Mealey's Personal Injury

  • March 25, 2020

    Reinsurer Failed To Inspect Church’s Boiler, Congregant Alleges In $1M Lawsuit

    BOSTON — A church congregant accuses a reinsurer in a Feb. 28 complaint in a Massachusetts federal court of failing to perform jurisdictional inspections on a boiler and appurtenances at the church that resulted in him being injured and incurring $1 million in medical costs (Brian R. Bishop v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, No. 20-30029, D. Mass.).

  • March 24, 2020

    Judge Refuses To Let Insurer Intervene In Wrongful Death Suit Against Sorority

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on March 22 denied an insurer’s motion to intervene in a mother’s lawsuit alleging 16 wrongful death and survival claims against a national sorority, local sorority chapters and individual sorority members who allegedly hazed her suicidal daughter or failed to protect her from hazing, finding that the insurer fails to identify a claim or defense for which it seeks intervention (Felicia Hankins v. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., et al., No. 19-00147, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49099).

  • March 23, 2020

    Proposed Class Action In Texas Against China Says COVID-19 Is Biological Weapon

    DALLAS — A proposed class action filed in a Texas federal court on March 17 on behalf of individuals and businesses damaged by the COVID-19 outbreak accuses China, its military and virus experts of creating and releasing the virus as a biological weapon in violation of China’s agreements under international treaties (Buzz Photos, et al. v. People’s Republic of China, et al., No. 20-00656, N.D. Texas).

  • March 23, 2020

    New Jersey Appeals Court Reinstates Plant’s Previous Owner In Wrongful Death Suit

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appellate court on March 18 reversed and remanded a trial court’s refusal to reconsider its dismissal of a wrongful death suit against the previous owner of a plant where a worker was killed when an unsecured electrical control panel fell on him.  Questions remained about the previous and current owner’s knowledge of the control panel’s storage at the time the plant was sold, it said (Linda A. Wejnert, et al. v. McCain Foods USA Inc., No. A-1525-18T1, N.J. Super. App. Div., 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 531).

  • March 23, 2020

    Third-Party Defendant Must Join Trial Over Cancer Death, Says New Jersey High Court

    TRENTON, N.J. — A trial court correctly denied a gynecologist’s bid to be dismissed as a third-party defendant in an action alleging the failure to timely diagnose a woman’s fatal cervical cancer, the New Jersey Supreme Court concluded March 16.  Third-party defendants may be subject to contribution claims and, therefore, the gynecologist must participate at trial, it said (Samuel Mejia, et al. v. Quest Diagnostics Inc., et al., No. 082739, N.J. Sup., 2020 N.J. LEXIS 304).

  • March 23, 2020

    $2.49 Million Award To Man Injured By Tractor Upheld By Pennsylvania Superior Court

    PITTSBURGH — A trial court properly found that the discrepancies between a plaintiff’s complaint and his testimony about how he was injured by a land-clearing tractor did not warrant overturning a $2.49 million award, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held March 13 (Michael Huchko, et al. v. Blount International Inc., et al., No. 1281 WDA 2019, Pa. Super., 2020 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 889).

  • March 23, 2020

    Georgia Appeals Court Vacates $19.8 Million Award Over ‘Death Warrant’ Statement

    ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court on March 16 reversed and remanded a $19.8 million award to a man who was severely injured when a dump truck hit his tractor.  It concluded that the plaintiff’s counsel violated a trial court’s ruling barring emotionally charged statements by saying that a jury award based on the cost of nursing home care would be signing the plaintiff’s “death warrant” (Rubin Harvey Jr. v. Johnny L. Williams, No. A19A2217, Ga. App., 2nd Div., 2020 Ga. App. LEXIS 207).

  • March 23, 2020

    Cruise Line Sued By 5 Couples In California Federal Court Over COVID-19 Exposure

    LOS ANGELES — More cruise ship passengers sued Princess Cruise Lines on March 13 and March 17 in a California federal court, accusing the cruise operator of exposing them to COVID-19.  Five couples allege that the company knew and failed to disclose that passengers exposed to the coronavirus on a prior voyage remained on board for the plaintiffs’ cruise (Debra Dalton, et al. v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., 20-02458; Evelyne Abitbol, et al. v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 20-02414; Michael Austin, et al. v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 20-02531; and Steven Kurivial, et al. v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 20-02361, C.D. Calif.).

  • March 23, 2020

    Texas Appeals Court Vacates Defense Verdict In Suit Over Injury At Funeral Home

    EASTLAND, Texas — A trial court should have included a question about negligence in its charge to a jury, which decided that a funeral home was not liable for a woman’s injuries after she was cut by a picture frame it loaned her, a Texas appeals court said March 19 in vacating the defense verdict (Lee Ann Colbert v. Brad Smith, et al., No. 11-18-00063, Texas App., 11th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2314).

  • March 23, 2020

    Executor Petitions To Settle Wrongful Death, Survival Claims Against Rehab Hospital

    LANCASTER, Pa. — The executor of the estate of an elderly man who allegedly died from injuries that occurred during stays at a rehabilitation hospital and a nursing home in Pennsylvania on March 17 filed a petition in state court seeking approval to settle his wrongful death and survival claims against the rehabilitation hospital for $45,000; he previously settled his claims against the nursing home defendants for $175,000 (Andrew Collins v. Manor Care of Lancaster, PA, LLC, et al., No. CI-2012-15908, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lancaster Co.).

  • March 19, 2020

    9 Detainees In Washington Sue ICE For Release, Allege High COVID-19 Risk

    TACOMA, Wash. — Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nine older adults who have medical conditions that carry a high risk of contracting a serious and potentially fatal COVID-19 infection sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a Washington federal district court on March 16, seeking their release from detention (Karlena Dawson, et al. v. Nathalie Asher, et al., No. 2:20-409, W.D. Wash.).

  • March 19, 2020

    Some Defendants Dismissed, Others Stay In Connecticut Senior Living Negligence Case

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on March 16 dismissed a defendant company and one of its shareholders from a negligence case against a senior living facility but allowed a resident’s claims against the facility’s owner and management company to proceed, along with an unfair trade practices claim against the facility’s executive director (Dorina Schachter, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-953, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44964).

  • March 18, 2020

    Texas Supreme Court Reverses Ruling For Man Bitten By Venomous Spider

    AUSTIN, Texas — A bed and breakfast owner owed no duty to an invitee who was bitten by a brown recluse spider on his property because he was unaware of the presence of the venomous arachnid, the Texas Supreme Court held March 13, reversing an appellate court ruling (Homer Hillis v. Henry McCall, No. 18-1065, Texas Sup., 2020 Tex. LEXIS 187).

  • March 18, 2020

    NCAA Hit With 2 Class Complaints Over Injuries To Football Players

    CHICAGO — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) exhibited “reckless disregard” for college football players’ health and safety, allege two class complaints, both filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, one on March 13 on behalf of decades of Texas Southern University (TSU) student-athletes and one on March 16 on behalf of decades of Alcorn State University student-athletes (Lernard Mack, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 20-835, Thomas Baker, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 20-846, S.D. Ind.).

  • March 16, 2020

    NCAA, Board And Coach Sued For Sexual Abuse By Student-Athletes

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and its board of governors fails to put policies and practices in place to protect student-athletes from sexual abuse by coaches and other athletic department personnel, three female student-athletes allege in a class complaint filed March 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that also names one coach as a defendant and accuses him of “grooming” and sexually abusing all three plaintiffs (Erin Aldrich, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 20-1733, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 16, 2020

    Florida Plaintiffs File Proposed Class Action Against China For COVID-19 Outbreak

    MIAMI — Four Florida residents and one business sued government agencies in the People’s Republic of China on March 13 for failing to timely report the initial COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019 and downplaying its seriousness.  The plaintiffs seek to represent classes of plaintiffs in the United States whose health and businesses are consequently being affected by the disease (Logan Alters, et al. v. National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, et al., No. 20-21108, S.D. Fla.).

  • March 11, 2020

    Couple Quarantined On Ship Sues Cruise Line In California Federal Court

    LOS ANGELES — A couple quarantined in their cabin on board a cruise ship sued the cruise line in a California federal court on March 9, alleging that the company knew that two passengers from the previous voyage had coronavirus symptoms but chose to embark on another voyage the same day.  The company failed to inform the 3,000 new passengers that 62 passengers from the previous cruise are also on board, they argue (Ronald Weissberger, et al. v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 20-02267, C.D. Calif.).

  • March 10, 2020

    New Trial Order Over Autopsy Photos Vacated By Texas Appeals Court

    HOUSTON — A trial court abused its discretion in granting a motion for a new trial to a decedent’s family in a suit against medical providers who misdiagnosed his acute myeloid leukemia as tonsillitis, a Texas appeals court ruled Feb. 25.  It pointed out that autopsy photos were not new evidence and did not warrant a new trial (In Re Iftikhar Ahmed, et al., No. 01-19-00584, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1571).

  • March 10, 2020

    Texas Federal Judge Dismisses Claims Poor Air Traffic Control Training Led To Fatal Crash

    DALLAS — The discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) bars two brothers’ claims against the federal government alleging that negligent training, supervision and staffing at an air traffic control center led to their parents’ deaths in a small aircraft crash, a Texas federal judge concluded Feb. 25 (Charles Barton Fehr, et al. v. United States, No. 18-01083, N.D. Texas).

  • March 10, 2020

    Ohio State University Settles 11 Of 18 Suits Alleging Doctor Assaulted Male Students

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University (OSU) on March 6 announced that it reached confidential settlements with plaintiffs in 11 of 18 lawsuits filed in Ohio federal court accusing it of ignoring male students’ complaints that athletic team doctor Richard Strauss, M.D., had been sexually assaulting them for decades.