Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Eleventh Circuit had interlocutory jurisdiction in this appeal from the denial of a warrant in rem for the arrest of a vessel. In this case, plaintiff filed a complaint against the vessel and others, alleging that he was entitled to enforce a maritime lien for damages arising from a maritime tort. The court held that plaintiff's claim for a maritime tort against the vessel fell within the admiralty jurisdiction of the district court and plaintiff was entitled to a warrant in rem. Accordingly, the court remanded with instructions to direct the clerk to issue a warrant in rem for the arrest of the vessel. View "Minott v. M/Y Brunello" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Mosaic in this toxic tort action. Plaintiff alleged that toxic substances emitted from a factory operated by Mosaic caused or exacerbated various medical conditions from which she suffers. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the opinions of plaintiff's expert because the expert's methodology was undermined by multiple defects. The court found no error in the district court's analysis and agreed with the district court that, among other things, the expert failed to properly assess dose-response with regard to plaintiff, to meaningfully rule out other potential causes of plaintiff's medical conditions, and to account for the background risk of her conditions. View "Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Mosaic in this toxic tort action. Plaintiff alleged that toxic substances emitted from a factory operated by Mosaic caused or exacerbated various medical conditions from which she suffers. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the opinions of plaintiff's expert because the expert's methodology was undermined by multiple defects. The court found no error in the district court's analysis and agreed with the district court that, among other things, the expert failed to properly assess dose-response with regard to plaintiff, to meaningfully rule out other potential causes of plaintiff's medical conditions, and to account for the background risk of her conditions. View "Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Plaintiffs, through their parents, filed suit against defendants, alleging harms from the result of their parents being enrolled in a clinical study while being treated for health issues accompanying the children's premature births. At issue was whether a plaintiff who claims that he did not give informed consent to medical treatment provided as part of a clinical study must show that he was injured as a result of that treatment. The Eleventh Circuit held that Alabama law required that there be an actual injury caused by the treatment. In this case, plaintiffs failed to establish that their lack of informed consent caused any actual injuries, and thus the district court properly granted summary judgment for defendants. View "Lewis v. Moore" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment against three tobacco companies in favor of plaintiff for compensatory and punitive damages. This case was one of thousands of Engle progeny suits initiated by smokers in Florida against tobacco companies and remained pending for several years while awaiting resolution of other appeals. With the benefit of those decisions, the court carefully reviewed the record and considered the parties' written and oral arguments, affirming the judgment awarded to plaintiff on her claims of negligence, strict liability, fraudulent concealment, and civil conspiracy. The court held that the district court's instructional error was harmless; the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the companies' motion for mistrial after plaintiff's medical incident; the court rejected the companies' challenges to the punitive damages award; and the court rejected challenges to the district court's comparative fault findings and federal preemption and due process limits on the Engle jury's findings. View "Burkhart v. R.J.Reynolds Tobacco Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against ZOLL, alleging that claims for strict products liability, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent marketing and promotion, breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and negligent infliction of emotional distress all related to the operation (or failure to operate) of the deceased's LifeVest. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' negligent infliction of emotional distress claim. However, in light of developing and binding precedent in this circuit, the court reversed the district court's dismissal of the remaining claims. The court held that these claims were cognizable Florida common law causes of action and were not preempted by federal law. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. View "Godelia v. ZOLL Services, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in a personal injury case arising from plaintiff's slip and fall at a Publix Supermarket operated by defendant. After the jury returned a verdict for defendant, plaintiff and a third party, ML Healthcare appealed. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by requiring ML Healthcare to produce, and then by admitting at trial, evidence of collateral source payments made by ML Healthcare on plaintiff's behalf. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying in part ML Healthcare's motion to quash. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff's motion for spoliation sanctions, a request for an adverse inference, and a request for exclusion of evidence. View "ML Healthcare Services, LLC v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in a personal injury case arising from plaintiff's slip and fall at a Publix Supermarket operated by defendant. After the jury returned a verdict for defendant, plaintiff and a third party, ML Healthcare appealed. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by requiring ML Healthcare to produce, and then by admitting at trial, evidence of collateral source payments made by ML Healthcare on plaintiff's behalf. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying in part ML Healthcare's motion to quash. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff's motion for spoliation sanctions, a request for an adverse inference, and a request for exclusion of evidence. View "ML Healthcare Services, LLC v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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In this wrongful death action, plaintiff filed suit against R.J. Reynolds to recover damages based on the death of his wife from tobacco-related diseases caused by her decades-long history of smoking R.J. Reynolds' cigarettes. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court properly interpreted Florida law in ultimately deciding that plaintiff's damages could not be reduced, even though the jury found his wife to be 45% at fault for her injuries; plaintiff did not waive his right to insist that the Florida intentional tort exception be applied to prevent reduction of compensatory damages based on the wife's degree of fault; and the district court's repudiation of its own charge to the jury concerning the reduction of damages did not justify a reversal of its ultimate decision not to reduce those damages. View "Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co." on Justia Law

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Former Coach of the Miami Dolphins, James Turner, filed suit against defendants, alleging defamation claims under Florida law related to defendants' publication of a report, which concluded that bullying by other Dolphins players contributed to Jonathan Martin's decision to leave the team. The Eleventh Circuit held that none of the challenged statements contained in the report were actionable for defamation; no alleged omission or juxtaposition of facts in the report stated a claim for defamation by implication; and Turner was a public figure who failed to adequately plead that defendants acted with malice in drafting and publishing the report. View "Turner v. Wells, Jr." on Justia Law