Ernie the Attorney : Searching for Truth & Justice (in an unjust world)
Updated: 6/1/2002; 9:44:10 AM.


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Wednesday, May 01, 2002

More Suits Against the Tobacco Companies...

A Little Rock man is seeking at least $65 million in damages in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arkansas. The suit said Mr. Leopard worked as the 'Winston Man' from 1978 to 1980, and was pictured in Winston cigarette ads in popular magazines. The suit said "he never smoked Winstons and ... his reputation has been forever tarnished and his personal credibility diminished."  [Washington Times] via [Overlawyered]

I assume he knew that he didn't smoke Winstons when he agreed to model in the ads, right?  So what exactly is it that the tobacco companies did?  Oh, right.  They're tobacco companies and if they are evil then people can sue them for anything.  Another example of the common sense vacuum. 

8:50:46 PM    

Consumer Class Action refused in Propulsid Drug Suit

A New Jersey judge has refused to certify a nationwide consumer class action on behalf of more than 30 million people who claim heart damage from taking the drug Propulsid. In the first ruling on an issue pending in several courts, the judge found that since the drug's warning label was changed seven times before it was taken off the market, the class would have to be divided into seven subclasses. []

Makes sense to me....

6:58:19 PM    

Emails can be a binding contract, and people are surprised?  I thought that's what the whole E-signatures thing was all about.

This article describes how a real estate deal was deemed to be valid by a judge even though it was based on E-mail communication.  The article has a tone of suprise.  Why wouldn't people be able to confect a contract through emails?   They are "writings" and isn't the whole point of the Electronic Signatures Act to recognize that agreements can be reached even without reducing them to paper?

2:42:33 PM    

New Orleans Airport revamps Internet access

I don't have a story link because the Times Picayune didn't create a web-version of the story, but this morning's paper had a brief article about the Airport's decision to scrap the 14 free Internet terminals ("the free-access model didn't work" according to a spokesperson).  The article hems and haws about how travellers can use data ports on the pay phones to tap into with their laptops.  Yeah, right.  You see that all the time at the airport.

Then it acknowledges that this is cumbersome and that many travellers are confused by the fact that they have to reconfigure their dial-in number to dial an 800 number (and they note that AOL  charges 10 cents a minute for this access).  But,the article points out,  the pay phones don't mention that the data port requires dialing an 800 number so, guess what? Yep.  More confusion (but don't worry business travellers have lots of time and desire to troubleshoot this sort of thing). 

The solution to the 800 problem?  "It's something we can fix with a sticker," says Aviation Director Roy Williams. Then comes the high-tech solution.  They are considering wireless access.

But don't get excited.  "Wireless Internet is only one of the things that we're looking at" says Anthony Mumphrey, the Airport's Master Consultant (I love that title).  "We want to ensure that the wireless frequencies don't interfere with our operational frequencies and that the airport gets a share of the revenues from cell-phone antennas."  Okay, now I understand.

The Master Consultant should call Glenn Fleishman who could tell him about all the bigger, more advanced airports around the country that have wireless access and which have no problem with "interference with operational frequencies."  And he could explain that wireless won't use cell-phone antennas.   Of course, that is not the real issue.  In the high-tech sophisticated world of airport administration (at least the way it is practiced here in N'Awlins) the strategy is always about enhancing revenue for the airport. 

Geez, and you thought it was to facilitate the flow of commerce?   How naive.

9:42:25 AM    

© Copyright 2002 Ernest Svenson.

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