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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).