JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court on Jan. 15 affirmed a $28.9 million award to a woman who claimed that the failure to timely diagnose and treat her rare genetic disorder resulted in paralysis and other injuries. But it reversed and remanded trial court rulings on the payment schedule and post-judgment interest that would have reduced the amount awarded (Emilee Williams v. Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities f/k/a St. John’s Clinic Inc., No. SC96547, Mo. Sup., 2019 Mo. LEXIS 4).
ATLANTA — The discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) protected the federal government from claims brought by a civilian employee who was injured when her car was hit by a descending retractable barrier at a U.S. military base in Alabama, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 15, reversing a lower court ruling (Shannon Rutherford v. United States, No. 18-10625, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1271).
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a jury verdict that found a utility company’s negligence did not cause a private airplane to crash after its wheels became caught on power lines. It rejected arguments on fault and comparative fault brought by the family of a passenger who died from burns sustained in the accident (Susan K. Morrison, et al. v. Grundy County Rural Electric Cooperative, No. 17-1001, Iowa App., 2019 Iowa App. LEXIS 66).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota appeals court on Jan. 14 affirmed a $4.75 million jury award to a driver who was hit by a rock that fell off an overloaded dump truck and crashed through his windshield. However, it also reversed and remanded for the lower court to determine whether punitive damages are warranted (Carney Lien v. Casper Construction, Inc., et al., No. A17-1994, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 46).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A university and religious organizations that ran a school for boys in Haiti agreed on Jan. 25 to pay $60 million to settle claims that they allowed students to be sexually abused by an administrator who was later convicted and sent to prison. The plaintiffs seek approval of a class of at least 133 former students who were abused over a 10-year period (Gesner Lecenat, et al v. Douglas Perlitz, No. 13-01633 and 14-00668, D. Conn.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A trial court was justified in dismissing with prejudice a woman’s lawsuit claiming that she was injured on a bus after she failed twice to appear for independent medical exams, a New Jersey appellate court held Jan. 24 (Lisa A Katramados v. First Transit Inc., et al., No. A-1947-17T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS).
NEW ORLEANS — A Texas federal court properly dismissed a wrongful death suit brought by the widow of a high-stakes gambler who committed suicide over his mounting debts, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 16, holding that she was unable to establish personal jurisdiction over the Las Vegas casino defendants (Sheri W. Head, et al. v. Las Vegas Sands LLC, et al., No. 18-40421, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1411).
HONOLULU — A Hawaii federal magistrate judge on Jan. 10 approved a $18.7 million settlement between the federal government and a woman and her family following a $24.7 million award by the magistrate, who concluded that an army hospital was liable for sepsis-related injuries the woman sustained after giving birth, which led to her needing a kidney transplant (Marites Campano, et al. v. United States, No. 15-00439, D. Hawaii).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 rejected a neurosurgeon’s arguments that a trial court confused the jury when it gave instructions on general negligence and foreseeability standards, reinstating a $329,000 award to the plaintiff (Mark Armacost v. Reginald J. Davis, No. 69, Md. App., 2019 Md. LEXIS 47).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — With an infectious disease expert’s testimony allowed, a couple’s strict liability and breach of warranty claims over a case of food poisoning allegedly from a flounder dinner while on vacation survive a restaurant’s summary judgment bid, though their negligence claim fails for lack of proof that the restaurant caused the flounder to become infected, a South Carolina federal judge held Jan. 25 (Erna Kiessling, et al. v. Kiawah Island Inn Company LLC, No. 2:17-cv-02146, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12057).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A volunteer youth football coach sued the league’s national governing body after he was struck by lightning when a storm arose during practice. The defendant removed the action from a South Carolina state court to federal court on Jan. 14 (Zachary G. Mumford v. USA Football, Inc., No. 19-119, D. S.C.).
MIAMI — A Florida federal jury concluded Jan. 16 that a plaintiff who did not fasten her seat belt during turbulence encountered on a plane’s descent was 99 percent liable for her injuries in her suit against the airline (Fanny Quevedo, et al. v. Iberia Lineas Aereas de España, Sociedad Anónima Operadora Co., No. 17-21168, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A couple have taken their slip-and-fall action against an Indian casino to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing in a Jan. 10 petition for a writ of certiorari that the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ holding that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) does not authorize the transfer of jurisdiction to state courts for such tort claims conflicts with high court precedent (Harold McNeal, et ux. v. Navajo Nation, et al., 18-894, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 85).
BALTIMORE — Following a bench trial, a Maryland magistrate judge on Dec. 17 concluded that the children of a woman who died from an embolism in her lung failed to show that a treating physician’s negligence in failing to diagnose the condition was not a substantial factor in her death (Warren Walker, et al. v. United States, No. 16-3623, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211683).
MIAMI — A Florida jury on Dec. 17 found that a cruise ship properly conducted its search for a passenger who fell overboard and that the crew did not confine his family to their cabins against their will during the search (Todd Skokan, et al. v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 17-24337, S.D. Fla.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Affirming a defense verdict on Dec. 19, a New Jersey appeals court rejected arguments by the widow of a man who died from an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism that a trial court erred in its jury charge on avoidable consequences and in ruling on her claims of evidence spoliation (S.W.K. v. Atlantic Health System Inc., et al., No. A-4790-15T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2779).
NEW YORK — A general contractor and a carpentry and drywall subcontractor reached a $10 million settlement on Nov. 20 with a subcontractor’s employee who fell down an elevator shaft on a renovation project and was rendered paraplegic (Adolf Radeljic, et al. v. Certified of N.Y. Inc., et al., No. 158995/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appeals court threw out a $2.3 million award against health care providers on Jan. 9 and ordered a new trial in litigation brought by a woman who alleged that they failed to timely diagnose an infection on her spine, which led to permanent injuries (Arlene Daniele v Pain Management Center of Long Island, et al., No. 2016-04240, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 155).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The mother of one of five children killed in a multivehicle crash on their way to Disney World filed a wrongful death action against the employers of two tractor-trailer drivers on Jan. 10 in a Florida state court (Chastity Green Dupuy Warren v. Eagle Express Lines Inc., et al., No. 50-2019-CA-000399, Fla. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A concert venue owner and operator cannot be held liable for a concert goer’s injuries after pop star Gwen Stefani invited people seated in a lawn area to move closer to the stage, a North Carolina federal judge said Dec. 17, because the defendant had no warning of Stefani’s announcement. However, the judge allowed claims against Stefani to proceed (Lisa Keri Stricklin v. Gwen Stefani, et al., No. 17-00397, W.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211977).