NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Following injuries from a car accident, a man seeks uninsured motorist benefits from the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) in an Oct. 2 complaint filed in a New Jersey court (Jaime Alberto Torres v. Brian H. Getcliffe, et al., No. MID-L-005824-18, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).
MIAMI — A Florida federal magistrate judge on Oct. 5 partially granted and partially denied motions to limit expert witness testimony and evidence filed by both sides in a personal injury lawsuit against Carnival Corp. and Steiner Transocean Ltd. by a woman who alleges that her hip was fractured while receiving spa services aboard a ship (Dawn Dawsey v. Carnival Corp., et al., No. 16-23939, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172512).
MIAMI — Two longtime airline pilots can testify as experts for a couple suing Spain’s flag carrier airline for injuries suffered during severe turbulence, though they cannot offer opinions about the flight crew’s state of mind, a Florida federal magistrate judge held Oct. 11 (Fanny Quevedo, et al. v. Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana, S.A. Operadora Unipersonal, No. 17-21168, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174771).
MILWAUKEE — A federal magistrate judge in Wisconsin on Oct. 3 ruled that an engineer could provide expert testimony on ballistics and the shape of an indentation on the rear driver’s side door of an informant’s car because he was qualified to proffer his opinions but that he was unqualified to discuss trace elements that would have been left behind on the door, as well as the credibility of the defendant (United States v. Derrick L. Harris, et al., No. 17-CR-167, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170537).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 28 denied a defendant company’s motion to exclude the testimony of a couple’s liability expert, who opines that a defect in a motorcycle tire caused it to unexpectedly blow out, finding that the expert’s visual inspection of the object was a reliable methodology to support his opinion (Daniel Griffith, et al. v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., No. 11-CV-761S, W.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187976).
OTTAWA, Ill. — An Illinois appeals court on Sept. 24 affirmed a trial court’s judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) ruling concluding that a school district and its employees did not commit willful and wanton negligence in failing to supervise students in a lawsuit brought by the family of a middle school student who was severely beaten by a high school student. The appeals court also upheld the finding that the defendants did not purposely destroy the statements of students who witnessed the attack (Noah Ryan Hawk Rogers, et al. v. Andrew McConnaughay, et al., No. 3-17-0690, Ill. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1650).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court reversed a trial court’s decision to award a plaintiff’s law firm 10 percent of the total value of an $18 million settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit instead of the requested 31 percent of the share allocated to the decedent’s four minor children. The appeals court remanded Oct. 2, saying the lower court abused its discretion by relying heavily on the children’s medical needs in reaching its decision (Nicolas Schulz, et al. v. Jeppesen Sanderson Inc., et al., No. B27749, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1).
MIAMI — A passenger who did not fasten her seat belt during turbulence on a flight from Spain to Italy established that she sustained injuries caused by an “accident” as defined by an international treaty on airlines’ liability for passengers’ injuries or death, a Florida federal judge ruled Oct. 3. However, questions remained about whether an airline’s negligence caused her injuries, he said (Fanny Quevedo, et al. v. Iberia Lineas Aereas de España, Sociedad Anónima Operadora Co., No. 17-21168, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170476).
LAS VEGAS — A trial court erred in dismissing a medical malpractice suit for lack of an attached medical expert’s affidavit, the Nevada Supreme Court held Oct. 4. Because the plaintiff’s alleged tooth injury while under general anesthesia was not “directly involved” with the hysterectomy she was undergoing, the affidavit was not required by a state medical malpractice statute (Susan Dolorfino v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, et al., No. 72443, Nev. Sup., 2018 Nev. LEXIS 84).
CHICAGO — A premises security expert’s failure to explain the reasoning behind his conclusions about the security at a Wisconsin music festival where a plaintiff was severely beaten rendered his testimony inadmissible, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 27. A lower court correctly held that without the expert’s testimony, a jury would not be able to find in favor of the plaintiff, it added (Joshua Milligan, et al. v. Rock on the River Inc., et al., No. 18-1204, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27557).
SAN FRANCISCO — A woman convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy was severely prejudiced by being denied adequate discovery and the ability to present an expert witness at a bench trial on the plaintiff’s emotional distress claims, a California appeals court said Sept. 25. It vacated a $420,000 award to the plaintiff and remanded for limited discovery (Minor Doe 1 v. Christine Hubbs, et al., No. A143158, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6550).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A divided Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Oct. 1 restored a $3.7 million jury award in a wrongful death suit accusing two Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) emergency medical technicians (EMTs) of gross negligence in their treatment of a man experiencing chest pains who later died at the hospital (Estate of Kerry R. Butler Jr., et al. v. Joseph Stracke, et al., No. 238, Md. Spec. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 914).
ATLANTA — A Georgia trial court on Sept. 27 vacated an $11.25 million jury award to the son and estate of a man who was killed when he fell 20 feet through a rotted guard rail at a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Inc. (MARTA). The court concluded that the judge presiding over the trial had improperly instructed the jury on the issue of superior knowledge of the hazard (Pissaro Wright, et al. v. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Inc., No. 2018-300282, Ga. Super., Fulton Co.).
DENVER — A Colorado jury determined on Sept. 28 that a physician, two radiologists and a physician’s assistant were not negligent in their treatment of a man who went to their hospital’s emergency room several times before being diagnosed with a brain abscess at another hospital weeks later (Patrice Stephenson-Licciardi v. Lutheran Hospital Association of the San Luis Valley, et al., No. 16-cv-03000, D. Colo.).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court on Sept. 28 affirmed a jury verdict holding an emergency room physician liable for 34 percent of a $4.5 million award, or $1.53 million, in a medical malpractice suit alleging that a plaintiff was paralyzed from the waist down due to the delay in diagnosing a problem with his recently implanted spinal-cord stimulator (Southwestern Emergency Physicians, P.C., et al. v. Douglas L. Quinney, et al., No. A18A0871, Ga. App., 4th Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 538).
MIAMI — A Florida federal jury on Oct. 2 found that a cruise ship passenger who fell on the ship’s ice rink and fractured his ankle suffered more than $660,000 in past and future damages but concluded that the passenger bore 35 percent of the liability for skating with faulty equipment and on uneven ice conditions (Edgardo Lebron v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 16-24687, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Oct. 3 refused to consolidate lawsuits filed over the mass shooting outside of the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas in 2017 that killed 58 people, concluding that the pending actions against the owners and operators of the resort do not present sufficiently numerous or common questions of fact to merit centralization (In re Route 91 Harvest Festival Shootings in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017, MDL No. 2864, JPMDL).
MIAMI — Following a second trial over injuries a plaintiff alleged she sustained after falling over a cleaning bucket left in a cruise ship dining room, a jury on Sept. 27 found her 10 percent liable for negligence and awarded her $1,089,900 (Joyce D. Higgs v. Costa Crociere S.p.A. Co., No. 15-60280, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A child and his parents reached a $6 million settlement with the federal government and filed an unopposed motion for approval on Sept. 26 in District of Columbia federal court. The parents maintained that health care providers’ failure to timely perform surgery on their son’s obstructed bowel resulted in serious, lifelong injuries that will require extensive care (Larry Hagan, et al. v. United States, No. 12-0916, D. D.C.).
ATLANTA — The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a defense verdict for a physician accused of prescribing too much blood pressure medication to a plaintiff who was injured when he fell off a deer stand. The appeals court ordered a new trial, concluding Sept. 26 that the evidence did not support an assumption-of-risk instruction to the jury because it was unclear whether the plaintiff knew that the medication would make him dizzy if he didn’t follow his physician’s directions (Shane H. Berryhill, et al. v. Dale P. Daly, et al., Nos. A18A1089 and A18A1362, Ga. App., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 526).