FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on April 18 entered final judgment on two $5 million jury awards to the parents of two teenage girls who were killed when an RV driven by a 99-year-old man the wrong way down a highway hit their vehicle (Yvonne Poindexter v. Joseph A. Zacharzewski, et al., No. 18-14155, and Stewart Feketa v. Joseph A. Zacharzewski, et al., No. 18-14156, S.D. Fla.).
NEW ORLEANS — Although the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 revised an opinion to correct inconsistent statements, it did not change its original holding that a trial court properly allowed a Texas state trooper who witnessed and investigated a fatal tractor-trailer crash to offer expert opinions on the cause of the accident (Alexandro Puga, et al. v. RCX Solutions, Inc., No. 17-41282, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11229).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 12 denied a motion filed by the makers of blender products that argued that New Zealand law, rather than California law, should be applied to a consumer’s claims for compensatory and punitive damages in relation to injuries she suffered, holding that California’s interest in the case was greater because New Zealand does not allow litigation for compensatory damages and the state has a strong interest in deterring negligent conduct by businesses within the state (Elizabeth Flack v. Nutribullet, L.L.C., et al., No. 2:18-cv-05829, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64400).
SAN ANTONIO — An economics expert can testify about lost-wage damages a driver suffered after a tractor-trailer hit his car, but a trucking safety expert cannot opine that the driver of the rig caused the accident because the expert is not an accident reconstructionist, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled April 16 (Sergio Alpizar v. John Christner Trucking, LLC, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00712, W.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64751).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on April 11 excluded testimony from a slip-and-fall plaintiff’s liability expert for lack of reliability and relevance but allowed his two damages experts to testify on their calculations of the plaintiff’s lost wages due to his injuries (Joshua T. Lewis v. Marquette Transportation Company, LLC, et al., No. 17-10917, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62528).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on April 8 refused to dismiss a man’s wrongful death and survival suit against an in-state nursing home over injuries his father sustained after falling four times at the facility, holding that health care providers in Pennsylvania who also treated the decedent were not indispensable parties (Richard O’Rangers v. Cadia Rehabilitation Silverside, et al., N18C-12-253 DCS, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 181).
MIAMI — A chiropractor who treated a woman after she slipped and fell during a cruise can testify about his knowledge of spinal surgery but cannot opine that the fall caused her injury because he did not submit an expert report, a Florida federal magistrate judge decided April 10 (Julia Underwood v. NCL [Bahamas] Ltd., No. 17-24492, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61188).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York jury awarded a bicyclist $110 million on April 9 after he was paralyzed by a falling 10-foot railroad tie from a New York City Transit Authority elevated train construction project (Robert Liciaga v. New York City Transit, No. 0513495/2016, N.Y. Sup., Kings Co.).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A New Jersey pedestrian alleges in an April 8 complaint in a state trial court that the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) is responsible for medical expenses incurred in an accident with a negligent unknown driver (Jonathan Frias-Rivas v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. BER-L-002686-19, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
PITTSBURGH — A trial court erred in allowing testimony about how much beer was purchased by the friends of a man who was severely injured when he was hit by a vehicle while walking on the side of a highway, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held April 3 in reversing and remanding for a new trial against the vehicle’s driver (Bobbie Jo Buchholz v. Charity Immel, No. 1348 WDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1220).
TRENTON, N.J. — A trial court erred in relying primarily on surveillance videos to determine whether a plaintiff was visibly intoxicated, a New Jersey appeals court held March 29 in remanding an action alleging that a casino is at fault for continuing to serve alcohol to an intoxicated plaintiff who was later hit by a vehicle (Elazora Keith Wright v. Harrah’s Atlantic City Operating Co. LLC, No. A-2331-17T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 717).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals court on April 5 vacated a lower court’s ruling in favor of two physicians accused of misdiagnosing a plaintiff’s acute limb ischemia and remanded for a determination of whether the delay in treatment caused the amputation of his fingers and part of his left hand (Jake Richmond v. Dr. Jason Hunt, et al., No. 2018-CA-000182, Ky. App., 2019 Ky. App. LEXIS 55).
JACKSON, Miss. — A divided Mississippi appeals court on April 2 affirmed a defense verdict for a neurosurgeon who was accused of breaching the standard of care for misplacing a pedicle screw in a woman’s vertebra (Beverly Knight, et al. v. W. Craig Clark, M.D., No. 2017-CA-00722, Miss. App., 2019 Miss. App. LEXIS 130).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A jury in a Connecticut state court awarded $2.8 million on April 2 to the estate of a man killed when his vehicle collided with a tanker truck improperly parked on the side of a highway. However, it held the decedent 50 percent liable because his blood-alcohol content exceeded the legal limit and, therefore, reduced the award to $1.4 million (Mirushe Gashi v. Lansford W. Chisholm, et al., No. 5-6061747-S, Conn. Super., Hartford Jud. Dist.).
LUBBOCK, Texas — The mother of a man killed when his vehicle was hit by storm chasers racing to film a tornado for their show on The Weather Channel sued the channel and others on March 26 in a Texas federal court (Karen Di Piazza v. Weather Group Television LLC, et al., No. 19-0060, N.D. Texas).
CHICAGO — An Illinois jury awarded a child who was born with severe brain damage $23,594,000 on March 25, siding with the child’s guardian, who argued that a hospital’s health care providers failed to respond to signs of fetal distress and delayed delivering the child by cesarean section, which caused a lack of oxygen to her brain (Amirah Whiten, et al. v. Presence Saint Joseph Hospital – Chicago, No. 2015-L-006427, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court affirmed a $10.9 million jury award to a man injured in a two-vehicle collision and his wife, concluding on March 13 that the trial court sufficiently instructed the jury on damages for mental pain and suffering (Clifton Warnock v. Henry Edward Sandford, et al., No. A18A1656, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2019 Ga. App. LEXIS 177).
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court concluded April 4 that a trial court’s refusal to give a plaintiff’s requested jury instruction on an original tortfeasor’s liability for the subsequent conduct of another must be reversed and a new trial held on a medical group’s liability for a man’s death from respiratory failure (Dennis L. Sloan v. Providence Health System-Oregon, et al., No. S064748, Ore. Sup., 2017 Ore. LEXIS 397).
ATLANTA — A mother and daughter filed a proposed class action in a federal Georgia court on April 2 against the owners and managers of a pet store chain, alleging that they have sold dogs from puppy mills with a bacterial infection that have sickened at least 113 people in 17 states (Dawn Singleton, et al. v. Petland Mall of Georgia LLC, et al., No. 19-01477, N.D. Ga.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 3 centralized litigation alleging that defective earplugs made by 3M Co. caused plaintiffs to develop hearing loss and/or tinnitus and transferred eight actions pending in four courts to a Florida federal district court (In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2885, JPMDL).