SANDUSKY, Ohio — An Ohio jury on Aug. 28 awarded nearly $7.4 million to a woman who sustained massive neurologic damage after physicians failed to diagnose and treat a brain abscess and instead focused on investigating lung cancer that ultimately didn’t exist (Sean Moorhead, et al. v. Firelands Regional Medical Center, et al., No. 2015-0170, Ohio Comm. Pls., Erie Co.).
MINNEAPOLIS — The trustee for the six siblings of the late musician Prince filed a wrongful death action in a Minnesota state court on Aug. 24, alleging that a physician, health care systems and pharmacy company are liable for his fatal fentanyl overdose (Michael A. Zimmer, et al. v. Iowa Health System, et al., No. 27-18-14024, Minn. Dist., 4th Jud. Dist., Hennepin Co.).
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 refused to vacate a $1.5 million jury award to a plaintiff who was injured when her stopped vehicle was hit from behind by the defendant’s vehicle. In denying the defendant’s request for a new trial, the appeals court concluded that the award was not excessive, a medical expert’s disciplinary history had been properly excluded and a juror’s comments during deliberations did not amount to misconduct (Levetta Tunstall v. Dawn Manning, No. 49A04-1711-CT-2572, Ind. App., 2018 Ind. App., LEXIS 287).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Workers’ Compensation Act preempts negligence claims against a utilization reviewer who deemed a Klonopin prescription unnecessary for an employee with a back injury but failed to warn that abruptly stopping the use of the drug could have dangerous side effects, the California Supreme Court ruled Aug. 23. Because utilization reviewers work on behalf of employers, the workers’ compensation statute provided the exclusive remedy for the employee’s injuries, it said, affirming a lower court decision (Kirk King, et al. v. CompPartners Inc., et al., No. S232197, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 6268).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 7 granted a motion allowing female gymnasts alleging they were sexually abused by orthopedic physician Lawrence G. Nassar to dismiss their claims without prejudice and immediately refile to take advantage of a recently enacted state statute that retroactively extends the statute of limitations for survivors of alleged sexual assault who meet certain criteria (Rachael Denhollander, et al. v. Michigan State University, et al., Lead Case No. 17-29, W.D. Mich., Southern Div.).
ATLANTA — Negligence claims brought by a cruise ship’s passengers after a fire in the ship’s engine room caused a power outage and stranded the ship for days are barred by the 185-day notice provision in the passengers’ ticket contract, which applied to the company that maintained the ship’s engine and generators, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 30 (Cynthia Davis, et al. v. Valsamis Inc., No. 16-17081, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24681).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded Aug. 21 that a lower court erred in holding that the involuntary movement of a parked vehicle does not constitute the “operation” of a motor vehicle for the purposes of the vehicle liability exception to statutory governmental immunity. The state high court reversed and remanded in an action over the death of a worker killed when a vehicle hit a parked water authority vehicle and pushed it into him (Victoria Balentine, et al. v. Chester Water Authority, et al., No. 119 MAP 2016, Pa. Sup., Middle Dist., 2018 Pa. LEXIS 4299).
PASADENA, Calif. — A quadriplegic former prison inmate accusing a county and medical personnel of mistreating him while he was incarcerated will get another chance to defeat the defendants’ bid for summary judgment after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 7 vacated and remanded, based in part on improper expert witness rulings (Larry Trujillo v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 16-56064, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25466).
TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Supreme Court on Aug. 24 upheld a trial court’s jury instructions on a physician’s right to elect treatment and on standards of negligence in a medical malpractice trial against an emergency room doctor who treated a woman who died following onset of tachycardia (Kevin Biglow, et al. v. Marshall E. Eidenberg, et al., No. 112701, Kan. Sup., 2018 Kan. LEXIS 545).
STATESBORO, Ga. — A widow seeking to hold the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs liable for medical malpractice resulting in her husband’s death lost her case Sept. 6 for lack of expert causation evidence after a Georgia federal judge excluded her two experts and awarded the government summary judgment (Edna R. Dutton v. United States, No. 6:16-cv-90, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151769).
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals court on Aug. 21 reversed a ruling that the Farm Animal Activities Act (FAAA) waived ranch owners’ liability for wrongful death claims brought by the family of a ranch hand killed by a bull. It also determined that the decedent was an employee and should have been covered by workers’ compensation insurance (Raul Amparo Zuniga Rodriguez, et al. v. Conway Waak Jr., et al., No. 01-17-00755, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 6596).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut appeals court concluded Aug. 28 that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the defense in a negligence action filed after a high school cheerleader was injured while attempting a risky stunt for the third time. It reversed and remanded, holding that the lower court should have considered excerpts of depositions from the cheerleader and her coach before ruling (Dawn Teodoro v. Bristol, et al., No. 39185, Conn. App., 2018 Conn. App. LEXIS 335).
LOS ANGELES — The parents of a man who was hit by a vehicle on a busy highway and later died sued ride-sharing company Lyft and a Lyft driver for negligence on Aug 21. They allege in a California state court that the driver left their son on the side of the road after pepper-spraying him and forcing him out of the car (Amy Lavelle, et al. v. Lyft Inc., et al., No. n/a, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A man’s attempt to hold a ladder seller and manufacturer liable for injuries he suffered when a step stool he was on collapsed survived summary judgment Aug. 23 when a California federal judge denied a request by the defendants to strike the man’s expert from the case (Christopher Sullivan v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00959, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143840).
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on Aug. 22 denied a nursing home’s petition seeking reversal of a trial court judge’s decision finding that a lawsuit brought by two grandsons of a woman who died months after sustaining a leg laceration while at the facility was not prescribed by the one-year statute of limitations, finding that a request for a medical panel review tolled the start of the statute of limitations (James E. Guffey, et al. v. Lexington House LLC, No. 18-475, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 1620).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A man sued W.M. Barr & Co. Inc. and Lowe’s Home Centers LLC on Aug. 10 in South Carolina federal court, alleging that his son’s exposure to the fumes of Goof-Off SS caused his death (Hal G. Wynne Jr. v. W.M. Barr & Co. Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-2203, D. S.C.).
CINCINNATI — A trial court properly excluded testimony from two experts about a trailer design that could have prevented severe injuries a woman suffered when her car went underneath a semi-trailer because the design has never been built, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 23 (Jamie L. Wilden, et al. v. Laury Transportation, LLC, et al., No. 17-6306, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23776).
CHICAGO — Eleven passengers filed six lawsuits on Aug. 6 against the operators of Aeromexico Flight 2431, which crashed during takeoff in Mexico on July 31 (Ruby Rodriguez v. Aerovias de Mexico S.A. de C.V., et al., Nos. 2018-8430, 2018-8431, 2018-8433, 2018-8446, 2018-8447, 2018-8448, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A woman who sued her father for sexually abusing her for 16 years and her mother for failing to protect her was awarded more than $4.6 million by a Florida jury on Aug. 13 (Rebekka Trahan v. Scott S. Mulholland, et al., No. 2015-4247, Fla. Cir., 8th Jud. Cir., Alachua Co.).
BOISE, Idaho — A trial court did not err in granting summary judgment for Wal-Mart because a plaintiff who slipped and fell in one of its stores produced no evidence that demonstrated that the retail giant had constructive knowledge of a spill that caused the plaintiff to fall, the Idaho Supreme Court concluded Aug. 3 (Michael Johnson v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 45306, Idaho Sup., 2018 Ida. LEXIS 154).