BALTIMORE — A Maryland jury on July 1 awarded a mother and child $229.6 million —believed by their attorney to be the largest medical malpractice verdict in the country — after concluding that a hospital gave the mother misleading information about the baby’s prognosis, which led to her refusing a cesarean section delivery. The baby suffered brain damage during the vaginal delivery and now requires extensive care (Zubida Byrom, et al. v. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Inc., No. 24-C-18-002909, Md. Cir., Baltimore City).
CHICAGO — The city of Chicago and a hospital misidentified an unconscious, disfigured man, which resulted in sisters agreeing to take off life support the man they believed to be their brother, according to a complaint filed July 3 by the two men’s families (Rosie Brooks, et al. v. Chicago, et al., No. 2019-L-007328, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A putative class complaint where the class is limited to citizens of a single state in a lawsuit accusing a surgical center of failing to sufficiently respond to potentially exposing patients to various diseases due to improper sterilization of medical hardware and instruments belongs in state court, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled June 18, adopting a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendation (David Kinlock, et al. v. HealthPlus Surgery Center, LLC, No. 19-962, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101797).
PATERSON, N.J. — A New Jersey resident seeks damages in a June 24 complaint filed in a state court against the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) for injuries sustained while riding a bicycle (Moises Gonzalez v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. PAS-L-001970-19, N.J. Super., Passaic Co.).
SPOKANE, Wash. — A Washington appeals court on June 13 vacated a lower court ruling allowing a motorcycle operator to claim damages for medical expenses for injuries he sustained in a crash that also seriously injured his passenger and remanded for a new trial on the issue of his medical bills (Madelynn M. Tapken v. Spokane County, et al., No. 35473-3-III, Wash. App., Div. 3, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 1515).
PHILADELPHIA — A waiver of liability agreement signed by a triathlete who died while competing in an event bars his widow’s wrongful death suit against the organizers of the event, an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court said in a June 18 per curiam order affirming a lower court decision (Michele Valentino v. Philadelphia Triathlon LLC, No. 17-EAP-2017, Pa. Sup., Eastern Div., 2019 Pa. LEXIS 3368).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on June 12 vacated a $15.5 million jury award to a woman who alleged that a physician failed to properly treat her necrotizing vasculitis. It remanded for a new trial on all issues after finding that the trial court committed a prejudicial error in instructing the jury about informed consent (Yvonne R. Sherrer v. Stephanie Hollingsworth, No. 4D18-830, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 9228).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania jury awarded the parents of a 21-month-old child who died from a strangulated bowel $3.38 million on May 31. The jury apportioned liability among an emergency room physician, a physician’s assistant and a nurse who failed to diagnose and treat the condition (Shutang Lei, et al. v. Jeffrey Ettinger, et al., No. 02560, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
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.).