The California Court of Appeals recently published an opinion reversing a jury’s verdict in favor of a 14-year-old boy who was injured in a 2012 auto-pedestrian accident involving an instructor employed by the defendant who was driving home from work when the accident occurred. The lawsuit, which was originally filed against both the driver and his employer, alleged that the employer was liable for the injuries caused by the driver because he was acting within the course of his employment when the crash occurred. Although the verdict against the employer was reversed, the pretrial settlement that the plaintiff reached with the driver of the vehicle will remain in effect to help compensate him for the injuries that were suffered in the crash.

ChefTeen Plaintiff Is Struck by Culinary Instructor as He Returns From Work

The plaintiff in the case of Jorge v. Culinary Institute of America was a boy who was 14 years old when he was struck by a vehicle while walking with his girlfriend and suffered serious injuries. The driver of the car that hit the boy was employed as an instructor at a culinary institute that was operated by the defendant, and he was returning to his home after his workday when he injured the plaintiff.

The plaintiff filed an auto-pedestrian accident claim against both the driver and his employer, arguing that the driver was returning from work “in service of the employer” when the accident occurred. After the jury found that the driver was negligent in causing the accident, his auto insurance company negotiated a $30,000 settlement with the plaintiff before the jury determined the total amount of damages to which the teen was entitled. After the partial settlement was reached, the Culinary Institute was the only remaining defendant in the case and was unable to have the claim against them dismissed.

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The Supreme Court of the State of Illinois recently released a decision reversing two lower court rulings and ultimately preserving a wrongful death plaintiff’s right to recover damages from a defendant against whom he did not file a claim until the state’s statute of limitations had appeared to expire. The court found that the “discovery rule” applies to wrongful death by medical malpractice claims in that state, and the plaintiff’s right to hold medical providers accountable for their negligence would be unfairly taken away if the claim were not permitted to proceed. Since the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim has been reversed, his claim for compensation will proceed toward a settlement or trial.

SurgeonsThe Plaintiff’s Mother Dies While Under the Care of the Defendants

The plaintiff in the case of Moon v. Rhode is the son of a woman who died on May 29, 2009 after she was hospitalized to treat a gastrointestinal issue. After her death, the plaintiff had an investigation performed and was notified by medical experts that two of the attending physicians were likely negligent in failing to diagnose or treat respiratory problems that arose after she was admitted to the hospital, which ultimately led to her death.

The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the physicians, seeking damages for his mother’s death. During the course of the lawsuit, the plaintiff requested that a different expert review his mother’s diagnostic imagery reports, and he was notified on March 4, 2013 (after the statute of limitations appeared to expire) that the likely cause of his mother’s death was a previously undiagnosed condition that should have been noticed by her radiologist, who was not a party to the ongoing lawsuit.

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The Louisiana Supreme Court recently released a ruling in a negligence lawsuit affirming a district court’s decision to award a plaintiff over $250,000 in damages as compensation for lost future earnings as a result of injuries that she had suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant appealed the district court’s ruling, claiming that the plaintiff was not employed when she suffered the injuries and that it was inappropriate for the court to award her future earnings as part of the damages award. Based on the high court’s ruling after the plaintiff’s appeal, the defendant will most likely be required to pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff.

Rock ClimbingThe Plaintiff Suffered Serious Injuries While Rock Climbing

The plaintiff in the case of Fecke v. Louisiana State University was injured after she fell from a rock climbing wall that was operated by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that an employee of the defendant acted negligently, causing her fall. She sought damages from the defendant to compensate her for the expenses and losses related to the injuries she suffered in the fall.

After a jury trial on the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant was found liable for her injuries and ordered to pay a total of approximately $1.44 million in damages to the plaintiff as compensation for their negligence. As part of the final verdict, the plaintiff was awarded $262,500 in compensation for future income that she would be unable to earn as a result of her injuries.

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One state’s supreme court recently published a decision affirming a district court’s ruling in favor of the defendant in a personal injury claim. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, an insurance company that represented the other driver involved in an accident, had unreasonably rejected her initial claim for damages related to injuries that she suffered in an auto accident. The state supreme court ultimately decided that the defendant had reasonable grounds to challenge the plaintiff’s claim because there were conflicting accounts of the accident itself, as well as the source of the injuries the plaintiff claimed to have suffered in the crash. Although the high court affirmed the ruling favoring the defendant concerning the plaintiff’s bad-faith claim, the plaintiff may still be entitled to compensation from the defendant for her injuries.

Front End DamageThe Plaintiff’s Vehicle Is Struck by Another in the Parking Lot of an Apartment Complex

The plaintiff in the case of Holloway v. Direct General Insurance Company is a woman who was involved in an accident with a driver who was insured by the defendant. According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the plaintiff and the other driver gave conflicting accounts of the accident, and police were never called to report on the crash. Although the accident occurred at a low speed, and the damage to the vehicles was relatively minor, the plaintiff allegedly suffered serious injuries from the crash. The plaintiff made a claim with the defendant for $125,000 in damages suffered in the accident.

The Defendant Disputed the Insured Was Responsible for the Collision and Denied the Plaintiff’s Claim

Based on the conflicting accounts of the accident, the defendant denied that the driver it insured was legally responsible for the injuries allegedly suffered by the plaintiff in the crash and eventually denied the plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant to obtain the compensation requested in her initial claim, and she also requested additional damages from the defendant, alleging that the defendant unreasonably denied her claim and acted with bad faith.

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A United States District Court recently issued a decision that denied a plaintiff’s request to impose sanctions against a defendant for destroying evidence before trial on the plaintiff’s pharmacy error claim. The plaintiff had alleged that the defendant, who had already admitted to accidentally dispensing the wrong medication to the plaintiff, destroyed the evidence in order to gain an advantage in litigation against the plaintiff. The court ultimately rejected the plaintiff’s request for additional sanctions and damages against the defendant, ruling that the defendant’s admission of the pharmacy error made the evidence sought by the plaintiff irrelevant to the issues presented in the case. The court ruled that since the plaintiff’s case was not prejudiced by the defendant’s actions, the requested sanctions would not be appropriate.

Blue PillsPlaintiff’s Claim Arises After Pharmacy Accidentally Dispenses the Wrong Medication

According to an article discussing the court’s recent ruling in the case, the plaintiff in the case of Burton v. Walgreen Co. was a customer of the defendant who filled a prescription for valsartan tablets but was instead given a bottle containing both his prescribed medication as well as lithium tablets. The plaintiff consumed five of the pills before noticing the error and returning the medication. The plaintiff subsequently filed a pharmacy error lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that he suffered injuries as a result of the wrong medication being dispensed by the defendant.

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A national news outlet recently published an article that is the second in a multi-part series on pregnancy and birth. The article discusses both the causes and the effects of the recent increase in the rate of families who decide to plan a birth at home or in a non-hospital birth center. Data from a study cited by the article shows that the rate of planned out-of-hospital births has increased by 56% in less than a decade. The steep increase in the home-birth rate raises several questions concerning the effect on medical malpractice and birth injury claims.

BabyThe Main Reasons for the Recent Increase in Home Births

According to the author of the recent article, one of the primary reasons for the recent increase in home-birth rates is the general decline in the level of trust afforded to institutionalized medicine and corporate care, especially as it applies to the act of delivering a child.

Complaints have proliferated from patients who were subjected to unnecessary or unwanted interventions in the name of “medical necessity” while giving birth at a hospital. Many professional medical providers are quick to recommend or order complicated and sometimes dangerous procedures during a hospital birth, and mothers and families may not be afforded the opportunity to give informed consent for these procedures in the heat of the moment. It is often not until after a hospital birth is completed that the mother is able to understand the procedures that were performed, and they may not have been necessary.

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The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently released an opinion affirming a jury’s decision that a plaintiff’s claim was time-barred because she should have known malpractice was being committed and filed the lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations. Although the high court ruling affirmed a final judgment in favor of the defendants, the court’s analysis and application of what is known as the “continuing treatment doctrine” left the door open for future medical malpractice plaintiffs to legally pursue claims over three years after the date of the alleged act of medical malpractice if the requirements for the doctrine are met. The Massachusetts Supreme Court found that the plaintiff’s claim in the case of Parr v. Rosenthal did not meet the requirements to extend the statute of limitations, and therefore it affirmed the jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant.

StethoscopeComplications Treating a Tumor on the Plaintiff’s Son’s Leg Results in Amputation

The plaintiff in the case of Parr v. Rosenthal is the mother of a child who lost his leg after receiving treatment from the defendant for a benign tumor on his leg. After the plaintiff’s son was diagnosed with the rare and quickly growing tumor, she sought out the defendant, who specialized in a treatment known as radio frequency ablation, or RFA, to have the tumor removed.

The plaintiff’s son was seriously burned during the procedure and eventually required two amputation surgeries on his leg because of the damage allegedly caused by the defendant. On March 9, 2009, over three years after the RFA procedure was performed, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit against the defendant. After a trial, the jury found that the plaintiff’s claim should have been filed within the three-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, and the plaintiff should have discovered the doctor’s negligence within the limitations period.

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The first of several articles that are being released as part of a new series on pregnancy and birth-related issues by a popular national news network has a startling title. The piece, entitled “Why I Regret my Scheduled C-Section,” was written by journalist Lisa Ling as part of a larger segment that is being published by CNN called “This Is Birth,” which will address many issues that American families face when seeking professional medical care during a pregnancy.

Pregnant WomanWhy the Author Regretted Her Elective C-Section

Part one of the newly published series explains how and why the author came to regret her decision to have a scheduled cesarean delivery of her second child. According to the facts discussed in the article, a late ultrasound of her first pregnancy revealed that the child’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and would need to be delivered by C-section. Her first C-section went as planned and without complications. When she became pregnant again, the author scheduled her second child to be delivered by C-section, a popular decision for mothers who have previously given birth by C-section. Unlike her first delivery, the author’s second C-section had complications and resulted in the author acquiring a dangerous and painful infection in the hospital. Although her baby and she ultimately recovered, the author clearly states that she did not thoughtfully consider the risks of a C-section compared to those of a natural birth, and shr regrets her decision to have the surgery.

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The Supreme Court of Alaska recently decided to uphold a jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant in a personal injury claim. The plaintiff had sought damages from the defendant as compensation for injuries that she allegedly suffered in an auto accident caused by the defendant’s failure to stop on an icy road. As a result of the court’s ruling, the plaintiff is unlikely to receive compensation for her personal injury claim.

Icy RoadThe Plaintiff’s Vehicle Was Struck From Behind by the Defendant

The plaintiff in the case of Marshall v. Peter is a woman who was allegedly injured when her vehicle was hit by the defendant’s while she waited to perform a left turn. The defendant responded to the complaint and denied that he acted negligently, testifying that he had left adequate space between his vehicle and the plaintiff’s vehicle and that the accident was caused by the icy road conditions. The jury considered the plaintiff’s claims and testimony at trial and decided the defendant was not negligent or responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.

The Plaintiff Appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court

The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s rulings to the state supreme court, arguing that the claim should not have been rejected by the jury as a matter of law. The appellate court favored the defendant’s arguments, noting that the jury reasonably could have found that the defendant was exercising due care when operating his vehicle and was not negligent in failing to prevent the accident. The Court additionally entered a judgment against the plaintiff for part of the defendant’s attorneys fees after the plaintiff failed to reasonably consider a settlement offer made by the defendant during pre-trial negotiations.

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The Supreme Court of the State of Alabama recently published an opinion that affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of the defendants regarding a wrongful death claim filed against the manufacturer of a smoke detector that failed to prevent the death of the plaintiffs’ daughter in a 2011 mobile home fire. The high court affirmed both the district court’s judgment to prevent some of the plaintiffs’ claims from being considered by the jury at trial, as well as the jury’s verdict, which rejected the plaintiffs’ remaining claims made at trial. Based on the most recent appellate rulings, the plaintiffs will not be compensated for the expenses and loss related to the tragic death of their daughter.

FireThe Plaintiffs’ Child Dies in a Tragic 2011 Fire

The plaintiffs in the case of Hosford v. BRK Brands, Inc. were the parents of a young girl who died in a fire that occurred in their mobile home on the night of May 20, 2011. The defendant manufactured two smoke alarms that were installed in the plaintiffs’ home prior to the fire. According to the facts discussed in the recent appellate opinion, the plaintiffs filed several claims against the defendant after their child’s death, alleging that the smoke alarms were defectively designed and failed to give the family adequate warning to safely escape and save their daughter’s life. Although the plaintiffs agreed that at least one of the smoke alarms sounded an alarm after the fire broke out, they claimed that the defendant’s product did not sound the alarm as soon as it should have, preventing them from rescuing their daughter before she perished in the fire.

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