JACKSON, Miss. — A jury in a Mississippi federal court on Sept. 13 awarded $3.5 million to the driver of a tractor-trailer that collided with a second truck and then was hit by a third truck. The jury held the driver of the second truck 100 percent liable for the first driver’s injuries (Derrick A. Franklin v. Zewdie D. Dugda, et al., No. 16-655, S.D. Miss., Northern Div.).
ATLANTA — A couple who sued Starbucks when the wife spilled a cup of hot coffee on her legs after the lid began leaking presented insufficient arguments to reverse rulings on the coffee chain’s deposition testimony and affirmative defenses or the lower court’s jury instructions, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 19 (Bettye Erchul v. Starbucks Corp., No. 17-14068, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 266).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In a dispute over injuries suffered by a nursing home resident before his death, the Arkansas Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed a lower court’s refusal to grant a new trial to the facility. It upheld the trial court’s jury instructions and verdict that the facility was not entitled to charitable immunity (Davis Nursing Association v. Gracie Neal, No. 17-327, Ark. App., 2018 Ark. App. 413).
SAN ANTONIO — An employer owed no legal duty to provide medical care to an employee who complained of stroke symptoms when the evidence showed that the employee was able to drive himself to his doctor’s office, a Texas appeals court affirmed Sept. 19 (Bradford Cooper v. M.N. Gumbert Corp., et al., No. 04-17-00833, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 762).
LOS ANGELES — Travis L. Barker, the drummer of the band Blink-182, suffered injuries from two different incidents in June and July 2018 — medical malpractice and a vehicle collision — that forced him to cancel a tour and other opportunities, causing him significant economic damage, he alleges in his Sept. 18 complaint filed in a California state court (Travis L. Barker, et al. v. Durham School Services L.P., et al., No. BC722397, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A veterans hospital emergency room physician’s failure to perform a risky procedure on a patient having a severe allergic reaction to eating shrimp did not cause the man’s death, a Missouri federal judge concluded Sept. 10. Evidence presented during a bench trial against the federal government showed that the procedure would likely not have saved the patient’s life, the judge said (Jada Weldon v. United States, No. 16-00381, W.D. Mo., Western Div.).
HOUSTON — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 12 affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful death suit brought by the family of a man killed at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, when a drunken driver drove into a crowd gathered for the event. It concluded that the lower court correctly ruled that the incident was not foreseeable for the event organizers or the city (Elisabeth Hendrika Sophia Maria Smit, et al. v. SXSW Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 17-50674, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25859).
SALEM, Ore. — A trial court erred in relying on a statutory exception to grant defendants’ motion to compel the disclosure of discussions between a treating physician and a plaintiff who alleges that she was injured when the apartment balcony she was standing on collapsed, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded Sept. 13. On a petition for writ of mandamus, the state high court rejected the defendants’ argument that a limitation on the physician-patient privilege does not apply (Janet Hodges v. Oak Tree Realtors, Inc., et al., No. S065530, Ore. Sup., 2018 Ore. LEXIS 718).
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri attorney general on Aug. 31 sued the operators of the “Ride the Ducks” vessel that caused 17 deaths when it sank on a lake during a storm, alleging violations of the state’s consumer protection statute. The defendants moved to dismiss on Sept. 10, arguing that the state’s claims are preempted by federal Coast Guard regulations (Missouri, ex rel., Attorney General Joshua D. Hawley v. Branson Duck Vehicles LLC, No. 18-3293, W.D. Mo.).
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The United States is not entitled to summary judgment for wrongful death claims involving the death of three family members during a police chase because the surviving family member’s representative presents issues of genuine fact about whether a tribal police officer’s pursuit caused the crash, an Arizona federal judge held Sept. 17 (Kaori Stearney v. United States, No. 16-08060, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157790).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 20 affirmed a federal judge’s ruling that a nursing home was precluded from seeking indemnification from a kitchen services contractor over the death of a resident who drank detergent she found in an unlocked cabinet, finding that a judgment that was vacated following the facility’s settlement with the woman’s family could be used for collateral estoppel purposes (Watermark Senior Living Retirement Communities Inc. v. Morrison Management Specialists Inc., No. 17-2129, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26860).
NEW ORLEANS — While testimony from a medical expert about the drug behavior of a man seeking damages for injuries he suffered working on an offshore oil rig may be relevant to why the man filed suit, it is far too prejudicial to be admitted at trial, a Louisiana federal judge held Sept. 18 (Torrey Thomas v. W&T Offshore, Inc., No. 16-14694, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158918).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey pedestrian filed a lawsuit on Sept. 17 against the New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) and the driver and owner of a vehicle that was involved in a collision causing him injuries (Thomas H. Snyder v. Karim Teran, et al., No. ESX-L-006567-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).
ASHLAND, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Sept. 14 granted two motions for partial dismissal in a class lawsuit over customers being allegedly exposed to hepatitis A at two Waffle House locations, rejecting certain claims by those customers who weren’t infected and those who never showed that they actually purchased food or drinks and rejecting certain claims against the defendants who serve only as franchisor and lessor (Paul Diamond, et al. v. Waffle House, Inc., et al., No. 18-49, E.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157087).
HOUSTON — A woman suing an airline in Texas federal court for injuries she suffered in a collision of passenger carts in an airport terminal failed for the most part Sept. 13 at getting expert evidence excluded from her case, the exception being a medical expert’s disparaging statement about her (Judy Ann Shaw v. United Airlines, Inc., et al., No. 4:17-cv-267, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155838).
AMARILLO, Texas — A Texas trial court properly awarded a tire maker no-evidence summary judgment on product liability claims in a wrongful death car crash case and did not abuse its discretion in excluding all of the plaintiff’s expert testimony evidence, which mandated the summary judgment finding, an appeals panel held Sept. 10 (Brian Jackson v. Michelin North America, Inc., No. 07-16-00325-CV, 7th D. Tex. App., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 7466).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals concluded Aug. 17 that evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support a jury verdict in favor of a man who lost his leg after being hit by a car that crashed through the fire doors of a Wal-Mart store. However, the court vacated a $3.49 million award and remanded for a new trial on the grounds that the trial court committed prejudicial error by allowing the plaintiffs to refer to facts not in evidence and unauthenticated images (Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al. v. Dimas Chavez, et al., No. 547, Md. Spec. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 801).
SANTA FE, N.M. — A jury in a New Mexico state court on Aug. 23 awarded $73.2 million, including $40 million in punitive damages, to a child who sustained a variety of injuries at birth and his mother, who had diabetes during pregnancy. The jury found a hospital system vicariously liable for health care providers’ failure to properly track the baby’s size during gestation and failure to advise the mother to have a C-section (Anne Sperling, et al. v. Pecos Valley of New Mexico LLC, No. D-101-CV-2016-00742, N.M. 1st Jud. Dist., Santa Fe Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — The owner of a Louisiana casino vessel and a hotel could be liable for injuries a contractor’s employee sustained when he fell off a ladder set up to span a gap between the vessel and building, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 27. It reversed and remanded for the lower court to revisit whether the owner exercised operational control over the contractor’s work and whether it authorized an unsafe practice (Tyler Renwick v. PNK Lake Charles LLC, No. 17-30767, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24245).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — An obstetrics and gynecology expert who provided a presuit affidavit clearly met the statutory qualifications for medical experts, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Sept. 6, reversing the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the estate of a woman who died three days after delivering a stillborn baby (Tuyuana L. Morris v. Orlando S. Muniz, M.D., et al., No. SC16-931, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 1579).