NEW YORK — A woman sued the estate of Jeffrey Epstein on Aug. 14 in a New York state court, alleging that the deceased financier and convicted sex offender sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old (Jennifer Danielle Araoz v. Estate of Jeffrey Edward Epstein, et al., No. 950010/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on Aug. 16 excluded the testimony of a biomechanics expert for Olympia, Wash., and one of the city’s police officers in a civil rights case brought against them by two black brothers the officer shot during an attempted arrest, saying the expert’s use of 3-D images based only on the officer’s recollection is unreliable (Andre Thompson, et al. v. Olympia, et al., No. 3:18-cv-05267, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139202).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 12 signed off on a class settlement that will provide a $70 million medical minoring fund to pay medical monitoring program expenses for the next 50 years and $5 million for concussion-related research, ending a multidistrict litigation by former collegiate athletes who accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of mishandling student-athlete concussions and concussion-related risks (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, No. 13-9116, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135682).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The daughter of a woman who was killed by a gun illegally obtained from an online firearms marketplace tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 29 petition for certiorari that the Wisconsin Supreme Court improperly found the website operator immune from negligence and wrongful death claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), arguing that the statute is meant to shield an interactive computer service provider from liability for another party’s online content, but not from liability for its own actions intended to facilitate illegal conduct (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup.).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A New Jersey judge on Aug. 7 entered judgment on a jury’s finding that a building owner was not liable for a woman’s ankle injury from tripping and falling on a step because she failed to show that the owner did not maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition (Carmela Minor, et al. v. W & F Gressing, et al., No. 2230-17, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).
CONCORD, N.H. — Dartmouth College and nine female current and former students announced on Aug. 6 that they reached a $14 million settlement of claims that the school failed to protect students from sexual assault, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination by three professors known as the “Predators’ Club” (Kristina Rapuano, et al. v. Dartmouth College, No. 18-01070, D. N.H.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — After a driver admitted hitting a bicyclist in a crosswalk, a Florida jury awarded the bicyclist $2.18 million, including nearly $2 million in noneconomic damages, on July 31 (Mary Mitchell v. Steven Paul Anderson, No. 18-001085, Fla. Cir., Lee Co., 20th Jud. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — Discomfort that can be managed through nonprescription methods does not warrant a $1 million award for future physical pain, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 1, vacating and remanding for remittitur that portion of a $2.82 million jury award to a truck driver injured in a two-truck collision (Ambrosio Longoria v. Hunter Express Ltd., et al., No. 17-41042, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23053).
NEW YORK — A New York magistrate judge on Aug. 1 concluded that two dentists who failed to diagnose a woman’s rare oral cancer after treating her six times in five months were not responsible for her death from the disease (Prinsema Colbourne v. United States, Nos. 16-5606 and 19-1757, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128828).
DETROIT — A divided Michigan appeals court on July 25 said a trial court correctly refused to rule in favor of a gastroenterologist who was sued over a woman’s death from colorectal bleeding, affirming that questions remain about whether biopsies taken during a colonoscopy caused the bleeding (Estate of Effie Taylor v. University Physician Group, et al., No. 338801, Mich. App., 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 4203).
OTTAWA, Ill. — An Illinois appellate court on July 19 reversed a jury’s defense verdict for an orthopedic practice and remanded for a new trial on the issue of damages for a patient’s death from a pulmonary embolism. It concluded that the practice was liable after it failed to timely schedule a follow-up appointment to check on the patient’s leg cast (Susan Steed v. Rezin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine S.C., et al., No. 3-17-0299, Ill. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1371).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals court on July 30 affirmed a ruling in favor of a surgeon who was accused of making a mistake during a procedure that led to the removal of a patient’s spleen, concluding that there was no evidence that negligence caused her injury (Rebekah Ann Korak, et al. v. Daniel J. Para, et al., No. 18-0444, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2019 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 859).
CHICAGO — A federal court properly dismissed a severely injured couple’s product liability claims against a motorcycle helmet company for lack of expert testimony and correctly excluded their expert witnesses for claims against the motorcycle maker and a tire company, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 6 (Donald N. Timm, et al. v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America, Ltd., et al., No. 18-2641, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23448).
CINCINNATI — A lower court properly admitted evidence about an antidepressant’s side effects to help explain why a 13-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a train did not move off of the tracks, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 5, affirming that several railroad defendants were not liable for her death (Jessica Frye v. CSX Transportation Inc., et al., No. 18-2056, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23305).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gun manufacturers petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 1 to review Connecticut Supreme Court rulings reinstating certain claims brought by the estates of victims killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting. The petitioners argue that the state high court ruling erroneously broadens the scope of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act’s predicate exception (Remington Arms Co. LLC, et al. v. Donna L. Soto, et al., No. 19-168, U.S. Sup.).
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada case law imposes a heightened duty of care on a common carrier toward its passengers that applies only to transportation-related risks, a divided Nevada Supreme Court held Aug. 1, vacating a $15 million award to the parents of a disabled man who choked to death on a sandwich while riding on a paratransit bus and remanding for a new trial (First Transit Inc., et al. v. Jack Chernikoff, et al., No. 70164, Nev. Sup., 2019 Nev. LEXIS 44).
NEW YORK — A New York jury awarded $59.1 million on July 5 to a man who was severely burned at age 16 while watching his high school science teacher conduct the “Rainbow Experiment,” after a federal chemistry board warned school systems that the experiment is dangerous (Yvonne Yanes, et al. v. New York, et al., No. 161066/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
AKRON, Ohio — In litigation brought by a security guard who was injured when a crowd-surfing attendee at a Blink-182 concert accidentally kicked him in the eye, an Ohio federal judge on July 15 dismissed two management companies and agreed to let the plaintiff amend his complaint (Kevin Darago, et al. v. Live Nation Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 18-2639, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117253).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin jury awarded more than $15.1 million on June 6 to the parents of a woman who was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding her bicycle in a crosswalk (Estate of Emily Zhu, et al. v. Brian J. Hodgson, et al., No. 2016-000567, Wis. Cir., Dane Co.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In a suit brought by a firefighter who was injured in an accident at a firefighting base camp, the California Supreme Court found that a statute limiting the tort liability of public entities serves as an affirmative defense and not a jurisdictional bar. In reversing an appeals court’s decision on July 15, the state high court remanded for a ruling on whether the affirmative defense was adequately pleaded (Rebecca Megan Quigley v. Garden Valley Fire Protection District, et al., No. S242250, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 5216).