GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan hospital and its owner that was sued in state court for medical negligence filed suit July 25 against the United States in Michigan federal court, claiming that the government is responsible for the actions of a medical practice it funds and the practice’s nurses after a baby was born with permanent brain damage (Lakeland Hospitals At Niles, et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00670-RJJ-PJG, W.D. Mich.).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on July 25 found that a trial court erred in dismissing a health care liability suit because when a plaintiff files suit in Tennessee against only one health care provider, she does not need to file a presuit notice with the complaint; the panel remanded the suit to the trial court (Betty J. Grizzle v. Parkwest Medical Center, No. E2016-01068-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A woman who intended to file a medical malpractice suit in Kentucky for her child’s birth defect filed suit on June 29 against the commonwealth of Kentucky, claiming that a new state law requiring medical malpractice plaintiffs to submit their claims to a medical review panel before filing suit violates the Kentucky Constitution (Ezra Claycomb v. Kentucky, et al., No. 17-CI-708, Ky. Cir. Franklin Co.).
LOS ANGELES — A California jury on July 21 awarded a total of $24.9 million to a man who lost his family in a car crash and the man who injured himself after crashing into the family after finding that the brakes in a 2004 Nissan Infinity QX56, which crashed into a minivan, were defective (Hilario Cruz, et al. v. Nissan North America Inc., No. BC493949, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
PHILADELPHIA — The parents of a man who became permanently disabled as a result of the assault filed suit July 20 in Pennsylvania state court against two fraternities, their members and other businesses, claiming that the fraternities were irresponsible by allowing their members to get into a fight and failing to call an ambulance in a timely manner (Roderick J. McGibbon, et al. v. Alpha Upsilon Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, et al., No. 001934, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Fourth District of the Florida Court of Appeal panel on July 19 found that a hotel did not breach its duty to protect a couple when a drunken driver drove through a poolside cabana, injuring the man and killing his wife; the panel remanded the suit with instructions to the trial court to grant the hotel’s motion for a directed verdict and vacate the $3.6 million award against it (The Las Olas Holding Company v. Michael Demella, No. 4D16-231, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10445).
WAUSAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin appellate panel on July 18 affirmed summary judgment for an auto shop in a negligence suit after finding that the owner did not supply alcohol to an adult under the legal drinking age who later drove and crashed his car into another car, injuring the plaintiff (Beth L. Baker, et al. v. Wilson Auto Collision, No. 2016AP423, Wis. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 535).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A jury in California state court on July 11 awarded a security guard $16.9 million in damages after finding that a forklift driver at a store negligently backed into him, resulting in the guard’s leg having to be amputated (Steven Meier v. Pennysaver USA LLC, et al., No. RIC1507069, Calif. Super., Riverside Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on July 19 refused to allow two insureds leave to amend their complaint to add Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA) as a defendant in substitute for an insolvent insurer in their personal injury lawsuit (Sherry Landry, et al. v. Circle K Stores Inc., et al., No. 16-15705, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111906).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal jury in Connecticut on July 17 found that General Motors LLC failed to warn about a “known or knowledgeable danger” in one of its vehicles and awarded the family of a girl who died when the car started rolling on its own $2.8 million (Bernard Pitterman, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 3:14-CV-00967, D. Conn.).
CHICAGO — A woman and her husband filed a medical negligence suit against a doctor and the practice he worked for in Illinois federal court on July 17, claiming that the doctor was negligent because he breached the standard of care during surgery (Alivia L. Greenfield, et al. v. The Monroe Clinic, Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-50206, W.D. Ill.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on July 18 upheld a defense verdict in favor of a hospital and a university that sent students to be residents at the hospital in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the trial court did not err in excluding the plaintiff’s expert witness during trial (Raymond Seels v. Tenet Health System Hahnemann, et al., No. 1838 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 532).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida jury on July 18 found in favor of Ford Motor Co. Inc. in a suit in which the plaintiff claimed that the automaker negligently installed an air bag with a manufacturing defect that caused a fatal car crash (Ramon Llera v. Ford Motor Co. Inc., No. 2005CA001924, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on July 17 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical negligence suit after finding that the trial court did not err in barring certain testimony from the plaintiff’s expert witness and in refusing to give the jury an instruction on contributory negligence (Zbigniew Adwent v. Richard B. Novak, M.D., No. 1-16-0683, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 467).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on July 17 declined to strike testimony from an insurer’s biomechanical expert on the forces required to cause a woman’s alleged injuries in a rear-end car accident, finding that the expert meets the admissibility standards established by 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (Lisa N. Bostick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-1400, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110370).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas appellate panel on July 13 reversed a $43 million verdict for a man who was injured while working on a construction site, finding that Texas’ Workers’ Compensation Act precludes recovery of common-law damages (Berkel & Company Contractors Inc. v. Tyler Lee, No. 14-15-00787-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.).
WHEELING, W. Va. — A West Virginia federal judge on July 14 denied requests by the friend of a college student who was killed during a fight with two other men to exclude testimony by medical and economic experts in a wrongful death action filed by the student’s parents (Thomas G. Figaniak and Valerie A. Figaniak v. Fraternal Order Of Owl’s Home Nest, Loyal Order Of Owls Nest Lodge 2558, d/b/a The Owl’s Nest, et al., No. 5:15-cv-111, N.D. W. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109477).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on July 12 dismissed three claims against state nursing home defendants, granting their unopposed motion for partial summary judgment and leaving general negligence, survival action and wrongful death claims to be tried by a jury (Estate of Frances Litwin, et al. v. Emeritus Corp., et al., No. 14-5847, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107696).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appellate panel on July 13 affirmed summary judgment for an airport and the cleaning service it contracted to clean its bathrooms after finding that a woman who slipped and injured herself in a bathroom stall did not show that either defendant knew about the puddle of water on which she slipped (Pamela Vernon v. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board, et al., No. 02-16-00488-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6450).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana appellate panel majority on July 12 reduced a jury award in a wrongful death suit from $1.3 million to $450,000 and vacated the jury’s survival action award of $450,000 after finding that $450,000 was a sufficient amount for the wrongful death claim and that the plaintiff did not present enough evidence to support a survival action (Charles Thompson v. David Crawford, et al., No. 2015 CA 1957, La. App. 1st Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 1299).