SAN JOSE, Calif. — Natural condition immunity protected a California county from a woman’s premises liability lawsuit alleging injuries from falling on a wet rock in a manmade tunnel because the setting duplicated a condition found in nature, a state appellate court affirmed Oct. 15 (Lisa Wheeler v. Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, No. H044351, Calif. App., 6th App. Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6963).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — An indoor rock climbing gym did not commit gross negligence when it failed to provide an orientation session to a novice who fell and injured her spine, or the industry standard amount of padding at the base of the climbing wall, a California appeals court affirmed Oct. 9 (Yu Chaio Tan v. Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gym LLC, et al., No. E067759, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6857).
MINNEAPOLIS — A jury in a Minneapolis state court awarded a mother $8.9 million on Sept. 28 for injuries her son sustained during birth, including nerve damage and a broken arm due to a midwife’s negligence in her prenatal care and delivery (Owen Oakes-Samuelson, et al. v. Allina Health System, No. 27-17-2702, Minn. 4th Jud. Dist., Hennepin Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio jury held a medical laboratory 50 percent responsible for a $44,514,226 award to a child and his family on Sept. 28 for its delay in returning critical test results. It held the child’s medical providers liable for the remainder of the award for their failure to timely diagnose a severe ear infection that led to brain damage and “locked-in” syndrome, as well as their failure to follow up on the lab results (Bradley Metts, et al. v. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, et al., No. 14-002543, Ohio Comm. Pls., Franklin Co.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A patient alleging injuries from a morphine overdose following a cesarean section could not establish causation without expert testimony because the injuries could have been caused by a morphine overdose, a normal dose of morphine or some or all of the 12 other medications she received at the time, a Missouri appeals court affirmed Oct. 16 (Kassidy L. Love v. J.M. Waring, M.D., et al., No. WD81495, Mo. App., Western Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Mo. App. LEXIS 1239).
PHOENIX — A trial court correctly dismissed a patient’s suit for failing to present an expert affidavit because her allegations that a surgeon knowingly left a needle inside her body required a medical expert to explain the surgeon’s reasoning under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, an Arizona appeals court concluded Oct. 11 (Ernestine Grayson v. Banner Health, et al., No. 17-0577, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2018 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1466).
TRENTON, N.J. — A cleaning service for an airport’s security area cannot be held liable for injuries suffered by a woman who slipped and fell on ball bearings on the floor because it had no actual or implied notice and no reasonable opportunity to discover and correct the hazard, a New Jersey appellate court affirmed Oct. 18 (Dawn Gatto, et al. v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, et al., No. A-4769-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS).
CHICAGO — An Illinois jury awarded a child and his parents $50.3 million on Oct. 9 for the severe brain injury called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) that he sustained after a doctor and nurse waited too long to deliver him. As a result of the HIE, the child developed cerebral palsy and a variety of lifelong injuries (Julien Florez, et al. v. NorthShore University HealthSystem et al., No. 2014-L-013348, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Texas Wal-Mart and its employees are not liable for selling at least 60 cans of aerosol dust remover to a woman who was found dead after inhaling the product, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 16 (Deleese Allen v. Wal-Mart Stores, LLC, et al., No. 17-20404, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29073).
LOS ANGELES — The University of Southern California (USC) on Oct. 19 announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to settle claims by hundreds of current and former students who allege that they were sexually abused by the university’s former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall (Jane Doe J.L., et al. v. University of Southern California, et al., No. 18-6115, C.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS — An insurer recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that found its insurance policy provided coverage for an underlying personal injury lawsuit brought by two Mexican nationals in this country on temporary agricultural work visas, arguing that there is no coverage because at the time of the accident, the plaintiffs were presumptive employees of its insured or independent contractors performing manual labor (Alejandro Jorge Chavelas, et al. v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co., et al., 18-30388, 5th Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — An appeals court improperly made determinations of fact as to when a woman suffering from Lyme disease should reasonably have known that she was misdiagnosed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Oct. 17, vacating a judgment against her and remanding for a jury to decide whether the woman’s negligence suit against her health care providers was brought within the statute of limitations (Nancy Nicolaou, et al. v. James J. Martin, No. 44 MAP 2017, Pa. Sup., 2018 Pa. LEXIS 5468).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Following injuries from a car accident, a man seeks uninsured motorist benefits from the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) in an Oct. 2 complaint filed in a New Jersey court (Jaime Alberto Torres v. Brian H. Getcliffe, et al., No. MID-L-005824-18, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).
MIAMI — A Florida federal magistrate judge on Oct. 5 partially granted and partially denied motions to limit expert witness testimony and evidence filed by both sides in a personal injury lawsuit against Carnival Corp. and Steiner Transocean Ltd. by a woman who alleges that her hip was fractured while receiving spa services aboard a ship (Dawn Dawsey v. Carnival Corp., et al., No. 16-23939, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172512).
MIAMI — Two longtime airline pilots can testify as experts for a couple suing Spain’s flag carrier airline for injuries suffered during severe turbulence, though they cannot offer opinions about the flight crew’s state of mind, a Florida federal magistrate judge held Oct. 11 (Fanny Quevedo, et al. v. Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana, S.A. Operadora Unipersonal, No. 17-21168, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174771).
MILWAUKEE — A federal magistrate judge in Wisconsin on Oct. 3 ruled that an engineer could provide expert testimony on ballistics and the shape of an indentation on the rear driver’s side door of an informant’s car because he was qualified to proffer his opinions but that he was unqualified to discuss trace elements that would have been left behind on the door, as well as the credibility of the defendant (United States v. Derrick L. Harris, et al., No. 17-CR-167, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170537).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 28 denied a defendant company’s motion to exclude the testimony of a couple’s liability expert, who opines that a defect in a motorcycle tire caused it to unexpectedly blow out, finding that the expert’s visual inspection of the object was a reliable methodology to support his opinion (Daniel Griffith, et al. v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., No. 11-CV-761S, W.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187976).
OTTAWA, Ill. — An Illinois appeals court on Sept. 24 affirmed a trial court’s judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) ruling concluding that a school district and its employees did not commit willful and wanton negligence in failing to supervise students in a lawsuit brought by the family of a middle school student who was severely beaten by a high school student. The appeals court also upheld the finding that the defendants did not purposely destroy the statements of students who witnessed the attack (Noah Ryan Hawk Rogers, et al. v. Andrew McConnaughay, et al., No. 3-17-0690, Ill. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1650).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court reversed a trial court’s decision to award a plaintiff’s law firm 10 percent of the total value of an $18 million settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit instead of the requested 31 percent of the share allocated to the decedent’s four minor children. The appeals court remanded Oct. 2, saying the lower court abused its discretion by relying heavily on the children’s medical needs in reaching its decision (Nicolas Schulz, et al. v. Jeppesen Sanderson Inc., et al., No. B27749, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1).
MIAMI — A passenger who did not fasten her seat belt during turbulence on a flight from Spain to Italy established that she sustained injuries caused by an “accident” as defined by an international treaty on airlines’ liability for passengers’ injuries or death, a Florida federal judge ruled Oct. 3. However, questions remained about whether an airline’s negligence caused her injuries, he said (Fanny Quevedo, et al. v. Iberia Lineas Aereas de España, Sociedad Anónima Operadora Co., No. 17-21168, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170476).