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New York: Good, Bad & Ugly

The latest news out of once-and-future judicial hellhole New York, aka “Sue York,” can be described as good, bad and ugly.

We’ll start with the good news, since so little of it comes out of the shrinking, shriveling Empire State these days.  This Buffalo News editorial reports favorably on an experiment with a specialized medical malpractice court in Erie County.  The court moves meritorious claims expeditiously toward fair and more predictable settlements, the editorial says, saving years’ worth of litigation costs.

Such “costs are among the factors that not only drive up the costs of health care in New York but also drive out doctors,” and “[a]nything that lowers those costs could also . . . slow the outflow of medical talent.”

Speaking of predictability, far more typical of the bad news that generally flows from New York is a new lawsuit by a fat guy against White Castle hamburger joints.  According to the New York Post‘s coverage, the 290-pound, 64-year-old Martin Kessman is suing because he can’t fit into the restaurants’ booths and is being made to feel like something other than a “normal person,” he says.  Well, Marty, if the XXXL Sansabelt slacks fit . . . .

And finally, many are hoping the last chapter in the very ugly story of the downfall of Anthony Weiner, the loudmouth Brooklyn-Queens congressman forced to resign after repeatedly lying about his sexting hobby, has now been written.

In a special election to fill Weiner’s seat yesterday, voters saw fit to send a political novice to Washington, one who is likely to be far less friendly with the personal injury bar than Weiner had been.  Analysts say the failure of Weiner’s Democrats to hold the very liberal and considerably Jewish district’s seat can be ascribed largely to the Obama administration’s poor relations with Israel, but tort reformers will take the election of another litigation skeptic any way we can get it.

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