President's weekly report — August 9, 2013

August 09, 2013 | By ROB RIVETT

Property Rights — The One Plan to Rule them All

We filed this petition for writ of mandate in Bay Area Citizens v. Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission challenging a massive and amazingly intrusive land use plan called “Plan Bay Area.”  This is the “one-plan-that-rules-them-all” and is designed to shove “sustainable” (i.e. draconian) land use controls down the throats of over seven-million citizens and their local governments throughout the San Francisco Bay region.  The problem is, as explained in more detail here, so anxious were the planners to force this thing through, they glossed over such niceties as obeying existing laws governing the planning process and ignored the serious adverse environmental consequences of a plan designed to direct the region’s population into extreme high-density urban neighborhoods.  While these new “stack-and-pack” communities may be conveniently located near mass transit facilities, they do not make for “liveable” communities where people would necessarily live had they a choice in the matter.

Tort Reform — Court rejects bystander-of-bystander liability

There was a nice decision this week from Maryland’s highest court in Georgia-Pacific v. Farrar.  In this case a construction industry worker worked for several months in 1968 in close proximity to some drywall installers who were working with an asbestos-containing cement.  His granddaughter laundered his clothes and ultimately contracted mesothelomia, allegedly from dust on her grandfather’s clothes.  She sued Georgia-Pacific, claiming that the company had a duty to warn the granddaughter about the dangers of asbestos dust.  The court disagreed, noting that such a warning would be a practical impossibility and, moreover, that the dangers of third-hand dust simply were not understood in 1968.  You can find our amicus brief here and more discussion of the case on our blog.