Mealey's Personal Injury

  • June 14, 2024

    Panel: Lower Court Wrongly Found Arbitration Binding In Suit Against Care Home

    CLEVELAND — An Ohio appellate court on June 13 reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling that found an arbitration agreement binding for a survivorship claim in a suit filed against a nursing home by the administrator of the estate of a former resident, finding that the lower court erred in requiring arbitration of the claim because the administrator lacked authority to enter into the arbitration agreement.

  • June 14, 2024

    Florida Jury Awards $16M To Dead Smoker’s Widow And Son

    MIAMI — A Florida state court jury in a June 13 Phase 2 verdict awarded $10 million in punitive damages against a tobacco company, which will be added to its previous compensatory damages award of $6 million, for causing a smoker’s addiction to nicotine and death from lung cancer. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 14, 2024

    Trial Court Erred In Excluding Experts In Design Defect Case, 11th Circuit Says

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a trial court “applied an incorrect legal standard in excluding portions of the experts’ testimony and that this error infected its summary judgment decision,” reversing and remanding a design defect and injury case stemming from a fall out of a climbing tree stand while hunting.

  • June 13, 2024

    Quartz Countertop Defendant Denies Liability In Silicosis Case Brought By Worker

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — One of the defendants sued by a worker with silicosis who says he was injured by exposure to crystalline silica while cutting quartz countertops has filed an answer in California state court denying all allegations and asserting 42 affirmative defenses, including that the complaint fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.

  • June 12, 2024

    Massachusetts AG Announces $4M Understaffing Settlement With Care Home Operator

    BOSTON — Following an investigation into understaffing at nursing homes operated by Next Step Healthcare LLC, the Massachusetts attorney general announced that specified state agencies and her office, in its largest nursing home settlement, resolved allegations of nursing home neglect regarding Next Step’s failure to protect residents at the 16 nursing homes it operates, requiring Next Step and related parties to pay $4 million and to fund and participate in compliance monitoring to improve staffing levels.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judge Says Expert Can Opine On Trucking Company’s Driver Logs In Crash Suit

    SAN ANTONIO — Expert testimony on driver logs related to a trucker’s collision is reliable and will help a jury, a Texas federal judge ruled in denying a man’s motion to exclude; the judge also denied the man’s motion to reconsider a previous grant of partial summary judgment.

  • May 31, 2024

    Federal Judge: Expert Can Testify That Dangerous Railroad Crossing Led To Crash

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on May 30 denied a joint motion filed by a railroad company and Amtrak to exclude an expert who opined that a railroad crossing was extrahazardous and that its condition led to a collision.

  • May 31, 2024

    Michigan Appeals Court: No Error In Expert Exclusion, Summary Judgment Award

    DETROIT — A Michigan trial court did not err in finding that a medical expert failed to meet the admissibility standards under state law and that without that testimony, a woman failed to “advance a viable claim of medical malpractice,” a state appeals court held in affirming summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit.

  • May 30, 2024

    Defendant In Quartz Countertop Case Denies Liability, Says Claims Barred By Law

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — One of the defendants sued by a worker with silicosis who says he was injured by exposure to crystalline silica while cutting quartz countertops has filed an answer in California state court denying allegations that it fraudulently concealed the toxic hazards of the stone products and asserting 31 affirmative defenses, including that the claims are barred by the California Code of Civil Procedure.

  • May 29, 2024

    Tool Firm To Nevada Supreme Court: No Strict Liability For Trademark Licensor

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — Filing a May 28 brief responding to a question certified to the Nevada Supreme Court by a federal judge, a tool company that licensed its trademark for use on a tool at the heart of a products liability suit asks the high court to find that strict liability applies under the apparent manufacturer doctrine only if a licensor is substantially involved with the product beyond merely providing the trademark.

  • May 23, 2024

    California Court Affirms Strict Liability For Nonhousehold Asbestos Exposure

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing in California precedent precludes holding a pipe manufacturer strictly liable for nonhousehold asbestos exposure a man experienced when he visited his brother after work, a California appeals court said May 22 in a partially published opinion affirming a jury verdict.

  • May 22, 2024

    Experts Who Say Defectively Designed Honda Accord Led To Fatal Crash Can Testify

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont federal judge denied a motion for summary judgment filed by American Honda Co. Inc. (AMH) after finding that whether a defectively designed Honda Accord led to fatal car accident is in dispute and that the woman’s experts are admissible.

  • May 14, 2024

    Illinois Federal Judge Won’t Revisit Her Ruling That Causation Experts Are Out

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on May 13 denied a woman’s request that the judge reconsider her ruling that causation experts in a suit against Home Depot for injuries sustained in a store are inadmissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 because the experts were unaware of the woman’s “highly salient medical history prior to issuing their causation opinions.”

  • May 14, 2024

    Philips Says SoClean Should Chip In For Settlement Of CPAP Injury Claims

    PITTSBURGH — SoClean Inc., a manufacturer of equipment that uses ozone to clean and disinfect continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) sleep apnea devices and respirators, should contribute to the $1.1 billion settlement reached between Philips Respironics and the plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation involving personal injuries caused by deteriorating sound insulation in Philips’ CPAP devices, Philips argues in a third-party complaint filed in the MDL.

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Threatens Sanctions Related To Verbal Attacks On Flint Plaintiffs’ Counsel

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on May 13 ruled that she will impose sanctions on an engineering firm that is a party to the $25 million class settlement in the Flint, Mich., lead-contaminated water litigation and will refer its attorney to the State Bar of California for disciplinary reasons if the firm fails to comply with an order the judge issued previously requiring the firm to answer questions about its relationship with a public relations company that has been engaged in verbal attacks against a plaintiff attorney.

  • May 13, 2024

    High Court Declines To Review 9th Circuit COVID-Related Qualified Immunity Rulings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 declined to review three panel opinions from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming federal court decisions denying state prison officials qualified immunity for their conduct in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic after 26 inmates and a prison employee died from COVID-19 and also denied a conditional certiorari petition filed by representatives of some of the inmates and the employee.

  • May 13, 2024

    4 Lawyers Appointed To Co-Lead Plaintiffs In Diabetes And Diet Drug MDL

    PHILADELPHIA — The federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation involving diabetes and diet drugs that consumers allege caused gastrointestinal and other injuries named four lawyers to serve as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs and designated counsel to serve on the MDL’s executive and steering committees.

  • May 13, 2024

    Judgment Issued In $2.5M Verdict Against Florida Care Home Over Fall Risk Injuries

    MIAMI — A Florida state court judge issued a final judgment the day after a jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against a nursing home accused of negligence in failing to implement a care plan for a former resident who fell and incurred facial and head injuries.

  • May 10, 2024

    Judicial Panel Consolidates EPA Asbestos Rule Challenges In 5th Circuit

    NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals various challenges to the recent Environmental Protection Agency rule largely banning chrysotile asbestos but providing up to a five-year grace period for certain industries to cease usage.

  • May 10, 2024

    Florida Supreme Court: Spousal Damages Available In Post-Mesothelioma Marriage

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Because a wrongful death claim arises at death, a woman who married her longtime boyfriend after his mesothelioma diagnosis qualifies as a surviving spouse under state law, the Florida Supreme Court said May 9 while recognizing that the outcome could lead to recovery for damages unavailable had the man survived.

  • May 09, 2024

    Smokers’ Children Urge Panel To Affirm $8.1M Verdict, Deny Any Jury Errors

    MIAMI — The children of a dead smoker argue in a brief to a Florida appellate panel that it should affirm an $8.1 million compensatory damages judgment in their favor against a tobacco company for causing their father’s nicotine addiction, lung cancer and death, writing that a juror’s disclosure of opinions about cigarettes did not require disqualification during voir dire and that the court’s instructions on fraud-related findings from Engle were proper.

  • May 08, 2024

    Maritime Injury Expert’s Background Doesn’t Match Testimony, Judge Rules

    NEW ORLEANS — An expert retained by a man who alleges that he was injured while aboard a 225-foot offshore supply vessel cannot testify because his expertise in mechanical engineering is unrelated to the opinions he is offering in this case.

  • May 08, 2024

    Judge Denies Remand, Says Party Improperly Joined In Fracking Injury Case

    LAREDO, Texas — A federal judge in Texas has denied a man’s attempt to remand his hydraulic fracturing injury lawsuit to Texas state court and denied his request to amend his complaint and seek attorney fees, ruling that a “minor defect” in the removal of the case to federal court does not support remand and that because removal was proper, the request for attorney fees fails.

  • May 07, 2024

    Justice Dismisses COVID Death Suit Against Care Home, Cites Health Law Immunity

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York state court justice dismissed a negligence and wrongful death suit filed against a nursing home by the estate of a former resident who died from COVID-19, finding that the New York state Legislature intended the repeal of a liability-limiting statute for health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic to be prospective rather than retroactive.

  • May 03, 2024

    Discovery Sought In Abuse Suit Against Care Home Over Demeaning Snapchat Videos

    LEWISBURG, Pa. — The attorney-in-fact for a resident of a personal care home moved a Pennsylvania state court to compel discovery in a negligence suit against the care home, related entities, administrators and staff, alleging that the care-dependent resident incurred abuse when staff purportedly posed the resident and took photos and videos of her that were uploaded to Snapchat “for no legitimate reason other than to demean” her.