MEDFORD, Ore. — The federal government was not entitled to a set-off of an award for past medical expenses to a man who was on Medicaid when he was left nearly quadriplegic from an untimely diagnosed MRSA infection, an Oregon federal magistrate judge concluded Nov. 6. Following post-trial briefing on damages, the judge awarded the plaintiff $12,647,009.06, including $1,847,009.06 in past medical expenses (John Eric Smith v. United States, No. 16-00690, D. Ore.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court concluded Nov. 15 that the state’s year-old Medical Review Panel Act is unconstitutional because the statute forecloses immediate access to the court system by requiring medical review panels to evaluate the merits of proposed medical malpractice claims before claimants can file suit (Kentucky, et al. v. Ezra Claycomb, et al., Nos. 2017-SC-000614 and 2017-SC-000615, Ky. Sup., 2018 Ky. LEXIS 504).
SAN DIEGO — A California state judge on Nov. 16 entered final judgment on a $105,356,000 jury award against a man who fraudulently promised that he could cure a plaintiff’s cancer with an alkaline diet and advised her to stop chemotherapy (Dawn Kali v. Robert O. Young, et al., No. 37-2015-00043052, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
MINNEAPOLIS — The National Hockey League on Nov. 12 announced that it has reached a $18,922,000 tentative non-class settlement of multidistrict concussion injury litigation brought by 318 retired professional hockey players and unfiled claimants (In Re: National Hockey League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals court vacated a jury’s $7.9 million award to a man who was hit by a drunken driver while stopped at an intersection on his scooter. The lower court erred in refusing to give a jury instruction on intervening and superseding cause proposed by the owner of a gentleman’s club, which was critical to determining liability, the appeals court said Nov. 15 in remanding the action (Mark H. Dupray, et al. v. JAI Dining Services [Phoenix] Inc., No. 1-17-0599, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2018 Ariz. App. LEXIS 179).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California magistrate judge denied a medical center’s motion for summary judgment on Nov. 9, holding that the equitable tolling doctrine extended the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims brought by a plaintiff whose wife died days after having their third child. The magistrate judge left disputes over the standard of care and the anesthesiologist’s employment status for a jury to decide (Jiame Calderon, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 17-0040, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192402).
PHOENIX — Because a trial court failed to state with particularity the grounds for significantly reducing a $30 million jury award to the parents of a man killed in a two-car collision by a suspect fleeing from police, an Arizona appeals court reinstated the award against the state on Nov. 13 (Shuja Sayed Ahmad, et al. v. Arizona, No. 1-14-0664, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2018 Ariz. App. LEXIS 177).
AUSTIN, Texas — A plaintiff’s expert report adequately addressed causation and the standard of care in litigation over the misdiagnosis of a compression fracture in her vertebrae that rendered her paraplegic, the Texas Supreme Court held Nov. 16 in reversing and remanding an appeals court’s ruling (Sue Abshire v. Christus Health Southeast Texas, No. 17-0386, Texas Sup., 2018 Tex. LEXIS 1154).
GILMER, Texas — A Texas jury awarded the parents of a man who was killed when his van collided with a tractor-trailer $247 million, concluding Nov. 8 that the tractor-trailer driver and his employers were 95 percent responsible for the accident and the decedent 5 percent (Eddie McPherson, et al. v. Jefferson Trucking LLC, No. 16-00247, Texas 115th Jud. Dist., Upshur Co.).
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia jury held a hotel partially liable for the imprisonment and abuse of a woman and her baby that led to the child’s death from starvation. It awarded the plaintiffs $13.8 million against the hotel, concluding Nov. 12 that the hotel failed to ensure its guests’ safety (Ann Herrera, et al. v. Extended Stay America Inc., et al., No. 16-01271-4, Ga. State, Gwinnett Co.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 13 admitted the testimony of two experts for a truck driver and his company but excluded an opinion by their third expert, in a personal injury action over a rear-end crash on a highway (Kathleen Reagan, et al. v. CRC Transport, LLC, et al., No. 4:17-cv-1004, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193114).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six men from across the United States filed a class complaint on Nov. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accusing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Holy See of covering up sexual abuse since at least 1940 in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Timothy B. Lennon, et al. v. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, et al., No. 18-2618, D. D.C.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — With both of their expert witnesses excluded from testifying by a California federal judge, a couple whose infant daughter died at a day care facility lost their product liability case against a playpen maker on summary judgment Nov. 9 (Bill Rovid, et al. v. Graco Children’s Products Inc., et al., No. 4:17-cv-01506, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192449).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri appeals court vacated the apportionment of a $500,000 wrongful death settlement between a decedent’s divorced parents on Nov. 6, holding that the allotment of 98 percent to the father and 2 percent to the mother misapplied state law. It remanded for recalculation of the apportionment amounts (Loren Macke, et al. v. Austin Patton, No. ED106271, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Mo. App. LEXIS 1380).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Oct. 23 affirmed a trial court decision to order a new trial after a jury found that Greyhound Lines Inc. was not negligent in the deaths of three women whose SUV was hit by a bus after their vehicle crashed into a highway median (Victor Garay et al. v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., No. F072267, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey man seeks personal injury damages from the New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) in a Nov. 1 complaint filed in a New Jersey trial court for injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident (Maurico Tapia v. Eduin Diaz, et al., No. ESX-L-007790-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court on Oct. 31 affirmed a lower court ruling reversing the dismissal of negligence and fraud claims by the estate of a former college football player, holding that the claims could not be deemed untimely without further proceedings. The estate alleges that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and others failed to notify, educate and protect the decedent from long-term dangers of repeated concussions (Steven Schmitz, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 2017-0098, Ohio Sup., 2018 Ohio LEXIS 2614).
BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho federal judge on Oct. 25 allowed medical malpractice claims to proceed against an obstetrician and his practice in litigation brought by the parents of a woman who found out through Ancestry.com that the obstetrician who conducted the artificial insemination procedure to help her mother conceive could be her father (Kelli Rowlette, et al. v. Gerald E. Mortimer, et al., No. 18-00143, D. Idaho, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184236).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Wal-Mart had no affirmative duty to provide a customer with a shopping cart that had been separated from the store’s cart corral for easy access, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Oct. 19 in a dispute brought by an elderly man who fell while trying to free a cart from the others in the corral (Linda Unger, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, et al., No. 1170657, Ala. Sup., 2018 Ala. LEXIS 106).
HARRISONBURG, Va. — A federal jury in Virginia awarded a contractor who received a severe electrical shock more than $473,000 plus more than $85,000 in prejudgment interest on Oct. 25, concluding that the company that hired him was negligent in failing to warn him that a stud welder was dangerously electrified (Harry Workman v. Axalta Coating Systems, No. 17-00108, W.D. Va.).