HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Appellate Court concluded on Jan. 14 that the law does not impose a duty of care on a patient to avoid negligent conduct that would injure a health care provider while the patient is receiving medical care from that provider in a suit brought by a nurse who alleged that a patient injured her while she was helping him sit up (Kateri Streifel v. William R. Bulkley, No. AC 41239, Conn. App., 195 Conn. App. 294).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland jury awarded $5.87 million in economic and noneconomic damages on Jan. 14 to the children of a woman who died after she had a cardiac arrest following surgery to replace a heart valve. The $5.8 million noneconomic damage portion of the award will be subject to the state’s statutory cap of $962,500, according to the plaintiffs’ counsel, reducing the award to $1.03 million (Stephanie Hill, et al. v. University of Maryland Medical System Corp., et al., No. 24-C-18-005209, Md. Cir., Baltimore City).
PHOENIX — A trial court correctly held that a bicyclist who was injured when he rode into a cable fence on private property was trespassing because no public easement existed, an Arizona appeals court affirmed Jan. 23 in an action against the property owners (Seth A. Else, et al. v. Anthony La Russa, et al., No. 18-0764, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2020 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 67).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals court on Jan. 13 affirmed a $6.06 million arbitration award to a child who sustained brain damage as a newborn after a nurse failed to timely insert a tracheotomy tube to help her breathe properly. The appeals court rejected arguments that challenged the life expectancy estimates, alleged arbitrator misconduct and the periodic payments of the future earnings award (Emma Borges, et al. v. Advanced Specialty Care LLC, et al., No. G056386, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 239).
LOS ANGELES — A Delta Airlines pilot negligently dumped a large amount of toxic jet fuel on students and teachers on an elementary school playground, four teachers allege in a complaint filed Jan. 17 in a California state court (Lisette Barajas, et al. v. Delta Airlines Inc., et al., No. 20STCV02116, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A medical expert cannot testify on the standard of care in a malpractice case because his res ipsa loquitur opinion is neither reliable nor helpful, a Puerto Rico federal judge decided Jan. 22 (Eulalia López Ramírez, et al. v. Grupo HIMA San Pablo, Inc., et al., No. 16-3192, D. Puerto Rico, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12340).
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Jan. 21 excluded testimony from a medical expert for the defendant in a personal injury action stemming from a car crash after finding that the expert’s methodology lacked reliability (Urszula Brumer, et al. v. Laurie Ann Gray, No. 3:17-cv-00576, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9649).
DETROIT — A Michigan Court of Appeals panel in a Jan. 14 unpublished opinion affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the operators of an unlicensed senior living facility in a negligence case, finding that they did not owe a duty of care to a resident to monitor the side exits of the facility, through which the woman exited in her nightgown, locking herself out in frigid temperatures (Estate of Virginia Kermath v. Independence Oxford, LLC, et al., No. 345640, Mich. App., 2020 Mich. App. LEXIS 245).
SAN DIEGO — An asylum seeker from El Salvador sued the federal government and a detention center operator on Jan. 10 in a California federal court, alleging that she suffered a miscarriage after repeatedly being refused medical care while in civil custody, in violation of her constitutional rights (Rubia Mabel Morales-Alfaro v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 3:20-cv-00082, S.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA — A trial court abused its discretion in refusing to allow a decedent’s children to add his widow to their wrongful death complaint, a Georgia appeals court held Jan. 3. It explained that the plaintiffs’ proposed amendment related back to the timely filed original complaint over the kidney dialysis patient’s death (Roy Seay v. Valdosta Kidney Clinic LLC, et al., No. A19A1992, Total Renal Care Inc., et al. v. Roy Seay, No. A19A1993, Ga. App., 1st Div., 2020 Ga. App. LEXIS 3).
LOS ANGELES — Citing recent statutory amendments that allow childhood sexual abuse claims to be brought against third-party nonperpetrators until the alleged victim’s 40th birthday, a California appeals court on Jan. 3 reinstated two men’s claims against companies formed by the late pop superstar Michael Jackson (James Safechuck v. MJJ Productions Inc., et al., No. B284613, Wade Robson v. MJJ Productions Inc., et al., No. B288036, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 3).
NEW YORK — A woman who alleges that proton therapy rendered her blind failed to show that the two physicians who treated her in New Jersey had sufficient connections to New York to establish personal jurisdiction over them, a New York appellate court concluded Jan. 2, reversing a trial court ruling (Barbara Robins v. Procure Treatment Centers, Inc., et al., No. 805644/15, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3).
NEW YORK — A New York jury awarded $101 million on Dec. 9 to a man who was severely injured when a forklift collided with the booth he was setting up at an event, causing him to fall 10 feet to the ground (Mark Perez v. Live Nation Worldwide Inc., No. 158373/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A jury in an Oregon federal court awarded $9.25 million on Dec. 13 to a man who was injured when a tractor-trailer struck him while he was bicycling in a highway’s bike lane and $400,000 to his bicycling companion, who was also hurt (Eric Moutal, et al. v. Exel Inc., No. 3:17-cv-01444, D. Ore.).
TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A cruise ship server who was hit by a vehicle while on shore leave and continued working after the ship’s physicians failed to diagnose her fractured ribs was awarded $4 million by a Florida jury on Dec. 19. However, the jury held the plaintiff 30 percent at fault for her injuries, which reduced her award to $2.8 million (Maria Ana Reis Martins v. Magical Cruise Co. Ltd., No. 05-2015-CA-051858, Fla. Cir., Brevard Co., 18th Jud. Cir.).
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A mother and her two children were awarded more than $70.5 million for physical and emotional injuries they sustained when a commercial hauler ran a red light and hit their SUV. A California judge finalized what a plaintiffs’ attorney called a record personal injury award for Kern County on Jan. 7 (Tomasa Cuevas, et al. v. Rai Transport Inc., et al., No. BCV-18-100615, Calif. Super., Kern Co.).
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia judge finalized an $8.08 million jury award on Jan. 7 to the parents of a stuntman who died in a fall during filming of the television show “The Walking Dead” that apportioned most of the liability to a production company and its employees (Susan Bernecker, et al. v. Stalwart Films LLC, et al., No. 18-00435-S1, Ga. State, Gwinnett Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by the widow of a worker who was killed as a result of an accident that occurred while driving to work (Rita Guerrero v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 19-625, U.S. Sup.).
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A Washington judge entered judgment Dec. 20 on a $23.9 million jury award to a girl born with significant brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen during her birth, who will require care for the rest of her life, and her parents (Bruce A. Wolf, et al. v. GE Healthcare, et al., No. 19-2-01745-18, Wash. Super., Kitsap Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a 2-year-old who died after a dresser fell on him, a plaintiff’s firm announced Jan. 6. The settlement ends litigation filed in a Pennsylvania state court and is believed to be the largest recovery for wrongful death of a child in U.S. history, according to the firm (Joleen Dudek, et al. v. Ikea U.S. Retail LLC, et al., No. 171204131, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).