NEW YORK — An investor in a data content and services provider to health care providers filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit against the company's CEO and three of its directors in New York federal court on Aug. 21, alleging that the defendants breached their fiduciary duty by issuing and/or causing the company to falsely represent to the investing public that it had received a purchase order to produce millions of COVID-19 rapid test kits with the ability to produce a total of 48 million test kits over a 23-week period (Josstyn Richter v. Marc S. Schessel, et al., No. 20-6760, S.D. N.Y.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas appellate panel on Sept. 16 reversed a ruling denying a motion to compel arbitration of a nursing home negligence case, finding that the trial court erred in denying the motion without expressly ruling on "the threshold issues of whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate and, if so, whether the dispute fell within the scope of that agreement" (JS Arkansas Five Healthcare, LLC, et al. v. Amy Gilbreath, No. CV-18-995, Ark. App., Div. 2, 2020 Ark. App. LEXIS 449).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A forensic engineer can testify that a highway authority's negligence caused a fatal accident in a construction zone, a federal judge in Puerto Rico held Sept. 14, saying the authority was asking him to go beyond his gatekeeping role of determining whether the expert's testimony was admissible (Carlos Ortiz De Jesus, et al. v. Andres Reyes Burgos, Inc., et al., No. 17-2349, D. Puerto Rico, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168986).
JACKSON, Tenn. — Although agreeing with a trial court that a fee-splitting provision in an arbitration agreement between a nursing home and a former resident is unconscionable, a Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 reversed the lower court's decision to deny the facility's motion to compel arbitration and ordered the trial court on remand to compel arbitration at the facility's expense (Tkach Stokes v. Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC, No. W2019-01983-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 411).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 9 ruled that it lacked appellate jurisdiction over the consolidated appeals of five cases, three of which were putative class actions, by former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) wrestlers for head injuries; four appeals were deemed untimely in light of Hall v. Hall, the fifth was found to contain time-barred claims and the appeals of sanctions orders in two of the cases were found to be not appealable as the amount of sanctions were not yet set (William Albert Haynes, III, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated, Nos. 18-3278, 18-3322, 18-3325, 18-3326, 18-3327, 18-3328 and 18-3330, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28606).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 14 denied summary judgment to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on negligence claims leveled by a paper products company worker who was injured while unloading cardboard bales from the retailer after the judge found that an industry standards expert's opinions are reliable (Luis Uzhca, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 17-3850, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167662).
DENVER — USA Taekwondo Inc. (USAT) on Sept. 11 in a Colorado federal court moved for partial summary judgment in a putative class complaint by certain Team USA's Olympic taekwondo athletes who have alleged more than two decades of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking by Olympic officials, coaches and mentors, arguing that the operative third amended complaint "heavily" draws on allegations of actions by dismissed defendants, that two of the challenged counts are untimely and that the other two lack sufficient evidence (Heidi Gilbert, et al. v. USA Taekwondo, Inc., et al., No. 18-981, D. Colo.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An injured boom lift operator — with most of his engineering experts' opinion intact — provides sufficient evidence to defeat summary judgment on his claims that the lift manufacturer made a defective product and failed to warn about its hazards, an Oregon federal judge decided Sept. 11 (Mark Bowden v. United Rentals [North America] Inc., et al., No. 17-1411, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166618).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will decide without a response whether to grant certiorari in a case challenging the reliability of experts' opinions on a woman's "multiple chemical sensitivity" diagnosis after an Ohio county engineer on Sept. 8 said he will not file an opposition to the woman's petition for review (Cynthia Madej, et vir v. Jeff Maiden, No. 20-227, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. S. CT. BRIEFS LEXIS 2591).
LOS ANGELES — The removal of a COVID-19 wrongful death and negligence suit by the defendant nursing home, its owner and a doctor pursuant to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) fails as no claims were brought under that act, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 10, adding that removal was also not justified by federal officer jurisdiction and that there was no showing of an "imbedded question of federal law" (Emma Martin, et al. v. Serrano Post Acute LLC, et al., No. 20-5937, C.D. Calif.).
NEWTON, N.J. — The estate of a resident of a New Jersey long-term care facility on Sept. 8 filed a class action complaint in state court against the facility, its sister facility and their owners and operators, claiming that they violated state and federal nursing home laws and the state Consumer Fraud Act and failed to protect residents from the novel coronavirus, which has cost at least 94 residents their lives (Estate of Albert C. Roberts v. Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center I, et al., No. SSX-L-358-20, N.J. Super., Sussex Co.).
MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Sept. 9 reversed and remanded a lower court's final judgment in favor of T-Mobile's liability insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a man who was injured outside of T-Mobile's store property (Stevie Howard v. Greenwich Insurance Company, No. 3D19-1922, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 12634).
MIAMI — Plaintiffs related to students and others killed or injured in the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting in 2018 may proceed with their claims against the federal government alleging that the FBI breached a legal duty by failing to properly handle reports about the shooter's threatening behavior, a Florida federal judge ruled Aug. 31 in denying the defendant's motion to dismiss (In Re: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting FTCA Litigation, No. 18-62758, S.D. Fla.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A trial court erred in allowing two radiologists to raise the issue of nonparty negligence and to submit it to the jury without supporting expert testimony in an action over the late diagnosis of a man's inoperable lymph node cancer, the Maryland Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 24. It affirmed an appeals court ruling and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings (American Radiology Services LLC, et al. v. Martin Reiss, No. 50, Md. App., 2020 Md. LEXIS 376).
ODESSA, Texas — The families of two people killed by a man on a shooting spree in Texas in 2019 filed suit in state court on Aug. 28 against the dealer that sold him the AM-15 assault rifle and the weapon manufacturer, arguing that the shooter was ineligible to own a gun and the dealer was unlicensed (Joanna Leyva, et al. v. Marcus Anthony Braziel, et al., No. 20-08-0905, Texas Dist., Ector Co.).
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania jury awarded $10.8 million on Aug. 25 to the father and guardian of a man who suffered a cardiac arrest and severe brain damage after having an allergic reaction to contrast dye that was administered for an MRI. The man's father accused the hospital and a physician of failing to immediately take the proper action to help him (Charles Timothy Miller v. Kelly Biggs, et al., No. 2018-2849, Pa. Comm. Pls., Blair Co.).
CHICAGO — The exclusion of a child's autism diagnosis as evidence deprived a jury of relevant information in determining causation and damages, an Illinois appellate panel concluded Aug. 21, vacating a $50.3 million award to the child for the severe brain injury he suffered at birth and remanding for a new trial (Julien Florez, et al. v. NorthShore University HealthSystem, et al., No. 1-19-0465, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2020 Ill. App. LEXIS 560).
TYLER, Texas — A Texas appeals court on Aug. 26 threw out a $33.4 million award to a driver whose pickup truck was hit by a semi-truck that drifted out of its highway lane, calling the amount excessive and improperly intended to send a message to the entire trucking industry. The appeals court remanded for a new trial against the trucking company and its driver (FTS International Services LLC, et al. v. Joshua Patterson, No. 12-19-00040, Texas App., 12th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 6851).
ST. LOUIS — A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 31 concluded that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is not immune to an airline passenger's claims that he was injured by a TSA screening officer at a security checkpoint, holding that such personnel are considered "investigative or law enforcement officers" under federal law (Brian Iverson v. United States, et al., No. 18-3137, 8th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27634).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court affirmed a defense verdict for a pediatric practice and two physicians accused of failing to properly diagnose an 18-month-old boy's immune system disease before his death, concluding Sept. 2 that the alleged jury selection errors did not warrant a new trial (Jennifer O'Connor, et al. v. Riverside Pediatric Group, et al., No. A-0700-18T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1664).