FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Injury & Tort Law

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

Bradley v. Sugarbaker

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming a district court judgment in favor of a doctor, the second in his favor in the same suit relating to complications arising from a surgical biopsy, because the admission of entries from the woman's diary under the residual exception to the hearsay rule, the admission of records from another hospital under the business records exception, and the determination that the plaintiffs had waived their medical negligence claim would be harmless errors, if they were indeed in error at all.
Posted: May 23, 2018, 8:00 am

Ortiz Rivera v. US

(United States First Circuit) - Vacating and remanding the district court's dismissal of the Federal Tort Claims Act suit for the wrongful death alleging that Immigration and Customs Enforcement negligently shot a man because the notice sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and later forwarded to ICE arrived at the agency on the last day of the period, but wasn't accepted until after the period lapsed. On remand the court needed to determine whether this satisfied the law's requirements.
Posted: May 23, 2018, 8:00 am

Ali v. Kipp

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the decision not to grant a new trial in a case where a jury found that a police officer used excessive force but no compensatory damages were granted because this decision was not an abuse of discretion under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the court, when harmonizing seemingly inconsistent verdicts, is not limited to the specific theories presented by the parties.
Posted: May 22, 2018, 8:00 am

Doe v. Good Samaritan Hospital

(California Court of Appeal) - Remanding a case in which the trial court granted summary judgment to a hospital where a minor, who had been committed there, was allegedly sodomized by his roommate, because the hospital's expert did not opine specifically as to the standard of care regarding room assignments and, consequently, did not dispose of this theory as a matter of professional negligence.
Posted: May 21, 2018, 8:00 am

Morales Melecio v. US

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming a district court determination that a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act was time barred in a suit where the discovery rule did not toll the statute of limitations during the period between the receipt of a man's death certificate and the receipt of a more thorough medical file relating to his cause of death.
Posted: May 21, 2018, 8:00 am

Easley v. City of Riverside

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the district court grant on summary judgment of qualified immunity to a police officer accused of using excessive force when he shot the plaintiff three times following a traffic stop because his use of deadly force was objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when the plaintiff drew a handgun from his pants pocket while fleeing.
Posted: May 18, 2018, 8:00 am

Bryant v. Egan

(United States Second Circuit) - Dismissing an appeal of the order of the district court granting a new trial on claims a police officers unlawfully tased the plaintiff and that his partner failed to intervene because the interlocutory review based on qualified immunity was predicated on disputed facts.
Posted: May 16, 2018, 8:00 am

Dowdy v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing the district court's judgment in favor of the defendant in an ERISA action challenging the denial of accidental dismemberment benefits under an employee welfare benefit plan who was denied coverage because their leg injury resulting in amputation was complicated by diabetes because under the ERISA plan the plaintiff could recover if the car accident was the direct and sole cause of the loss and if the amputation was the direct result of the accidental injury, independent of other causes and the record did not support the finding that diabetes substantially contributed to his loss.
Posted: May 16, 2018, 8:00 am

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. v. Center for Medical Progress

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the denial of a motion to dismiss claims under California's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation in a suit where Planned Parenthood and other plaintiffs alleged that the defendants employed fraudulent means to enter their conferences and gain meetings with staff to make misleading and false videos that were disseminated on the internet because the defendants were unable to show the plaintiffs had no probability of success in their claims.
Posted: May 16, 2018, 8:00 am

Evanston Insurance Company v. William Kramer & Associates LLC

(United States Second Circuit) - Certifying to the Connecticut Supreme Court questions regarding the scope of the continuing course of conduct doctrine and the reasonableness of a jury verdict in the favor of a plaintiff bringing a negligence action against an insurer's loss adjustment agent for failing to inform the plaintiff successor in interest to an insurer of property of a mortgage on the property, which was damaged by a hurricane.
Posted: May 10, 2018, 8:00 am

Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics, LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Reducing damages for medical expenses by the difference between the amount billed and the amount paid but otherwise affirming the judgment in a case where an injured party who had insurance but chose to treat outside of his insurance plan was treated as an uninsured party for the purposes of determining economic damages.
Posted: May 8, 2018, 8:00 am

Alimanestianu v. US

(United States Federal Circuit) - Affirming the ruling of the United States Court of Federal Claims denying claims of the taking of property by the family of a US citizen killed in the bombing of UTA Flight 772 by terrorists of the Abu Nidal Organization, a group sponsored by the Libyan Government who felt that the Claims Settlement Agreement between the United States of America and The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was a taking, but the court held that prohibiting or espousing a litigant's claim by restoring a foreign sovereign's immunity is not a physical invasion of property.
Posted: May 7, 2018, 8:00 am

Daniel v. USA

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the dismissal of a tort action brought by a man relating to the death of his wife while serving in the Navy, which was subject to a jurisdictional bar and the Federal Tort Claims Act's sovereign immunity, which includes medical treatment of an active duty service person at a domestic military hospital for pregnancy unrelated to military service, resulting in a bar on malpractice claims.
Posted: May 7, 2018, 8:00 am

Harry v. Total Gas & Power North America, Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision that plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege injury in their suit against the defendant's manipulation of natural gas trading in regional hubs because their own derivatives were not indexed under these markets, though in their affirmation they did modify district court findings that they failed to establish standing or state a claim under the Commodities Exchange Act, though this difference of opinion did not result in a different outcome.
Posted: May 4, 2018, 8:00 am

Liberty Woods International, Inc. v. Motor Vessel Ocean Quartz

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming the dismissal of an in rem suit filed against a ship for cargo damage sustained in transit because liability for the damage was covered by the carrier's bill of lading, which included a forum selection clause requiring suit be brought in South Korea because although South Korean courts would not allow an in rem suit, the plaintiff could have brought an in personam suit and chose not to do so for strategic reasons and the foreign forum selection clause did not violate the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.
Posted: May 4, 2018, 8:00 am

Williams v. Moulton Niguel Water District

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the judgment for a water district in a case where homeowners complained that the copper piping in their home was damaged by an additive that water districts added to tap water because the inclusion of the chemical was authorized by regulation and it was undisputed that the water districts complied with all statutory and regulatory standards, and the actions for nuisance and inverse condemnation were preempted by state and federal laws.
Posted: May 3, 2018, 8:00 am

Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC

(United States Supreme Court) - Affirming the dismissal of Alien Tort Statute complaints filed by the victims of terrorist attacks against a Jordanian bank with a New York branch they said was used to process transactions by a Texas-based charity allegedly affiliated with Hamas because under Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petrolium Co. the ATS does not extend to suits against foreign corporations when all relevant conduct took place out of the United States, extending this holding to deem that foreign corporations may not be sued under the ATS generally.
Posted: April 24, 2018, 8:00 am

Reese v. County of Sacramento

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming a district court decision granting the defense's post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law on the issue of qualified immunity in a suit alleging excessive deadly force, reversing a sua sponte post-verdict decision granting summary judgment to the defense on the plaintiff's California Bane Act claim, and affirming the denial of defense requests for post-trial relief in a case where a deputy shot a man when they responded to an anonymous 911 call and the plaintiff answered the door holding a large knife.
Posted: April 23, 2018, 8:00 am

St. Bernard Parish Government v. US

(United States Federal Circuit) - Reversing a Court of Federal Claims denial of a motion to dismiss a Tucker Act claim that the government took New Orleans property by failing to prevent damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes because the government can't be held liable under takings theory for inaction and the government's actions maintaining or modifying the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet didn't cause the flooding.
Posted: April 20, 2018, 8:00 am

Kettler v. Gould

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss allegations in a cross complaint by a financial planner alleging defamation because the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards is not a public agency and there was no public interest issue in their complaints associated with their statements regarding the handling of the financial affairs of an elderly family member.
Posted: April 20, 2018, 8:00 am

Lederer v. Schneider

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing a trial court order holding that plaintiff's negligence claim relating to a financial manager's failure to acquire insurance in the amount requested by their customer because although they discovered this lapse earlier the cause did not accrue until the insurance benefits were paid out in the reduced amount, because this was the point at which actual damages occurred.
Posted: April 19, 2018, 8:00 am

Day v. Lupo Vine Street, LP

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the defense in a case involving a commercial landlord who leased space to the owner of a health studio, finding that they had no duty to ensure that their tenant complied with a Health and Safety Code section requiring health studios to acquire and maintain an automated external defibrillator on the premises.
Posted: April 11, 2018, 8:00 am

Saunders v. Wilkie

(United States Federal Circuit) - Reversing a Veterans Court determination that a former serviceperson wasn't entitled to disability benefits because the court erred in holding as a matter of law that pain alone cannot constitute a disability without a specific diagnosis or otherwise identified disease.
Posted: April 3, 2018, 8:00 am

Scottsdale Capital Advisors Corp. v. The Deal, LLC

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's dismissal of the complaint in a case alleging defamation of the plaintiffs by the defendant in subscriber website and email newsletters because none of the parties had anything to do with New Hampshire, where the case was filed, and discovery showed that there was no reasonable basis upon which to establish that anyone in New Hampshire ever saw any of the three articles as the result of a subscription.
Posted: April 3, 2018, 8:00 am

Sawyer Brothers, Inc. v. Island Transporter, LLC

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's ruling, apart from vacating a single element of the damages award, in a case where one company hired another to ferry construction vehicles and drivers to an island off the coast of Maine and rough seas resulted in the vehicles being tossed about.
Posted: April 3, 2018, 8:00 am

Clark v. Advanced Group Composites, Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - Vacating and remanding the judgment of the district court granting Boeing's motion to dismiss a mesothelioma claim that, according to Boeing, was barred by judicial estoppel because the plaintiff had failed to disclose his diagnosis during bankruptcy proceedings because the court held that the prior nondisclosure had, at most, only a de minimis effect on the prior bankruptcy proceeding.
Posted: March 30, 2018, 8:00 am

Barnes v. Sea Hawaii Rafting, LLC

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing the district court dismissal of a seaman's admiralty claims against a vessel in rem and issuing a writ of mandamus to the district court to award him maintenance in a case relating to injuries he incurred when a vessel he was working on exploded because the court had jurisdiction to review interlocutory orders dismissing the claims against the vessel as it effected his substantive rights, but lacked jurisdiction to review the denial of a summary judgment motion, though it treated the notice of appeal as a mandamus motion.
Posted: March 28, 2018, 8:00 am

Rodriguez v. Department of Transportation

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the judgment in a case relating to the liability of a public entity for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on public property and the avoidance of liability through the application of the affirmative defense of design immunity because even if the public official who approved a design admitted that they didn't consider whether to utilize another safety feature that doesn't impact the fulfillment of the design immunity element that a discretionary approval of a plan or design was issued.
Posted: March 27, 2018, 8:00 am

Wilson v. Southern California Edison Company

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the judgment and remanding the case of a woman whose home had a distressing electric charge, particularly in the shower, as the result of a power plant next door because the trial court erred in admitting irrelevant evidence relating to stray voltage incidents involving prior owners and tenants and that the admission of that evidence was prejudicial.
Posted: March 26, 2018, 8:00 am

The Walter E. Campbell Company, Inc. v. United States Fire Insurance Company

(United States Fourth Circuit) - Declining to consider or certify questions regarding the scope and limit of insurers' duties to defend and indemnify their insured in past, pending, and future asbestos injury claims because they had been established a decade ago in a prior suit.
Posted: March 26, 2018, 8:00 am

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County

(California Court of Appeal) - Granting a petition for writ of mandate and directing the respondent court to consider a motion by Disney to transfer venue in a case involving damages arising from visits to Disney's Anaheim park because annual passes and daily admission tickets contain venue selection clauses and the strict time requirements of the cited statutes did not bar Disney's motion.
Posted: March 26, 2018, 8:00 am

De Havilland v. FX Networks, LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing a trial court denial of a television station's motion to strike the complaint in a case involving a golden-age movie star, depicted in the show Feud, who thought that her portrayal in the show violated her rights because the lower court's reasoning that the show had attempted to be realistic meant that it was not transformative and therefore not entitled to First Amendment protection, but the notion that the truth would not be protected by the First Amendment was eloquently rebutted.
Posted: March 26, 2018, 8:00 am

Metro North Commuter Railroad Company v. US Department of Labor

(United States Second Circuit) - Granting a petition for review of the final order of the US Department of Labor Administrative Review Board affirming the decision of an Administrative Law Judge who concluded that a man who had been employed by Metro-North was entitled to relief under the Federal Railroad Safety Act where he claimed they had interfered with his medical treatment for a back injury he suffered in the course of his employment because certain aspect of the decision were not supported by the record.
Posted: March 23, 2018, 8:00 am

Arvizu v. City of Pasadena

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment holding that the City of Pasadena was entitled to trail immunity under the Government Code in the case of a man who fell over a retaining wall while going ghost hunting in a city park in the night because the immunity relieves the government of liability for injuries occurring on the trails while under use for recreational purposes.
Posted: March 23, 2018, 8:00 am

Newport Harbor Ventures, LLC v. Morris Cerullo World Evangalism

(Supreme Court of California) - Affirming the Court of Appeals determination that, subject to a trial court's discretion to permit late filing, a defendant must move to strike a cause of action within 60 days of service of the earliest complaint containing that cause of action.
Posted: March 22, 2018, 8:00 am

The Regents of the University of California v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County

(Supreme Court of California) - Reversing and remanding the Court of Appeals determination that a college or university does not owe a duty of care to protect students from harm arising from the mental disturbance of other students because the unique features of the collegiate environment create a special relationship between a school and its students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities.
Posted: March 22, 2018, 8:00 am

Fox v. Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco

(California Court of Appeal) - Granting a writ of mandate compelling the superior court to grant a motion for trial preference and schedule a trial within 120 days in an asbestos suit because only 1 of 18 defendants submitted an opposition to the petition for trial preference and the plaintiff had declining health.
Posted: March 20, 2018, 8:00 am

Haberle v. Troxell

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming in part and vacating in part district court rulings in a case involving a man who committed suicide when the police responded to a call because, although the dismissal of the claim was proper, the court didn't provide the widow with an opportunity to amend her complaint.
Posted: March 20, 2018, 8:00 am

Byrd v. Phoenix Police Department

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing the district court's sua sponte dismissal of a complaint for damages alleging constitutional violations during a traffic stop in which the panel held that the allegations that the officers beat the crap out of the plaintiff was not vague or conclusory and that even if he prevailed in his claim it would not upset his criminal conviction.
Posted: March 16, 2018, 8:00 am

City Select Auto Sales Inc. v. David Randall Associates, Inc.

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming the entry of judgment in favor of the defense in a case complaining of unsolicited fax transmissions because the jury found the defendant not liable and the court properly denied summary judgment motions.
Posted: March 16, 2018, 8:00 am

Big Oak Flat Groveland Unified School District v. The Superior Court of Tuolumne County

(California Court of Appeal) - Granting a petition for writ of mandate in the case of a plaintiff that was molested by her teacher whose claims were untimely presented because the Government Claims Act exempts claims of this sort from the claim presentation requirements of the act.
Posted: March 16, 2018, 8:00 am

Flores v. USA

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming a district court judgment concluding that the Federal Tort Claims Act's two year statute of limitations barred claims relating to the complicated and flawed set of actions taken by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service toward a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Posted: March 15, 2018, 8:00 am

Thompson v. Rahr

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds in a case alleging that a police officer's having aimed a gun at a plaintiff's head during a felony arrest after the plaintiff had already been searched and was calm and compliant because although, given the circumstances, the use of force was excessive under the Fourth Amendment, qualified immunity applied because the plaintiff's right not to have a gun pointed at him was not clearly established.
Posted: March 13, 2018, 8:00 am

Orr v. Plumb

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Dismissing for lack of jurisdiction the untimely appeal of a district court judgment on a jury special verdict for lack of jurisdiction.
Posted: March 12, 2018, 8:00 am

MMM Holdings, Inc. v. Reich

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the district court's grant of a motion to strike the complaint under the Code of Civil Procedure's anti-SLAPP statute in a suit brought by companies against an attorney who represented their adversary in a whistleblower qui tam action filed against them claiming conversion, civil theft, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition in his receipt of electronic files his client took with him when he was terminated by the companies because the claims involved the lawyer's petitioning activity and they failed to show they would prevail in their claims.
Posted: March 12, 2018, 8:00 am

In Re Zappos.com, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims alleging harm following the hacking of their Zappos.com accounts for lack of Article III standing because the risk of identity theft was held to sufficiently allege an injury.
Posted: March 8, 2018, 8:00 am

Klean W. Hollywood, LLC v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County

(California Court of Appeal) - Issuing a peremptory writ of mandate setting aside a superior court order denying summary judgment to the defense, holding that a man who smuggled heroin into a drug rehabilitation facility and was injured when using the drugs had no actionable claim of negligence against the drug rehabilitation facility for their failure to prevent his procurement and use of the drugs.
Posted: March 8, 2018, 8:00 am

Dean v. Friends of Pine Meadow

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the grant of a motion to strike the plaintiffs' complaint pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure's anti-SLAPP provisions in an action for interference with prospective economic advantage and defamation arising from complaints made about statements in opposition to the plaintiffs' planned golf course development because the statements they made were constitutionally protected speech.
Posted: March 8, 2018, 8:00 am

Outlaw v. City of Hartford

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the grant of summary judgment by the district court to the City in the case of a plaintiff's municipal liability claim because they failed to present evidence that would permit an inference of deliberate indifference and denying a cross-appeal requesting qualified immunity by a police officer found to have used excessive force because he failed to prove the factual predicates necessary to establish that defense.
Posted: March 7, 2018, 8:00 am

County of San Diego v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board

(California Court of Appeal) - Annulling a Workers Compensation Appeals Board order denying the County's petition for reconsideration and affirming a workers compensation administrative law judge's order awarding temporary disability benefits for periods of disability occurring more than five years after a worker's injury because the Labor Code precludes the award of temporary disability payments beyond five years.
Posted: March 6, 2018, 8:00 am