ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Sept. 11 held that a trial court abused its discretion by excluding an engineering expert’s entire causation opinion and throwing out a $27.7 million award to a pilot injured in a plane crash allegedly caused by a defective fuel pump. The state high court ordered a new trial on liability and remanded (Mark Kedrowski v. Lycoming Engines, No. A17-0538, Minn. Sup., 2019 Minn. LEXIS 539).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals court on Sept. 17 affirmed a trial court’s refusal to grant a new trial to a physician who sued a nurse for giving her the wrong allergy medication, which resulted in an allergic reaction that sent her to the emergency room. The appeals court concluded that the jury’s award of zero damages was not inconsistent with its finding that the nurse was negligent (Marilyn Griffin v. Julia Marshall, No. 1-18-1578, Ill. App., 1st Jud. Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1738).
GULFPORT, Miss. — A Mississippi judge on Sept. 18 entered final judgment on a $1.21 million award to a man who suffered significant complications from a vascular injury sustained when a surgeon failed to safely place a screw during hip replacement surgery (Hunter William Foote Jr. v. Dudley S. Burwell, et al., No. A2401-2016-186, Miss. Cir., Harrison Co., 1st Jud. Dist.).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio jury awarded $3.97 million in compensatory damages on Sept. 11 to a woman who claimed that a surgeon caused permanent nerve damage to her face during a biopsy procedure. The parties settled for the compensatory award amount before the jury could reach the issue of punitive damages or the state cap on noneconomic damages could be applied (Jacqueline Childs, et al. v. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, No. 17-890086, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).
TACOMA, Wash. — In a trial against Amtrak on compensatory damages alone, a Washington jury on Sept. 13 awarded $7 million to a man who was seriously injured when a derailed train car fell from a bridge onto the truck he was riding in and $2 million to his wife. It also awarded $7.75 million to a passenger on the train (Blaine Wilmotte, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., No. 18-00086; Dale Skyllingstad v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., No. 18-06848, W.D. Wash.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After a default judgment was entered against a scrap metal company on negligence, an Alabama jury awarded $5.5 million in damages on Sept. 17 to the widow of a driver who died after his vehicle hit a company trailer that was blocking both lanes of a highway (Tamara Jean Peace, et al. v. Keith Rock, et al., No. 18-41, N.D. Ala.).
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A California jury on Sept. 11 awarded $60 million to the parents of a 14-year-old boy who was struck and killed in a crosswalk by an SUV driver as he walked to school. The jury held the town liable for removing school zone signs in the area (Stephen De La Cruz, et al. v. Town of Apple Valley, No. CIVDS1619242, Calif. Super., San Bernardino Co.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A woman who broke her neck when the vehicle she was riding in was hit in an intersection by another vehicle trying to make a left turn was awarded $1.7 million by an Illinois jury on Sept. 6 (Teena Brailsford, et al. v. Devon Roach, et al., No. 17-03029, C.D. Ill.).
LOS ANGELES — Individual issues predominate when it comes to claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) brought by two mothers whose sons played Pop Warner tackle football and were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) postmortem, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 11, denying class certification of those two claims against the football program (Kimberly Archie, et al. v. Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., et al., No. 16-6603, C.D. Calif.).
EL PASO, Texas — A woman injured in the mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Wal-Mart store that left 22 people dead sued the retail giant and the shooter on Sept. 6, alleging that the company’s failure to provide adequate security at stores in low-income, minority communities allowed the attack to occur (Jessica Garcia, et al. v. Walmart Inc., et al., No. 2019DCV3471, Texas Dist., El Paso Co., 120th Jud. Dist.).
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal judge on Sept. 17 handed the United States a summary judgment victory in a medical malpractice case after finding that the expert for a woman who suffered respiratory failure after surgery failed to identify a standard of care that was allegedly breached (Marie Smith v. United States, No. 1:17-cv-01215, S.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157923).
CINCINNATI — Parents and guardians of nearly two dozen girls who attended an Ohio K-1 elementary school filed a class complaint in an Ohio federal court on Sept. 16 against the school district, superintendent, principal and a teacher, alleging that the gym teacher sexually abused their children (John and Jane Doe No. 1, et al. v. Springboro Community City School District, et al., No. 19-785, S.D. Ohio).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An expert cannot opine on a child’s fall at a Dollar Tree store in a personal injury action because her proposed testimony is not “based on sufficient facts or data” as required by Federal Rule of Evidence 702, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 12 in excluding the expert’s testimony from trial (Austin Smith, et al. v. Dollar Tree Stores Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-243, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155574).
SALT LAKE CITY — A lower court properly dismissed a woman’s claims against the University of Utah over colon injuries she alleged by a surgeon who was employed by the institution because the plaintiff did not timely file a notice of claim, the Utah Supreme Court affirmed Aug. 15 (Cheryl Amundsen v. University of Utah, No. 20180207, Utah Sup., 2019 Utah LEXIS 129).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania jury absolved a pediatrician and her practice of liability on Sept. 5 in the death of an infant who died six hours after her birth from meconium aspiration and sepsis (Carissa Peronis, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 16-01389, W.D. Pa.).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A woman who suffered injuries to her spine when a tractor-trailer rear-ended her vehicle was awarded $2.1 million by a Tennessee jury on Aug. 21 (Sylvia Jean Stephenson v. YRC Inc., et al., No. 17-194, E.D. Tenn.).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Georgia jury awarded $280 million on Aug. 23 to the husband and estate of a woman who was killed along with her daughter, two grandchildren and twin sister when a tractor-trailer crossed the highway center line and hit the SUV they were riding in head-on (Larry Madere, e al. v. Schnitzer Southeast LLC, et al., No. 2017-00106, Ga., State, Muscogee Co.).
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania jury awarded a widow $1.07 million on July 23, concluding that a hospital was 90 percent responsible for her husband’s death from a brain stem stroke, which led to locked-in syndrome. It also held two health care providers 10 percent liable (Jocelyn Kostanesky, et al. v. Lehigh Valley Hospital – Hazelton, et al., No. 2016-09292, Pa. Comm. Pls., Luzerne Co.).
ATLANTA — A Georgia jury on Aug. 13 awarded $4.2 million to a man who was injured when a driver under the influence of prescription drugs caused a multivehicle chain reaction accident at an intersection. A judge entered final judgment on the award the same day, which included fees and costs (Joao Junior v. Sharon Graham, No. 13EV017893G, Ga. State, Fulton Co.).
BENTON, Ill. — An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 22 awarded $8.29 million to the mother of a boy born with permanent injuries to his right arm after concluding that her obstetrician’s negligence caused the child’s shoulder dystocia during delivery (Young Juan Zhao, et al. v. United States, No. 17-454, S.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143014).