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.).
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.).