PATERSON, N.J. — A New Jersey resident and the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) were named as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit filed Feb. 13 in state court (Maria Rodriguez v. Shamira Tirado, et al., No. PAS-L-000485-19, N.J. Super., Passaic Co.).
HOUSTON — A father who sued a vehicle manufacturer and others in relation to his daughter's death in a vehicle accident argued Aug. 18 before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal court erred when it dismissed his claims related to allegedly defective air bags (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 15-20220, 5th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — In two separate motions to dismiss filed Oct. 13, Siemens Corp. and Continental Automotive G.m.b.H urge the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to turn away a personal injury plaintiff’s appeal of a Texas federal judge’s decision to dismiss defective air bag litigation, while American Honda Motor Co. argues in its own brief — also filed Oct. 13 — that dismissal was proper (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 15-20220, 5th Cir.).
DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on Feb. 4 affirmed a $3 million award to a mother whose son suffered a birth injury that resulted in permanent nerve damage to his right arm. The court rejected a physician’s arguments that certain expert testimony constituted an impermissible res ipsa loquitur opinion (Peter J. Wong, et al. v. Monica Broughton, et al., No. 133-2018, Del. Sup., 2019 Del. LEXIS 47).
BOSTON — A German manufacturer is subject to Massachusetts jurisdiction due to the business activities it conducted in the state, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 30, reversing a lower court ruling in a negligence suit brought by a worker whose hand was crushed by a metal-bending machine made by the company (Stephen D. Knox, et al. v. MetalForming Inc., et al., Nos. 18-1550 and 18-1551, 1st Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3078).
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Feb. 6 affirmed the conviction of a woman who convinced her boyfriend through calls and texts to finish his plan to commit suicide by getting back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck. It rejected her arguments that her conviction of involuntary manslaughter violated her right to free speech and due process (Massachusetts v. Michelle Carter, No. SJC-12502, Mass. Sup. Jud.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 31 that there is no minority tolling of the Federal Tort Claims Act’s (FTCA) statute of limitations and that a plaintiff’s minority alone during a wrongful death action brought by his mother after his father’s death does not merit equitable tolling of the statute of limitations (Anthony K. Booth v. United States, No. 16-17084, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3174).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge awarded a worker and his wife more than $3.3 million on Feb. 1 for injuries he sustained after falling into a river while moving equipment from a crew boat to a barge (Devin Barrios, et al. v. Centaur LLC, et al., No. 17-00585, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16990).
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas state judge on Feb. 4 denied a firearm retailer’s motion to dismiss negligence claims brought by the family of a mother and two of her children who were among the 26 people killed by a mass shooter in a church in 2017 (Chris Ward, et al. v. Academy Ltd., No. 2017-23341, Texas Dist., Bexar Co., 407th Dist.).
LAREDO, Texas — A Texas jury awarded $1.9 million on Feb. 1 to a man who was seriously injured when the vehicle he was sitting in on the shoulder of a highway was hit by a tractor-trailer. It concluded that the truck driver was negligent and 80 percent responsible for the accident (Lawrence Sturden v. Juan Jesus Isaias Lopez, et al., No. 2017-001873D1, Texas 49th Jud. Dist., Webb Co.).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A jury in a Kentucky state court awarded U.S. Sen. Rand Paul more than $582,000 on Jan. 30 for medical expenses and punitive damages against a neighbor who attacked Paul while he was doing yard work at his home (Rand Paul v. Rene A. Boucher, No. 18-00890, Ky. Cir., Warren Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia police sergeant who was paralyzed in an elevator accident at work reached a $20 million settlement of state court litigation on Dec. 13 against companies responsible for the maintenance of the building’s elevators (Paul Owens, et al. v. U.S. Facilities Inc., et al., No. 170103230, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
DOVER, Del. — A woman froze to death waiting for first responders to arrive after Verizon Wireless failed to identify the location of cell phone signals coming from a crashed single-engine aircraft, her family alleges in a complaint filed Jan. 28 in Delaware federal court (David S. Maxwell, et al. v. Cellco Partnership, et al., No. 19-00152, D. Del.).
POMONA, Calif. — The widow of a passenger who was killed when the truck in which he was riding hit a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of a highway was awarded $11.05 million by a California jury on Jan. 31, after the jury concluded that the tractor-trailer was illegally parked (Karen Garcia v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services Inc., et al., No. BC536714, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A motorcyclist who lost his right arm and right leg after being hit by a vehicle that was illegally street racing was awarded $39 million on Jan. 31. The jury award followed a second trial in a New Jersey state court against the industrial business park where the racing took place (Hussein M. Agiz v. Heller Industrial Parks Inc., et al., No. MID-L-4520-13, N.J. Super.).
SEATTLE — A Washington jury awarded 38 plaintiffs approximately $123 million on Feb. 7 for injuries they sustained when an amphibious tour group vehicle known as a “duck boat” hit a bus on a Seattle bridge. The jury held Ride the Ducks International LLC primarily liable for the accident that killed five people and injured more than 55 (Phuong Dinh, et al. v. Ride the Ducks International LLC, et al., No. 15-2-28905-5, Wash. Super., King Co.).
LOS ANGELES — Boeing Co. and a California electric utility are liable for personal injuries and other damage caused by a wildfire known as the “Woolsey fire” for negligently failing to maintain their properties and heed warnings of high fire risk conditions, nearly 90 plaintiffs argue in a lawsuit filed Feb. 5 in state court (Leo LaPlante, et al. v. Southern California Edison, et al., No. 19-03419, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — California residents sued PG&E Corp. in a state court on Jan. 28, alleging that the utility provider’s failure to maintain its aging infrastructure caused the “Camp Fire,” the deadliest wildfire in state history (Majesti Mai Bagorio, et al. v. PG&E Corp., et al., No. 19-554581, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
CHICAGO — Allegations by a son that the former operators of a nursing home facility where his mother died in 2014 acted negligently were rejected Jan. 29 by an Illinois appellate court based on undisputed evidence that the defendants in question transferred operation of the nursing home to an unrelated third party two years before the accused conduct (William Harris v. Symphony Countryside LLC, et al., No. 16 L 6058, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 127).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — There are no punitive damages for unseaworthiness claims brought under general maritime law, a vessel owner and operator told the U.S. Supreme Court in its Jan. 22 petitioner brief (The Dutra Group v. Christopher Batterton, No. 18-266, U.S. Sup.).