PHILADELPHIA — A county-owned nursing home on Sept. 1 indicated its intent to appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal judge in Pennsylvania’s Aug. 5 order denying dismissal of a wrongful death suit filed against it by the family of a resident who died from COVID-19, saying that is the proper jurisdiction for an appeal arising under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act; the judge in his order found that the act did not apply to the case.
PASADENA, Calif. — Two parents of youth football players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) post-mortem failed to show that the football program in which they participated was “likely” to have caused their deaths, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 10, affirming a summary judgment ruling for the program on claims brought under California law but ordering that the complaint be amended nunc pro tunc to reflect the state in which the parents are citizens.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on Sept. 7 agreed to limit the testimony of experts retained by a former prison inmate who accuses correction officers of sexually assaulting her while she was incarcerated, excluding opinions that usurp a jury’s fact-finding role.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 7 granted the request of the daughter of a deceased assisted living facility to extend the time to respond to its owners and operators’ petition asking the court to determine “whether the FAA preempts the South Carolina Supreme Court’s arbitration-specific approach to construing comprehensive powers of attorney to preclude an agent’s power to agree to arbitrate future claims.”
NEW ORLEANS — A biomechanical expert testifying in a car accident case cannot offer a causation opinion, a federal judge in Louisiana said Aug. 26, but otherwise ruled that her testimony meets the requirements set under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc.
CAMDEN, N.J. — A casino operator on Aug. 31 lost its bid to exclude a hotel and lodging industry expert retained by a woman who alleges that she fell outside its facility when a federal judge in New Jersey found that the expert was qualified to testify under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Six former graduate students who sued the University of Alaska (UA) and a former faculty member for incidents of sexual harassment must provide documents and answers in response to interrogatories and requests for production (RFPs) from the university, an Alaska federal judge ruled Sept. 2, deeming the plaintiffs’ objections to be legally insufficient and finding the information sought to be relevant to the plaintiffs’ claims.
SCRANTON, Pa. — An expert retained by the United States can testify that medication prescribed by a doctor contributed to the death of a woman who overdosed on opioids, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Aug. 20.
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal magistrate judge in Minnesota on Aug. 31 consolidated for discovery and pretrial issues two class complaints accusing Minneapolis police of using excessive force against individuals protesting after the murder of George Floyd, finding that common questions of law or fact existed, but ruled that a third class lawsuit by journalists also alleging excessive force will proceed independently as it is dissimilar.
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 26 denied a motion to exclude an expert retained by a man injured in a collision with a truck, finding that the argument that he failed to meet admissibility standards under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. “borders on the frivolous.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Calling it “another round” in a “maddening, and unseemly, game of cat and mouse” of “lower courts attempting to find ways to evade” the U.S. Supreme Court’s Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) precedents, the owners and operators of an assisted living facility in an Aug. 9 petition ask the high court to determine “whether the FAA preempts the South Carolina Supreme Court’s arbitration-specific approach to construing comprehensive powers of attorney to preclude an agent’s power to agree to arbitrate future claims.”
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware judge on Aug. 6 denied a franchisor’s motion to stay the proceedings in a lawsuit concerning liability for an alleged sexual assault by a franchisee’s former employee pending arbitration between the plaintiff customer and another franchisor defendant.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed the bulk of claims, including for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), brought by an individual who sued the manufacturer of a mini excavator and the rental company he leased it from after he sustained leg injuries that required amputation while using the machine, with the judge finding most of the plaintiff’s claims insufficiently alleged.
NEWARK, N.J. — In an Aug. 17 answer to a first amended complaint in a personal injury lawsuit in which New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NPLIGA) filed a cross-claim seeking contribution from the other defendants for damages caused by a police car chase that led to a collision, two co-defendants “deny each and every allegation asserted” by NPLICA.
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in limiting testimony from an expert and affirmed its decision to grant summary judgment to correctional officers and medical staff in a negligence lawsuit filed by a former inmate.
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Aug. 9 trimmed putative class claims brought by passengers of a February 2020 cruise who allege that the trip operators failed to warn them of the risks associated with coronavirus and then failed to stop the spread aboard the ship after at least one passenger was known to be suffering from symptoms, resulting in dozens getting sick and two dying after the cruise was over.
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 reversed summary judgment for 5,845 cases in the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation, finding that a district court judge erred in excluding the plaintiff’s general causation medical experts’ opinions.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Aug. 4 limited the testimony of an expert in an aircraft crash lawsuit, ruling that his testimony based on studies is permissible but he cannot speculate on the actions of the pilot on the day of the accident.
NEW ORLEANS — Taken together, the provisions of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act “manifest the ‘extraordinary preemptive power’ that the Supreme Court has identified as the hallmark of a complete preemption statute that creates a basis for federal question jurisdiction,” the owners and operators of a nursing home say in an Aug. 5 brief urging the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s order remanding a COVID-19-related negligence suit against them to Texas state court.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 11 denied certification of a “master” issues class in the Flint water crisis litigation but approved a multidefendant issues class and a class for claims against one of the engineering firms that advised the city of Flint during the crisis.