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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Personal Injury Legal News

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Supreme Court: Causal Link Necessary In Sanctions For Discovery Misconduct
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Vacating a $2.7 million sanctions award against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in a product liability suit, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 18 ruled that such an award must have a causal link to costs incurred by the opposing party that are attributable to the misconduct (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Leroy Haeger, et al., No. 15-1406, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2613).



Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms $55 Million Verdict In Product Defect Suit
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on April 19 affirmed a $55 million verdict in a product liability suit in which a man claimed that he became a quadriplegic because the seat belt he was wearing during a car crash did not protect him (American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Carlos Martinez, et al., No. 445 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 271).



5th Circuit Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Rifle Defect Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a federal judge's grant of summary judgment to the makers of a rifle because the product defect suit against them was time-barred by the Texas Statute of Repose (Edward Burdett v. Remington Arms Company LLC, et al., No. 16-11216, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6745).



Iowa Supreme Court Deems Hospital Safety Report Not Subject To Discovery
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa morbidity and mortality statute shields a hospital's safety report from discovery in a patient's negligence suit, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled April 7, reversing a trial court order compelling its production (Dennis Willard v. State of Iowa, No. 16-1009, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 31).



Federal Judge Awards Plaintiffs In Medical Malpractice Suit $33.8 Million
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on April 17 ordered the United States to pay the parents of a child who developed brain damage following delivery $33.8 million after finding it responsible for the negligence of a doctor who was employed by a federally funded clinic (Marla Dixon, et al. v. United States of America, No. 15-23502, S.D. Fla.).



Federal Judge Orders United States To Pay $32.9M In Medical Malpractice Suit
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 20 found that the United States was responsible for the brain damage a child sustained during delivery at a federally funded facility and ordered the United States to pay the parents of the child $32.9 million (Christina Late, et al. v. United States of America, No. 1:13-CV-0756, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60012).



Limitations Period Sinks Wrongful Death Suit Over Man's Fall At Facility
BOSTON - A son cannot pursue a wrongful death action against the United States for the death of his elderly father soon after a fall at a government-run health center in Massachusetts because he filed his claim after the statute of limitations had expired, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 19 (Peter Camerano v. United States of America, No. 16-2025, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6744).



Virginia High Court Remands Medical Malpractice Suit For New Trial
RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Supreme Court on April 13 ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the defendant's expert witness's testimony should not have been admitted because it was based on an assumption "that has no basis in fact" (Mariam Toraish v. James Jay Lee, No. 160495, Va. Sup., 2017 Va. LEXIS 43).



Florida Judge Declares Mistrial In Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A medical malpractice trial on in Florida state court on April 7 ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict (Pui Chan v. Tenet St. Mary's Medical Center, No. 2015-CA-008359, Fla. Cir., 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).



Supreme Court Rules Against Tribal Casino Limo Driver In Couple's Negligence Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Indian tribe's sovereign immunity does not protect a tribal casino limousine driver from an individual capacity lawsuit filed by a couple injured in a crash with the limo because the driver is the actual party in interest, not the tribe, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held April 25 (Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, No. 15-1500, U.S. Sup.).



5th Circuit Remands Slip-And-Fall Suit For A Second Time
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 reversed summary judgment for a second time in a suit where an employee at a grocery store was injured while cleaning up a spill because there is a question of material fact over whether a cleaning product the store failed to provide him with would have prevented his fall (Randy J. Austin v. Kroger Texas L.P., No. 16-10502, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6479).



Texas Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Work Injury Suit
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on April 14 affirmed a trial court's grant of summary judgment to a trash truck company because a man who injured himself repairing the tires on one of the company's trucks did not show that the company owed him a duty of protection (Jose Jaimes v. Marco Lozano D/B/A American Waste Disposal, No. 05-16-00165-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3322).



Florida High Court; Attorney-Doctor Referral Relationship Protected By Privilege
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An attorney's referral of a client to a particular physician constitutes a confidential communication that is protected by attorney-client privilege, a majority in the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, reversing an appeals court finding that such a referral relationship is discoverable as a means of determining potential bias by the physician in a personal injury lawsuit (Heather Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, et al., No. SC15-1086, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 812).



Alabama High Court Reverses Summary Judgment In Slip-And-Fall Suit
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on April 21 found that a company that owns a McDonalds fast food restaurant did not present enough evidence to show that a puddle a woman slipped on was an open and obvious danger and reversed summary judgment granted to the company by the trial court (Andre Barnwell v. CLP Corp., No. 1151329, Ala. Sup., 2017 Ala. LEXIS 37).



Federal Judge Grants Amtrak's Motion To Dismiss Negligence Suit
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on April 18 granted the National Railroad Passenger Corp.'s (Amtrak) motion to dismiss a suit brought by a woman who claimed that she was injured after falling down on an Amtrak train because she did not plead sufficient facts to support a negligence claim (Bessie Moore v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., No. ELH-16-3015, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58865).



New York Appeals Panel: Woman Entitled To Discovery In Hotel Slip-And-Fall Case
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Oct. 13 ruled that a state justice properly denied a hotel franchisor's motion for summary judgment in a premises liability action as premature, saying that a plaintiff is entitled to discovery of issues related to the franchisor's possible agency relationship with a hotel where her slip-and-fall injury occurred (Gloria Stern v. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., No. 3690, 108672/11, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2793).



Couple Sues Grocery Store For Injuries Following Slip And Fall
LOS ANGELES - A woman who injured herself in a fall in a grocery store sued the grocery store in California court on April 7, claiming that the store did not clean up a "mushy substance" in the frozen food aisle, which caused her to fall (Yvette Perez, et al. v. YFE Holdings Inc. doing business as Fresh & Easy, No. BC657068, Calif. Super. Los Angeles Co.).



Couple Sues Restaurant, Property Owners For Negligence After Fall
MELBOURNE, Fla. - A Florida couple on April 3 sued a shopping center, its owners and a restaurant and its owners in Florida state court, claiming that they were negligent by not warning about a dangerous condition that caused the wife to fall and injure herself (Sheila LeCount, et al. v. Poag Shopping Centers LLC, et al., No. 05-2017-CA-022203, Fla. 18th Jud. Cir., Brevard Co.).



Jury Enters Almost $8M Verdict Against Supplier Of Contaminated Seeds
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal jury on April 14 entered an almost $8 million verdict against a company that supplied pomegranate seeds contaminated with hepatitis A after determining that the plaintiffs proved that the company was the source of the contaminated seeds (Townsend Farms Inc. v. Goknur Gida Maddeleri Enerji Imalat Ithalat Ihracat Ticaret ve Sanayi A.S. et al., No. 15-837, C.D. Calif.).



Man Sues Restaurant After Developing E. Coli From Chicken And Rice
BOSTON - A man who contracted E. coli after eating chicken and rice from a restaurant filed suit against the restaurant in a Massachusetts state court on April 18, claiming that the restaurant failed to protect him by serving contaminated food (Trevor Bryant v. Chicken and Rice Guys LLC, No. 1784CV01184, Mass. Super. Suffolk Co.).



Federal Judge Rules On Motions To Dismiss In NCAA Concussion Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on April 12 ruled on multiple motions to dismiss defendants from a concussion suit brought by a former collegiate athlete and dismissed certain claims against defendants, but did not wholly dismiss any one defendant in the suit (Jennifer Bradley v. NCAA, et al., No. 1:16-CV-00346RBW, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55779).



Couple Files Suit Against Cruise Line For Waterslide Injury
MIAMI - A couple on March 29 filed suit in Florida against a cruise line, claiming that the cruise line was negligent by not have safety measures in place, which caused a man to crash into a rider who was stuck on the slide in front of him and caused a life-long injury (Kieran Michael Gulas, et al. v. NCL Bahamas Ltd. d/b/a Norwegian Cruise Lines, No. 1:17cv21166, S.D. Fla.).



Jury Finds In Favor Of Woman Who Fell Out Of Hospital Bed
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury on March 31 found that a hospital's negligence caused a patient to fall out of her hospital bed and awarded the plaintiff a total of $909,000 in damages (Lauren Harrison v. West Boca Medical Center, No. 2016-CA-009017, 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).



Maryland Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Wrongful Death Suit
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland Court of Special Appeals panel on March 21 affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the parent and grandparent corporation of a hospital in a wrongful death suit because under Maryland law, parent and grandparent corporations are not responsible for establishing hospital protocols (Kimberley Hughes Johnson v. University of Maryland and Medical System Corporation, et al., No. 396, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 299).



Louisiana High Court Majority Refuses To Hear Appeal In Medical Malpractice Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to reconsider an appeals court's affirmation of a lower court's finding that a doctor breached the standard of care applicable to an obstetrician and gynecologist in failing to obtain a patient's informed consent before performing surgery, according to a March 24 news release (Renea Fanguy v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 2017-C-0195, La. Sup.)



Hospital, Doctor Granted Summary Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on March 30 granted summary judgment to a hospital, a doctor and the practice the doctor worked for because a woman who claimed that their negligence resulted in the death of her husband did not show that the common knowledge exception to the New Jersey Affidavit of Merit Statute applied (Gladys Mendoza v. Inspira Medical Center Vineland, et al., No. 16-1337, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47283).



New York Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on March 28 unanimously affirmed a lower court's decision to grant summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit because the hospital and doctor accused of negligence showed through expert testimony that a surgery was not the proximate cause of a man losing vision in his right eye (Charles Steinberg, et al. v. Lenox Hill Hospital, et al., No. 805358/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2334).



Louisiana Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A panel of the Third Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on April 5 affirmed summary judgment granted to a hospital and a doctor in a medical malpractice suit because the plaintiff's expert did not specify how the alleged negligence of a hospital and a doctor led to a man's death (Suzanne Baez v. Hospital Service District No. 3 of Allen Parish, et al., No. CA 16-951, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 568).



California Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Dental Malpractice Suit
SAN DIEGO - In an unpublished opinion, a California appellate panel on March 24 affirmed summary judgment for a dentist who was accused of acting negligently because the suit against him was filed beyond the one-year statute of limitations (Rosa Simpson v. Jiachang Zhang, No. G053254, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2113).



Judge Allows Couple To Name Contractor As A Defendant In Deadly Defects Suit
TAMPA, Fla. - A couple can amend a lawsuit claiming that defects in the construction of their home allowed for mold growth that led to the death of their daughter to include the general contractor who built the home, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 28 (Rohan B. Goldson, et al. v. KB Home, et al., No. 17-cv-340-T-24 AEP, M.D. Fla.).



Mississippi Appeals Panel Rules Statute Of Limitations Bars Wrongful Death Suit
JACKSON, Miss. - In a March 28 en banc decision, a Mississippi Court of Appeals majority affirmed a lower court decision to grant summary judgment to a psychiatrist and the practice he worked for in a suit where the plaintiffs claimed that a psychiatrist and the practice he worked for were responsible for a patient committing suicide because the claims were barred by the one-year statute of limitations (Graham Irby, et al. v. Sudhakar Madakasira M.D., et al., No. 2015-CA-01759-COA, Miss. App., 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 173).



Florida Majority Affirms Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel majority on April 4 found that summary judgment was properly granted to two businesses in a suit where a man tripped over an empty pallet because the pallet was an open and obvious danger and the business owners did not have a duty to clear the sidewalk where the pallets were located (Thomas Brookie v. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., et al., No. 1D16-1285, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 4538).



Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit
CHICAGO - A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on March 20 denied summary judgment to a hardware store in a negligence and premises liability suit after finding that the store owed a duty of care to a man who injured himself while loading PVC pipes into a cart because his injury was reasonably foreseeable (Robert Fanter v. Menard Inc., No. 15-CV-7912, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39317).



Colorado Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Car Crash Suit
DENVER - A Colorado appeals panel on March 23 affirmed summary judgment for a property owner in a suit in which a woman was injured after a car crash on the owner's property because the state Premises Liability Act (PLA) provides the "sole legal remedy for a plaintiff involved in an automobile collision with a defendant landowner on a landowner's private property" (Faith Leah Tancrede v. Duane Freund, et al., No. 16CA0224, Colo. App., 6th Div., 2017 Colo. App. LEXIS 338).



Mississippi Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi Court of Appeals panel on March 21 affirmed summary judgment to a mother in a suit where a daughter sued her after being injured on her property because there is not a genuine issue of material fact on whether the tractor was defective or in an unsafe condition (Delois King v. Willie B. King, No. 2015-CA-01395, Miss. App., 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 151).



Summary Judgment Affirmed By State Appellate Panel In Premises Liability Suit
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi appellate panel on March 28 affirmed a trial court's order that granted summary judgment to a baseball league in a slip-and-fall suit after finding that the league was not required to warn a woman who injured herself about a small hole on a grassy hill (Tiffany Griffin v. Grenada Youth League, No. 2015-CA-01867-COA, Miss. App., 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 172).



Federal Judge Excludes Engineer's Testimony On Safety In Area At Sea World
SAN DIEGO - A safety engineer and accident reconstruction expert may not testify regarding Sea World LLC's liability relating to the safety of an area at the time of a woman's accident while visiting the park, a California federal judge held March 17 (Eusebia Baltazar v. Sea World Parks Entertainment LLC, No. 15-2893, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39039).



Texas Appeals Panel Affirms Verdict In Premises Liability Suit
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on April 6 affirmed a verdict in a premises liability suit in favor of a restaurant and its owner after finding that a woman who sued after her husband died from a fall on the restaurant's property did not present enough evidence to show that patio furniture was the dangerous condition that caused the fall (Margaret Kinsley v. Cartwright's Ranch House LLC, et al., No. 02-16-00149-CV, Texas App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3032).



Injured Woman Sues Owner Of Parking Lot For Negligence
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A woman who was injured when a parking lot attendant raised bollards before a car fully crossed the exit area of a parking lot filed suit in a District of Columbia court against a parking lot attendant and the company the attendant works for (Barri-Sue Black v. G4S Secure Solutions [(USA] Inc., et al., No. 2017 CA 001563 B, D.C. Sup.).



Texas Appeals Panel Affirms $700,000 Dog Bite Verdict
TEXARKANA, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on March 31 affirmed a $700,000 verdict in a dog bite case after finding that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for the jury to find that dog owners were grossly negligent in training and keeping their dog in their yard (Paula Kaye Turner, et al. v. Jennifer Duggin, No. 06-16-00046-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2786).



Georgia Jury Awards $5.3 Million In Car Crash Suit
DECATUR, Ga. - A Georgia jury on March 30 awarded the mother of a woman killed in a car crash $5.35 million to be paid by the estate of the man who drove drunk and caused the fatal crash (Lisa Mitchell v. The Administrator of the Estate of Otis South, Melinda C. Pillow, No. 09A03669-2, Ga. State, DeKalb Co.).



Judge Declines To Preclude Medical, Liability Testimony In Personal Injury Lawsuit
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on March 31 refused to exclude medical and liability expert testimony in a personal injury lawsuit against BNSF Railway Co. because the experts are qualified and they used reliable methodology (Tyler D. Malinski and Paula Smith v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 15-502, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48962).



Expert Testimony Partially Excluded, But Fact Issues Exist On Police Indifference
CHICAGO - While partially excluding testimony on an alleged history of indifference by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), an Illinois federal judge ruled March 31 that fact issues remain as to whether the city of Chicago was responsible for a fatal drunken driving accident involving one of its officers (Jose Andres Cazares, as special administrator of the estate of Andrew Cazares, and Fausto T. Manzera, as special administrator of the estate of Fausto A. Manzera, et al. v. Joseph Frugoli, et al., No. 13-5626, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49938).



Fact Issue Exists On Waiver Of UM Coverage With Insolvent Insurer, Panel Says
NEW ORLEANS - An insured created a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether she waived uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage under an insurance policy issued by an insolvent insurer, a Louisiana appeals panel held April 5 (Brayan Orellana, et al. v. John Doe, et al., No. 2016-CA-0537, La. App., 4th Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 587).



Respondents: FELA Gives State Courts Jurisdiction Over BNSF In Injury Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two sentences in the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) provide state courts the right to exercise personal jurisdiction over an interstate rail carrier that does business in that state, the parties who brought two personal injury cases against BNSF Railway Co. argue in a respondent brief filed March 29 in the U.S. Supreme Court (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).



Judgment Denied In FELA Lawsuit Based Upon Admission Of Expert's Testimony
NEW YORK - Finding an expert's testimony on the ergonomics factors of a plaintiff's job in relation to his injuries to be admissible, a New York federal judge on March 24 denied partial summary judgment to a railroad company in a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) lawsuit because it is premised on the exclusion of that testimony (Donovan G. Hewitt v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad, No. 14-8052, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43383).



Judge Remands Injury Claims After Insurer Seeking Arbitration Is Dismissed
ALEXANDRIA, La. - After granting a request to dismiss a Bermuda insurer who removed an action filed by an injured electrician from a state court based on an arbitration agreement with an energy company named as a defendant, a Louisiana federal judge on April 3 granted the claimant's motion to remand the case to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Garrett L. Faulk, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 2:16-CV-01461, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51675).



Judge Bars Testimony As Unreliable, Denies Judgment On Failure-To-Warn Claim
TRENTON, N.J. - Finding an expert's testimony on the placement of a warning label on a watercraft unreliable, a New Jersey federal judge on March 31 ruled that summary judgment is still not appropriate on a failure-to-warn claim because there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the two existing warnings on the watercraft were adequate (Angela Ruggiero v. Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A., No. 15-49, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48908).



Judge Allows Testimony From Mechanical Engineer, Accident Reconstructionist, Metallurgist
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - In a products liability suit, an Illinois federal judge on March 31 permitted expert testimony from a metallurgist, a hunting accident reconstructionist and a mechanical engineer because they offered credible opinions based on reliable methodology (Jordan Queen v. W.I.C. Inc. d/b/a Sniper Treestands, No. 14-519, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49506).



Judge: Plaintiffs' Negligence, Products Liability Claims Fail Without Expert Testimony
MILWAUKEE - Excluding expert testimony on the cause and origin of a fire, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled March 21 that plaintiffs cannot prevail on their claims of strict products liability or negligence because "without competent expert testimony, the jury would be forced to speculate about the cause of the fire" (S.V. Gopalratnam and Hemalatha Gopalratnam, et al. v. Hewlett Packard Co. and ABC Insurance Co. v. Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Dynapack Technology Corp., No. 13-618, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40386).



Family Files Product Defect Suit Against Lowe's, Maker Of Roundup
SPOKANE, Wash. - A family in Washington on March 21 filed suit in the Spokane County Superior Court against a store that sold a garden chemical sprayer, the maker of the sprayer and the maker of the chemical, claiming that they failed to warn about their defective products, which led to a woman getting ill from being exposed to the toxins in the garden spray (Tracy E. Mesecher, et al. v. Lowes Companies Inc., et al., No. 17201073-6, Wash. Super. Spokane Co.).



Without Expert Testimony, Judge Grants Judgment On Product Liability Claims
HARTFORD, Conn. - Finding that a plaintiff's expert is not qualified to testify about "handheld circular saw safety, the efficacy or necessity of riving knives on such products, or the sufficiency of warning labels" to support design defect and failure-to-warn claims, a Connecticut federal judge on March 20 granted summary judgment to the manufacturer of a circular saw (Eustathios Karavitis v. Makita U.S.A. Inc., No. 14-00913, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39830).



Man Files Suit Over Hot Pepper Puree Served On Hamburger
SAN MATEO, Calif. - A man filed suit in a California curt on March 16 against a restaurant claiming that a pepper on a hamburger the restaurant served was so hot that it caused the man who ate it to go into a coma (Sean Stout, et al. v. The Swingin' Door, et al., No. 17CIV01123, Calif. Super., San Mateo Co.).



Parents Sue SoyNut Butter Company Over E. Coli Outbreak
CHICAGO - The parents of a child who allegedly developed E. coli after eating soy nut butter filed suit on March 23 in Illinois federal court against a soy nut butter maker, claiming that the butter led to their son developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) (Michael James Richardson, et al. v. The SoyNut Butter Company, No. 17-CV-2233, N.D. Ill.).



Consumers File Class Complaint Over Pistachios Tainted With Salmonella
CHICAGO - Consumers who became ill after consuming raw pistachios they purchased at Sam's Clubs in Illinois filed a class complaint on March 29 in Illinois state court accusing Sam's West Inc., doing business as Sam's Club, the farms that grew the pistachios and the company that processed the pistachios of causing them pain and suffering (Alejandro Reyes, et al. v. Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC, et al., No. 2017CH04552, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).



New York Jury Awards $39 Million In Unsafe Fire Escape Suit
NEW YORK - A jury in New York on March 6 awarded a woman who injured herself after falling from a fire escape $39 million before the award was reduced to $29 million in a suit against an apartment building's owners and its managers, according to the verdict form (Anastasia C. Klupchak v. First East Village Associates, et al., No. 110617109, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).



Georgia Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Shooting Lawsuit
ATLANTA - A majority of the Georgia Court of Appeals on March 16 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to a mall where a man was shot and killed because his death was related to a fight he chose to be a part of, a danger of which the mall was not aware (Michael Fair, et al. v. CV Underground LLC, et al., No. A16A1633, Ga. App., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 142).



Michigan Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Slip-And-Fall Suit
TROY, Mich. - A Michigan appeals panel on March 14 affirmed a lower court's grant of summary disposition and dismissal of a suit in which a man claimed that he slipped and injured himself on a property because the ice he slipped on was an open and obvious hazard (Nick Zimmer v. Harbour Cove on the Lake Condominium Community, No. 331545, Mich. App. 2nd Dist.,2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 391).



Virginia Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment In Slip-And-Fall Suit
ROANOKE, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on March 7 granted summary judgment to a hotel company in a slip-and-fall case after finding that a woman who sued the company after slipping on ice did not prove that the hotel's employees had constructive notice of ice that had accumulated around an outdoor fountain (Ellen B. Thomas v. Omni Hotels Management Corporation, No. 5:15-cv-00086, W.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32176).



New York Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Dog Injury Suit
NEW YORK - While noting that it is not prudent law or policy, New York appellate panel on March 15 said a trial court was right to grant summary judgment to a man who was sued because his dog caused an injury to a pedestrian even though the dog was not vicious because New York law does not allow for negligence claims to be brought against a dog's owner when the dog did not attack the plaintiff (Gregory Scavetta, et al. v. Stuart Wechsler, No. 155262/14 2235, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept. 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1943).



Federal Judge Dismisses Medical Malpractice Suit Against United States
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on March 15 granted a motion to substitute the United States as a defendant in a medical malpractice suit in place of a facility and three doctors and then dismissed the suit without prejudice after finding that the plaintiffs failed to file an administrative claim after their child was born with birth defects (Belinda Rodriguez, et al. v. George Stanley M.D., et al., No. 5:15-CV-1178, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36790).



Georgia Appellate Panel Affirms Summary Judgment Rulings In Negligence Suit
ATLANTA - A Georgia appellate panel on March 14 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to a hospital and the denial of summary judgment to the doctor in a case where a patient with mental health issues killed himself after being discharged from the hospital after finding that the trial court correctly excluded the plaintiffs' experts from opining on the standard of care applied to the emergency room nurses (Richard Bernard Everson, et al. v. Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Inc., No. A16A1709, Brian Jordan v. Richard Bernard Everson, et al., No. A16A1710, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 128).



Conn. Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Third-Party Complaint Against Hospital
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on March 7 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss a third-party complaint against it in a personal injury suit because the third-party complaint is based in negligence and not medical malpractice and the third-party plaintiff is not required to attach expert testimony to the complaint (Wendy Trella v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al. v. Middlesex Health System, No. 3:15-cv-1211, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31980).



Georgia High Court Says Heirs Must Arbitrate Wrongful Death Lawsuit
ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court on March 6 reversed a state appeals court ruling in a wrongful death lawsuit, saying that the beneficiaries of a deceased woman were bound by the terms of an arbitration agreement she signed when she was admitted to a nursing home in 2013 to have any claims against the nursing home go to arbitration (United Health Services of Georgia Inc., et al. v. Norton, et al., No. S16G1143, Ga. Sup., 2017 Ga. LEXIS 168).



Panel: No Error In Admission Of Doctor's Testimony On Treatment After Collision
TYLER, Texas - A judge did not err in allowing a physician's testimony that a woman involved in a car accident needed "neurotomies, stem cell injections, and topical cream," a Texas appeals panel held March 15, because it was reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Jeremy Oney and Horizon Cable Service Inc. v. William Crist and Heather Crist, No. 12-16-00045-CV, Texas App., 12th Dist.; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2216).



Federal Judge Declines To Bar Testimony On Accident Scenario In Personal Injury Suit
SHREVEPORT, La. - A licensed mechanical and biomedical engineer relied on a sufficient methodology and factual basis to testify in support of proving that an accident scenario "is physically possible," a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 15, declining to exclude the testimony in a personal injury lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. (Yolanda Dennis v. Ernest Collins II, et al., No. 15-2410, W.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37614).



Judge Decides Motions To Exclude Causation Testimony In Personal Injury Lawsuit
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on March 13 granted in part and denied in part motions to exclude expert testimony from both sides involved in a personal injury lawsuit on the issue of causation for injuries a woman allegedly sustained in a vehicle collision (Wendy L. Delgado v. Lyle J. Unruh, et al., No. 14-01262, D. Kan.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35790).



Match.com Had No Duty To Warn User Of Attacker's Violent Tendencies, Judge Says
LAS VEGAS - Match.com LLC did not have a duty to warn a user of its dating website about another user who violently attacked her, a Nevada federal judge ruled March 10, dismissing the plaintiff's negligence claim for failure to allege the existence of a special relationship with the site operator that created such a duty (Mary Kay Beckman v. Match.com LLC, No. 2:13-cv-00097, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35562).



BNSF To High Court: State Courts Lack Jurisdiction Over BNSF In Injury Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The due process clause bars Montana state courts from exhibiting personal jurisdiction over BNSF Railway Co. in two personal injury cases, BNSF tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Feb. 27 petitioner brief (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).



Discipline Of BNSF Worker Injured On The Job Is Upheld By 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - BNSF Railway Co. did not violate the employee-protections provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) when it disciplined an injured worker after determining that his own errors caused the injury, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 27 (Kelly Heim v. BNSF Railway Company, No. 15-3532, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3460).



Oklahoma Federal Judge Bars Pilot's Testimony In Products Liability Lawsuit
TULSA, Okla. - Rendering moot a federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation that a pilot's expert testimony in an aviation negligence and products liability lawsuit should be partially excluded under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), an Oklahoma federal judge ruled March 14 that the entire testimony should be excluded for the pilot's failure to prepare the report himself (James Rodgers, et al. v. Beechcraft Corp. f/k/a Hawker Beechcraft Corp., et al., No. 15-0129, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36131).



Federal Magistrate Judge Remands Talcum Powder Suit To State Court
ST. LOUIS - A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on March 10 remanded to state court a suit in which a group of women allege that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier knew that its talcum powder exposed women to a risk of ovarian cancer and in some cases caused ovarian cancer (Lillie Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01882, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34259).



Suit Filed Over E. Coli Outbreak Connected To Soy Butter
CHICAGO - The mother of a boy who was diagnosed with E. coli in February filed suit March 8 against the maker of a soy nut butter in Illinois state court, claiming that it caused her son's illness (Brittany Weber v. The SoyNut Butter Company, No. 2017L002440, Ill. Cir. Cook Co.).



Former College Tennis Player Objects To Proposed NCAA Concussion Settlement
CHICAGO - A former college tennis player on March 10 filed an objection to the $75 million settlement between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and former college athletes in the NCAA concussion injury multidistrict litigation, saying that the settlement is inadequate because it does not account for past medical expenses and creates conflict between class members (In Re: National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, No. 13-cv-9116, N.D. Ill.).