One of the first casualties from the introduction of driverless cars could be the end of ambulance chasing personal injury lawyers.
Google, which just announced a “fully functional” prototype of its self-driving car, is looking for auto industry partners to bring the technology to market within the next five years.
According to legal blogger Eric Turkewitz, who is a a personal injury lawyer with the Turkewitz Law Firm in New York, the matter of lawsuits regarding the cars will, he thinks will be reduced by the number of collisions due to human error.
“Each year about 30,000 people will die in the US from car crashes, and about two million are injured, and that is after considering a significant drop in fatalities from safer cars and seat belts over the prior decades.”
The cars will see the other cars/pedestrians and slow down or stop despite the daydreaming, being drunk, or having a snooze. The number of deaths will be reduced. Your insurance premiums will be theoretically reduced.
“And that meanest the need for my services as a personal injury attorney will be reduced,” he sadly said.
What might save his job is the fact that regulators and insurance companies are reluctant to embrace even incremental steps that allow hands-free driving.
Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who predicts hands-free driving systems will not be offered soon because of legal and insurance barriers.
Federal safety regulators say they still need to do more research on the potential safety and benefits of autonomous technology. Odd really, they didn’t do that when the car first came out.
A US judge is not happy about a proposed agreement struck between HP and plaintiff shareholders to settle a lawsuit over the computing giant’s acquisition of Autonomy.
US District Judge Charles Breyer rejected several million dollars in fees that shareholder attorneys would have recouped under the settlement.
But he added that he would have to make further inquiries into whether dismissing claims against HP officers, including current Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, was fair for shareholders.
Under the terms of the settlement, shareholders agreed to drop all claims against HP’s current and former executives, including Whitman, board members and advisers to the company. Instead the two sides would team up to bash former Autonomy executives, including Chief Executive Michael Lynch.
Laughing all the way to the bank were the shareholder attorneys who would have collected $18 million in fees.
The court heard how HP is also gunning for British unit of Deloitte & Touche over its role in auditing Autonomy.
HP’s allegations of accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures at Autonomy have prompted an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. However so far there have been no actual charges levelled against Lynch and co.
Former Autonomy Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain objected to the settlement too saying that it was a “whitewash” and asked that he be allowed to review internal HP documents that absolved Whitman and others of wrongdoing.
HP has vigorously contested Hussain’s ability to review documents that gets Whitman off the hook.
Breyer said he would need to weigh the evidence against HP officers as part of his analysis on whether the deal absolving them of liability is fair for shareholders.
Bryer said that something went terribly wrong with the Autonomy acquisition.