Wrongful Death

News & Analysis as of

Bus Driver’s Aneurysm Found Compensable

The South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion on February 18, 2015, wherein it found a bus driver’s death due to an aneurysm compensable and the driver’s common-law wife entitled to benefits. ...more

Oncology Expert’s Opinion Based on Plaintiff’s Family History and Personal Experience Properly Admitted in Wrongful Death Action

In Uriell v. Regents of UC (Filed 1/29/2015, Published 2/20/2015, No. D064098) the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held the testimony of an Oncology expert testifying in a wrongful death action was...more

Western District of Washington: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Refuses to Provide a Defense Where Facts Confirmed Insured’s Actions...

Wargacki v. W. Nat’l Assurance Co., No. C13-5373RBL, 2015 WL 74111 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 6, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington grants summary judgment to an insurer ruling that the insurer...more

The Latest on Major Defense Verdicts in Arizona

What’s the latest news on Arizona’s civil defense verdicts? Here are some interesting defense verdicts from 2014: - Steak Out Restaurant & Saloon, L.L.C. et al. v. Old Lobos T&T, L.L.C. et al. Steak Out Restaurant...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18997 - Ruiz v. Victory Properties, LLC - SC18997 Dissent - Ruiz v. Victory Properties, LLC This is a continuation of an earlier Appellate Court decision I reported on, which held the landlord responsible...more

OHSA charges dismissed: not appropriate for MOL to charge under “general duty” clause where specific regulation addressed safety...

In dismissing Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against an employer arising out of a fatality, an Ontario court has held that it is not appropriate for the Ministry of Labour to charge under the “general duty clause”...more

Release of Liability Agreement Extinguishes Duty of Ordinary Care

On January 27, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, in Eriksson v. Nunnink (Case No. E057158), held a release of liability between Decedent and Defendant was enforceable as a defense to the...more

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

In mid-December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of claims filed pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) against Occidental Petroleum. Plaintiffs in the case argued that Occidental should be held...more

Florida’s Slavin Doctrine: Alive, Well and Expanding?

In a recent opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal appears to have expanded the Slavin doctrine in the context of design professional liability. In McIntosh v. Progressive Design and Engineering, Inc. (Jan. 7, 2015),...more

Pennsylvania Nursing Home That Failed To Sign Arbitration Agreement Cannot Seek to Enforce the Agreement

On January 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Bair v. Manor Care of Elizabethtown, PA, LLC 2015 Pa. Super. 9 (2015) ruled that a nursing home arbitration agreement was not enforceable when the facility did not sign...more

Two company directors jailed 25 days after worker dies, no safety training provided

Rarely are senior corporate officials jailed for health and safety offences in Canada.  But recently, two company directors of an importer and retailer of furniture and accessories, were jailed for 25 days after a worker died...more

3rd largest cause of death is medical errors, study says

Most patients enter Illinois hospitals with the expectation that they will receive high quality treatment from skilled, competent health care professionals. Unfortunately, recent research by a patient advocacy group indicates...more

New York's Vision Zero Plan

In August, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that lowered New York City’s speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph. The bill was called “Vision Zero” and its goal is to reduce the number of deaths of motorists and...more

Construction Case Law Update - December, 2014

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Employer Liability Policies & Worker’s Compensation – Although decedent-employee’s estate had standing as a judgment creditor to sue the tortfeasor-employer’s liability insurer for breach of...more

The Crimes of Others: Adam Lanza, Sandy Hook, and Protection Against Tort Liability for Selling Firearms

The families of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, in which Adam Lanza attacked the Sandy Hook Elementary School, have filed a lawsuit against the seller of the AR-15 rifle that Lanza used in the crime, and...more

Total fines now $1.24 million in Christmas Eve fatalities after swing stage company and director fined

The total of safety fines paid for the December 24, 2009 swing stage collapse fatalities is now $1,240,000 after Swing N Scaff Inc., the company that supplied the swing stage platform (a suspended work platform), was fined...more

Four Loko Liability Ruling Notable, but Not Game-Changing

A California court recently held that Four Loko is not protected from liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. Fiorini v. City Brewing Co., LLC, 2014 WL 5743133 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2014). In this case, the parents of a...more

When In Doubt, File the Limitation Complaint (Part III): The Test Is Reasonable Possibility

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit, in In re: RLB Contracting, Inc., No. 14–40326 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2014), concluded that an ongoing exchange of correspondence between counsel for a dredge involved in a maritime casualty...more

New South Wales Supreme Court Clarifies Inspectors' Powers Under Sections 155 and 171 of the WHS Act

The recent decision of Hunter Quarries Pty Ltd v New South Wales (Hunter Quarries Decision), as provided welcome clarification regarding the operation of an inspector's powers under sections 155 and 171 of the Work Health and...more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (11/14)

In its weekly orders (11/21/14), the Texas Supreme Court issued five new opinions and granted review in three cases. Click here to read the order list and find the opinions....more

Regulatory Risk Update: Tougher penalties for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences proposed

On 13 November 2014, the Sentencing Council opened its 14 week public consultation on draft guidelines for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences. If implemented, the guidelines will mean that large...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Illinois Recognizes a Claim for Wrongful Death from Suicide

In Turcios v. The DeBruler Company, a case from the Second District, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a simply stated question: can a plaintiff state a claim for wrongful death as a result of a suicide?...more

Guardrail Ends – Open and Obvious Court Ends Liability for Contractor and Engineer Based Upon Slavin Doctrine

The Slavin Doctrine has been on the books for more than fifty years and is a favorite defense used by contractors, architects and engineers defending against personal injury and wrongful death claims. Generally, the Slavin...more

Mine Fatalities: Causes, Prevention, and MSHA Enforcement

A number of fatal mine accidents occurred in the United States between January 1 and September 22, 2014. Coal Mines - - Four underground employees on foot were crushed by equipment in operation. - Two...more

Concerns Regarding Tort Claim Waivers

When Richard Angelo died during a triathlon sponsored by USA Triathlon, USAT thought that the waiver/indemnity Richard had executed would protect the organization. Unfortunately for USAT, that liability limitation turned out...more

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