Former Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork, was the subject of legal blogs several years ago when he stepped up onto a dais to deliver a speech to the Yale Club of New York City and fell backward. His primary injury was a bad bruise in his leg, which later burst and, according to the Judge’s lawsuit, required surgery and months of physical therapy. Typically, surgery to drain a hematom is a simple out-patient procedure. In other words, these injuries were no big deal.
This is the kind of questionable liability and small damages claim that would not be brought by most attorneys in a state like Virginia where we have contributory negligence as a bar to recovery. The Judge made a conscious decision to mount a dais he clearly saw had no railings.
Judge Bork sued in New York, alleging that there was no railing for him to hold onto as he walked up onto the dais. Here is a copy of the Complaint in which Judge Bork sued for $1,000,000 and punitive damages! One million dollars for a bruise!! And what was the good faith basis for requesting punitive damages? Not surprisingly, Judge Bork was roundly criticised for filing this frivoulous lawsuit.
In a 1995 opinion piece published in the Washington Times, Bork and Theodore Olson, who later became a top Justice Department official, criticized what they called the “expensive, capricious and unpredictable”civil justice system in the U.S.
“Today’s merchant enters the marketplace with trepidation — anticipating from the civil justice system the treatment that his ancestors experienced with the Barbary pirates,” they wrote.
I wonder which Judge Bork Mr. Romney is getting- the tort reformer or the frivolous lawsuit filer?