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).
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania jury awarded $11 million on June 6 to a woman who sustained severe injuries when she had to give birth vaginally to her second child after requesting a cesarean section due to problems with the delivery of her first child (Stephanie Giberson v. Grand View Hospital, et al., No. 2013-04574, Pa. Comm. Pls., Bucks Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 denied a residential property owner’s petition for writ of certiorari, letting stand a Texas appeals court’s ruling in his negligence suit that he failed to show that the elevator in his home lacked a working telephone when the building was inspected (Cleveland Franklin v. American Elevator Inspections Inc., No. 18-1220, U.S. Sup.).
WOBURN, Mass. — A child who suffered neurological damage when she went into cardiac arrest after a radiologist overlooked her enlarged heart was awarded $11.5 million by a Massachusetts jury on June 6 (Anna Coelho, et al. vs. William Denison, et al., No. 2013-3876, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).
PUEBLO, Colo. — A man who became permanently paralyzed after a hospital emergency room staff misdiagnosed his head injury and discharged him was awarded more than $3 million on May 17 by a Colorado jury, which held the hospital liable for $2.87 million and the treating physician for $151,433 (Samuel Chifalo, et al. v. Ashley Ostrand, et al., No. 2018-30092, Colo. Dist., Pueblo Co.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania jury awarded a man $2.5 million on June 12 for injuries he sustained when he collided with snowmaking equipment while snowboarding at a ski resort (James B. Ashmen Jr. v. Big Boulder Corp., et al., No. 17-00104, M.D. Pa.).
INDIANAPOLIS — Saying that generally “it is improper to grant summary judgment when requests for discovery are pending,” the Indiana Court of Appeals on June 19 reversed a trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of McDonald’s Corp. and remanded for further proceedings a case involving a boy who was injured when he fell from a stool at a McDonald’s restaurant (C.D.Q., et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., No. 18A-CT-2109, Ind. App.; 2019 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 758).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A deckhand who was injured when a hatch blew open may not recover punitive damages on his claim of unseaworthiness, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24 (The Dutra Group v. Christopher Batterton, No. 18-266, U.S. Sup.,2019 U.S. LEXIS 4202).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 agreed with the U.S. government and denied a petition for certiorari challenging an Alabama Supreme Court decision that an Indian tribe is not protected by tribal sovereign immunity from tort claims in a car crash personal injury negligence suit (Poarch Band of Creek Indians, et al. v. Casey Marie Wilkes, et al., No. 17-1175, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA — A New Jersey federal judge properly excluded expert testimony for a woman seeking to hold a personal watercraft maker liable for injuries she received in a fall from a watercraft, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined June 17 in also affirming judgment for the watercraft company (Angela Ruggiero v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., et al., No. 18-1206, 3rd Cir, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18143).
TRENTON, N.J. — On remand from the New Jersey Supreme Court, a state appeals panel on June 13 again affirmed an earlier decision that invalidated an arbitration clause in an agreement to participate at a trampoline park franchise, rejecting franchisor defendants’ argument that reconsideration of its prior decision is warranted because the arbitration clause is enforceable under two New Jersey rulings (Alexander Defina v. Go Ahead and Jump 1, LLC, et al., No. A-1861-17T2, N.J. Super, App., Div.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 sent a negligence suit over an elderly woman’s death after taking pills that were mailed to the wrong address back to the trial court to conduct a Daubert analysis for three medical experts because their causation opinions were improperly disallowed (Michael A. Small v. WellDyne, Inc., et al., No. 18-1638, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17545).
WACO, Texas — Noting repeated discovery violations by Baylor University and law firm Pepper Hamilton, which previously represented it, a Texas federal judge on June 7 declined to reconsider a previous order compelling compliance with a discovery subpoena and scheduled a hearing to consider matters of privilege and potential sanctions (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Baylor University, No. 6:16-cv-00173, W.D. Texas).
MORRISON, Ill. — An Illinois judge on May 31 entered final judgment of $2.02 million for parents and their child who suffered permanent injuries after a doctor wrapped his wrist and arm too tightly following a fall down stairs when he was 2-1/2 years old (Ryder Milnes, et al. v. Dr. Zewdu Haile, et al., No. 13-55, Ill. Cir., Whiteside Co., 14th Jud. Cir.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania jury concluded on May 16 that a worker’s negligence contributed to an accident in which he was severely injured when a tractor rolled over him. Therefore, the jury held a land-clearing equipment dealer liable for 75 percent of its $2.9 million award, reducing it to $2.19 million (Michael Huchko, et al. v. Blount International Inc., et al., No. 15-018552, Pa. Comm Pls., Allegheny Co.).
SYCAMORE, Ill. — An Illinois jury awarded a record $5.9 million on May 7 for a work-related injury in DeKalb County to a man who fell from the bucket of an aerial lift truck when the lift’s boom arm broke (Jeremy Heckelsmiller v. Tom Anderson, et al., No. 16-16, Ill. Cir., DeKalb Co., 23rd Jud. Cir.).
HELENA, Mont. — A Montana jury awarded more than $409,000 on May 23 to the widow of a man who informed a hospital upon admission of his “do not resuscitate” (DNR) and “do not intubate” (DNI) advance directives but was nevertheless resuscitated twice in two days (Cheryl O’Donnell v. Lee Harrison, et al., No. 2017-850, Mont. Dist., Lewis and Clark Co., 1st Jud. Dist.).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An Alabama jury awarded $30 million on May 16 to the estate of a man who died from a gunshot wound while waiting in an emergency room for a surgical consult from the on-call surgeon who was conducting other surgeries and failed to designate a backup (Lekesha Taylor v. DCH Health Care Authority, et al., No. 63-CV-2014-900872, Ala. Cir., Tuscaloosa Co.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on May 28 affirmed a $3.17 million award to a couple who sued a hospital after an infection the wife contracted following eye surgery resulted in the removal of her left eye (Jeanne Shellum, et al. v. Fairview Health Services, et al., No. A18-1516, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 485).