Thursday, June 25, 2015
Political subdivisions involved in the clean up of a corn mash spill onto a highway were denied sovereign immunity in a recent Nebraska case because they were on notice of the incident, had a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem, but failed to do so. Iowa State's CALT has details.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Monday, June 1, 2015
The largest premises verdict in Texas in the last decade, for the deaths of two teenagers, was handed down against McDonald's last month. One of the victims was beaten in a McDonald's parking lot in College Station, Texas, and the other was killed in an auto accident while a friend attempted to get her and the first victim to the hospital. The theory of the case was lax security; the argument was based, in part, on the fact police had been called to the restaurant at least 20 times in the last year and McDonald's never hired security or installed cameras. PR Newswire has details.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Monday, May 18, 2015
A Louisiana appellate court has held a 1983 chemical spill does not constitute a continuing tort that tolls the statute of limitations. The court also held CERCLA does not preempt the state statute of limitations. Ned v. Union Pac. Corp. is discussed at JD Supra.
Friday, May 15, 2015
William Sage is lead author on a study of nondisclosure agreements in med mal settlements. Using the Texas closed-claim database, the authors determined nondisclosure clauses were included in 88.7% of settlements. This is not surprising to me, but the authors also concluded the clauses were broader than necessary to protect the doctors and hospital, and even broader than needed to avoid attracting other claimants. Monthly Prescribing Reference has a story, with links to the study.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Pennsylvania med mal cases filed in 2014 have hit an all-time low since tracking began in 2000, and are down 46.5% from the base years of 2000-2002. Only 1463 cases were filed across the Commonwealth last year. In a separate category, of the 2014 verdicts in med mal cases, 81% were for the defense.
Central Penn Business Journal has the story.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Last year, the Alabama Supreme Court let stand its holding that name-brand manufacturers can be liable for misrepresentations or failures to warn in regard to generic drugs they did not manufacture or distribute. (Coverage here) Now the legislature has sent a bill to the governor that would overturn the result. The bill passed the Senate 32-9 and the House 86-14. Legal Newsline has the story.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A California court of appeal has overturned a trial court holding that a woman who slipped on a wet floor in a hospital was subject to MICRA's one-year statute of limitations. Holding that a janitor's conduct is not "professional negligence," the court of appeal applied the two-year statute for ordinary negligence suits. The Metropolitan News-Enterprise has the story.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
A woman tripped on an uneven area of sidewalk and was injured. She settled with the owner of the commercial property and then sued one of the tenants. The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the contention that the tenant in this case was also the landlord:
“The clinic was not in possession of the sidewalk because it had only a right of non-exclusive use and the landlord retained responsibility for maintaining that area,” the ruling said. “Second, the court concludes that, under the terms of the lease and the facts of this case, the clinic was not legally responsible for the condition of the sidewalk or for the activities conducted or circumstances existing there. It therefore holds that the clinic is not a landowner within the meaning of the Premises Liability Act.”
The Denver Business Journal has the story.
Monday, April 13, 2015
On Thursday, Arizona Governor Ducey signed into law a bill requiring plaintiffs to disclose asbestos claims they have filed or intend to file. The legislation, referred to as a transparency law, is justified as necessary to keep plaintiffs from double-dipping from asbestos trusts. Today's News-Herald has the story.
In other asbestos news, the California Supreme Court will hear an appeal regarding the status of "take home" asbestos claims. The lower appellate court denied the claim. The Pacific Legal Foundation provides information on the case and argues against such claims here.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Plaintiff was injured while watching her daughter play soccer. She sued the owner of the facility; the owner defended by asserting the recreational use statute. The Texas Supreme Court held that watching soccer is not a recreational use within the statute.
Iowa State's CALT has details.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
In 2005, two siblings were shot to death in their Florida apartment. The Florida Supreme Court recently upheld a $4.5M premises liability verdict against the owner of the apartment complex, based on the failure of the owner to repair a security gate at the gated complex. The criminal case is still unsolved. LawyersandSettlement.com has the story.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
On March 25, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts decided Hochendoner v. Genzyme Corp., 2015 WL 1333271. Plaintiffs suffered from Fabry disease; defendant manufactured a drug used to treat the disease. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant negligently contaminated the medicine, causing a reduced supply and harming plaintiffs. The court dismissed the case, holding defendant had no duty to provide the medicine.
Thanks to Bob Bohrer (Cal Western) for the tip.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Last week, Florida adopted new model jury instructions for products cases. On design defects, there is a split in Florida circuits between the consumer expectations and risk-utility tests; the instructions do not resolve the split. Newsome Melton's website has more details here.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Back in November, I reported that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was deciding whether to become the eighth state to completely ban informed consent evidence from a traditional med mal trial. The plaintiff's lawyer argued that the informed consent could be used in a prejudicial way to insinuate that consent to the procedure amounted to consent to risks of negligence. The court declined to adopt a bright-line rule excluding informed consent evidence and overruled a contrary Superior Court ruling. The court, however, through Chief Justice Saylor, emphasized that informed consent and traditional med mal cases are very different:
The fact that a patient may have agreed to a procedure knowing its risks does not speak to whether the doctor fell below the standard of care in performing that procedure, Saylor said.
"Put differently, there is no assumption-of-the-risk defense available to a defendant physician which would vitiate his duty to provide treatment according to the ordinary standard of care," Saylor said. "The patient's actual, affirmative consent, therefore, is irrelevant to the question of negligence."
So, like with Brady's complaint, when a malpractice complaint only asserts negligence, and not a lack of informed consent, evidence of informed consent should be excluded, Saylor said.
Saylor noted that a jury could be confused by informed consent and conclude the plaintiff consented to the injury.
The court thus held that evidence of informed consent is "generally irrelevant to a cause of action sounding in medical negligence."
The court was unwilling to take the next step and hold evidence of informed consent is never admissible in a traditional med mal case. The Legal Intelligencer has the story.