RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 sent a negligence suit over an elderly woman’s death after taking pills that were mailed to the wrong address back to the trial court to conduct a Daubert analysis for three medical experts because their causation opinions were improperly disallowed (Michael A. Small v. WellDyne, Inc., et al., No. 18-1638, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17545).
WACO, Texas — Noting repeated discovery violations by Baylor University and law firm Pepper Hamilton, which previously represented it, a Texas federal judge on June 7 declined to reconsider a previous order compelling compliance with a discovery subpoena and scheduled a hearing to consider matters of privilege and potential sanctions (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Baylor University, No. 6:16-cv-00173, W.D. Texas).
MORRISON, Ill. — An Illinois judge on May 31 entered final judgment of $2.02 million for parents and their child who suffered permanent injuries after a doctor wrapped his wrist and arm too tightly following a fall down stairs when he was 2-1/2 years old (Ryder Milnes, et al. v. Dr. Zewdu Haile, et al., No. 13-55, Ill. Cir., Whiteside Co., 14th Jud. Cir.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania jury concluded on May 16 that a worker’s negligence contributed to an accident in which he was severely injured when a tractor rolled over him. Therefore, the jury held a land-clearing equipment dealer liable for 75 percent of its $2.9 million award, reducing it to $2.19 million (Michael Huchko, et al. v. Blount International Inc., et al., No. 15-018552, Pa. Comm Pls., Allegheny Co.).
SYCAMORE, Ill. — An Illinois jury awarded a record $5.9 million on May 7 for a work-related injury in DeKalb County to a man who fell from the bucket of an aerial lift truck when the lift’s boom arm broke (Jeremy Heckelsmiller v. Tom Anderson, et al., No. 16-16, Ill. Cir., DeKalb Co., 23rd Jud. Cir.).
HELENA, Mont. — A Montana jury awarded more than $409,000 on May 23 to the widow of a man who informed a hospital upon admission of his “do not resuscitate” (DNR) and “do not intubate” (DNI) advance directives but was nevertheless resuscitated twice in two days (Cheryl O’Donnell v. Lee Harrison, et al., No. 2017-850, Mont. Dist., Lewis and Clark Co., 1st Jud. Dist.).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An Alabama jury awarded $30 million on May 16 to the estate of a man who died from a gunshot wound while waiting in an emergency room for a surgical consult from the on-call surgeon who was conducting other surgeries and failed to designate a backup (Lekesha Taylor v. DCH Health Care Authority, et al., No. 63-CV-2014-900872, Ala. Cir., Tuscaloosa Co.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on May 28 affirmed a $3.17 million award to a couple who sued a hospital after an infection the wife contracted following eye surgery resulted in the removal of her left eye (Jeanne Shellum, et al. v. Fairview Health Services, et al., No. A18-1516, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 485).
DALTON, Ga. — A metal recycling worker and his wife were awarded $21.6 million on May 10 for severe injuries he sustained when he was hit by a pickup truck trying to avoid a tractor-trailer blocking the highway as it left the business. A Georgia jury held the tractor-trailer driver and his employer liable for 99.9 percent of the award (Donald Monroe, et al. v. Lane’s Equipment Rental Inc., No. 16CI833-J, Ga. Super., Whitfield Co.).
ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines allowed a passenger to bring a large dog on a flight without properly securing the animal, which attacked and bit another passenger in the face several times, according to a complaint filed May 24 in a Georgia court by the injured passenger (Marlin Jackson v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 19-0002876, Ga. State, Fulton Co.).
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded on May 28 that a couple whose 5-year-old son died from chemotherapy toxicity did not present adequate evidence at trial that the hospital breached the standard of care. Accordingly, it reversed the $1.25 million award to the parents (IU Health, Inc. v. Mike Meece, et al., No. 18A-2968, Ind. App., 2019 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 647).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 28 agreed to decide whether the parents of an unarmed Mexican teenager, who was killed by a U.S. border patrol agent on Mexican soil, can sue under case law that permits damage awards to individuals whose constitutional rights were violated by a federal officer when no other legal remedy exists (Jesus C. Hernandez, et al. v. Jesus Mesa Jr., No. 17-1678, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 3691).
CHICAGO — A man who lost his foot in a construction accident reached a $10 million settlement with the driver of the truck that hit him and the driver’s employer, the plaintiff’s firm announced June 4 (Victor Calderon v. Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete Inc., et al., No. 16-010247, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should decline the federal government’s suggestion to grant review, vacate and remand an Alabama Supreme Court decision that an Indian tribe is not protected by tribal sovereign immunity from tort claims in a car crash negligence suit, but should grant certiorari instead to reverse the state court’s ruling, the tribe and its casino business argue in a June 5 supplemental brief (Poarch Band of Creek Indians, et al. v. Casey Marie Wilkes, et al., No. 17-1175, U.S. Sup.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals court panel on May 28 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of commercial general liability insurers in their declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for personal injuries that an independent contractor incurred while drilling a water well for the insureds’ residential customer, finding that the policies did not cover well drilling operations that were unrelated to the insureds' feed store premises (Larry Musselwhite v. Florida Farm General Insurance Company, et al., No. 1D18-780, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 8207).
SAN DIEGO — A California Native American tribe on May 24 removed a state court personal injury action to federal court based on subject matter jurisdiction and the tribe’s Patron Tort Claims Ordinance, under which the tribe waives its sovereign immunity to tort claims, but only so they can be decided in tribal court (Georgia Micheau v. Harrah’s Resort Southern California, et al., No. 3:19-cv-00980, S.D. Calif.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rico federal judge on May 23 allowed entry of appearance of counsel hired by the Puerto Rico Guaranty Association of Miscellaneous Insurance to represent its insured in a personal injury lawsuit but declined to allow the entry of appearance of counsel for the guaranty association itself because it is not a party (Brenda Lee Maduro Colon v. Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers, No. 17- 01591. D. Puerto Rico, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88209).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Alabama Supreme Court went against U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it held that an Indian tribe is not protected by tribal sovereign immunity from tort claims in a car crash negligence suit, but certiorari is not warranted at this time because the tribe has proposed to amend its laws to waive its immunity for such tort claims, the U.S. government says in a May 21 amicus curiae brief filed at the request of the nation’s high court (Poarch Band of Creek Indians, et al. v. Casey Marie Wilkes, et al., No. 17-1175, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1854).
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The United States must pay a Japanese teenager $1.1 million for the negligence of a tribal police officer whose continued pursuit of a drunken driver caused a head-on crash that killed her parents and brother, an Arizona federal judge ruled May 17 after a bench trial (Kaori Stearney v. United States, No. 16-08060, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83445).
TRENTON, N.J. — A trial judge erred in failing to address post-verdict juror misconduct and in barring certain testimony in a dispute over the standard of care used in surgery to repair a plaintiff’s torn Achilles tendon, a New Jersey appellate court held May 15, reversing a defense verdict and remanding for a new trial (Storm Colleton, et al. v. Mark Biebel, et al., No. A-5469-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1109).