CCL Files Challenge to Texas Non-Economic Damage Cap

November 20th, 2020

     CCL, along with trial lawyers in Texas, filed a challenge to the non-economic damage cap in medical malpractice cases that was enacted 17 years ago. The case, a purported class action seeks the "incorporation" of the Seventh Amendment's right to trial by jury, meaning its application to the States, and a declaration of unconstitutionality for the cap.

     In recent years the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the "incorporation" doctrine to include the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause and the Fifth Amendment's unanimous criminal jury requirement. Under the criteria used by the Court, the Seventh Amendment qualifies as well, the new lawsuit contends.

     The cap will likely be defended by the Attorney General's office in Texas.

CCL Opposes Dismissal of Willful and Wanton Counts in Illinois Nursing Home Case

November 17th, 2020

CCL Argues Imposing State Personal Jurisdiction Standards in Admiralty Case Renders Rule 4(k)(2) Unconstitutional

November 12th, 2020

     In a reply brief filed in the Fifth Circuit, CCL argued that treating Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2) as just another form of general jurisdiction renders it facially unconstitutional, stating that no court should casually render such a constitutional determination. 

     In Douglass v. NYK Line, the Fifth Circuit will decide whether the "at home" standard used for general jurisdiction in state courts applies to personal jurisdiction in a federal cause of action filed in federal court. Rule 4(k)(2) was written to fill a gap in federal personal jurisdiction and, by its terms, permits federal courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over companies with substantial national contacts but insufficient presence to be subject to jurisdiction in a state court. As the CCL brief points out, if a company has a sufficient presence to be at home in the U.S., then it is at home in one of the states -- and Rule 4(k)(2) cannot apply. As a result, imposing an "at-home" requirement on top of Rule 4(k)(2) as a matter of Fifth Amendment due process renders the rule null and void.

      The Douglass case arises from a collision between the U.S.S. Fitzgerald, a U.S. Navy destroyer, and a much heavier container ship. The collision killed seven American sailors and injured 40 others. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which dismissed the matter for lack of jurisdiction over the Defendant, a Japanese corporation.