Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s declaration that the arbitration agreement at issue in this case was void and unenforceable on state law grounds and for being contrary to public policy, holding that the court erred in both respects. Plaintiff sued Defendants, a nursing home and its employees, for injuries he sustained as a resident at the nursing home. Defendants filed motions to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration cause within the admission agreement Plaintiff had signed upon being admitted as a resident in the nursing home. The district court overruled the motions, concluding that the arbitration clause (1) lacked mutuality of obligation by the parties, (2) was unenforceable for failure to strictly conform to the requirements of Nebraska’s Uniform Arbitration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-2601 et seq., and (3) was void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the arbitration agreement was valid and enforceable and governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. View "Heineman v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiffs’ amended complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim because amendment to state a claim was plausible. Plaintiffs, the next-door neighbors of a rental house at which a natural gas explosion occurred, injuring Plaintiffs, sued the rental house’s landowner and property manager based upon a negligence theory. The district court dismissed Plaintiffs’ amended complaint with prejudice less than five months after the action commenced, without providing a post response opportunity to amend and based upon a no-duty-owed conclusion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that that the district court erred in finding that amendment of the complaint would have been futile and thus erred in dismissing the complaint with prejudice. The court remanded the cause with direction to grant the neighbors leave to amend their complaint. View "Eadie v. Leise Properties, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this product liability action, the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the claimant’s expert’s testimony regarding causation. Plaintiff brought this product liability action against Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. and Roche Laboratories, Inc. (collectively, Roche) alleging that she developed health issues as a result of ingesting Accutane, a pharmaceutical drug manufactured and distributed by Roche. After conducting a Daubert/Schafersman hearing, the district court entered an order precluding Plaintiff’s expert witness from rendering opinions on the general and specific causation of Plaintiff’s Crohn’s disease. Thereafter, the Court entered summary judgment in favor of Roche. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the expert testimony after finding that the expert’s methodology was unreliable and conclusion-driven; and (2) with the exclusion of this testimony, there remained no issue of material fact, and therefore, summary judgment was properly granted in favor of Roche. View "Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this product liability action, the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the claimant’s expert’s testimony regarding causation. Plaintiff brought this product liability action against Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. and Roche Laboratories, Inc. (collectively, Roche) alleging that she developed health issues as a result of ingesting Accutane, a pharmaceutical drug manufactured and distributed by Roche. After conducting a Daubert/Schafersman hearing, the district court entered an order precluding Plaintiff’s expert witness from rendering opinions on the general and specific causation of Plaintiff’s Crohn’s disease. Thereafter, the Court entered summary judgment in favor of Roche. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the expert testimony after finding that the expert’s methodology was unreliable and conclusion-driven; and (2) with the exclusion of this testimony, there remained no issue of material fact, and therefore, summary judgment was properly granted in favor of Roche. View "Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming that county court’s grant of summary judgment against Plaintiff on her claim that Defendants tortiously interfered with her business relationship with her employer. On appeal, Plaintiff argued, in part, that there existed a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether interference by Defendants was justified. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the undisputed facts showed that Defendant’s actions were justified because they provided truthful information to Plaintiff’s employer about Plaintiff; and (2) therefore, Defendants could not incur liability for interfering with Plaintiff’s business relationship with her employer. View "Thompson v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court overruled the application of the collateral order doctrine to the extent that it authorized an interlocutory appeal from a denial of sovereign immunity. Plaintiff brought this negligence action against the Bellevue Public School District (BPS) and Bradley Nord, alleging that while Nord was a BPS teacher and Plaintiff was a student, Nord made nonconsensual sexual contact with Plaintiff that began a sexual relationship between the two occurring primarily on BPS premises. BPS and Nord filed separate motions to dismiss, claiming sovereign immunity under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act’s intentional tort exception. The motions were denied. Nord filed a motion to reconsider or to alter or amend, which motion was also denied. BPS appealed, and Nord cross-appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and cross-appeal because the appeal from the order at issue was not statutorily authorized. View "E.D. v. Bellevue Public School District" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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In this dispute over the calculation of he two-year statute of limitations under the State Tort Claims Act (STCA), the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that the action was time barred. Plaintiff filed a complaint against the State, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Medicine (collectively, the State), alleging invasion of privacy. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s action as barred under the STCA statute of limitations set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,227(1). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in concluding that Plaintiff’s complaint was time barred under section 81-8,227(1). View "Komar v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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In this dispute over the calculation of he two-year statute of limitations under the State Tort Claims Act (STCA), the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that the action was time barred. Plaintiff filed a complaint against the State, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Medicine (collectively, the State), alleging invasion of privacy. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s action as barred under the STCA statute of limitations set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,227(1). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in concluding that Plaintiff’s complaint was time barred under section 81-8,227(1). View "Komar v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Under the facts of this case, certain childcare centers did not owe a legal duty to protect an infant from the criminal acts of a former employee. The infant in this case was abused by his nanny, and the infant died from his injuries several days later. The parents and special administrator for the infant’s estate sued two childcare centers where the nanny had worked previously, alleging that the childcare centers were negligent because the knew or should have known that the nanny had been abusive to other children while working as their employee but failed to report it to authorities. The district court directed a verdict in favor of the childcare centers and dismissed them from the case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, as a matter of law, the childcare centers could not be liable in tort for the infant’s death because their conduct did not create a risk of physical harm to the infant and because they did not have a special relationship with either the infant, Plaintiffs or the nanny that would give rise to an affirmative duty to protect the infant from the risks posed by the nanny. View "Bell v. Grow With Me Childcare & Preschool" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the district court that denied Plaintiff’s discovery motions and granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice. Plaintiff, personally and as personal representative of the estate of Mickley Lynn Ellis, sued Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. and its agents in their individual and official capacities after Ellis, who was incarcerated in the Saunders County jail, died from a bilateral pulmonary embolism while being treated at the Saunders Medical Center. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, finding no material issue of fact as to causation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. View "Ewers v. Saunders County" on Justia Law