Personal Injury Civil Remedies Civil Procedure

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Is the Jury Out on Whether the Jury can be Brought Back In?

The jury renders its verdict. No party objects. The judge thanks the jury for its service, discharges them, and tells them they are free to go. The jury exits, but there’s one problem: the jury’s verdict is internally...more

Eighth Circuit to insurers: Settlement evaluation must constantly adapt to litigation developments

A recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit taught an insurer a costly lesson about trying to avoid extra-contractual liability: Insurers must constantly reevaluate their settlement position throughout...more

Michigan Supreme Court Clarifies That District Court Jurisdiction is Determined by Looking at the “Amount in Controversy” at the...

Michigan district courts have exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction over civil actions when the “amount in controversy” does not exceed $25,000. So what happens if a plaintiff files a lawsuit in district court seeking damages...more

Johnson & Johnson Hit With Two Huge Punitive Awards In Missouri Talcum Powder Litigation

We have previously posted—for example, here, here, here, and here—about the thorny problem of avoiding excessive punishment when multiple plaintiffs seek punitive damages for the same course of conduct.  Johnson & Johnson is...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #2

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases on June 9, 2016: - Dietz v. Bouldin, No. 15-458: An automobile accident case went to a jury trial in federal district court. Respondent Hillary...more

Federal District Judges May Recall Discharged Civil Jury To Correct Errors, Supreme Court Holds

Eschewing an old common-law rule for practicality, the U.S. Supreme Court held today in Dietz v. Bouldin, No. 15-458, that federal district judges may recall a civil jury it has discharged to correct errors in certain...more

The Duty to Follow-up Part II: When The Underlying Litigation Changes

Last month, we discussed the duty to follow-up in the context of an offer to settle made by a tort claimant and how neglect of that duty cost an insurer dearly by converting a claim that could have been settled for $25,000...more

Medical Litigation Newsletter - Spring 2016

Reducing Monetary Recovery in “Lost Chance Of [Medical] Recovery” Cases - In medical malpractice cases involving solely “iatrogenic” loss (e.g., harm of or relating to medical treatment), plaintiff bears the burden of...more

Compensating “Disgust”: Psychoanalyzing Emotional Distress Claims Involving Food Products

You’re a sheriff’s deputy and you’re hungry. You stop at the local Burger King drive-thru and order a Whopper with cheese. You often eat five meals a day—frequently at fast food restaurants—because you work night shifts. ...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: III. QUANTUM/DAMAGES ISSUES: B.

B. In assessing the quantum for loss of future income earning capacity, negative contingencies must be supported by evidence. Sunner v. Rana, 2015 BCCA 406, per Chaisson, J.A. [4178]...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Insureds’ Miller-Shugart Agreement Breached Policy’s Cooperation Clause

In its recent decision in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Donaldson, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7499 (8th Cir. Apr. 26, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Minnesota law, had occasion to...more

Social Media Defamation: the #creeper decision

A dispute between suburban neighbours escalated and spilled over into social media when one of the neighbours vented on Facebook. The Facebook posts suggested that the plaintiff was a “nutter” and a “creep” who deployed a...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Spring 2016

This is the 11th edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings issued...more

Paul Watler Speaks: Texas Supreme Court Opinions Firm Up Anti-SLAPP Rights For Online Journalists

Online journalists and scholars from the Americas and around the globe recently gathered at the University of Texas at Austin to assess the state of internet-based journalism. The keynote address of the 16th annual...more

Unvacating Arbitration Awards: Quarterbacks and Car Accidents

The Second Circuit reminded us yesterday that judicial review of arbitration awards is “among the most deferential in the law.” And when district courts are not sufficiently deferential, their decisions are likely to be...more

Erin Andrew’s Suit Shows Risks to Businesses from Intentional Tortfeasors

Sportscaster Erin Andrew’s suit against a Nashville Marriott and the stalker who the hotel let check-in to a room next to her has made national headlines. When the jury awarded her a total of $55 million damages, with about...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Reimbursement Rights: Insurers Will Need to be Diligent

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA plan could not satisfy its reimbursement rights from a participant’s general assets. ERISA plans’ reimbursement rights are now so limited that...more

Federal District Court Slashes Punitive Award In Hip Implant Case

A couple of months ago, I did a post about the post-trial motions in the first trial arising out of alleged defects in Wright Medical Technology’s hip implant device. On April 5, the district court resolved the motions,...more

Smooth Operators: Seventh Circuit Untangles Objections and Affirms Settlement of Hair Product Class

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a class settlement over objection in a case involving a hair-smoothing product (“the Smoothing Kit”) that allegedly destroyed users’ hair and burned their scalps. Plaintiffs sued...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2016

Editor’s Overview - This month we review the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of National Elevator Industries Health Benefit Plan where the Supreme Court considered the scope of...more

Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures

Most self-funded ERISA medical plans provide that participants who have been injured by other people (think car accidents) must reimburse the plan if the participant recovers from the other person for those injuries. In order...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2016: IV. Practice Issues: A. Costs per Schedule C can be increased for inflation and subjected to...

RVB Managements Ltd. v. Rocky Mountain House, 2015 ABCA 304, per Paperny, Watson, Slatter JJ.A. I. FACTS AND ISSUES - This was a $25 million tort claim against a municipality. It culminated in a long, 27-day trial...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2016: A passenger who grabs the steering wheel is involved in the “use” or “operation” of the...

Felix v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 394, per Bennett J., Saunders J. and Stromberg-Stein J. - I. FACTS AND ISSUES - The plaintiff (“Felix”) was driving her car with her intoxicated...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2016: Insurance Issues: Portage LaPrairie Mutual Insurance Company v. Sabean, 2015 NSCA 53, per...

Future CPP benefits fall under the definition of “any policy of insurance” and are therefore deductible from amounts payable by SEF 44 insurers - Portage LaPrairie Mutual Insurance Company v. Sabean, 2015 NSCA 53, per...more

Montanile v. Board of Trustees: A New Model for Recovery

At times, money may be owed back to the benefit plan which paid benefits to or on behalf of a participant. For example, most health plans include a right to recover from a third party recovery amounts the plan paid. In the...more

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