ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a trial for a couple’s product liability claims against a ladder company that “centered on competing expert testimony,” an expert for the couple was sufficiently qualified and used a reliable method to opine that a ladder was designed unsafely, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 in affirming a $2.4 million verdict for the couple (Jeffrey Klingenberg, at al. v. Vulcan Ladder USA, LLC, et al., No. 18-1742, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26216).
MIAMI — Health care providers’ challenges to expert testimony linking a prisoner’s sepsis and the subsequent amputation of his legs to substandard care fail due to “conclusory” and “unpersuasive” arguments, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 27 in denying the providers’ bid to exclude the testimony from trial (Craig Salvani v. Corizon Health, Inc., et al., No. 17-24567, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144963).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A New Jersey judge on Aug. 2 entered a final judgment of $3,864,000 on a jury award to a man who was injured when he was hit by a golf cart while standing on the ninth hole of a golf course (Mario B. Zaburski, et al. v. Jerome Klein, et al., No. BER-L-2879-17, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
WICHITA, Kan. — The husband of a woman who died of pulmonary edema after giving birth to their son was awarded $6.55 million on Aug. 6 after a Kansas jury concluded that the hospital was liable for the substandard nursing care given to the decedent (Edgar Perez, et al. v. Wesley Medical Center LLC, et al., No. 2017-000854, Kan. Dist., 18th Jud. Dist. Sedgwick Co.).
NEW CITY, N.Y. — A jury in a New York state court on Aug. 2 awarded $55.9 million to a woman rendered quadriplegic following spine surgery and her husband, holding two surgeons, two nurses and a nonparty health care provider liable (Patricia Jones, et al. v. George Alexander Jones, et al. No. 31649/2011, N.Y. Sup., Rockland Co.).
SEBRING, Fla. — A Florida jury reached a largely symbolic verdict on July 15, awarding the parents of a man assaulted and burned alive $700 million in compensatory and punitive damages against his two attackers, who are serving life sentences in prison (Brenda Doty, et al. v. Jonathan Ray Rodriguez, et al., No. 282014CA000278GCAXMX, Fla. Cir., Highlands Co., 10th Jud. Cir.).
FORT WORTH, Texas — The daughter of a woman who was left in a vegetative state after severe neck swelling closed off her airway failed to show that two physicians were grossly negligent in their diagnosis and treatment, a Texas appeals court held Aug. 15, refusing to disturb a jury’s defense verdict (Tamisha Nicole Campbell, et al. v. Paul H. Pompa, et al., No. 02-18-00040, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 7197).
ELYRIA, Ohio — An Ohio magistrate judge on July 2 recommended the entry of judgment on a $70 million award to the estate of a toddler who died after a babysitter left her alone overnight (Nadia Gibbons v. Summer Shalodi, No. 17-193745, Ohio Comm. Pls., Lorain Co.).
LAS VEGAS — The parents of a woman killed at a festival outside the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas sued manufacturers and dealers of the AR-15 rifle used by the gunman in a Nevada state court. A defendant removed the action to federal court on July 9, and the plaintiffs moved for remand on Aug. 8 (James Parsons, et al. v. Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, et al., No. 19-01189, D. Nev.)
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Court of Appeals on Aug. 9 upheld a jury’s finding that a Benihana restaurant was not liable for a customer’s death from an alleged allergic reaction to seafood, noting that, among other things, because the plaintiffs did not move for a new trial, several arguments were waived (Regina Smith, et al. v. Benihana National Corp., No. W2018-00992-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 384).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — By a 4-3 majority, the Maryland Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 concluded that two emergency medical technicians were not grossly negligent in transporting a man to the hospital, where he died from a heart attack. It reversed an appeals court ruling restoring a $3.7 million jury award to the man’s family (Joseph Stracke, et al. v. Estate of Kerry Butler, Jr., et al., No. 64, Md. Sup., 2019 Md. LEXIS 391).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court reinstated a defense verdict for an obstetrician and her practice in a suit alleging that errors during a baby’s delivery resulted in her death, holding Aug. 13 that plaintiffs’ counsel waived the right to ask the “insurance question” at the end of voir dire (Abraham J. Eoff, et al. v. Jennifer K. McDonald, et al., No. SC97640, Mo. Sup., 2019 Mo. LEXIS 311).
NEW YORK — A woman sued the estate of Jeffrey Epstein on Aug. 14 in a New York state court, alleging that the deceased financier and convicted sex offender sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old (Jennifer Danielle Araoz v. Estate of Jeffrey Edward Epstein, et al., No. 950010/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on Aug. 16 excluded the testimony of a biomechanics expert for Olympia, Wash., and one of the city’s police officers in a civil rights case brought against them by two black brothers the officer shot during an attempted arrest, saying the expert’s use of 3-D images based only on the officer’s recollection is unreliable (Andre Thompson, et al. v. Olympia, et al., No. 3:18-cv-05267, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139202).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 12 signed off on a class settlement that will provide a $70 million medical minoring fund to pay medical monitoring program expenses for the next 50 years and $5 million for concussion-related research, ending a multidistrict litigation by former collegiate athletes who accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of mishandling student-athlete concussions and concussion-related risks (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, No. 13-9116, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135682).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The daughter of a woman who was killed by a gun illegally obtained from an online firearms marketplace tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 29 petition for certiorari that the Wisconsin Supreme Court improperly found the website operator immune from negligence and wrongful death claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), arguing that the statute is meant to shield an interactive computer service provider from liability for another party’s online content, but not from liability for its own actions intended to facilitate illegal conduct (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup.).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A New Jersey judge on Aug. 7 entered judgment on a jury’s finding that a building owner was not liable for a woman’s ankle injury from tripping and falling on a step because she failed to show that the owner did not maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition (Carmela Minor, et al. v. W & F Gressing, et al., No. 2230-17, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).
CONCORD, N.H. — Dartmouth College and nine female current and former students announced on Aug. 6 that they reached a $14 million settlement of claims that the school failed to protect students from sexual assault, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination by three professors known as the “Predators’ Club” (Kristina Rapuano, et al. v. Dartmouth College, No. 18-01070, D. N.H.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — After a driver admitted hitting a bicyclist in a crosswalk, a Florida jury awarded the bicyclist $2.18 million, including nearly $2 million in noneconomic damages, on July 31 (Mary Mitchell v. Steven Paul Anderson, No. 18-001085, Fla. Cir., Lee Co., 20th Jud. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — Discomfort that can be managed through nonprescription methods does not warrant a $1 million award for future physical pain, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 1, vacating and remanding for remittitur that portion of a $2.82 million jury award to a truck driver injured in a two-truck collision (Ambrosio Longoria v. Hunter Express Ltd., et al., No. 17-41042, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23053).