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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Personal Injury Legal News
Headline Personal Injury Legal News from LexisNexis®
General Motors To Settle Last 2 Ignition Switch Bellwether Suits
NEW YORK - Co-lead counsel in the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Sept. 6 confirmed that the auto maker will settle with the plaintiffs in the last two trials in the bellwether process, the first of which was supposed to begin Sept. 12 (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716; Amy Ladon Norville v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-cv-8176, S.D. N.Y.).
Jury Renders Defense Verdict In Texas Ignition Switch Suit
HOUSTON - A Texas state jury on Aug. 25 found in favor of General Motors LLC, determining that the automaker was not responsible for a crash that resulted in the plaintiff sustaining a traumatic brain injury and the death of another nonparty driver (Zachery Stevens, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 2015-04442, Texas 152nd Jud. Dist., Harris Co.).
Washington Appellate Panel Orders New Trial In Premises Liability Suit
SEATTLE - A Washington appellate panel on Sept. 6 ordered a new trial in a premises liability and negligence suit because it found that the trial court did not allow the jury to consider the comparative negligence of a man who was shot and killed in an after-hours club (Shalisa Hayes v. Bill's Towing and Garage Inc, et al., No. 3968-9-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2016 Wash. App. LEXIS 2138).
Ohio Appellate Panel Affirms Ruling In Haunted House Injury Suit
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio appellate panel on Sept. 2 found that a trial court properly denied summary judgment to a township and a haunted house it owns because there is a question regarding whether the haunted house was negligently designed and whether that negligent design caused a woman to fall out of a ride in the haunted house (Elizabeth Danielle Milbert v. Wells Township Haunted House Inc., et al., No. 15 JE 0023, Ohio App., 7th Dist., Jefferson Co.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 3512).
Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 30 granted summary judgment to a gym and its parent company after finding that neither defendant had a duty to protect a man who injured himself on an elliptical machine (Gary Belot and Ilona Belot v. LTF Club Operations Company, et al., No. 14-CV-9204, Ill. N.D.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116914).
Pennsylvania Federal Judge Dismisses Snake Bite Suit Against Disney Hotel
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 29 granted The Walt Disney Co. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Inc.'s (the Disney companies) motion to dismiss a venomous snake bite case brought against it because he found that the court does not have general jurisdiction over the defendants (Michael Barth, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Inc., et al., No. 16-2140, E.D. Pa.).
Concert Goers File Suit Against Rappers Over Railing Collapse
PHILADELPHIA - A group of plaintiffs on Aug. 24 sued rappers Snoop Dogg and Whiz Khalifa for contributing to the atmosphere that led to the collapse of a railing at a concert in New Jersey that caused several injuries (Michael Carpenter, et al. v. Live Nation Worldwide Inc., et al., No. 160803137, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
Texas State Jury Awards $19 Million To Widow In Medical Malpractice Suit
DALLAS - A Texas state court jury on Aug. 30 found that a doctor at a hospital in Texas was negligent while caring for a patient who went into a coma and suffered brain damage that led to her death (Caden Clark v. Jennifer Marye Burris M.D., et al., No. CC-14-06294-C, Texas, Dallas Co., No. 3).
Connecticut Appellate Court Reverses Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit
HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut Appellate Court in an opinion scheduled for Aug. 30 release reversed and remanded a judgment in favor of a woman who sued a hospital claiming that a doctor's negligence during surgery caused her to develop an infection after surgery because there was not enough evidence showing that the doctor directly worked for the hospital (Vivian Gagliano, et al. v. Advanced Specialty Care, et al., No. AC 37413, Conn. App.; 2016 Conn. App. LEXIS 337).
Woman Claims Negligence During Surgery Led To Quadruple Amputation
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A woman filed suit in Michigan state court on Sept. 7, claiming that her arms and legs had to be amputated because of a doctor's negligence during surgery and the hospital's failure to make sure she received proper care after surgery (Pamela Buschle v. Christine A. Heisler, M.D., et al., No. 16-08248, Mich. Cir., Kent Co.).
No Review Needed In Suit Against Workers At Tribe's Casino, High Court Told
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should decline to review a Louisiana appellate court ruling that three employees at an Indian casino are not shielded by the tribe's sovereign immunity from claims that they negligently allowed a customer to get drunk, drive away and crash into another car, killing two people, because the decision aligns with holdings of other courts, the son of a man killed in the crash tells the high court in an Aug. 11 response brief (Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority, et al. v. Zachary Zaunbrecher, et al., No. 15-1486, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3023).
South Carolina Federal Jury Awards $1.37 Million In Car Crash Suit
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The widow of a man who committed suicide after being injured in a car accident was awarded $1.37 million on Aug. 26 in her suit against Ford Motor Co. by a federal jury in South Carolina after the jury found that Ford's 2010 Escape was defective when it was put on the market (Crystal L. Wickersham v. Ford Motor Co., No. 9:13-cv-1192-DCN, D. S.C.).
Florida Jury Finds Tire, TSeat Belt Makers Not At Fault For Crash, Injuries
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Following a two-month trial, a Florida state court jury on Aug. 24 found that a tire maker and a seat belt maker were not responsible for permanent injuries sustained during a car crash (Stevette Dukes, et al. v. Michelin North America Inc., et al., No. 12-CA-2094, Fla Cir., 19th Jud. Cir. St. Lucie Co.).
Talc Supplier, Johnson & Johnson Sued For Alleged Cancer Link To Baby Powder
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The son of a woman who died from ovarian cancer filed suit against Johnson & Johnson and its talcum supplier on Sept. 2 in a California state court, claiming that his mother's prolonged exposure to the company's baby powder caused her cancer and led to her death (Jose Duran Jr. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 16-cv-299610, Calif. Super, Santa Clara Co.).
Washington Supreme Court Finds School Owed Duty To Warn About Rapist
OLYMPIA, Wash. - A majority of the Washington Supreme Court on Sept. 1 found that a high school owed a duty to warn a student that another student had a violent history and was previously charged with rape and that its failure to warn the student was a cause of her injuries (N.L. v. Bethel School District, No.91755-2, Wash. Sup.; 2016 Wash. LEXIS 997).
Proposed Class Action Suit Filed Against Smoothie Chain
RICHMOND, Va. - A woman on Aug. 26 filed a proposed class action lawsuit against a smoothie chain in Virginia state court, claiming that berries used in the restaurants' smoothies were infected with hepatitis A (HAV) (Laura L. Pyka v. TLC Tropical Smoothie LLC, No. CL16003893-00, Va. Cir., Richmond City).
Proposed Class Suit Filed Against 3 National Youth Football Organizations
LOS ANGELES - Two mothers of deceased football players on Sept. 1 filed a proposed class action suit in California federal court against three youth football organizations, claiming that the organizations failed to protect minor participants from the lasting injuries that can be sustained from playing football (Kimberly Archie, et al. v. Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc., No. 2:16-CV-6603, C.D. Calif.).
Federal Judge Limits Expert's Opinion In Negligence Suit To Marine Safety Field
NEW ORLEANS - In a negligence lawsuit an employee filed against his employer over injuries on a boat, a Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 7 limited a marine safety expert's testimony to that stated in his opinion and not matters that fall out of his field (In the matter of M&M Wirelines & Offshore Services LLC, No. 15-4999, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120542).
Expert Testimony Fails To Support Atmosphere Of Violence Claim, Panel Finds
JACKSON, Miss. - A woman who suffered injuries during a robbery in a parking lot failed to provide sufficient testimony from a safety and security expert to support an atmosphere-of-violence claim, a Mississippi appeals panel affirmed Aug. 30, noting that an incident of robbery in the previous five years was not enough to put a company on notice of foreseeable danger (Pearlie Wright v. R.M. Smith Investments, L.P., No. 2015-CA-00199-COA, Miss. App.; 2016 Miss. App. LEXIS 566).
Expert May Testify Screen On Salt Spreading Device Was Dangerous, Federal Judge Says
BOSTON - An expert may testify that an opening in a screen over a salt spreading mechanism created an unreasonably dangerous condition, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Sept. 2, also denying summary judgment to the mechanism's manufacturer on a failure to warn claim (Ronald Linhares v. Buyers Products Co., No. 15-11881, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119128).
Louisiana Federal Judge Allows Causation Testimony In Workplace Accident Case
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 6 permitted expert testimony on causation of injuries in a workplace accident, as well as economic-loss testimony on the worker's future earning capacity while excluding any testimony on the worker's recent arrest (Steven Granger v. Bisso Marine and Bollinger Shipyards, No. 15-477, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119868).
Accident Reconstruction Expert Did Not Inspect Cars Involved In Collision, Judge Says
NEW ORLEANS - An accident reconstruction expert may not opine on the nature of a collision because the expert did not inspect the vehicles involved in the accident, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Sept. 8, excluding the testimony along with any medical causation testimony (Alan Brown, et al. v. Regions Insurance Inc., et al., No. 14-813, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121165).
Judge Allows Expert To Testify On Driver's Ability To Stop Before Collision
ST. LOUIS - In a motor vehicle accident lawsuit, a trucking company's expert may testify that a driver had enough time and distance to come to a complete stop before colliding with the company's employee, a Missouri federal judge ruled Sept. 8 (Susan E. Jackson v. Asplundh Construction Corp. and Anthony Michael Rogers, No. 15-00714, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121301).
GM Asks 2nd Circuit To Rehear Ignition Switch Claims Dispute
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC on Aug. 10 asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for a panel rehearing or a rehearing en banc on its July 13 decision that the 2009 sale order under which it purchased assets from the bankrupt General Motors Corp. violated the due process rights of people allegedly injured by an ignition switch defect in GM vehicles (In Re: Motors Liquidation Company, Nos. 15-2844, 15-2847 and 15-2848, 2nd Cir.).
GM Wins Summary Judgment On Some Claims In 5th Ignition Switch Bellwether
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Aug. 15 granted summary judgment to the automaker on the fifth bellwether plaintiff's negligent failure-to-recall and constructive fraud claims (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108405).
5th GM Bellwether Plaintiff May Show Evidence Of Similar Crashes
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Aug. 18 said the plaintiff in the fifth bellwether may introduce evidence of other similar incidents (OSIs) because the jury will not be prejudiced by the evidence (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
Final Bellwether Plaintiff In GM Ignition Switch MDL Seeks To Have Husband Testify
NEW YORK - The plaintiff in the final bellwether trial in the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation says in an Aug. 18 brief that she should not be prevented from having her husband, who is a mechanic, testify that the air bags in her car should have deployed when her car crashed (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02543, Amy Ladon Norville v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-cv-8176, S.D. N.Y.).
Texas Judge Dismisses Claims Against General Motors In State Ignition Switch Suit
HOUSTON - A Texas state court judge on Aug. 13 dismissed all claims against General Motors LLC in a suit brought by a woman who claimed that a defect in the ignition switch of her car caused her to veer into oncoming traffic and ultimately crash into a wall (Gloria Alexander, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 2013-29761, Texas Dist., 152nd Jud. Dist., Harris Co.).
Georgia Jury Awards $20 Million To Couple For Truck Crash
MARIETTA, Ga. - A Georgia jury on Aug. 10 found that a trucking company was responsible for a crash that left a man with a brain injury and awarded the injured man and his wife a total of $20 million (Eshan Khan, et al. v. Moore Freight Service Inc., Ga. State, Cobb Co.).
Amtrak Settles 2 Lawsuits Stemming From Philadelphia Derailment
PHILADELPHIA - Two lawsuits stemming from a fatal Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia in 2015 were dismissed Aug. 8 after the railroad company settled with the plaintiffs (Jessica Baen v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), et al., No. 15-cv-4894, Adriana Passamano v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation [Amtrak], No. 15-cv-5278, E.D. Pa.).
Mississippi Supreme Court Affirms Immunity For Visitor Bureau In Injury Lawsuit
JACKSON, Miss. - A majority of the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Aug. 11 that a trial court properly granted a county convention and visitors bureau summary judgment in a visitor's action alleging that the bureau failed to maintain a civic center's grassy area in a safe condition because the bureau's operation of the civic center was a discretionary function to which immunity attached under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (Cynthia Renee Crider v. DeSoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau, No. 2015-CA-00725, Miss. Sup.; 2016 Miss. LEXIS 322).
Kentucky Appeals Court: Fleeing Gunman's Actions Not Foreseeable By Franchisee
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 affirmed summary judgment for Domino's Pizza defendants in a case over a fatal shooting outside a franchise location, saying that a fleeing robber's actions were not reasonably foreseeable, but reversed the order granting summary judgment to a Domino's franchisee and the owner of the strip mall where the shooting occurred because, it said, the trial court abused its discretion by prematurely ruling on the motions to dismiss before the plaintiffs had an opportunity to conduct discovery (Harold Dean Johnson Jr., et al. v. Seagle Pizza Inc., et al., No. 2015-CA-000085, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 563).
Texas Appeals Court Denies Landlord's Health Care Liability Claim
DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Aug. 17 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a surgery center landlord's claim that a woman who sued after being struck by an automatic door at the center was bringing a claim for health care liability under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (KSADD LLC v. Joan Williams, No. 05-15-00776, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8982).
Appeals Panel Remands Case To Determine Scope Of New Jersey YMCA's Charitable Work
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Aug. 15 remanded a slip-and-fall case against a state YMCA facility, finding that more information about the scope of the facility's charitable, educational and religious works is needed to determine if it is entitled to absolute immunity from liability under the state Charitable Immunity Act (James F. Walters v. YMCA, No. A-1130-15T3, N.J. Sup., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1904).
Louisiana Federal Judge: Choice Hotels Not Liable For Slip-And-Fall Injury
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 10 granted summary judgment to Choice Hotels International Services Corp. (CHI-S), finding that a plaintiff who alleged that she suffered an injury when she fell because of water on a hotel floor could not show that CHI-S was responsible for operating and maintaining the hotel (Benifer Monk v. Choice Hotels International Services Corp., et al., No. 3:15-1699, W.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105806).
NHL Opposes Adding Deceased Player's Estate As Class Representative In MDL
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) says in an Aug. 18 brief to the judge overseeing the NHL's concussion multidistrict litigation that it opposes making the estate of a deceased hockey player a class representative in the case because it will be prejudiced by adding another class representative this late in this process (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
21 Former NHL Players File Proposed Class Suit Against NHL
MINNEAPOLIS - A group of 21 former National Hockey League (NHL) players on Aug. 9 sued the league in federal court in Minnesota, claiming that they were not warned about the dangers of concussions and how those concussions would impact them later in life (Darren Veitch, et al. v. National Hockey League, et al., No. 0:16-cv-02683, D. Minn.).
Judge Bars ACA Testimony; Jury Awards Defense Verdict In Medical Negligence Case
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Aug. 19 found no negligence in a doctor's failure to properly diagnose and treat a woman's herpes zoster virus after a judge ruled that the jury would not hear testimony regarding the potential availability of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits (Tami Bernheisel v. Martin Mikaya, M.D., Memorial Hospital Inc., et al., No. 13-1496, M.D. Pa.).
New York Appellate Panel Affirms Verdict In Medical Malpractice Suit
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on Aug. 17 affirmed a trial court's denial of a hospital's motion to set aside a jury verdict in a medical malpractice suit because the evidence showed that an infant's brain damage was caused by the hospital (Jaelin Sence, etc., et al. v. Ioanis Atoynatan, et al., No. 2015-02696, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5675).
Michigan Appeals Court Says Trial Court Erred In Tossing Dropped Patient's Lawsuit
DETROIT - A Michigan Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 16 reversed summary judgment in favor of a hospital in a case in which a nurse's aide allegedly dropped a stroke patient because the negligence claims in the patient's complaint are not necessarily for medical malpractice, which would be barred by the statute of limitations for such claims (Audrey Trowell v. Providence Hospital and Medical Centers Inc., No. 327525, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 1542).
Jury Finds Hard Rock Cafe Not Liable For Injury From DJ Jumping Off Stage
SAN DIEGO - A California jury on Aug. 16 found that [ee]the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel in San Diego was not liable for injuries sustained by a woman who was injured during an electronic dance music concert (Brittany Hickman v. Hard Rock Cafe International, No. 37-2013-00064985-CU-PO-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
Texas Appeals Panel Says Workers' Comp Is Injured Employee's Exclusive Remedy
DALLAS - A Texas appellate panel on Aug. 16 affirmed summary judgment in favor of a general contractor and subcontractors in an injured worker's tort-based lawsuit because, it said, the worker's exclusive remedy was through the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (Juan Carlos Flores v. Chasco Inc., et al., No. 05-14-00531-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8913).
Illinois Appeals Court: Injured Subcontractor Owed A Duty Of Care
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals court on Aug. 16 reversed a ruling holding that a general contractor was not subject to liability when it knew of a dangerous condition - a snowy, slippery roof - and sent a subcontractor who was injured when he slipped and fell to encounter it (Marvin Larson, et al. v. Daniel Ephraim, et al., No. 15-1223, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1711).
Neurosurgeon Barred From Opining On Woman's Back Condition, Judge Concludes
PORTLAND, Ore. - A neurosurgeon may not testify in a strict product liability lawsuit that a woman would not have suffered significant injury were it not for her chronic degenerative condition, an Oregon federal judge ruled Aug. 10, barring the opinion that the woman would have become paralyzed at some point in the future as irrelevant (Jeanie Chong v. STL International Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 14-244, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105512).
Massachusetts High Court Affirms Mode-Of-Operation Approach In Negligence Suit
MIDDLESEX, Mass. - In a divided opinion, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on July 28 affirmed a lower appellate court's ruling that the mode-of-operation approach to premises liability applies in a suit brought by a woman who was injured when she slipped on a gravel walkway because the plaintiff raised a genuine question of fact about whether the defendant took the proper measures to secure the pathway she slipped on (Linda S. Bowers v. P. Wiles Inc., No. SJC-11923, Sup. Mass.; 2016 Mass. LEXIS 585).
Colorado Appellate Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Slip-And-Fall Suit
DENVER - A Colorado appellate panel on July 28 found that a trial court correctly found that a woman who injured herself while looking at a house for sale was a "trespasser" under Colorado's Premises Liability Act and affirmed the court's order (Ellyn Rucker v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., No. 2016COA114, App. Colo.; 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 1038).
Florida Appeals Court Says Seminole Tribe Immune From Slip-And-Fall Claim
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Seminole Tribe of Florida has sovereign immunity from a woman's personal injury claim against the tribe stemming from a slip-and-fall accident at the tribe's casino because the tribe showed that there was no enforceable resolution or ordinance with a waiver of immunity in place in 2009 when the accident happened, a Florida appeals court held July 27 (Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Delores Schinneller, No. 4D15-1704, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 11411).
Judge Bars Nurse's Opinion Of $3M In Future Health Needs In Wal-Mart Slip-And-Fall Case
LAS VEGAS - A registered nurse may not testify that a woman injured in a slip and fall at a Wal-Mart store will need a life-care plan valued at more than $3 million because the nurse did not consult with the woman's treating physicians, a Nevada federal judge ruled July 29, excluding the testimony (Robbin L. Lologo and Vincent J. Lologo v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, No. 13-1493, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100559).
Ohio Appellate Panel Reverses And Remands Fatal Dog Bite Suit
DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio appellate panel on July 29 said a trial court erred in dismissing a woman's claims against a county's animal control director in a fatal dog bite suit because claims for damages are not restricted only to claims against the owners of a dog (Barbara Schneider v. Mark Kumpf, No. 26955, Ohio App.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 3021).
Texas Appellate Panel Dissolves Injunction In Ebola Lawsuit
DALLAS - A Texas appellate panel on Aug. 3 dissolved an injunction placed on a group of defendants in a suit brought by a nurse who claimed that a hospital and the company that owns it failed to give her equipment and training that would have prevented her from contracting Ebola from a patient (Texas Health Resources Inc., et al. v. Nina Pham, No 05-15-01283-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; Tex. App. LEXIS 8336).
Casino Operator, Workers Ask High Court To Review Wrongful Death Suit Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Louisiana appellate court ruling that three employees at an Indian casino are not shielded by the tribe's sovereign immunity from claims that they negligently allowed a customer to get drunk, drive away and crash into another car, killing two people, should be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court because the case involves an important question of federal law that is unresolved by the high court, the casino operator says in a May 27 petition for writ of certiorari (Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority, et al. v. Zachary Zaunbrecher, et al., No. 15-1486, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2374).
8th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment In Wrongful Death Suit
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 5 affirmed summary judgment in a suit where a contractor was electrocuted after stepping out of a changing area on an oil rig because the companies responsible for hiring the supervisor were not liable for the supervisor's negligence because he was under contract (Margo Kronberg v. Oasis Petroleum North America LLC, et al., No. 15-1617, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14384).
Insurer Owes No Coverage To Professional Race Car Driver For Wrongful Death Suit
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge held July 29 that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify professional race car driver Anthony Wayne Stewart against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a fellow race car driver (Axis Insurance Co. v. Anthony Wayne Stewart, No. 15-1131, N.D. N.Y.).
Parents Of Deceased Star Trek Actor File Product Defect, Wrongful Death Suit
LOS ANGELES - The parents of deceased actor Anton Yelchin, known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the movie reboots of Star Trek, on Aug. 2, filed a wrongful death and product defect suit in California state court, claiming that the actor's 2015 Jeep Cherokee was outfitted with a faulty gear shifter that allegedly caused it to roll backward and run him over (Victor Yelchin, et al. v. FCA US LLC, et al., No. BC629096, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
Florida Jury Finds For Defense In Truck Crash Suit
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida jury on Aug. 4 sided with a trash truck company that was accused of negligence when one of its drivers crashed into a man riding a bicycle, causing him injury (Thomas Truong v. Waste Services Of Florida Inc., et al., No. 2013-CA-00353, Fla. Cir., 9th Jud., Orange Co.).
Pennsylvania Federal Judge Says Motor Vehicle Statute Saves Claim From Preemption
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 2 partially denied a life insurance company's motion to dismiss a putative class action for benefits under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, finding that a section of a state motor vehicle statute "regulates insurance" and is therefore saved from ERISA preemption (Eric Yost, et al. v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 3:16-cv-00079, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101202).
Trucking Safety Expert May Opine On Company's Power Carrier Program, Judge Says
HARRISBURG, Pa. - In a personal injury lawsuit arising out of an auto collision, a trucking industry safety expert may testify that a trucking company's power carrier program did not act as a freight broker, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 3, finding that the expert qualifies to testify on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) related to brokers of property (Francisco Ramos-Becerra and Louisa Ramos v. Ricky L. Hatfield, et al., No. 14-0917, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101579).
Judge: Treating Physician May Testify On Relationship Between Accident, Surgeries
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A treating physician is qualified to testify as to the causal relationship between a car accident and a man's subsequent surgeries, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Aug. 3, finding that it does not matter that the physician is unable to decide whether the man's need for surgery was the result of the accident (Kelvin Anderson v. United States of America, No. 15-55, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101758).
NCAA, Frostburg College Agree To Pay $1.2 Million To Concussion Foundation
ROCKVILLE, Md. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Frostburg State University on Aug. 8 agreed to pay $1.2 million to a concussion foundation created by the family of a Frostburg State University football player who died during football practice from a traumatic brain injury, according to media reports and a statement by the NCAA (Kristen Sheely, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 380569V, Md. Cir., Montgomery Co.).
Plaintiffs In NHL MDL Seek To Add Defenseman's Estate As Class Representative
MINNEAPOLIS - The attorneys representing a class of former professional National Hockey League (NHL) players on July 28 moved in federal court in Minnesota to add the estate of former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Lazarus Zeidel because Zeidel has posthumously been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
WWE Moves For Sanctions Against Plaintiffs' Attorneys In Concussion Suit
HARTFORD, Conn. - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. on Aug. 8 asked a federal judge in Connecticut to impose sanctions against the attorneys for two former wrestlers in a consolidated concussion suit because the attorneys allegedly drafted and signed off on false responses to a court's compulsion order that were submitted to the WWE (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).
WWE Moves To Dismiss Last Claim In Head Injuries Suit
HARTFORD, Conn. - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) on Aug. 1 moved a Connecticut federal court for summary judgment on the final claim against it brought by two former professional wrestlers in a consolidated concussion suit, saying there is no "genuine dispute as to any fact material to Plaintiffs' fraud by omission claim" (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).
GM MDL Judge Will Allow Results Of Blood Test In Trial
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 partially granted and partially denied motions to exclude filed by the automaker and the plaintiff in the fifth bellwether trial by saying that the automaker will be allowed to present testimony about the results of a blood test that indicates that the plaintiff may have had alcohol in her system when her car crashed (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
GM MDL Bellwether Plaintiff Seeks To Exclude Expert Testimony
NEW YORK - The plaintiff in the final bellwether trial in the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation says in an Aug. 2 brief that the automaker should not be able to present expert testimony from a doctor who claims that she was under the influence of drugs when she crashed her car (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02543, Amy Ladon Norville v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-cv-8176 S.D. N.Y.).