FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Injury & Tort Law

Daily personal injury and tort law case summaries, brought to you by FindLaw.com.

Monster, LLC v. Beats Electronics, LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - In a petition for writ of mandate in an underlying tort action in which Monster alleged that Beats Electronics engaged in fraud to deprive them of interest in the company, and the headphone manufacturer filed cross-claims for breach of contract and argued that the court, rather than a jury, could determine the amount of damages, the petition is granted where defendant is entitled to a jury trial on the issue of attorney's fees.
Posted: June 21, 2017, 8:00 am

Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.

(California Court of Appeal) - In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.
Posted: June 20, 2017, 8:00 am

Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co.

(California Court of Appeal) - In a first party insurance bad faith action arising out of an automobile accident brought against an insurer alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the trial court's grant of summary judgment is reversed where plaintiff demonstrated triable issues of material fact regarding whether defendant's decision she did not need expensive epidural steroid injections, was made without a good faith investigation and without a reasonable basis for a genuine dispute.
Posted: June 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Hilliard v. Harbour

(California Court of Appeal) - In an elder's suit alleging defendants took or assisted in taking his property for wrongful use, with intent to defraud, or by undue influence, in violation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.30(a)(1)(2), a provision of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, the trial court's judgment sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend is affirmed where plaintiff lacked standing to bring this individual action.
Posted: June 16, 2017, 8:00 am

BPP Illinois v. Royal Bank of Scotland Grp. PLC

(United States Second Circuit) - In a suit brought by a group of hotel-related businesses, along with their investor and guarantors, alleging fraud claims against a bank and its subsidiaries, the district court's dismissal of the fraud claims is affirmed where the because plaintiffs failed to list their cause of action in a schedule of assets in their now-concluded bankruptcy proceeding, they are barred on judicial estoppel and timeliness grounds.
Posted: June 13, 2017, 8:00 am

Norman v. Elkin

(United States Third Circuit) - In a communications company's partnership dispute, arising out of the transfer of partnership assets without compensation, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed on alternative grounds the decision to enter summary judgment in defendant's favor on the claim of fraud; and 2) vacated as to judgment in defendant's favor on plaintiff's remaining claims where the District Court erred in concluding that tolling of the statute of limitations is categorically inappropriate when a plaintiff has inquiry notice before initiating a books and records action in the Delaware courts.
Posted: June 13, 2017, 8:00 am

In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation

(United States Second Circuit) - In consolidated multi-district litigation arising from contamination of groundwater in Orange County, California from various oil companies' use of the gasoline additive MTBE, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on res judicata grounds as a consequence of earlier consent judgments entered in California state court resolving similar suits against defendants brought by the Orange County District Attorney, is vacated and remanded where the record does not sufficiently establish that the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Water District-plaintiff were in privity.
Posted: June 12, 2017, 8:00 am

Microsoft Corp. v. Baker

(United States Supreme Court) - In a putative class action alleging a design defect in defendant's Xbox 360 video game console, in which the District Court struck plaintiffs' class allegations from the complaint and denied permission to appeal that order under Rule 23(f), the Ninth Circuit's judgment, holding that it had jurisdiction and that the District Court's rationale for striking plaintiffs' class allegations was an impermissible one, is reversed where Federal courts of appeals lack jurisdiction under section 1291 to review an order denying class certification (or, as here, an order striking class allegations) after the named plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice.
Posted: June 12, 2017, 8:00 am

Santos-Rodriguez v. SeaStar Solutions

(United States First Circuit) - In a suit brought by a plaintiff, who was injured in a boating accident when a corroded rod end that was part of the boat's steering mechanism failed, against the manufacturer of the boat's steering mechanism, alleging a design defect and a failure to warn, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff cannot prove that any failure to warn caused his injuries; 2) plaintiff cannot prove that any design defect in the steering rod caused his injuries; and 3) plaintiffs' derivative claims cannot survive.
Posted: June 8, 2017, 8:00 am

McKeague v. One World Technologies, Inc.

(United States First Circuit) - In an appeal arising out of a personal injury case alleging design defect, in which the plaintiff's two lawyers did nothing to prosecute the plaintiff's claims within generous deadlines, received a second chance, and then failed to oppose a pending motion for summary judgment, the district court's refusal to grant yet another reprieve is affirmed where it did not abuse its discretion, because given the failure of plaintiff's lawyers to prosecute his claim and their repeated flouting of reasonable deadlines, the district court demonstrated a reasonable sense of nuance in doing the necessary balancing.
Posted: June 8, 2017, 8:00 am

Johnson v. Perry

(United States Second Circuit) - In a suit against a principal-defendant of a private high school brought by a student's parent-plainitff, alleging that plaintiff's First Amendment right of freedom of assembly and his state-law right to be free from the intentional infliction of emotional distress were violated by defendant in banning him from attending virtually all school events, on or off school property, because of his opposition to defendant's bullying and harassing efforts to compel plaintiff's daughter to remain a member of the girls varsity basketball team, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to the denial of defendant's motion for qualified immunity, to the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property to attend spectator sports contests to which the public was invited, and caused plaintiff's removal from a non-school, privately owned stadium at which Johnson was present as an invitee of the owner; and 2) reversed in part where qualified immunity should have been granted to defendant the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property for purposes other than attending sports contests, given the lack of an established First Amendment right of general access to school property.
Posted: June 8, 2017, 8:00 am

Brenner v. Universal Health

(California Court of Appeal) - In an action for wrongful death based on medical negligence, retaliation, Health and Safety Code section 1278.5, and elder abuse, Welfare and Institutions Code sections 15610, et seq., the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where the trial court properly granted summary judgment with respect to all of the claims asserted against the defendants involved in this appeal.
Posted: June 7, 2017, 8:00 am

Safar v. Tingle

(United States Fourth Circuit) - In a suit under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and state tort law, arising out of the arrest and incarceration of plaintiffs based on an allegation of fraud that was mistakenly reported by Costco and almost immediately retracted, against the police officer and prosecutor who, at different stages of the criminal process, learned that no crime had occurred and yet failed to take steps to withdraw an arrest warrant, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to grant of immunity to defendants on the section 1983 claim; and 2) reversed in part as to plaintiffs' claim for gross negligence under Virginia law, where, at this stage, the truth of their pleadings must be assumed, and the horrific sequence of events they have alleged weighs in favor of remanding without prejudice so they can pursue their claims in state court.
Posted: June 7, 2017, 8:00 am

Diaz-Nieves v. US

(United States First Circuit) - In a suit originating under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. sections 1346(b)(1) 2671-2680, concerning an arrest made during 'Operation Guard Shack,' a reverse sting operation launched by the FBI with the goal of identifying corrupt police and corrections officers in Puerto Rico, the district court's grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the U.S., dismissing the false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution claims as well as derivative and independent tort claims, is affirmed where there is no reversible error.
Posted: June 5, 2017, 8:00 am

D.L. v. US

(United States Ninth Circuit) - In a suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) brought by a minor plaintiff, alleging that his mother died of postpartum hemorrhage due to medical malpractice by a physician, who was a deemed employee of the U.S. Public Health Service, the district court's dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on exhaustion grounds is reversed because plaintiff's initial failure to exhaust his administrative remedies as to a defendant whom the plaintiffs reasonably did not know was covered by the FTCA did not deprive the federal courts of subject-matter jurisdiction over that plaintiff's FTCA claim where the plaintiff dismissed his initial suit against that defendant, and then exhausted his administrative remedies before amending his complaint in state court to add the defendant again.
Posted: June 5, 2017, 8:00 am

Guan v. Hu

(California Court of Appeal) - In a suit alleging breach of contract and fraud-based claims, the trial court's judgment in favor of plaintiff is reversed where its interpretation of Civil Code section 1692,1 which purportedly allowed it under these circumstances to 'adjust the equities' between the parties, was flawed.
Posted: June 2, 2017, 8:00 am

Orange County Water Dist. v. MAG Aerospace Industries

(California Court of Appeal) - In a suit brought by a Water District alleging claims under the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substances Account Act (HSAA), Health & Saf. Code sections 25300 et seq., and the Orange County Water District Act (OCWD Act), West's Ann. Wat. Code App. (2016 ed.) ch. 40), and for declaratory relief, Code Civ. Proc. section 1060, and summary adjudication of the District's common law claims for negligence, nuisance, and trespass, the trial court's judgment in favor of defendant is affirmed where: 1) although the trial court may have used an incorrect causation standard under the HSAA, any such error was harmless in light of the trial court's factual findings, which the District does not challenge and which foreclose the District's claim under the correct causation standard; 2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion under Code of Civil Procedure section 1048 by adhering to California's longstanding 'equity first' rule and holding a bench trial on the District's equitable claims before scheduling a jury trial on the District's legal claims; and 3) the District's remaining contentions are similarly unavailing because the District has not established any prejudicial error in the court's declaratory judgment or its application of Evidence Code section 412.
Posted: June 1, 2017, 8:00 am

Hart v. Darwish

(California Court of Appeal) - The trial court's dismissal of a suit for malicious prosecution of an unlawful detainer action is affirmed where the rule in Wilson v. Parker, Covert & Chidester (2002) 28 Cal.4th 811, 823-824 applies--and is a subsequent malicious prosecution claim barred--when the trial court in the prior lawsuit denied the defendant's motion for judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 1 but went on to rule in the defendant's favor.
Posted: June 1, 2017, 8:00 am

County of Los Angeles v. Mendez

(United States Supreme Court) - In a suit under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, brought by plaintiffs who were injured by deputies during the execution of a search warrant, alleging Fourth Amendment claims, including a warrantless entry claim, a knock-and-announce claim, and an excessive force claim, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming the District Court's judgment holding defendants liable on the excessive force claim under the Ninth Circuit's provocation rule, is vacated and remanded where the Fourth Amendment provides no basis for the Ninth Circuit's 'provocation rule.'
Posted: May 30, 2017, 8:00 am

Montany v. University of New England

(United States First Circuit) - In a suit brought by an occupational-therapy student against the school for injuries she sustained during a practical exam, in which program instructors act as mock patients and students are tested on their ability to properly manage a patient in need of occupational therapy, alleging negligence and breach of contract claims, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where there is no reversible error.
Posted: May 30, 2017, 8:00 am

BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell

(United States Supreme Court) - In a suit brought in Montana state court under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. section 51 et seq., which makes railroads liable in money damages to their employees for on-the-job injuries, the Montana Supreme Court's decision that Montana courts could exercise general personal jurisdiction over the railroad defendant, because the railroad 'did business' in the State within the meaning of 45 U.S.C. section 56, is reversed where section 56 does not address personal jurisdiction over railroads.
Posted: May 30, 2017, 8:00 am

Chango Coffee, Inc. v. Applied Underwriters, Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - In an appeal of the trial court's order denying defendant's renewed petition to compel arbitration, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(b), in an underlying complaint for breach of contract, conversion and fraud against the provider of payroll services, the appeal is dismissed where an order denying a renewed motion or application under section 1008(b) is not appealable under Tate v. Wilburn (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 150.
Posted: May 26, 2017, 8:00 am

CRST, Inc. v. Super. Ct

(California Court of Appeal) - In a negligence action arising from a vehicular accident in which a freightliner driven by defendants' employee struck a vehicle, causing serious injuries to the passengers, the trial court's grant of summary adjudication in favor of the employee as to the request for punitive damages is vacated where, although defendant's admission of vicarious liability does not bar recovery of punitive damages, there are no triable issues of fact which, if resolved in the plaintiff's favor, could subject defendant to punitive damages.
Posted: May 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Van Audenhove v. Perry

(California Court of Appeal) - In a suit for malicious prosecution, alleging that defendant contacted the police and falsely accused plaintiff of stalking, and that the police arrested him, but the district attorney's office ultimately declined to prosecute, the trial court's judgment sustaining a demurrer and dismissing the action is affirmed where the complaint failed to allege a prosecution, as required for a claim of malicious prosecution.
Posted: May 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Petras v. Simparel Inc.

(United States Third Circuit) - In suit alleging a reverse False Claims Act (FCA) claim against plaintiff's former employer, contending that defendants knowingly and improperly avoided a contingent obligation to pay accrued dividends to an investing entity after the entity had been placed into receivership and was being operated by the SBA, the district court's dismissal of the first and second amended complaint is affirmed where under the FCA provision’s plain language, the defendants could not have knowingly and improperly avoided or decreased an obligation to pay the accrued dividends at the time of their alleged misconduct because the obligation did not yet exist; and 2) even if the SBA qualified as the Government for purposes of plaintiff's FCA action, the reverse FCA claim would still be dismissed.
Posted: May 18, 2017, 8:00 am

Gillotti v. Stewart

(California Court of Appeal) - In a construction defect law suit by a homeowner, the trial court's judgment and post-trial orders denying motions for new trial or judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and ordering plaintiff to pay defendant's expert witness fees due to plaintiff not obtaining a judgment more favorable that defendant's settlement offer, Code Civ. Proc. section 998, are affirmed where plaintiff fails to show any basis for reversal.
Posted: May 18, 2017, 8:00 am

US ex rel. Badr v. Triple Canopy, Inc.

(United States Fourth Circuit) - In a qui tam suit on remand from the United States Supreme Court, the prior Court of Appeals' decision is affirmed where, applying Universal Health Services, Inc. v. US ex rel. Escobar, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016), the Government has stated a claim under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. section 3729(a) against defendant.
Posted: May 16, 2017, 8:00 am

Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark

(United States Supreme Court) - In a consolidated action brought by two family members holding powers of attorney for two decedents against a nursing home, alleging the substandard care had caused their deaths, the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision, that the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the nursing home were invalid because neither power of attorney specifically entitled the representative to enter into an arbitration agreement, is reversed where the Kentucky Supreme Court's clear-statement rule violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.
Posted: May 15, 2017, 8:00 am

Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark

(United States Supreme Court) - In a consolidated action brought by two family members holding powers of attorney for two decedents against a nursing home, alleging the substandard care had caused their deaths, the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision, that the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the nursing home were invalid because neither power of attorney specifically entitled the representative to enter into an arbitration agreement, is reversed where the Kentucky Supreme Court's clear-statement rule violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.
Posted: May 15, 2017, 8:00 am

Amphastar Pharms., Inc. v. Aventis Pharms., Inc.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - In a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act alleging that defendant committed fraud against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and obtained an illegal monopoly over enoxaparin and then knowingly overcharged the United States, the district court's judgement is: 1) affirmed as to dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where the complaint was based on public disclosures in the form of allegations of fraud, as well as allegations of the underlying facts, in a prior patent infringement suit; and 2) reversed as to the district court's denial of the defendant's motion for attorneys' fees where the district court had authority to award attorneys' fees after the dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Posted: May 11, 2017, 8:00 am

Carlson v. Boston Scientific Corp.

(United States Fourth Circuit) - In a suit alleging that a transvaginal mesh product manufactured by defendant injured plaintiff and that defendant failed to warn of risks associated with the mesh, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant and denial of plaintiff's motion to reconsider the summary judgment award are affirmed where neither decision was erroneous.
Posted: May 9, 2017, 8:00 am

Ford Motor Warranty Cases

(California Court of Appeal) - In a petition for writ of mandate in an underlying Code of Civil Procedure section 404.1 coordination action involving 470 civil cases, alleging Ford breached warranties with respect to cars equipped with the DPS6 transmission, and in which the coordination judge refused to add to the coordination proceeding 467 substantively indistinguishable cases in the same counties, the petition is granted where: 1) a trial judge's order declining to add cases to a coordination proceeding, like the coordination motion judge's original order, is subject to our independent review; and 2) the trial court erred in refusing to add the cases to the proceeding.
Posted: May 8, 2017, 8:00 am

Garcia v. American Golf

(California Court of Appeal) - In a suit alleging that plaintiffs were injured by a dangerous condition of City owned property known as the Brookside Golf Course when plaintiff was hit by an errant golf ball on a walkway City contends is a trail, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the City is reversed where the trail immunity in Government Code section 831.4 does not immunize a dangerous condition of a commercially operated, revenue generating public golf course that causes injury to pedestrians on an adjacent trail.
Posted: May 3, 2017, 8:00 am

Hearts With Haiti, Inc. v. Kendrick

(United States First Circuit) - In a suit alleging defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and tortious interference with business relations, based on defendant's public accusations that plantiff sexually abused boys in an orphanage he personally operated in Haiti and that the abuse was enabled by Hearts With Haiti, a North Carolina corporation that raised funds for the orphanage, the district court's dismissal of the action for lack of diversity jurisdiction is affirmed where subject-matter jurisdiction is lacking.
Posted: May 1, 2017, 8:00 am

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int'l Drilling Co.

(United States Supreme Court) - In a suit involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. section 1604, brought by an American parent company of a Venezuelan subsidiary that supplied oil rigs to oil development entities, alleging that Venezuela had unlawfully expropriated the subsidiary's rigs by nationalizing them, the D.C. Circuit's decision that the claims fell within the expropriation exception is vacated where: 1) the nonfrivolous-argument standard is not consistent with the FSIA; 2) a case falls within the scope of the expropriation exception only if the property in which the party claims to hold rights was indeed 'property taken in violation of international law'; and 3) a court should decide the foreign sovereign's immunity defense '[a]t the threshold' of the action, Verlinden B. V. v. Central Bank of Nigeria, 461 U. S. 480, 493, resolving any factual disputes as near to the outset of the case as is reasonably possible.
Posted: May 1, 2017, 8:00 am

Gerasimos Petratos v. Genentech Inc.

(United States Third Circuit) - In a qui tam action under the False Claims Act involving a multi-billion dollar cancer drug, Avastin, which was developed by defendant, flied by the former head of healthcare data analytics for defendant, alleging that defendant suppressed data that caused doctors to certify incorrectly that Avastin was 'reasonable and necessary' for certain at-risk Medicare patients, the district court's dismissal of the suit for failure to state a claim is affirmed on alternate grounds where plaintiff failed to satisfy the False Claims Act's materiality requirement.
Posted: May 1, 2017, 8:00 am

Prather v. Sprint Communications, Inc.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - In a False Claims Act suit brought the U.S. Government against Sprint Communications, the district court's order denying appellant's Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2) motion to intervene as of right is affirmed where: 1) although his appeal is not moot, he did not have a significantly protectable interest in the government's False Claims Act suit; and 2) his prior filing of a related, but jurisdictionally barred, qui tam action did not entitle him to any award under the False Claims Act.
Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:00 am

Cuevas v. Contra Costa County

(California Court of Appeal) - In an action brought by plaintiff's guardian ad litem for medical malpractice against defendant the County of Contra Costa arising out of injuries he sustained at birth, the trial court's entry of a jury verdict awarding plaintiff the present cash value of his future medical and rehabilitation care expense is reversed where the trial court erred in excluding evidence that health insurance benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Pub.L. No. 111-148 (Mar. 23, 2010) 124 Stat. 119) would be available to mitigate plaintiff's future medical costs.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 8:00 am

Fox Factory, Inc. v. Super. Ct.

(California Court of Appeal) - In an action for personal injuries brought in Santa Clara, CA, against a manufacturer of bicycle components, alleging negligence, strict products liability, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, and breach of the implied warranty for a particular purpose, defendant's petition to review trial court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss or stay plaintiff's lawsuit under the doctrine of forum non conveniens is granted where the court applied the wrong legal standard in denying the motion.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 8:00 am

Salvati v. The American Ins. Co.

(United States First Circuit) - In an insurance dispute involving the issue of whether the plaintiff in a wrongful death action, who reached a settlement with the defendants and their primary insurance carrier, can recover the amount exceeding the primary policy limits from the defendants' excess insurer, the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss, on grounds that the settlement agreement did not trigger the excess policy because the agreement was not accompanied by a court judgment, is affirmed on alternate grounds, where plaintiff has not presented a plausible argument that the settlement agreement triggered the excess insurer's duty to indemnify.
Posted: April 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Lewis v. Clarke

(United States Supreme Court) - In a personal injury suit brought against an employee of a tribal casino, who was involved in an auto accident while acting in the scope of his employment, the Supreme Court of Connecticut's judgment granting defendant's to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction is reversed where: 1) in a suit brought against a tribal employee in his individual capacity, the employee, not the tribe, is the real party in interest and the tribe's sovereign immunity is not implicated; and 2) an indemnification provision cannot, as a matter of law, extend sovereign immunity to individual employees who would otherwise not fall under its protective cloak.
Posted: April 25, 2017, 8:00 am

General Refractories Co v. First State Insurance Co.

(United States Third Circuit) - In a dispute involving the rightful allocation of asbestos-related losses under thirty-year-old excess insurance policies, and to decide which of two companies, a historical manufacturer of asbestos-containing products and its insurer, will bear costs associated with a staggering number of asbestos claims, the district court's judgment that the policy is ambiguous is reversed where the phrase 'arising out of' asbestos, when used in a Pennsylvania insurance exclusion, unambiguously requires 'but for' causation.
Posted: April 21, 2017, 8:00 am

Kwan v. SanMedica Int'l

(United States Ninth Circuit) - In a suit alleging that defendants made claims concerning its product, SeroVital, that were unsubstantiated, the district court's ed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of plaintiff's second amended complaint is affirmed where: 1) pursuant to the holding in National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc. v. King Bio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 107 Cal. App. 4th 1336, 1344 (Cal. App. 2003), the panel held that the district court did not err in concluding that neither the Unfair Competition Law nor the Consumer Legal Remedies Act provided plaintiff with a private cause of action to enforce the substantiation provisions of California's unfair competition and/or consumer protection laws; and 2) the district court did not err in concluding that the second amended complaint failed to allege facts that would support a finding that defendants' claims regarding its product, SerioVital, were actually false.
Posted: April 21, 2017, 8:00 am

In re Tronox Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - In an appeal of a district court order enforcing a permanent anti‐suit injunction issued after a bankruptcy settlement, involving the toxic tort claims of than 4,300 individuals who allege significant injuries from the operation of a wood‐treatment plant in Avoca, Pennsylvania between 1956 and 1996, the appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where the claims are barred by the injunction because they are generalized 'derivative' claims that fall within the property of the bankruptcy estate.
Posted: April 20, 2017, 8:00 am

Quigley v. Garden Valley Fire Protection Dist.

(California Court of Appeal) - In a personal injury action brought by a firefighter against fire protection districts and their employees, claiming she was injured as a result of their negligence, a dangerous condition of public property, and defendants' failure to warn, the trial court's grant of nonsuit against plaintiff's complaint, on the bases that defendants were statutorily immune from liability and the firefighter's rule prevented plaintiff from recovering, is affirmed where defendants are immune from liability for plaintiff's injuries.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Jackson v. Mayweather

(California Court of Appeal) - In a suit brought following the break up of plaintiff's relationship with a former boxing champion, alleging invasion of privacy (both public disclosure of private facts and false light portrayal), defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, based on defendant's social media postings about the termination of plaintiff's pregnancy and its relationship to the couple's separation and his comments during a radio interview concerning the extent to which plaintiff had undergone cosmetic surgery procedures, the trial court's denial of defendant's special motion to strike those causes of action pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 is reversed as to with respect to plaintiff's claims for defamation and false light portrayal, as well as her cause of action for public disclosure of private facts based on defendant's comments about plaintiff's cosmetic surgery. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Turner v. Hubbard Systems, Inc.

(United States First Circuit) - In a suit brought by a solo law practitioner alleging that defendant violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) when it issued a software license key that expired on May 31, 2011, despite the fact that he owned a permanent license to the software at issue, the district court's order adopting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation, denying plaintiff's motion to strike, and granting HSI's motion for summary judgment are affirmed where plaintiff failed to establish the necessary $75,000 amount in controversy.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Camerano v. US

(United States First Circuit) - In a wrongful death action lawsuit arising out of a fall decedent suffered while on a 'respite/nursing stay' at a facility operated by defendant, a federal entity under the purview of the United States Public Health Service, the district court's grant of summary judgment is affirmed where the two-year limitations period established by Congress expired.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Coventry Health Care of Mo., Inc. v. Nevils

(United States Supreme Court) - In an insurance class action arising in the context of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959 (FEHBA) authorization of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with private carriers for federal employees' health insurance, 5 U.S.C. section 8902(a) and (d), the Missouri Supreme Court's decision, preventing federal employee insurance carries from seeking subrogation and reimbursement if there is a conflicting state law, is reversed where, because contractual subrogation and reimbursement prescriptions plainly 'relate to . . . payments with respect to benefits,' section 8902(m)(1), they override state laws barring subrogation and reimbursement.
Posted: April 18, 2017, 8:00 am

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger

(United States Supreme Court) - In an appeal of sanctions awarded by the district court when defendant's bad faith behavior was discovered after the settlement of an underlying product liability suit, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming the full award--which represented the entire sum plaintiffs had spent in legal fees and costs since the moment, early in the litigation, when defendant made its first dishonest discovery response--is reversed where, when a federal court exercises its inherent authority to sanction bad-faith conduct by ordering a litigant to pay the other side's legal fees, the award is limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct--or put another way, to the fees that party would not have incurred but for the bad faith.
Posted: April 18, 2017, 8:00 am