CHICAGO — An architectural expert for a personal injury plaintiff who was hurt when a store’s sliding doors closed on him can testify about how such doors work and the industry standards for them, but any talk about the doors being defective or not properly maintained is forbidden, an Illinois federal magistrate judge ruled July 9 (Paul Munoz v. Menard, Inc., No. 18-cv-2571, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113064).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon jury on June 24 concluded that a surgeon who punctured a patient’s bladder during an emergency appendectomy was not negligent, rejecting the patient’s arguments that the mistake resulted in permanent injuries (Paul S. Williams v. Eric Friedman, No. 17-35738, Ore. Cir., Multnomah Co.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — On remand for a new trial, a Florida jury on June 14 awarded $8.9 million to the widow of a man who died of injuries he sustained after he lost control of his vehicle when he swerved to avoid a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver who suddenly turned in front of him (Yvonne Wiederhold v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, et al., No. 2011-1589, Fla. Cir., 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A psychiatrist had no duty to warn third parties about the adverse side effects of medications he prescribed a patient who struck and killed a bicyclist with her vehicle because there was no evidence that the medications played a role in the accident, a New Jersey appellate court held June 24, affirming a trial court’s ruling (Tracey L. Vizoni v. B.M.D., et al., No. A-1255-18T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. LEXIS 95).
AUSTIN, Texas — A divided Texas Supreme Court on June 28 affirmed an appeals court ruling that the state Tort Claims Act waives a cancer hospital’s sovereign immunity, allowing claims against it to proceed over the death of a woman after undergoing a clinical trial cancer procedure (University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center v. Lance McKenzie, et al., No. 17-0730, Texas Sup., 2019 Tex. LEXIS 679).
PHOENIX — An Arizona jury awarded $5 million on May 23 to the parents of a man killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer after the decedent’s widow settled her claims. The parents also reached a confidential settlement before the start of the punitive damages phase of the trial (Sherri A. Troupe, et al v. Pavestone LLC, et al., No. 2015-007846, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Georgia jury awarded $125 million on July 1, including $50 million in punitive damages, to the estate of a man who died while living in substandard housing conditions where the temperature in his unit hit nearly 100 degrees in the summer (Christina Thornton v. Ralston GA LLC, et al., No. 17-572, Ga. State, Muscogee Co.).
CONWAY, S.C. — After a South Carolina jury held a medical practice liable for a $3.5 million award after two physicians discharged a mentally unstable patient who later drowned in the ocean, the trial judge on June 6 applied a previous settlement setoff and reduced the award to $2.9 million (David L. Scheer v. Southern Myrtle Inpatient Services LLC, No. 2017-CP-26-1571, S.C. Comm. Pls., Horry Co.).
ATLANTA — The Georgia Court of Appeals on June 28 affirmed a lower court’s ruling rejecting health care providers’ arguments that they were immune from liability under a state mental health law for discharging a suicidal patient who jumped off a third-floor balcony less than 12 hours later (Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority, et al. v. Denise Hickson, No. A19A0215, Ga. App., 2019 Ga. App. LEXIS 427).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court let stand a $74.1 million jury award to the widow and son of a delivery truck driver who was crushed to death by unloading equipment at a Ford Motor Co. plant, holding on June 25, among other rulings, that drivers routinely fixed jams in the equipment (Lisa Ann Ford, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. WD81832, Mo. App., Western Dist., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 1022).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland jury on July 1 awarded a mother and child $229.6 million —believed by their attorney to be the largest medical malpractice verdict in the country — after concluding that a hospital gave the mother misleading information about the baby’s prognosis, which led to her refusing a cesarean section delivery. The baby suffered brain damage during the vaginal delivery and now requires extensive care (Zubida Byrom, et al. v. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Inc., No. 24-C-18-002909, Md. Cir., Baltimore City).
CHICAGO — The city of Chicago and a hospital misidentified an unconscious, disfigured man, which resulted in sisters agreeing to take off life support the man they believed to be their brother, according to a complaint filed July 3 by the two men’s families (Rosie Brooks, et al. v. Chicago, et al., No. 2019-L-007328, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A putative class complaint where the class is limited to citizens of a single state in a lawsuit accusing a surgical center of failing to sufficiently respond to potentially exposing patients to various diseases due to improper sterilization of medical hardware and instruments belongs in state court, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled June 18, adopting a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendation (David Kinlock, et al. v. HealthPlus Surgery Center, LLC, No. 19-962, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101797).
PATERSON, N.J. — A New Jersey resident seeks damages in a June 24 complaint filed in a state court against the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) for injuries sustained while riding a bicycle (Moises Gonzalez v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. PAS-L-001970-19, N.J. Super., Passaic Co.).
SPOKANE, Wash. — A Washington appeals court on June 13 vacated a lower court ruling allowing a motorcycle operator to claim damages for medical expenses for injuries he sustained in a crash that also seriously injured his passenger and remanded for a new trial on the issue of his medical bills (Madelynn M. Tapken v. Spokane County, et al., No. 35473-3-III, Wash. App., Div. 3, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 1515).
PHILADELPHIA — A waiver of liability agreement signed by a triathlete who died while competing in an event bars his widow’s wrongful death suit against the organizers of the event, an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court said in a June 18 per curiam order affirming a lower court decision (Michele Valentino v. Philadelphia Triathlon LLC, No. 17-EAP-2017, Pa. Sup., Eastern Div., 2019 Pa. LEXIS 3368).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on June 12 vacated a $15.5 million jury award to a woman who alleged that a physician failed to properly treat her necrotizing vasculitis. It remanded for a new trial on all issues after finding that the trial court committed a prejudicial error in instructing the jury about informed consent (Yvonne R. Sherrer v. Stephanie Hollingsworth, No. 4D18-830, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 9228).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania jury awarded the parents of a 21-month-old child who died from a strangulated bowel $3.38 million on May 31. The jury apportioned liability among an emergency room physician, a physician’s assistant and a nurse who failed to diagnose and treat the condition (Shutang Lei, et al. v. Jeffrey Ettinger, et al., No. 02560, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
TOPEKA, Kan. — A divided Kansas Supreme Court on June 14 concluded that the state’s $250,000 statutory cap on personal injury noneconomic damages is unconstitutional because it violates an individual’s “inviolate” right to a jury trial. The state high court reversed and remanded a lower court’s entry of judgment reducing a plaintiff’s award (Diana K. Hilburn v. Enerpipe Ltd., No. 112,765, Kan. Sup., 2019 Kan. LEXIS 107).
NEW YORK — A New York appellate court on June 13 affirmed a lower court’s refusal to dismiss claims that a doctor’s overprescription of opioids led to a woman’s death. It concluded that a jury should decide whether the doctor’s failure to obtain the decedent’s medical records or contact her treating orthopedist contributed to her overdose (Patricia Halloran v. Ajay N. Kiri, M.D., et al., No. 21037/15E, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4755).