Personal Injury Updates

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Student Injury Case: Did the Governmental Immunity Defense Just Get Weaker?

Predictable horseplay and a metal locker with an exposed, jagged and rusty edge may be enough evidence for a jury to conclude that school officials had a “clear and unequivocal duty to act immediately to prevent harm” to...more

Forced to Cyber-Spy: Court Rules Parents Can Be Held Negligent for Child’s Facebook Activity

Are parents now liable for what their kids post to Facebook? According to a recent decision in the Georgia Court of Appeals, they are. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the parents of a seventh-grade student...more

Hurdles to Bringing a Defamation Suit for an Online Review

Courts and the legislature alike have made it difficult for doctors and business owners of all kinds to succeed on a defamation claim for an online review, often treating these lawsuits as attempts to silence freedom of...more

Exploding Takata Airbag Recall Expands

Recently, the Takata Corporation (“Takata”) recalled countless vehicles due to safety concerns regarding airbags they manufacture. Similarly, Nissan recently increased the number of vehicles requiring recall in the...more

Appellate Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Defamation Lawsuit by Political Candidate

On October 30, in Goral v. Kulys, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of a defamation suit pursuant to the Illinois Citizen Participation Act, 735 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (the “Act”). The Goral decision...more

Premises Liability – Hotel Owner’s Duty to Children in Multiple Story Structures

Nan Lawrence, et al. v. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, Inc., et al. - Court Of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 31, 2014) - In most premises liability actions, duty of the property owner is determined...more

Fee award against non-party attorney is thrown out by appellate court

In Suarez v. City of Corona, 2014 DJDAR 12101, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case concerning the interpretation of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1038....more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Mere Delay Does Not Constitute Bad Faith

Shaffer v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 1:13-CV-01837, 2014 WL 5325340 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 20, 2014). Court grants summary judgment to insurer where lengthy investigation was required to determine causation for UIM...more

MD Insurance Commissioner Holds Hearing on Draft Proposed Changes to COMAR 31.15.12 – Valuation of Motor Vehicles

On Friday November 21, 2014, the Maryland Insurance Commissioner held a hearing to gather information from the industry on the draft proposed changes to COMAR 31.15.12 – Valuation of Motor Vehicles. The draft proposed...more

Buzzed Driving & Drunk Driving Accidents Increase During Holiday Season

A new study released by UC San Diego reveals that “minimally buzzed” drivers – including those with a very low 0.01 blood-alcohol level (which is well below the legal limit of 0.08) are often to blame for fatal car crashes....more

Federal Court Finds Potential Risks to Human Health and the Environment from Pesticide Use on Genetically Modified Organisms...

In Jim Aana, et al. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., et al. (August 26, 2014) (2014 WL 4241221), a consolidated class-action lawsuit filed by the residents of Waimea, Kauai, the United States District Court for the...more

Middle District of Florida: Court Denies Summary Judgment For Insured On First-Party Bad Faith Claim Where Permanence Of Injury...

Cadle v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-1591-ORL-31G, 2014 WL 4983746 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 6, 2014). Middle District of Florida finds that insured’s bad faith claim for first-party failure to settle could not properly be...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms Defendants’ Summary Judgments on Bystander Exposure Claims

Allegations of bystander exposure to asbestos via laundry is a common claim in cases where a plaintiff has no apparent occupational exposure but instead alleges that her asbestos-related disease was caused by exposure to...more

D.C. Circuit: USAID Worker Jailed in Cuba Can’t Recover Damages from the Government

On November 14, 2014, in Alan Gross and Judith Gross v. U.S.A., a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously held that a humanitarian aid worker, who sub-contracted with the...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Avoid Acts & Omissions That Expose Your Franchisor to Potential Liability

A West Virginia Court refused to dismiss an action brought under its state workers' compensation law. That law permits an employee to recover greater damages when deliberate intent exists. An employee of a Hardee's...more

The State and Local GMO Regulatory Landscape – Post-Election Edition

The November election changed the regulatory landscape for genetically modified organisms (“GMO”). Though none of the proposed GMO labeling laws on state ballots succeeded, two counties were successful in passing either a ban...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19118 - E & M Custom Homes, LLC v. Negron - New home warranty claim was successfully asserted as a counterclaim to a mechanic lien foreclosure. You will have to read the Appellate Court decision to find out what...more

NCAA Appeals Ruling on Compensation for Student-Athletes

On November 14, 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) submitted its initial brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Northern District of California’s August decision that the NCAA’s...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling Allowing Restaurant Owner’s False Advertising Claims to Proceed Against Yelp

On November 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeals decision in Demetriades v. Yelp, Inc., 2014 WL 3661491 (Cal. App. July 24, 2014), which allowed a restaurant owner to proceed...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Fire District Owed Tort Duty to 911 Caller

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question of potentially great import for Illinois first responders: do public entities and their employees owe a tort duty of care to...more

Red Light Accidents in the San Fernando Valley

Red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue in the San Fernando Valley and across the nation. Indeed, a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that in the last...more

Limitation Periods and Non-Earner Benefits - the Latest Comments by the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal's recent decision in Sagan v. Dominion [2014 ONCA 720] confirmed that the submission of Disability Certificates are not required to trigger the commencement of a limitation period....more

Alien Tort Case Development: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Against Occidental Petroleum and AirScan

On November 12, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of claims filed pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) against Occidental Petroleum and AirScan. The case, Mujica v. AirScan, involves claims by...more

Missouri’s General Rule Of One Corporation Not Being Liable For Another’s Conduct Is Reaffirmed

In Blanks v. Fluor Corp., ____ S.W.3d ____ (Mo. App. E.D. 2014) WL 4589815, September 16, 2014), the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict against Fluor Corporation, because it was improperly based on the conduct...more

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