FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Injury & Tort Law

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

Cornell v. City and County of San Francisco

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the jury verdict for tortious interference with economic advantage, Civil Code violations, attorney fees, and costs in the case of a police officer trainee who was wrongly arrested and held while taking a morning run because there was sufficient evidence to support the decisions, damages awards, and verdict.
Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:00 am

Best Auto Repair Shop, Inc. v. Universal Insurance Group

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's claims in the case alleging that insurance companies had unlawfully interfered with the plaintiff's right to make or enforce existing and prospective contracts with their insureds or third party claimants by excluding a repair shop and because the owner is black and Dominican because issues were waived or improperly pleaded.
Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:00 am

P. v. Conagra Grocery Products Company

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing a trial court judgment relating to the sale of lead-based paints because substantial evidence didn't show causation as to residences built after 1950 and directing the trial court to hold further proceedings on remand regarding the appointment of a suitable receiver for any damages, but otherwise affirming.
Posted: November 14, 2017, 8:00 am

Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church

(Supreme Court of California) - Holding that a church did not owe its invitees a duty to prevent injuries that resulted from crossing a public street between the church's overflow parking lot and the church itself because the street's dangers were not obscured or magnified by any condition on the landowner's premises or any action taken by them.
Posted: November 13, 2017, 8:00 am

Amoah v. McKinney

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision to grant the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's statement of facts and granting summary judgment on the remaining record in a case where a tractor trailer rear-ended the plaintiff's passenger vehicle because expert opinions that were necessary to prevail hadn't been filed by the plaintiff until months after the deadline for expert disclosures had passed.
Posted: November 13, 2017, 8:00 am

Lichtman v. Siemens Industry Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - In an injury and tort action, arising after plaintiff was injured in an auto collision during a power outage when the intersection's traffic signal's battery backup unit, maintained by defendant, had no batteries, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is reversed where the defendant failed to establish it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Posted: November 2, 2017, 8:00 am

In Re Complaint of Buchanan Marine, L.P.

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision to dismiss the case of a barge worker claiming under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, NY, and maritime law for injuries sustained while working on a barge and grant a complaint for exoneration of liability pursuant to the Limitation of Liability Act because the court correctly held that the worker, who inspected and maintained mooring barges, was not a 'seaman' for the purpose of the Jones act, but also vacating and remanding because the court erred in dismissing certain claims against the owner of the barge and operator of the facility
Posted: October 27, 2017, 8:00 am

M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Management, LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing and remanding the superior court's dismissal of a claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act brought by a housekeeping employee who was raped by a drunk non-employee trespasser that the employer knew or should have known was on the premises and had aggressively propositioned other employees prior to the attack because the claims were sufficient under the statute to survive the employer's demurrer.
Posted: October 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Foltz v. Johnson

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the grant of summary judgment in an action alleging negligence by a woman's former fiance when a dirt bike ride resulted in her being thrown from the vehicle and suffering a paralyzing spinal injury because her agreement to go dirt biking resulted in a primary assumption of risk and there were no triable issues of fact regarding whether the defendant engaged in reckless conduct totally outside the range of activity involved in off-road dirt biking.
Posted: October 25, 2017, 8:00 am

P. v. Luo

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the jury conviction of a man for involuntary manslaughter following the collapse of an unsupported excavation at a construction site that resulted in a worker's death because expert testimony was unnecessary to establish that the unsupported excavation presented a serious danger and this determination did not involve information beyond the average person's common experience.
Posted: October 25, 2017, 8:00 am

Andrews v. Target Pharmacy

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the entry of an order of summary judgment against the defendant in a case where there were multiple deadline extensions granted to submit the documentation necessary to admit expert testimony that the defendant failed to meet because it was not an abuse of discretion to refuse to reopen discovery after the defense's repeated failure to comply with deadlines and submit the necessary documentation.
Posted: October 23, 2017, 8:00 am

Curtis Engineering Corporation v. The Superior Court of San Diego County

(California Court of Appeal) - Granting the petition for writ of mandate in a case involving professional negligence in which the attorney for a plaintiff failed to file a certificate declaring that a consultation and opinion from an expert in the field had been acquired in support of the action until after the expiration of the statute of limitation and more than 60 days after the filing of the complaint because such notices are required on or before the date of service of the complaint and no adequate excuse for not doing so had been proffered.
Posted: October 23, 2017, 8:00 am

Morrill v. Scott Financial Corporation

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the district court's dismissal of an action brought by an attorney and his law firm in Arizona alleging abuse of process and wrongful institution of civil proceedings by a North Dakota corporation for lack of personal jurisdiction in a case where the lawyers claimed that the defendants had engaged in a campaign to harm them during prior litigation in Nevada in which they represented adverse parties because the defendants all resided out of state and did not have contacts in Arizona sufficient to establish specific personal jurisdiction over them.
Posted: October 23, 2017, 8:00 am

Lyons v. Colgate-Palmolive Company

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant Colgate-Palmolive in a product liability claim relating to a woman's allegation that she developed mesothelioma from the use of a cosmetic talcum powder containing asbestos because the record contained substantial evidence creating a triable issue as to whether the talc contained asbestos that could be found to have been a substantial cause of the plaintiff's illness.
Posted: October 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Morales-Simental v. Genentech, Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the grant of summary judgment to the defendant company in a case involving an auto accident where the plaintiffs sought to hold the driver's employer responsible because the court correctly determined that the driver's conduct fell into the coming and going exception to respondeat superior liability and insufficient triable issues of material fact were presented to support an alleged special errand exception to overcome the summary judgment.
Posted: October 19, 2017, 8:00 am

Mckee v. Cosby

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's grant of Bill Cosby's motion to dismiss on First Amendment grounds in a case alleging defamation when the New York Daily News published an article in which the plaintiff accused him of rape and a purportedly confidential letter drafted by Cosby's attorney in response was released to news outlets and websites worldwide.
Posted: October 18, 2017, 8:00 am

Reenstierna v. Currier

(United States First Circuit) - In a defamation action, arising out of defendant's report to the New Hampshire Real Estate Appraisal Board's disciplinary hearing concerning a grievance charge against plaintiff, a real estate appraiser, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is affirmed where defendant's statements in his report are shielded from this suit by New Hampshire's absolute witness immunity doctrine.
Posted: October 13, 2017, 8:00 am

Trotter v. 7R Holdings LLC

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming a district court order dismissing a maritime case involving an injury that took place on a boat registered in the British Virgin Islands for forum non conveniens because the remedies available in the alternative forum were not clearly inadequate, the Jones Act lacked a special venue provision, and the court reasonably balanced the relevant private and public interest factors.
Posted: October 12, 2017, 8:00 am

Stewart v. St Joseph Health

(California Court of Appeal) - Issuing a peremptory writ of mandate directing the Superior Court to vacate an order granting summary adjudication of the plaintiff's causes of action for elder abuse, fraudulent concealment, and medical battery and substituting an order denying the motion as to these causes of action because of errors in the determination of duties owed and because issues of material fact existed.
Posted: October 12, 2017, 8:00 am

Small Justice LLC v. Xcentric Ventures LLC

(United States First Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision to dismiss the plaintiff's claims under Massachusetts law for libel and intentional interference, affirming the grant of summary judgment to the defendant on the remaining claims, and affirming the award of attorney fees and costs to the defense in a case where an attorney was the subject of two negative reports because the law immunized the defense for many of the complaints.
Posted: October 11, 2017, 8:00 am

Longoria v. Pinal County

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing and remanding a case in which the family of a man shot in the back by the police, killing him as he raised his hands above his head and following the use of non-lethal force by officers because the officer who shot him was not entitled to qualified immunity because the use of force could have been found unreasonable by a jury and material issues of fact existed regarding whether the officer's version of events leading up to the shooting were credible.
Posted: October 10, 2017, 8:00 am

McKenney v. Mangino

(United States First Circuit) - Dismissing the portions of an interlocutory appeal for want of appellate jurisdiction and otherwise affirming the district court's ruling that an officer was not entitled to qualified immunity in the tragic case of a man who died at the hands of a police officer trying to do their job because the denial was legally sound and fact-based arguments were inappropriate for an interlocutory appeal.
Posted: October 6, 2017, 8:00 am

Manhattan By Sail, Inc. v. Tagle

(United States Second Circuit) - Vacating the district court's judgment in favor of the owners of a sailing vessel sued by a woman who was injured when a deckhand lost control of a weighted halyard that hit her in the head because the district court's ruling that the plaintiff failed to show negligence or entitlement to the application of res ipsa loquitur because a seaman can lose control of a line without negligence was in error and the court should have found negligence occurred based on the evidence.
Posted: October 5, 2017, 8:00 am

TDY Holdings LLC v. US

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing and remanding the district court's judgment in favor of the United States, allocating 100 percent of the cleanup of a site to the military contractor who contaminated it and zero percent to the government because the court erred in its analysis and application of the Shell Oil and Cadillac Fairview decisions.
Posted: October 4, 2017, 8:00 am

Gordo-Gonzalez v. US

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the dismissal of a suit in which the ex-wife of an FBI agent complained that the FBI negligently supervised him, resulting in his use of FBI equipment to spy on her during their marriage, because the Federal Tort Claims Act's discretionary function exception applied and the government did not waive its sovereign immunity.
Posted: October 3, 2017, 8:00 am

In Re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation No. VI

(United States Third Circuit) - Vacating the entry of summary judgment on the plaintiff's negligence claims in a case involving asbestos and maritime law because the court chose to apply a reasonable foreseeability standard instead of the bright line rule adopted by the district court, but affirming the entry of summary judgment on the plaintiff's product liability claims because they were abandoned on appeal.
Posted: October 3, 2017, 8:00 am

In Re The Complaint of Christopher Columbus LLC

(United States Third Circuit) - Vacating the district court dismissal of a negligence lawsuit relating to a drunken brawl that broke out among the passengers of a cruise on the Delaware River because proper maritime jurisdiction was found over the event, which the court concluded had the potential to disrupt maritime commerce.
Posted: September 25, 2017, 8:00 am

Estate of Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming the grant of summary judgement to a school whose former employee was exposed to radiation as part of his position because the Price-Anderson Act, which regulates the handling of certain nuclear materials by entities holding licenses to do so, set standards for the exposure of employees to radiation and the injured party in the case had been exposed to much lower than the threshold amounts.
Posted: September 18, 2017, 8:00 am

Friedman v. Bloomberg, L.P.

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the district court's dismissal of a defamation action as it related to out-of-state defendants because Connecticut's long-arm jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants excepting defamation actions does not violate the plaintiff's First or Fourteenth Amendment rights in a case where a media publisher reported on the plaintiff's lawsuit accusing their former Netherlands employer of a kickback operation involving Qaddafi and quoted the employer's statements about him, but reversing and remanding a decision that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim as it related to the employer's statements that he had repeatedly tried to extort money from them to determine whether the implication was indeed defamatory.
Posted: September 12, 2017, 8:00 am

Johnson v. Open Door Community Health Centers

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the trial court's entry of summary judgment to the defendant because the court erred in its application of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act's one-year statute of limitations for professional negligence because the injury, caused by a trip over medical equipment in a hospital, was subject to the statute of limitations on premises liability claims, not professional liability claims, since the accident did not relate to a medical procedure.
Posted: September 11, 2017, 8:00 am

Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming summary judgment for the defense in the case of a non-English speaking German national who suffered a broken leg when a hot air balloon in wine country crashed, though changing the grounds for the grant because the trial court found no duty of care, while the appeals court held that the company was not a common carrier subject to a heightened duty of care, the assumption of risk doctrine eliminated the negligence claim, and the company did have the duty to provide safe landing instructions but the undisputed evidence established that any failure to provide such instruction was not the cause of the injury.
Posted: August 31, 2017, 8:00 am

Murray v. Southern Route Maratime SA

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming an award of damages to a longshoreman and his wife for injuries he suffered when electrocuted working on a ship in a case where the district court properly instructed the jury that the vessel owner owes the longshoreman a duty to keep equipment in reasonably safe condition and it was not an abuse of discretion to admit a scientific expert to describe his theory of electrical injury or admit medical experts' testimony.
Posted: August 31, 2017, 8:00 am

DOE v. US

(United States Second Circuit) - Reversing a district court order permitting a claim against commanding officers at West Point Military Academy in a case relating to the sexual assault of a cadet who alleged that the commanding officers fostered a sexually aggressive culture at the school that discriminated against female cadets because Bivens claims have been repeatedly found to be inappropriate for courts to use in claims from enlisted personnel against their commanding officers.
Posted: August 30, 2017, 8:00 am

Major v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming trial court rulings that cigarettes were defectively designed and were the substantial factor in the death of a two pack a day smoker because Congress has no expressed intent to foreclose tort liability against cigarette manufacturers even if liability has a negative impact on cigarette sales and but-for causation does not apply to cases involving multiple causes, different combinations of which are sufficient to have caused the harm.
Posted: August 30, 2017, 8:00 am

Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversing a decision by the Court of Appeal that a claim filed in 2012 alleging sexual molestation of the plaintiff by a high school cross-country and track coach from 1993-1994 that resurfaced in 2012 as latent memories was timely and not barred under statutes of limitations because the filing of a timely claim as required in actions against public entities is a non-statute of limitations bar to suit and various tolling statutes did not cause the claim to re-accrue in the years following the alleged molestation.
Posted: August 28, 2017, 8:00 am

McMunn v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc.

(United States Third Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision that plaintiffs in a case alleging that cancer developed in a large group of people as a result of exposure to excessive radiation admissions from a nuclear facility in Pennsylvania granting summary judgment to the defense because the plaintiffs failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to the existence of a duty, breach, and damages.
Posted: August 23, 2017, 8:00 am

Ramirez v. City of Gardenia

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the city in the case of a wrongful death suit involving the death of a man following the police use of a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver during a high speed pursuit because the city was immune from liability for officer conduct conforming with their policy on vehicular pursuits.
Posted: August 23, 2017, 8:00 am

Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the grant of summary judgment to the defendant in the case of a plaintiff who was injured when, while inspecting a home offered for sale, the diving board he was standing on collapsed and he fell into the property's empty pool, because although the plaintiff claimed that they were also arguing the existence of a dangerous condition this claim was never pled and even if it had been it would have failed because the accident was not reasonably foreseeable.
Posted: August 14, 2017, 8:00 am

Towery v. State of California

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the determination, in the case of a man who caught valley fever while incarcerated in a state prison, that the State is immune from liability against a Bane Act cause of action because, subject to exceptions not relevant to the claim, a public entity is not liable for an injury to any prisoner.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 8:00 am

Parrish v. Watkins

(Supreme Court of California) - Affirming the Court of Appeals determination that while a case's success after a hearing on the merits typically forecloses subsequent malicious prosecution claims; a case that survives a motion for summary judgment but is determined to have been brought in bad faith after trial does not foreclose malicious prosecution actions under the interim adverse judgment rule.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 8:00 am

Parrish v. Watkins

(Supreme Court of California) - Affirming the Court of Appeals determination that while a case's success after a hearing on the merits typically forecloses subsequent malicious prosecution claims; a case that survives a motion for summary judgment but is determined to have been brought in bad faith after trial does not foreclose malicious prosecution actions under the interim adverse judgment rule.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 8:00 am

Toeppe v. City of San Diego

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the final judgment following a motion for summary judgment by the defendant city in the case of an injury that occurred when a tree branch fell on a woman walking through a city park because trail immunity did not apply and a disputed issue of material fact existed as to where the woman was when the tree branch struck her.
Posted: July 27, 2017, 8:00 am

Taylor v. Trimble

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the summary judgment for the defendants in the case of a child who drowned in a pool while under the care of his grandfather while guests at the respondents' home because the grandfather's supervision meant that the hosts were not negligent and owed no duty of care to protect the child and premises liability claims failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to causation.
Posted: July 27, 2017, 8:00 am

The Estuary Owners Assn. v. Shell Oil Co.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming trial court rulings that causes of action for negligence were barred by the three-year statute of limitations but reversing summary judgment ruling as to causes of action for nuisance that were not barred by the 10-year statute of repose in the case brought by condo owners for the allege contamination of soil and groundwater at the site of their homes.
Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

County of San Mateo v. The Superior Court of San Mateo County

(California Court of Appeal) - Denying a petition for writ of mandate seeking to overturn the trial court's denial of the county's motion for summary judgment in the case of a child crushed and seriously injured when a large tree fell in a county park campground. The county sought to dismiss the case by claiming 'natural condition immunity,' but there are triable issues of fact relating to whether the campground counts as unimproved public property.
Posted: July 25, 2017, 8:00 am

Tannerite Sports, LLC v. NBC Universal News Group

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the dismissal and judgment in the case of a plaintiff manufacturer of exploding rifle targets against the NBC news group for defamation because the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendant had made a false statement about the plaintiff when they called the targets bombs and expressed concerns about their potential for misuse.
Posted: July 25, 2017, 8:00 am

David v. Hernandez

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming a jury decision that found that the plaintiff in a personal injury suit arising from a car accident would be reasonably certain to need four future shoulder surgeries, based upon expert testimony, and the trial court's decision to exclude expert testimony that the plaintiff's ability to drive was impaired by marijuana use because although the driver tested positive for THC there was no evidence of impairment.
Posted: July 25, 2017, 8:00 am

Chugach Management Services Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Jetnil

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Denying the petition for review of the award of disability benefits under the Defense Base Act and the application of a judicially-created 'zone of special danger' doctrine to a local national injured while employed by a government contractor overseas.
Posted: July 21, 2017, 8:00 am

Alvarez v. Seaside Transportation Services LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the grant of summary judgment to defendants under the Privette doctrine, which prevents an independent contractor's employee from recovering tort damages for work-related injuries from the contractor's hirer because the defendants met their burden for summary judgment and there were no triable issues of material fact as to the application of the Privette doctrine because no evidence was presented that the defendant was involved in the contracted work.
Posted: July 20, 2017, 8:00 am

ZL Technologies, Inc. v. Doe

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the judgment dismissing a complaint with prejudice for failing to serve defendants and denying a motion to compel compliance with a subpeona served on respondent Glassdoor, Inc in a case where Doe defendants allegedly anonymously defamed the plaintiff on Glassdoor's website and Glassdoor denied the plaintiff access to information that would identify them.
Posted: July 19, 2017, 8:00 am