CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 reinstated putative class action claims alleging that a Tennessee school district deprived elementary school children of their constitutional rights by allowing them to be driven by a bus driver whose reckless behavior caused an accident that killed six children and injured others. It also affirmed the dismissal of claims against the bus driver’s employer (M.S., et al. v. Hamilton County Department of Education, et al., No. 17-6241, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30961).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A woman reached a $21.1 million settlement with the federal government in litigation alleging that health care providers at a Native American medical facility in Alaska misdiagnosed her cellulitis and sepsis as shingles. The lack of appropriate medical care led to the partial amputation of all four of her limbs, the plaintiff’s firm said in a statement on Oct. 23 (Mardi Strong v. United States, No. 13-00165, D. Alaska).
DALLAS — A Texas judge on Oct. 26 reduced a jury award to a couple and their two children from $242.1 million to $208.9 million to comply with the state’s statutory cap on economic damages. The jury found Toyota Motor Corp. responsible for most of the award in litigation over severe injuries the children sustained during a rear-end collision that caused the front seats of family’s vehicle to collapse on them (Benjamin Thomas Reavis, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., et al., No. 16-15296, Texas Dist., Dallas Co., 134th Jud. Dist.).
ATLANTA — The Georgia Court of Appeals on Oct. 23 affirmed the dismissal of premises liability and respondeat superior claims against a wedding venue brought by a woman who was accidentally shot while visiting friends who worked and lived on site (Caitlin Manners v. 5 Star Lodge and Stables LLC, No. A18A1227, Ga. App., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 599).
LOS ANGELES — A man who was knocked off his motorcycle by a gas utility truck and dragged more than 400 feet under the truck settled with the driver and his employer for $46 million. The deal was made after a California state court jury awarded him and his wife $41,864,102 in damages but before a punitive award was announced, the plaintiffs’ law firm said in an Oct. 22 statement (Jason Lo, et al. v. Dominick Consolazio, et al., No. BC653464, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 26 awarded $1.01 million to an oil rig worker who was injured when the helicopter he was in crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, after a bench trial against defendants that included the helicopter and engine manufacturers (Marvin Peter Leblanc Jr., et al. v. Panther Helicopters Inc., et al., No. 14-1791, E.D. La.).
PITTSBURGH — A Rite Aid customer sued the pharmacy company and a pharmacist at a Pittsburgh location on Oct. 23, alleging that an employee violated state and federal health laws and caused him mental anguish and humiliation by announcing his HIV status without permission within earshot of other customers (John Doe v. Rite Aid Pharmacy Corp., et al., No. 18-013826, Pa. Comm. Pls., Allegheny Co.).
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas appeals panel on Nov. 7 affirmed the majority of a $11,940,000 verdict in favor of an elderly man, rejecting a skilled nursing facility’s argument that the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the jury's finding that its negligence was a proximate cause of the man’s permanent injuries (Regent Care Center of San Antonio v. Robert H. Detrick, et al., No. 04-17-00596-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 9108).
MARSHALL, Texas — An expert for a skid loader manufacturer is sufficiently qualified to opine on the operation of the loader, but his opinions on how injuries to a paraplegic loader operator could have been prevented are unreliable, a Texas federal magistrate judge found Nov. 7 in excluding the expert’s testimony from trial (John K. Stephenson v. Caterpillar, Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-00071, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190793).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — Nonlegal opinions by an architectural and design expert for a woman who was hurt in a fall at a Target store should be allowed at trial, as should all opinions by the industrial engineering expert for Target Corp. in the slip-and-fall case, a New York federal magistrate judge held Nov. 5 (Sharon Bennett v. Target Corporation, No. 16-cv-5816, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189067).
LOS ANGELES — A class complaint filed Oct. 19 in a California state court accuses scooter makers of unlawfully deploying “fleets of defective” scooters onto California sidewalks and streets, causing injuries to riders and pedestrians and damage to property (Danielle Borgia, et al. v. Bird Rides, Inc., et al., No. 18STCV01416, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An expert witness for a man suing Ford Motor Co. after suffering severe injuries in a pickup truck rollover crash can testify about accident reconstruction, rollover propensity and roof strength but cannot offer several unreliable opinions, including that the man’s injuries would have been prevented by a stronger roof, a California federal judge decided Oct. 29 (Derek Rhodehouse v. Ford Motor Company, No. 2:16-cv-01892, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185109).
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A woman alleges in an Oct. 29 complaint in New Jersey trial court that the New Jersey Property and Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) breached its statutory duty to provide benefits for personal injuries (Alma Colon v. New Jersey Property and Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. HUD-L-004321-18, N.J. Super., Hudson Co.).
HONOLULU — A Hawaii state judge on Oct. 12 granted preliminary approval of a settlement not to exceed $4.5 million to be paid by a sushi chain and its seafood suppliers to end claims that a hepatitis A outbreak in 2016 was the result of food consumed at 13 of Genki Sushi’s restaurants in Hawaii (In Re: Hepatitis A Cases, No. 17-1-HEP, Hawaii 1st Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 affirmed summary judgment for a bow manufacturer sued by the survivors of a man killed by a rod on his bow while working on the bow at home, finding that the trial court properly excluded testimony by the survivors’ biomechanics expert for his reliance on “propensity” evidence (Mary Sandifer, et al. v. Hoyt Archery, Incorporated, et al., No. 17-30124, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29973).
MIAMI — A Florida federal court on Oct. 16 left for a jury to decide whether a cruise line’s search and rescue efforts for a man who died after falling overboard were adequate and whether it confined the family in their cabin against their will during the search (Todd Skokan, et al. v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 17-24337, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178062).
TACOMA, Wash. — The state of Washington on Oct. 12 agreed to pay a woman $28 million to settle claims that she was paralyzed from the chest down at age 15 when the car she was riding in struck an overpass cement support pillar (Skylar Seward v. Washington, et al., No. 16-2-12788-1, Wash. Super., Pierce Co.).
LOS ANGELES — Although a busy intersection posed a dangerous condition, none of the safety measures undertaken by the city of Los Angeles after a pedestrian’s death would have prevented the accident, an appellate court concluded Oct. 17, affirming a lower court ruling (David S. Lindley, et al. v. Los Angeles, et al., No. B281143, Calif. App., 2nd App. Dist., Div. 7, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7062).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court on Oct. 19 remanded for a new trial a lawsuit brought by a woman who was injured at a party when she was struck by part of a metal pole that broke off while another guest was using it to hit a piñata (Staci Piech v. Glenn Layendecker, et al., No. A-1417-16T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. LEXIS 144).
JONESBORO, Ga. — A Georgia jury awarded a mother $30.9 million on Sept. 25 in a medical malpractice suit alleging that health care providers negligently amputated the tip of her infant son’s penis during a circumcision procedure and then tried to hide the severity of the injury from her. The defendants moved for a new trial on Oct. 3 (Stacie Willis, et al. v. Melissa G. Jones, et al., No. 2014-02070, Ga. State, Clayton Co.).