The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 7, 1986 - Page 5
Reforms cause flood of
circuit court suits
From the Associated Press
Michigan's circuit courts faced a
mountain of paperwork after
lawyers filed an 11th-hour flood of
lawsuits just before a series of state
liability insurance reforms went
Courts statewide reported
dramatic increases in medical
malpractice and personal injury
lawsuits filed just before Oct. 1, the
effective date for tougher rules
governing liability lawsuits.
"THERE ISN'T any question
this surge is the result of that
legislative package," said Grand
Rapids lawyer Joel Boyden.
Wayne County Circuit Court in
Detroit, which normally has about
150 civil liability cases filed daily,
fielded 803 such cases on Sept. 30
alone, said court Clerk James
"AT ONE O'CLOCK at
night we still has 250 lawyers
standing in line," he said yesterday.
"We're still working evenings and
weekends to get (the suits) all into
the (computer) system."
He said 2,676 cases were
processed during a five-day span
when normally about 750 cases
would be filed. An additiona 1,500
to 2,000 cases during that period
were stamped and received, but not
yet processed and counted, he said.
"There will probably be a second
and third wave of filings because
most of these cases will have to be
amended," he said. "The laywers
were just rying to get them in."
INGHAM COUNTY Circuit
Court, which normally has less
than 10 civil liability cases daily,
processed more than 170 total
yesterday and today, said court
Administrator David Young.
Saginaw Circuit Court, which
gets six or eight liability cases a
day, had 80 yesterday said
Administrator David Cable.
Kalamazoo lawyer Frederick
Royce said he normally files one
civil liability suit a week, but filed
23 liability cases last week.
ABOUT 20 of those cases are
in the negoition stage with the
defendant's insurance companies.
He said he expects half of them to
be settled before trial.
But Royce said he filed the cases
before Oct. 1 so they wouldn't be
covered by what he said were unfair
restrictions of plaintiff's rights.
In June, the legislature passed a
seven-bill package aimed at curbing
frivolous lawsuits and reducing
spiraling liability insurance
premiums paid a by doctors, bar
owners and other high-risk
Most of the law went into effect
July 7, but Mike Karwoski of the
State Bar of Michigan said the
September surge in filings probably
was prom pted by procedural
revisions effective Oct. 1.
Cars competing in a super sprint car race at Bridgeport, N.J. Sunday flip in the air after colliding. No serious
injuries were reported.
Lansing (AP)-A bill requiring
10-cent deposits on wine cooler
containers has been signed into law
by Gov. James Blanchard, his office
said yesterday, although the law
will not take effect until June 1,
The deposit law amends
Michigan's 10-year-old "bottle bill"
to include the popular drinks,
following earlier rejection of the
wine cooler deposits by the
Legislature's Joint Committee on
Included in the law is a
provision giving wine wholesalers
exclusive sales territories similar to
those now held by beer distributors.
It was added to appease the wine
wholesalers who said placing
deposits on only 10 percent of their
products would cripple the industry.
"Since the original bottle
deposit law of 1976 went into
effect, we have dramatically reduced
the amount of litter across our
state," Blanchard said.
"By extending the law to
include wine coolers and other
similar beverages, we will further
protect Michigan's environment and
The bill was approved last
month 101-2 by the House and 32-
3 by the Senate. It was signed by
Blanchard Friday but not announced
"We're delighted that he signed
it and it's done," said 'Tom
Washington, executive director of
the Michigan United Conservation
As the state's largest conserv-
ation organization, the MUCC led a
petition drive to put the issue on
the issue on the 1988 ballot. But it
called off the referendum effort after
the Legislature passed the two bills
at the close of the brief fall session.
"We're sorry it didn't take effect
sooner," Washington said. "But in
matters like this you often work
out some compromises."
Proposals to make the law
effective Jan. 1, 1988, and include
all liquor bottles were defeated. The
law defines wine coolers, which
combine alcohol and fruit juices, as
any beverage with 8 percent alcohol
Proposed ambassador to South Africa supports sanctions
man President Reagan has chosen
to be America's new ambassador to
South Africa said yesterday that he
supports congressional legislation
imposing new economic sanctions
against the government in Pretoria.
Edward Perkins, who would
become the first U. S. black
ambassador to the South African
government if confirmed by the
Senate, described himself as a
potential "facilitator" to help speed
the ending of apartheid and a
transition to a multi-racial dem-
PE R K IN S told the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee he
will drop the use of the
controversial phrase "constructive
(Continued from Page 1)
times more. Also, if the
University -bred animals for
experiments, twice as many would
die- the pound animal and the
eaperiment animal, he said.
"ingler said less than 1 percent
qf the 120,000 animals University
researchers use annually perceive
pain or discomfort, and more than
90; percent of animals that do
r 'eive pain are rats and mice.
When balancing the pleasures
Ad pains resulting from the use of
aimals in research, we must not
fai to place on the scales the
te rible pains that would have
resulted, would be suffered now, and
uquld long continue had animals
no been used," Cohen wrote.
ALAN PRICE, assistant to
the University's vice president for
research, agrees with that
assessment, saying, "We have an
ethical reponsibility to do animal
rsearch, because if we don't
e1-periment with animals, then
we'll have to experiment on people,
and that's unethical."
.,Liska, however, discounts these
arguments by pointing to the
policies in England in which
surgeons are trained on cadavers to
learn to use human tissue, which is
better than testing on animals
hpnrnne "an animal i not human
engagement" to describe Reagan
administration policy towards
And he said he will expand
contacts with all elements of South
African society-black and
white-and will, soon after his
arrival, seek to meet with jailed
black leader Nelson Mandela, whom
Perkins called "a player" in South
Sen. Nancy Kassenbaum (R-
Kan.), who presided over Perkins'
confirmation hearing, said she
expects the Senate to confirm him
Perkins, who most recently
served as U. S. ambassador to
Liberia, said he hopes the fact he is
black will serve "as a small
example to South Africans of how
a nation's strength may rest on its
"I NEED to do everything I
can to tell South African blacks
that America does care, that we do
stand for their aspirations," he said.
He said he supports the law and
noted that sanctions now have been
imposed by law.
Perkins entered the Foreign
Service after service in the Army
and Marioe Corps and with military
post exchanges in the Far East.
From 1967 to 1972 he worked his
way up from intern to deputy
assistant director for management in
the Agency for International
Development's office in Thailand.
He joined the State Department
in 1972, working in the personnel
office and as a management officer
in the department that supervises U.
S. diplomatic posts in the Middle
East and South Asia.
Since then he has served as
political counselor at the U. S.
Embassy in Accra, Ghana; as
deputy chief of mission in Liberia;
and as director of the Office of West
African Affairs, He was named
ambassador to Liberia last year.
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