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Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[05/20] Milik v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs.
In an action for compensation under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. sections 300aa-1 to -34. the U.S. Court of Federal Claims affirming a special master's decision denying compensation, finding that plaintiffs failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused the child to develop a severe neurological condition, involving developmental delay, spastic diplegia, and motor difficulties, is affirmed where Court of Federal Claims correctly concluded that the special master's decision was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.

[05/20] Edison v. US
In a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) suit brought two prisoners housed at Taft Correctional Institution in California's San Joaquin Valley, who contracted coccidiodomycosis (cocci), colloquially known as 'Valley Fever,' while incarcerated at Taft, the District Court's dismissal of the action is reversed where the independent contractor exception to the FTCA did not bar plaintiffs' claims alleging a breach of the government's duties to prisoners housed at Taft.

[05/19] Winn v. Pioneer Medical Group
In an action brought under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, Welf. & Inst. Code section 15600 et seq., the Court of Appeal's reversal of a trial court order sustaining defendants' demurrer is reversed where: 1) the Act does not apply unless the defendant health care provider had a substantial caretaking or custodial relationship, involving ongoing responsibility for one or more basic needs, with the elder patient; and 2) plaintiffs cannot adequately allege neglect under the Elder Abuse Act because defendants did not have a caretaking or custodial relationship with the decedent.

[05/19] Jimenez v. Roseville City School Dist.
In a personal injury action brought by a student who was injured while break dancing at school, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the school district-defendant, concluding plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by participating in break dancing, is reversed where viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, there are two viable theories of liability.

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Workers' Comp

[05/11] SSA Terminals and Homeport Ins. Co. v. Carrion
In an action brought by a claimant seeking disability benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, an employer/insurer's petition for review of a decision by the Benefits Review Board is denied where: 1) the claimant timely filed his claim against his employer; 2) claimant's knee injury was a permanent, rather than a temporary, disability; and 3) the doctrines of exhaustion and waiver were inapplicable because claimant presented his claim of permanent disability well before the conclusion of the administrative process and neither the employer nor the agency was blindsided by the argument.

[05/02] Matthews v. Liberty Assignment Corp.
In a case dealing with the issue of whether a judgment, based on a structured settlement of an employee's workers' compensation claims against his employer and others, which was agreed upon by the parties and entered as an award in the workers' compensation proceeding, may be assigned by the injured employee, the trial court's denial of a motion for an order approving the assignment of plaintiff's structured settlement payment judgement is affirmed where the assignment was prohibited by statute.

[04/27] Guerra v. WCAB
In a Workers' Comp case in which claimant died from a pulmonary hemorrhage while taking out the garbage at work, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board rejection of a doctor's opinion as speculative and ruling that it had not been shown that claimant's death arose out of and in the course of his employment, is annulled and remanded where the death arose out of and in the course of employment.

[04/22] Travelers Cas. & Surety Co. v. WCAB
In an insurer's action seeking seeks to set aside the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) finding that a worker sustained a psychiatric injury resulting from a sudden and extraordinary employment condition within the meaning of Labor Code section 3208.3(d), the Board's decision is annulled where the accident was not extraordinary within the meaning of section 3208.3 and remanded with instructions to deny worker's claim for psychiatric injury.

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