Posts

Have You Been Injured by An AI Robot? – European Commission Recommends AI Robots Have Legal Status So They Can Be Sued

Posted in AI Robots, Insurance Coverage, No Fault, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Tort Law

Recently, a European Committee on Legal Affairs (“ECLA”) issued a Draft Report[1] (the “Report”) with a recommendation that artificially intelligent (“AI”) robots be given legal status. Robots will soon be able to act and make decisions independently.  Given this, a legal framework of tort recovery will be necessary when an individual is harmed by the decision or action of an AI robot. The Report notes the more autonomous an AI robot, the less it is a mere tool in the hands of another.  To the extent a robot acted autonomously, it … read more →

Read more >

Great Article- Dawn of the Tryborg by Jillian Weise

Posted in Civil Rights, Prosthetics

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/opinion/the-dawn-of-the-tryborg.html The existence of “the tryborg,” as a category of person, is so obvious that once I point it out, you will immediately recognize a dozen tryborgs you know or whose work you have read. It is possible you are a tryborg. The company that makes my leg calls it a C-Leg, a cruel name, since it is vulnerable to salt water and cannot go anywhere near the sea. I’ve been wearing prosthetic legs for over 30 years. In the last decade, I’ve been wearing a leg with a computerized … read more →

Read more > 0

Medicare Reconsidering Lower Limb Prosthetics Reimbursement- Buzz in Washington

Posted in Civil Rights, Insurance Coverage, Medicare, Prosthetics
Jon Lichtenstein

Only Medicare has the power to create the necessary market demand to bring critically needed and newly developed bionics technology to the mass market.  It was thus shocking when in 2015, CMS, through its Medicare Administrative Contractors issued a proposed Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prosthetics, which if adopted, would have drastically reduced access to new prosthetics technology. The proposed LCD (DL33787) was a comprehensive re-write of Medicare’s entire lower limb prosthetic benefits package. The reaction to the LCD was immediate and intense.  Peter Rosenstein, a former Executive … read more →

Read more > 0

For the Bionics Revolution to Take Place – Advanced Prosthetics Must be Reimbursable by Medicare

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Medicare, Prosthetics
Jon Lichtenstein

The recent success of people like Elon Musk in developing game changing products such as reusable rockets, autonomous vehicles and the Hyperloop have created an illusion that useful revolutionary products will inevitably be adopted by the marketplace.  Every product however, faces a myriad of adoption issues. Products only succeed at certain price points. For some products, like autonomous vehicles, adoption will only happen to the extent government takes the initiative, changing laws and enacting intelligent regulations.  The Hyperloop has the potential to revolutionize travel and become the largest public works … read more →

Read more > 0

Updating Tort Law for Advances in Prosthetics

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Medicare, Prosthetics, Tort Law

In 2009, the CBS news program 60 Minutes profiled Fred Downs, who lost his left arm in Vietnam. Downs, the former National Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service, had relied upon a hook-style prosthetic for four decades at the time of the 60 Minutes program, when he strapped on a new prototype robotic arm and picked up a bottle of soda and raised it to his lips. In a subsequent episode in 2012, when recalling that moment, Downs became emotional, telling reporter Scott Pelley “the … read more →

Reprinted with permission from the August 28, 2015 edition of the NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL © 2015 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. For information, contact 877-257-3382 or reprints@alm.com. # 070-08-15-38

  1. “60 Minutes,” CBS News, Sept. 20, 2009; Dec. 30, 2012, http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/trying-a-new-arm-on-for-size/.
  2. http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/biomedical/bionics/dean-kamen-luke-arm-prosthesis-receives-fda-approval.
  3. id.
  4. 1 NY PJI3d2:311 at 903 (2013).
  5. NYLJ, March 25, 2015, Outside Counsel; http://gordon-silber.com/pdf/3-25-15-NYLJ-Rights-of-Cyborgs.pdf.
  6. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cyborg.
  7. Linda MacDonald Glenn, “Case Study: Ethical and Legal Issues in Human Machine Mergers (Or the Cyborgs Cometh),” Annals of Health Law 175, 176 (2012), available at http://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1024&context=annals.
  8. http://www.oandp.com/oandp-l/message.asp?frmMessageId=089ADA91-B4AD-484E-BB5D-E9FEE256A30E.
  9. 1 NY PJI3d2:311, supra.
  10. “In Defense of Tort Law,” Thomas Koenig, Michael Rustad. NYU Press, Oct. 1, 2003 at p. 29.
  11. Id. at p. 14-15, 31, 47, 49.
  12. Id. at 12-13.
  13. The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, L.L.D.: Late One of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Professor of Law in the College of Philadelphia, At the Lorenzo Press, printed for Bronson and Chauncey, 1804, p. 181; https://books.google.com/books?id=74s0AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  14. Id. at 185.
  15. Cypress Ins. Co. v. Clark, 144 F.3d 1435 (11th Cir. 1998).
  16. Hart v. Electronic Arts, 717 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. 2012).
  17. Moore v. The Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 51 Cal.3d 120, 793 P.2d 479, 489 (Cal. Sup. Ct. 1990).
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism.
  19. 3 Pattern Discovery Products Liability 3d §26:21.
  20. http://www.ottobockus.com/C-Leg.html
Read more > 0

Updating Tort Law For Advances in Prosthetics (Cyborgs)

Posted in AI Robots, Insurance Coverage, Medicare, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Tort Law

This article is reprinted with permission by the New York Law Journal from an article that was published on August 28, 2015. In 2009, the CBS news program 60 Minutes profiled the former Director of Veterans Affairs Fred Downs, who lost his left arm in Vietnam. He had relied upon a hook style prosthetic for four decades, when he strapped on a new prototype robotic arm and picked up a bottle of soda and raised it to his lips. In a subsequent episode, when recalling that moment, Downs became emotional, … read more →

Read more >

The Legal Rights of Cyborgs – Should Damage to a Prosthetic Be Considered Property Damage or Personal Injury? (NYLJ 3/25/15)

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Medicare, Tort Law

This blog post is a reprint, with permission, of an article published in the New York Law Journal on March 25, 2015. From time immemorial, our common law has provided one set of remedies for damage to one’s property and another set for damage to one’s person.  While the latter allows the full gamut of recovery including pain and suffering, lost earnings, medical expenses, lost enjoyment of life and loss of consortium, the former merely allows recovery of the property’s repair or replacement value.  One cannot even recover for the sentimental value … read more →

Read more >

The Legal Rights of Cyborgs – Should Damage to a Prosthetic Be Considered Property Damage or Personal Injury?

Posted in Civil Rights, Insurance Coverage, Premises Liability

From time immemorial, our common law has provided one set of remedies for damage to one’s property and another set for damage to one’s person.  While the latter allows the full gamut of recovery including pain and suffering, lost earnings, medical expenses, lost enjoyment of life and loss of consortium, the former merely allows recovery of the property’s repair or replacement value.  One cannot even recover for the sentimental value of property[i].  Yet today, many of us depend on our devices to perform the normal tasks of living, such as … read more →

[i] Twersky v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 152 Misc. 300, 273 N.Y.S. 328 (1st Dep’t, App. Term, 1934).

[ii] Cyborg, noun.  a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.

[iii] “We Will End Disability by Becoming Cyborgs — Neural interfaces and prosthetics will do away with biology’s failings,” by Eliza Strickland, posted 27 May 2014; http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/we-will-end-disability-by-becoming-cyborgs.

[iv] http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/we-will-end-disability-by-becoming-cyborgs.

[v] 80 Colo. 162, 249 P. 642 (1926).

[vi] 687 S.W.2d 822 (Tex. App. 1985).

[vii] Janes, 279 S.W.2d at 318; See also Lail v. Richland Wrecking Co., Inc. 280 S.C. 532, 313 S.E.2d 342(S.C. App. 1984); Behl v. General Motors Corp., 25 Mich.App. 490, 181 N.W.2d 600 (1970)(hearing aid); Geiger v. Bell Aerosystems Co. Division, 54 Misc.2d 1049, 283 N.Y.S.2d 906(1967).

[viii] 9A Couch on Ins. S 136:57; Larson, Workmen’s Compensation Law, Vol. 1B, Sec. 42.13 (Matthew Bender, NY 1990).

[ix] 783 P.2d 161 (Wyo., 1989).

[x] Section 27–12–403(a), W.S.1977.

[xi] Case Study: Ethical and Legal Issues in Human Machine Mergers (Or the Cyborgs Cometh), Annals of Health Law, 175 (2012).  Available at http://lawecommons.luc.edu/annals/vol21/iss1/16.

[xii] http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/neural+prosthesis

[xiii] http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/Niman20130502.

[xiv] http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/08/vbs.singularity.kurzweil/.

[xv] “Moore’s law” is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore’s_lawspec

Read more > 0