ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York panel on April 19 affirmed the New York Department of Health’s finding that a claimant is temporarily ineligible for Medicaid benefits because her spouse transferred assets for less than full market value during the 60-month period before her Medicaid application (In the Matter of Vaira Wellner v. Kary Jablonka, et al., No. 525385, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2656).
ST. LOUIS — Efforts by a mother to undo a grant of paternal grandmother visitation rights were unsuccessful on April 17, when the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals found that a trial court judge did not abuse his discretion in deeming visitation in the best interests of the child pursuant to Herndon v. Tuhey and Blakely v. Blakely (Mary Lu Clay v. Melissa Clay, No. ED105691, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., 2018 Mo. App. LEXIS 384).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge on April 17 found that an arbitration agreement is valid and that a health and rehabilitation center operator did not waive its right to enforce it, granting the operator’s motion to compel arbitration and dismissing the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against it (Gwendolyn Lynch v. SSC Glen Burnie Operating Company, LLC, No. 17-1328, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64139).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Financial Services overstepped its authority when it refused to turn over funds from an estate that had been escheated to the state to beneficiaries validated by a probate court, a Florida appellate panel ruled April 17 (Choice Plus, LLC v. Department of Financial Services, et al., No. 1D15-3184, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 5127).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A trial court judge in Oklahoma erred when certifying a subclass for residents who received in-patient nursing home care and whose homesteads were subject to liens imposed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) because the subclass lacked adequate representation and a sufficient number of class members, a state appeals panel ruled April 11 in vacating a ruling granting class certification (Joan Ellen Morehead, et al. v. Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Health Care Authority, No. 115711, Okla. App., 3rd Div., 2017 Okla. Civ. App. LEXIS 67).
INDIANAPOLIS — In an unpublished opinion released April 17, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel found that judgment in favor of a doctor in a botched eye-surgery suit was properly granted because the plaintiff’s expert’s opinions were contrary to the evidence (Donald Bunger v. Jason A. Brooks M.D., No. 45A05-1709-CT-2165, Ind. App., 2018 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 426).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A 9-2 Louisiana appeals court on March 29 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling barring the executrix of a woman’s estate from challenging an August 2010 will on the ground that she lacked the ability to do so and that her attempt to challenge the will did not warrant her removal from that position (Succession of Nettie Lois Dean, No. 2017 CA 0155, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 585).
SCRANTON, Pa. — The administratrix of the estate of a woman who developed bedsores shortly after being admitted into an elder care facility should be allowed to pursue a claim for punitive damages as part of her wrongful death suit, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled April 9, finding that the complaint sufficiently alleges that the facility had previously been cited for regulatory violations and that it altered medical records after the woman’s death (Terri Allfrey v. GGNESC East Stroudsburg LP, et al., No. 17-CV-2200, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60695).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on March 29 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Medicaid recipient that operated a group home, ruling that state agencies were justified in determining that the home was no longer qualified to offer Medicaid services on the basis of medical competency (Miracles House Inc. v. Justin Senior, et al., No. 17-23582, S.D. Fla.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53480).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A trial court did not err in denying a nursing home’s motion to compel arbitration because the husband of the nursing home patient did not possess power of attorney on behalf of his wife when he signed the agreement on his wife’s behalf, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal said April 10 (Robert Mabee v. Honeyflower Holdings LLC, No. E069868, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2432).
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals on April 9 determined that a trial court was justified in its decision not to appoint the son of an incapacitated father, who was the designated attorney in fact, as the sole guardian of the father’s estate because the evidence establishes that the son may not have always operated in the father’s best interests (In Re the Guardianship of John T. Aldrich, No. 08A02-1704-GU-821, Ind. App., 2018 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 384).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee appeals panel on April 11 affirmed a lower court’s appointment of a wife as her disabled husband's conservator, rejecting the husband’s contention that the lower court erred in finding that he was fully disabled (In Re Conservatorship for Ralph C. Williams, No. E2017-00777, Tenn. App., 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 190).
CINCINNATI — A part-time police officer whose employer chose a younger officer when a full-time position became available failed to show that it was his age rather than his work record that caused him not to be selected, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 2 (Daniel C. Rosecrans v. Village of Wellington, et al., No. 17-3364, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8366).
PHILADELPHIA — In a case where an ophthalmologist suspected age bias at the time his contract was terminated and believed bias was confirmed months later when his younger colleague secured the contract, there can be no tolling during that time as the doctor failed to show that there was deception that caused him to file his claims nearly a year after his termination, the Third Circuit U.S. Court Appeals ruled March 19 (Harold P. Koller, et al. v. Abington Memorial Hospital, No. 17-2094, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 6796).
MEDIA, Pa. — A Pennsylvania state court jury on April 6 awarded the family of a man who died following a slip and fall in a hospital a total of $3 million damages after finding that the hospital was negligent in allowing the man, who was labeled a “fall risk” after having a pacemaker inserted, to get up out of bed without assistance (Rose DeGeorge, et al. v. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, No. 2016-006622, Pa. Comm. Pls., Delaware Co.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania panel on April 11 ruled that a trial court did not err in granting a petition to substitute judgment and disinherit the children of an incapacitated woman’s deceased husband from her will, but found that the court lacked jurisdiction over a legatee who died before a hearing was held (In re: Petition of Sandra Navarra, ex rel., No. 1307-2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 325).
DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on April 6 vacated an appeals court’s decision reversing a trial court’s ruling that allowed the imposition of a surcharge against a woman who misused a portion of funds that were part of her mother’s estate, finding that the creation of an implied trust was allowed (Shauna Sandstead-Corona v. Vicki J. Sandstead, No. 16SC386, Colo. Sup., 2018 Colo. LEXIS 283).
ATLANTA — A flight attendant who alleges that she was investigated for misusing a companion fare benefit and ultimately terminated all due to her age may proceed with her discrimination claim because she does not need to establish a prima facie age bias case to survive a dismissal motion, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 9 (Patricia Buchanan v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., No. 17-13452, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9094).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on April 4 dismissed the claims against the sole remaining defendant in a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widow of radio and TV personality Casey Kasem, but granted the widow leave to file an amended complaint as to one of her claims (Jean Kasem v. Kerri Helen Kasem, et al., No. 17-5461, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57710).
PHILADELPHIA — The family of a woman who was killed in a fire at a nursing home sued the nursing home, the company that owns it and the company that maintains the sprinkler system on March 22, claiming that they were negligent and could have prevented the woman’s death if they properly maintained the sprinkler system (Martin J. Malloy v. Barclay Friends, et al., No. 4274, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).