Mealey's Personal Injury

  • December 13, 2019

    Parents Of Toddler Who Died In Fall From Cruise Ship Window File Suit In Florida

    MIAMI — The parents of an 18-month-old girl who fell 150 feet to her death from a cruise ship filed suit on Dec. 11 in a Florida federal court, alleging that Royal Caribbean Ltd. violated industry safety standards by failing to include safeguards or warnings on glass windows that open near an area for children (Alan Wiegand, et al. v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 19-25100, S.D. Fla.).

  • December 11, 2019

    BNSF Waives Right To Respond To Petition In Case Over Employee’s Death

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — BNSF Railway Co. on Nov. 22 waived its right to respond to a petition for a writ of certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by the widow of a worker who was killed as a result of an accident that occurred while driving to work (Rita Guerrero v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 19-625, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 10, 2019

    Sinkhole Litigation Between Injured Driver, California City Settled For $4 Million

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a $4 million settlement on Dec. 4 between the city and a woman who was seriously injured when her SUV fell 20 feet into a sinkhole that suddenly opened near an intersection, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys, who alleged that the sinkhole was caused by the city’s failure to maintain its sewer system (Stephanie Scott v. County of Los Angeles, et al., No. BC675020, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • December 10, 2019

    New Mexico High Court Restores Claims Doctor’s Mistake Led To Termination Of Fetus

    SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Dec. 5 reinstated a woman’s claims against a health system alleging that she had to terminate her pregnancy after a doctor mistakenly treated her with a drug that causes birth defects.  The state high court concluded that the plaintiff’s application to the medical review board was complete and tolled the applicable statute of limitations period for filing suit (Marlina Romero v. Lovelace Health System Inc., et al., No. S-1-SC-36764, N.M. Sup., 2019 N.M. LEXIS 53).

  • December 10, 2019

    California Motorcyclist Hurt In Lane-Change Collision Wins $21.5 Million Jury Award

    LOS ANGELES — A motorcyclist who was thrown from his vehicle when a car suddenly changed lanes without signaling was awarded more than $21.5 million by a California jury on Dec. 3 after the driver and his employer admitted liability (Matthew Rada v. Hardin Irvine Automotive Inc., et al., No. BC 696709, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • December 10, 2019

    California Jury Awards $12M To Mother For Son’s Heat Exhaustion Death

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The mother of a man who died from a heart arrhythmia due to heat exhaustion was awarded $12 million on Nov. 25 by a California jury that held the club where he was a member 80 percent liable for failing to immediately call 911 and the decedent 20 percent liable because he refused help and had underlying health problems (Katherine Keck v. Bel-Air Bay Club Ltd., No. BC704134, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • December 10, 2019

    Missouri Federal Judge: Duck Boat Owners Can’t Limit Liability For Deaths, Injuries

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge concluded that the lake in which a “duck boat” sank during a storm, causing the deaths of 17 people on board, is not a navigable waterway and, therefore, is not subject to admiralty jurisdiction for purposes of limiting liability.  The judge on Nov. 27 dismissed a suit brought by the owners and operators of the duck boat to restrict or free them from liability, and the companies filed a notice of appeal on Dec. 2 (In re Branson Duck Vehicles LLC, et al., Nos. 6:18-03339 and 6:19-05006, W.D. Mo., Southern Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205731).

  • December 09, 2019

    Woman Awarded $23.2 Million For Boat Propeller Injuries By California Federal Judge

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Following a bench trial on damages, a California federal judge awarded a woman at least $23.2 million on Dec. 2 for injuries she received when her legs were caught in the propeller of a rental boat, which resulted in the partial amputation of one leg.  The judge also ordered the parties to submit calculations on the present value of the future economic damage award (Manisha Palla v. LM Sports Inc., et al., No. 16-02865, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207457).

  • December 09, 2019

    Lack Of Evidence Insolvent Insurer Properly Canceled Auto Policy, Panel Finds

    GRETNA, La. — The Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA) failed “to present clear and unequivocal proof” that an insolvent insurer satisfied the requirements of Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 9:3550 for proper cancellation of an automobile insurance policy for nonpayment of a premium, a Louisiana appeals panel ruled Dec. 4 (Lucy Benitez v. Ahmed Elsayed, et al., No. 19-CA-122, 2019 La. App. LEXIS 2189).

  • December 08, 2019

    New York Appellate Court Vacates $13.9 Million Award For Bus Crash As Excessive

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appellate court on Nov. 20 concluded that a $13.9 million award to a man who was hit by a bus while sitting in his parked car and his wife was excessive and remanded for a new trial on certain damages.  It also gave the couple the chance to accept a reduced award of $5.18 million (Calvin L. Tarpley, et al., v. New York City Transit Authority, et al., No. 2017-10506, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8432).

  • December 08, 2019

    Most Of $640,000 Award For Hotel Bedbugs Vacated By California Appeals Court

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court on Nov. 19 threw out all but $2,500 of a more than $640,000 jury award to parents and their son that sued a hotel after finding bedbugs in their room.  The appeal court vacated awards for punitive damages and attorney fees, as well as the jury’s finding of intentional infliction of emotional distress (Martha McKindra, et al. v. Tharaldson Financial Group Inc., No. E069896, Calif. App., 4th App. Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7701).

  • December 08, 2019

    Georgia Appeals Court Vacates Punitive Damages Ruling For Man Hit By Teen Driver

    ATLANTA — The Georgia Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 reversed a ruling granting summary judgment on punitive damages to a pedestrian who was hit by a 16-year-old driver, concluding that there was no evidence that the driver was on her cell phone at the time of the accident.  It also affirmed a ruling rejecting the driver’s “act of God” defense (Katherine Glynn Head v. Jadilson Silva De Souse, No. A19A2284, Ga. App., 2019 Ga. App. LEXIS 685).

  • December 08, 2019

    Kentucky Appeals Court Affirms Ruling For Physician In Gallbladder Surgery Suit

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals court on Nov. 22 affirmed a ruling in favor of a physician accused of deviating from the standard of care by a patient who was diagnosed with a biliary leak following surgery to remove his gallbladder (James Hacker v. Dana Edwards, No. 2018-CA-001223, Ky. App., 2019 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 834).

  • December 06, 2019

    Court: KFC Franchisee Did Not Have Control Over Area Where Injury Occurred

    JACKSON, Miss. — There is no evidence showing that a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchisee exercised control over a gas station convenience store’s restroom located in the same building where a man slipped and injured himself, the Mississippi Court of Appeals held Dec. 3, affirming judgment to the franchisee (Wilbur M. Washington, Jr., et al. v. West Quality Food Services, Inc., No. 2017-CA-01532-COA, Miss. App., 2019 Miss. App. LEXIS 576).

  • December 05, 2019

    Magistrate:  Production Of Handwritten Documents Won’t Violate 5th Amendment

    FRESNO, Calif. — Mostly granting a motion by the federal government to compel production of documents containing the handwriting and signature of a decedent in a wrongful death lawsuit, a California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 2 found that the production would not violate the right against self-incrimination of the decedent’s family members under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Maricela Laurino, et al. v. United States, No. 1:18-cv-00636, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207461).

  • December 05, 2019

    Parents, Tribal Hospital Settle Oklahoma Suit Over Baby’s Brain Damage For $7.5 Million

    MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A tribal hospital reached a $7.5 million settlement with the parents of a child born with a severe brain injury after being deprived of oxygen during labor and filed their agreement in an Oklahoma federal court on Nov. 19 (Shelby Wilkett Carshall, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 17-329, E.D. Okla.).

  • December 04, 2019

    Illinois Appellate Panel Revives Nursing Home Suit, Finds Claims Not Time-Barred

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appellate panel on Nov. 27 reversed the dismissal of a personal injury action against a nursing home filed by the administrator of a resident’s estate, disagreeing with the ruling in Giles v. Parks, on which the trial court relied to determine that the claims were untimely (Radoslaw Mickiewicz v. Generations At Regency, LLC, et al., No. 1-18-1771, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2185).

  • December 03, 2019

    Georgia Judge: Jury Verdict Not Inconsistent; Challenge Waived

    MARIETTA, Ga. — A Georgia judge on Nov. 14 entered judgment in favor of a son who prevailed at a recent jury trial on allegations that a nursing home, a hospice care provider and their employees contributed to the wrongful death of his mother (Gary Alexander v. American Grace Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 15-A-2421-5, Ga. State, Cobb Co.).

  • November 25, 2019

    Certiorari Denied In Suit Over Immunity, Liability For Gun-Selling Website

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 25 declined to take up a case in which a woman whose mother was shot by a gun procured online had raised a question about the extent to which the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides immunity from liability to website operators (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 7206).

  • November 22, 2019

    17 Employees Sue McDonald’s In Illinois For Failing To Protect Them From Customers

    CHICAGO — Seventeen employees of McDonald’s restaurants in the Chicago area sued corporate- and franchise-owned stores on Nov. 21 in an Illinois state court for failure to protect them from customers’ violent behavior, which has resulted in physical and psychological injuries (Sonia Acuña, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., et al., No. 2019-CH-13477, Ill. Cir, Cook Co.).