guangdong Province graph above shows citizens can have success in claims against government for rights violations. The new rates became effective in May 2016.  Courts are instructed to award compensation per day of deprivation of liberty, etc.  Violation of personal rights, bodily injury, emotional harm, and property damage are recognized.
Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to police or other official misconduct.  Although the old reeducation system "劳教" has been repealed Chinese law still permits detention for investigation.

Unlike the U.S. where complete prosecutorial immunity is the rule, in China a tort remedy is provided by the State Compensation Law.  Originally passed in 1994 it was strengthened by the 2010 Amendments.
In December 2015 the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procurator (Prosecutor) issued an " Explanation regarding several questions regarding the handling of cases of compensation for criminal injustice".  The joint document announces its purpose in Article 1:
Article 1 Explanation of the regulations setting the limits of compensation for a one who claims compensation because of a criminal  investigation, prosecution,  trial , detention, or imprisonment  by government which violated the personal rights, property rights for which application is made under the State Compensation Law , under the circumstances stated in Articles 17 and 18 of the State Compensation Law.
The regulations - as is common in Chinese law - advise courts to award compensation for disability and detention not on an individualized basis but rather on the average wage in the region, as well as other factors.
- George Conk 教授 and 刘达奇, LLM

h/t Susan Finder - Supreme Peoples Court Monitor

Friday, May 20, 2016

RJ Reynolds Hit With $11.5M Verdict In Nurse's Death - Law360

 More good news. I wish everyplace were Florida. - gwc

RJ Reynolds Hit With $11.5M Verdict In Nurse's Death - Law360

By Brandon Lowrey

Law360, New York (May 20, 2016, 5:27 PM ET) -- A Florida jury on Friday slammed R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. with $6.5 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit brought by relatives of a chain-smoking registered nurse and addiction counselor who died of lung cancer, adding to the $5 million compensatory verdict it awarded the plaintiffs a day earlier.