The times, they are a changin'. Alameda County is set to allow the a real-time web-based video feed of a complex personal injury trial. This event touches on issues of technology, complex litigation and class actions. Courtroom View Network will webcast the trial and host archived video on its website. Next week I should have some sample video to share. Check back here throughout the week for more information and access to video samples.
Here is some background information from Courtroom View Network's press release about this unusual event:
Courtroom View Network, the company that pioneered showing trials of interest to legal and financial professionals over the Internet, is showing live coverage of the welding fumes liability trial, Thomas v. Lincoln Electric Co. (Case No. RG0722122) in Alameda County (Oakland) Superior Court. The Thomas trial marks the first time allegations that a worker became ill from exposure to welding rod fumes has been heard by a California state court jury. The Thomas case is also the first time Courtroom View Network has been admitted to Webcast a trial from Alameda County.
The plaintiffs allege that welding rod manufacturers knew since 1932 that welding fumes are toxic. They also contend that the industry did not adequately warn welders that the fumes could cause various neurological disorders. Thomas alleges he has suffered “severe physical and emotional injuries” from welding fume exposure. The defendants deny all the allegations.
There is also a pending national class action suit involving thousands of plaintiffs who claim they were injured by welding rod fumes. Four “bellwether” trials have been held; one jury awarded $20.5 million in damages and another $2.4 million. The two other trials resulted in no damages being awarded.
Courtroom View Network is showing the Thomas trial on its Web site, www.courtroomlive.com. The trial is aired in full, without commercials or commentary. The trial will also be indexed for on-demand viewing.
Courtroom View Network brings three years of experience of Webcasting high-stakes civil litigation to the Thomas trial. Courtroom View Network has covered multiple legal proceedings across the country, including such cases as “Jose Adolfo Tellez et al v. Dole Food Company Inc et al” and “Norman Turner v. Chevron Corporation” in Los Angeles Superior Court. Courtroom View Network’s target audience are members of the legal and financial community who require instant, comprehensive coverage of litigation that affects their business.