- Volume 14, Issue #23
- Audience Member Held Solely Responsible For Fall During Magic Trick
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada jury on May 29 held an audience member who was injured when he fell in a dark area under construction at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas while participating in a magic trick performed by David Copperfield 100 percent responsible for his injuries (Gavin Cox, et al. v. MGM Grand Hotel LLC, et al., No. 14-705164-C, Nev. Dist., Clark Co.).
- 2 Motorists Injured In Helicopter Accident Settle For $40 Million
SEATTLE - Two men who were injured when a news helicopter crashed onto their vehicles while they were stopped at a red light in Seattle in 2014 reached a $40 million settlement with the owners and operators of the helicopter on May 21(Richard Newman, et al. v. Airbus Helicopters Inc., et al., No. 16-2-26710-6, and Guillermo Sanchez, et al. v. Airbus Helicopters Inc., et al., No. 16-2-06330-6, Wash. Super., King Co.).
- Rhode Island High Court Partially Reverses Ruling Over Wet Floor Hazard
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Security camera footage of a plaintiff slipping on a puddle of liquid from a leaking beverage bottle in a Price Rite and testimony from store employees about its safety policies were enough to raise the question of whether the store knew or should have known about hazard, a divided Rhode Island Supreme Court concluded May 22, reversing a lower court decision in part (Karen Dent v. PRRC, Inc., No. 2016-129, R.I. Sup.).
- Minnesota Panel Holds Hospital's Negligence Did Not Cause Seizure, Stroke
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals panel on May 21 affirmed a trial court's decision that a hospital's negligence did not cause a patient to suffer a seizure and stroke and that a pre-existing condition caused by alcohol use was the actual cause of the patient's injuries (Justin D. Meyer, et al. v. Fairview Health Services, ex rel., Nos. A17-1331, A17-1345, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 420).
- Former Swimmer Says National Board Ignored Coach's Sexual Abuse
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A former competitive swimmer sued the sport's national governing body and others on May 20, alleging that the defendants did nothing to protect her from a coach who started an inappropriate sexual relationship with her when she was a minor (Ariana Smith v. United States Swimming, Inc., et al., No. 30-2018-00993915, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
- Florida High Court Rules Motion To Enlarge Does Not Toll Time To Accept Deal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court held May 17 that the filing of a motion under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.090 to enlarge the time to accept a proposed settlement in a personal injury dispute does not automatically toll the 30-day deadline for accepting the proposal until the motion is decided, remanding for the lower court to reinstate the negligence action (Donna Koppel v. Laura Ochoa, et al., No. SC16-1474, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 1091).
- Post-Tonsillectomy Problems Caused By Psychological Issues, Illinois Court Affirms
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 30 affirmed a trial court ruling barring a plaintiff from invoking the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in a medical malpractice suit against the physician who performed her tonsillectomy. The appeals court said the surgery did not cause her speech issues and trouble swallowing because those problems were psychological and not caused by negligence (Laura Hansen v. Glenn Schwartz, et al., No. 1-17-0351, Ill. App., 1st Jud. Dist., 3rd Div.).
- Louisiana Appeals Court: Paramedics Not Negligent In Timely Care Dispute
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A paramedic company did not breach the applicable standard of care when it transported a man who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident and later died to a hospital, without first calling a state medical clearinghouse to determine the best facility for treatment, a Louisiana appeals court concluded May 23, affirming a trial court's decision (Brenna Ash Miller, et al. v. Acadian Ambulance Service Inc., et al., No. 17-1096, La. App., 3rd Cir.).
- Claims Reinstated Against Georgia Surgeon Who Failed To Disclose His Disabilities
ATLANTA - A Georgia appeals court on June 1 reinstated a medical malpractice claim against a physician who performed gynecological surgery that left a woman with a distal ureteral injury and uterovaginal fistulas without informing her of his various disabilities, including loss of vision and fine motor skills. The physician, his practice and the hospital filed a notice of intent to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court on June 7 (Bonnie Holmes, et al. v. Thomas Lyons, et al., No. A18A0277, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 322).
- Reduction Of Jury Award, Denial Of New Trial Affirmed By Massachusetts Court
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Appeals Court on June 6 affirmed the remittitur of a $32 million award to $20 million to the husband of a woman killed by a speeding SUV that crashed into a Cumberland Farms convenience store as she was entering it. The appeals court also refused to grant the store operator a new trial on the grounds that the trial court had admitted an unreviewed report on 485 prior car strikes at its other stores (Albert R. Dubuque Jr. v. Cumberland Farms Inc., No. 17-P-266, Mass. App.).
- California Appeals Court Reverses New Trial Order Granted Nunc Pro Tunc
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on May 30 reversed a trial court's order granting a motion for a new trial nunc pro tunc but said a jury properly awarded zero damages for future noneconomic damages to a teen who suffered a concussion and a broken arm when he was hit by a car (Samuel Gallagher v. Rebecca Latham, No. B270972, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7).
- Colorado High Court: Plaintiff Can't Show Road Contributed To Accident
DENVER - A woman who was seriously injured when the motorcycle she was riding on collided with a car could not establish that the road's condition contributed to the accident and, therefore, was not entitled to waive the city's immunity to her lawsuit, a divided Colorado Supreme Court ruled May 21 (Denver v. Sean Dennis, No. 16SC8516, Colo. Sup.).
- Ohio Appeals Court: Pub Crawl Sponsor Not Negligent In Auto Accident
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio judge did not err in finding that the organizer of a "pub crawl" to raise funds for cancer research is entitled to judgment on the pleadings in a lawsuit filed by a motorist injured in a car accident caused by an intoxicated pub crawl participant, a state appeals court ruled May 26 (Erin Lytal, et al., v. Crawl for Cancer Inc., et al., No. 17AP-771, Ohio App., 10th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 2192).
- Iowa Appeals Panel Upholds $900,000 Award Following Nursing Home Death
DES MOINES, Iowa - A $900,000 jury award for the family of a woman who was determined to have died from dehydration due to negligence at the nursing home where she resided was not excessive given "degree of reprehensibility," an Iowa Court of Appeals panel ruled June 6, affirming a trial court's order upholding the jury award (Kristine Christensen, et al. v. Good Shepherd, Inc., No. 17-0516, Iowa App., 2018 Iowa App. LEXIS 535).
- Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Expert Report In Nursing Home Negligence Suit
DALLAS - The Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals on May 22 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a plaintiff's amended expert report in a lawsuit alleging that a nursing facility's negligence contributed to the death of one of the facility's residents because the amended expert report established a causal relationship between the breach of the standard of care and the injuries that ultimately led to the resident's death (Vickie Jones, et al. v. Ashford Hall Inc., et al., No. 05-16-01402, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 3653).
- Judge: Expert's Opinions In Defective Ladder Case Deserve Daubert Scrutiny
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge said May 31 that he must first hold a hearing pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), before he decides a ladder maker's request to strike expert testimony for a man who was injured when he fell from a ladder and now says the ladder was defective (Dennis Mercurio, et al. v. Louisville Ladder, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-412, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92111).
- No Prejudice Found In Use Of Surgeon As Expert Without Full Disclosure
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida court did not abuse its discretion in allowing a treating physician in a personal injury case to testify as an expert witness about causation and permanency of injuries, even though the doctor was not designated as an expert witness as required by a trial preparation order, a state appellate panel held May 23 (Robert Walerowicz v. Mandy Nicky Armand-Hosang, No. 4D17-1900, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 7272).
- Judge Slices Most Of Expert's Opinions In Wrongful Death Suit Against Jail
WAYCROSS, Ga. - An expert for a widower in a wrongful death action against medical personnel had most of his opinions trimmed from his expert report June 6 by a Georgia federal judge due to lack of compliance with Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702 (Sredrick Jones v. Wallace Steve Anderson, D.O., et al., No. 5:17-cv-77, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95315).
- Panel Rejects Franchisor's Appeal To Reverse Invalidation Of Arbitration Clause
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 5 refused to depart from its 2016 decision invalidating an arbitration clause in an agreement to participate at a trampoline park franchise, finding that the clause does not clearly and unmistakably inform signers that they are agreeing to waive their right to be heard in court or their constitutional right to a trial by jury or explain what arbitration is or how it differs from filing a claim in court (Alexander Defina v. Go Ahead and Jump 1, LLC, et al., No. A-1861-17T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1303).