Articles Posted in Personal Injury

by
The Eighth Circuit vacated a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff in an action alleging that plaintiff's decedent contracted acute myeloid leukemia from benzene exposure while working as a truck driver. The court held that the district court erred by determining that plaintiff's claim for damages was not discharged by defendant's bankruptcy because defendant violated plaintiff's due process rights by not providing sufficient notice of the bankruptcy. In this case, plaintiff was an unknown creditor and defendant conducted a reasonably diligent search for creditors. Furthermore, the publication notice of bankruptcy provided was sufficient to meet the decedent's due process rights. View "Dahlin v. Lyondell Chemical Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
After plaintiff was injured by a load of boxes he was hauling, he filed suit against IP and John Doe, an employee of IP, alleging that Doe negligently failed to secure the load and that IP negligently supervised the loading and inspecting of the trailer and was vicariously responsible for Doe's negligence. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the district court's grant of summary judgment for IP. The court held that the district court correctly noted that plaintiff made no evidentiary showing that IP or Doe had breached a duty of care owed to him, so there was no evidence that anyone committed a negligent act. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to produce any evidence showing that negligence in the loading process caused his injuries, and that he was deemed to have admitted that causes other than negligence could well have caused the load to fall on him. View "Bedford v. Doe" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
Plaintiff filed suit against GM after was involved in an accident where he sustained a cervical-spinal cord injury that rendered him a quadriplegic. Plaintiff was in a GMC Savana van and, although he had his seatbelt on during the time of the crash, it did not prevent him from hitting his head on the roof of the van when the vehicle rolled over. The jury found GM negligent for failing to test the van and such negligence caused plaintiff's injuries. The district court then granted GM's renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law (JML) and set aside the verdict. The trial court also conditionally granted a new trial solely as to damages. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment as to the motion for JML and held that there was legally sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find GM liable for negligent design, specifically for failing to conduct adequate testing. The court affirmed the conditional grant of a partial new trial on damages. View "Bavlsik v. General Motors" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's award of damages to plaintiff for injuries that she sustained in a vehicle-related accident. The court held that the district court improperly applied a heightened duty to the sober designated driver for a group of intoxicated passengers. In this case, the findings of fact were insufficient to support apportioning greater fault to the driver based on her duty to exercise reasonable care in driving the vehicle. Accordingly, the court remanded for new findings and conclusions on the allocation of fault. View "Hiltner v. Owners Insurance Co." on Justia Law

by
Defendant-appellant Christopher Klick was seriously injured after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning while aboard a friend’s fishing boat. An exhaust pipe had broken off at the spot where it connected with the engine. As a result, the engine had been expelling carbon monoxide gas into the engine compartment rather than through the exhaust pipe and out behind the boat. When the engine compartment hatch from within the wheelhouse was opened, carbon monoxide flowed up into the wheelhouse. Klick quickly lost consciousness and fell into the engine compartment. He awoke there several hours later, severely burned from lying on the engine. He also suffered brain damage from the carbon monoxide. The gas killed the boat’s two other occupants, but Klick survived. Klick sued the boat dealer in state court. The dealer had an insurance policy from Travelers Property Casualty Company of America that required Travelers to pay for liabilities resulting from bodily injury. The policy, however, had a pollution exclusion providing that the policy did not cover liability for injuries arising out of the release, dispersal, or migration of certain pollutants. Travelers sued in federal court, seeking a declaration that the policy did not cover liability for Klick’s injuries. The district court granted summary judgment for Travelers. We conclude that the pollution exclusion applies, and we therefore affirm. View "Travelers Property Casualty v. Klick" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Constitution, seeking compensation for harms arising from his alleged wrongful removal to Mexico. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's conclusion that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action and dismissal of the complaint. The court held that 8 U.S.C. 1252(g) precludes the exercise of jurisdiction because plaintiff challenged the execution of a removal order. View "Lopez Silva v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
The family of the deceased and administrator of his estate filed suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1), after a radiologist with the VA failed to identify a cancerous mass. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the United States, holding that although the VA failed to deliver the standard of care that the deceased deserved, the evidence presented was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the VA's negligence proximately caused plaintiffs' damages. Because the medical malpractice claims failed, so too must the wrongful-death claims. View "Day v. United States" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs Lenny and Tracy Chapman filed suit against Hiland after an explosion seriously injured Lenny, alleging negligence and loss of consortium. Hiland then filed a third-party complaint against Missouri Basin and B&B, seeking indemnification. In this appeal, Missouri Basin challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs and the district court's ruling on post-judgment motions. The Eighth Circuit held that honoring the Oklahoma choice-of-law provision in the Hiland Master Service Contract did not violate a fundamental public policy of North Dakota because it was not a motor carrier transportation contract under North Dakota law. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting plaintiffs' Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) motion where the district court clarified that by using the language "all amounts that have been paid or will be paid," Missouri Basin intended that it indemnify plaintiffs for the full amount of the settlement, including those amounts paid by Hiland's insurers. Furthermore, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Missouri Basin's Rule 59(e) motion. View "Chapman v. Missouri Basin Well Service" on Justia Law

by
Alex Lindholm's parents filed suit against BMW after Alex died when a jack supplied by his car's manufacturer fell and killed him. Alex and his father used the jack to raise the car off the ground so that they could make repairs, the jack fell on Alex when he was lying underneath the car. The Eighth Circuit held, under South Dakota law, that Alex's misuse of the jack was not foreseeable as a matter of law, given the warnings that accompanied the jack about lying under the vehicle. Therefore, BMW was entitled to summary judgment as to the strict liability claim. In regard to the negligence and negligent-design claims, Alex's misuse of the jack also constituted contributory negligence, which barred plaintiffs from recovering. The court affirmed summary judgment as to these claims. Finally, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the implied-warranties claim and the wrongful-death claim. View "Lindholm v. BMW of North America, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit against Inter-State, seeking damages from injuries that he sustained when an Inter-State vehicle hit his pickup truck and trailer in Missouri. A jury awarded plaintiff $4.5 damages. The Eighth Circuit affirmed and held that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction because the parties were completely diverse. The court upheld the award and denied remittitur because, with both economic and non-economic damages included in the general award, the total was not monstrous, shocking, or grossly excessive. View "Eckerberg v. Inter-State Studio, etc." on Justia Law