Personal Injury Civil Procedure

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Plaintiff’s Expert Physician Deemed Not Competent to Testify as to the Standard of Care Applicable to Hospitals

In Lattimore v. Dickey (2015 S.O.S. 4448 – filed August 21, 2015), the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth District held that plaintiff’s expert physician’s declaration was insufficient to create a triable issue of...more

Do Not Mess With Michael Jordan And His Right Of Publicity

After Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2009, Sports Illustrated ran a special issue to commemorate Jordan’s achievement and celebrate his career. The issue was to be sold in...more

Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning For Insurers That Reject Their Duty to Defend

The first line of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion says it all: “This case provides a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” As the court’s admonishment suggests, insurers that improperly refuse to...more

SDNY Dismisses Manufacturing and Fraud Claims in Fertility Drug Case, But Conflates and Confuses the Rest

By all rights, it should be Sullivan writing about the Sullivan case. But John is taking a well-deserved vacation. We do not know if Sullivan’s travels more closely approximate a Bexis expedition, which involves long hikes...more

CA Supreme Court Expands Scope of Lawyers’ Statute of Limitations to Non-Legal Malpractice Claims – Confusion Predicted for Law...

In Lee v. Hanley (S220775 – Filed 8/20/2015), the California Supreme Court clarified the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6 by holding that its limitations period applies to claims against attorneys “whose...more

Virginia Supreme Court Decides Punitive Damages Case

In the recent case of Cain v. Lee, the Virginia Supreme Court determined that the Circuit Court for the County of Stafford erred when it granted a jury instruction that provided that “punitive damages are generally not...more

Social Media E-Discovery: Are Your Facebook Posts Discoverable in Civil Litigation?

Judge Richard J. Walsh began his opinion in Largent v. Reed with the following question: “What if the people in your life want to use your Facebook posts against you in a civil lawsuit?” With the explosive growth of social...more

Preemption (and Other Things) Defanging Depakote Claims

It wasn’t a complete win, but the summary judgment outcome in Rheinfrank v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., ___ F. Supp.3d ___, 2015 WL 4743056 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 10, 2015), has to put a spring in the step of the defendants as they...more

Making The California Assumption Of Risk Doctrine Work For You

The doctrine of assumption of risk is a legal defense that may operate to relieve a California owner or occupier of and from liability to third parties who are injured on their premises. One species of the doctrine, primary...more

CA Supreme Court Finds “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses Unenforceable After Loss Occurs During the Policy Period

In Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (No. S205889; filed 8/20/15), the California Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, holding that...more

California Statute Trumps Anti-Assignment Clauses in Liability Insurance Policies

In a unanimous decision that will have a serious impact on long-tail exposures, the California Supreme Court in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court (Hartford Acc. & Indem.) has determined that policyholders may transfer liability...more

California Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Anti-Assignment Clauses

In a unanimous decision handed down by the California Supreme Court on August 20, 2015 in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, the court removed a significant obstacle facing companies that want to assign their interests in a...more

CCP § 998 Fees Are Recoverable Despite Claim For Indemnity

In Litt v. Eisenhower Medical Center, 2015 DJDAR 6921, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District ruled that CCP § 998 fees were recoverable by a defendant even though another defendant had an obligation to...more

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages. On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et...more

Illinois appellate court strengthens sole proximate cause defense in asbestos cases

The question of whether a product manufacturer or employer in an asbestos lawsuit can introduce evidence of the plaintiff’s exposures to asbestos from other sources has become a highly contested issue. There is a lengthy...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Does a title company owe a duty of care to third parties in the recording of legal instruments?

This is precisely the question that the Ninth Circuit recently certified to the Washington Supreme Court in Centurion Properties III, LLC v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. Facts of the Case - In this case, Centurion...more

Former Abu Ghraib Detainees Appeal Political Question Dismissal of Suit Against War-Zone Contractor

Iraqi citizens who claim that they were abused by civilian government contractor employees who helped the US military interrogate detainees at Abu Ghraib prison following the US invasion in 2003 are appealing a federal...more

Claims of Negligent Design and Breach of Implied Warranty to Proceed Against Boston Scientific Mesh

On February 9, 2009, a North Carolina resident was implanted with the Obtryx Transobturator Mid- Urethral Sling System (Boston Scientific Mesh). She sued Boston Scientific Corp., the maker of the sling, asserting claims of...more

Expert Testimony Admissible Under Sargon Despite Fact Expert Could Not Definitively Rule Out All Other Possible Causes of Injury

In Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., (filed 7/16/2015, published 8/13/2015, No. B250163) the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held a physician’s expert testimony attributing the defendant’s...more

“Force of Nature” or Human Error? Litigating the Act of God Defense

The cause of the plaintiff’s damages is typically the first and most critical question posed to a jury in a product liability trial. If a jury determines that a substantial factor in the cause of the plaintiff’s damages was a...more

Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Precedent: California Supreme Court Expands Scope of Dangerous Condition Liability Involving Third...

In Cordova v. City of Los Angeles (filed 8/13/15, Case No. S208130), the California Supreme Court held a government entity is not categorically immune from liability where the plaintiff alleges a dangerous condition of public...more

Health Alert (Australia) - August 17, 2015

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpt from Judgements: New South Wales (NSW) 13 August 2015 - Waller v James [2015] NSWCA 232 The NSW...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Article III Standing for Data Breach Class Action Based on Allegations of Future Harm

In the wake of numerous data breach cases dismissed for lack of Article III standing based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l USA, 133 S. Ct. 1138, 1147 (2013), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19203 - Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection - Applicant sought a water diversion permit for some of its quarries for water used in its rock...more

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