Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Plaintiffs filed this diversity action against Fundacion Damas, Inc. and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico alleging (1) Fundacion was the owner and operator of Hospital Damas, (2) Fundacion committed medical malpractice under Articles 1892 and 1803 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code, and (3) Fundacion and Banco Popular committed negligence by mismanaging funds of a trust. The district court granted Banco Popular’s motion to dismiss count three and Fundacion’s motion for summary judgment on counts one and three. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs failed to present the court with a developed argument that was convincing enough to disturb the judgment of the district court. View "Vargas-Colon v. Fundacion Damas, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a pedestrian who was injured in a car accident, sued the vehicle’s driver and the driver’s insurance company, alleging negligence. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants, finding that Plaintiff failed to prove that the driver was negligent in his driving and that his negligence proximately caused damage to Plaintiff. The district court denied Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence; (2) Plaintiff’s challenges to certain statements by defense counsel were without merit; and (3) the district court’s refusal to give a particular jury instruction was not reversible error. View "Mejias-Aguayo v. Doreste-Rodriguez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs' claims challenging the development of an offshore wind farm near Block Island, Rhode Island. The court held that Rhode Island's three-year personal injury statute of limitations applied to plaintiffs' claims, and plaintiffs' claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations because they accrued after the three-year period. View "Riggs v. Curran" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Plaintiffs were prevented from building a new home by the Cohasset Conservation Commission. Plaintiffs brought this action against Defendant, a Florida landscape design firm that was hired by the attorney representing the neighborhood association formed to oppose the construction of Plaintiffs’ proposed home. Defendant assisted in the association’s opposition by producing and presenting renderings of Plaintiffs’ proposed home to the Commission. The federal district court ruled in Defendant’s favor on all counts, granting Defendant’s special motion to dismiss under the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute and also granting, in the alternative, Defendant’s motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The First Circuit certified a question to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court regarding whether Defendant could avail itself of the special motion provision under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, 59H. The court then held that, if the anti-SLAPP statute applies to Defendant, then Plaintiffs’ negligence, gross negligence, and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A claims must also be dismissed under the special motion, leaving only Plaintiffs’ defamation claim for further consideration by the district court under the special motion. View "Steinmetz v. Coyle & Caron, Inc." on Justia Law

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This appeal arose out of the state prosecution of Vladek Filler for five counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of assault. After two trials and two appeals Filler was convicted only of one misdemeanor assault count. Filler subsequently filed a civil action against several defendants under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for malicious prosecution, including a claim against the prosecuting attorney, Mary Kellett, for malicious prosecution. Kellett filed a motion to dismiss Filler’s malicious prosecution claim for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), alleging, among other claims, that she was entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity. The district court concluded that Kellett was entitled to absolute immunity for actions associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process but denied the rest of Kellett’s motion to dismiss. Kelley brought an interlocutory appeal from the district court’s order. The First Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that that, while Filler’s claim against Kellett was not clearly foreclosed by absolute immunity, the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the immunity issue. View "Filler v. Kellett" on Justia Law

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In this design-defect product-liability case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the case for Plaintiff's failure to prosecute and to comply with scheduling orders. Plaintiff brought this action against Defendants. Plaintiff served no discovery before the discovery deadline, and Plaintiff’s counsel did not at the outset retain an expert. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the absence of any expert testimony was fatal to Plaintiff’s case. The district court subsequently granted Plaintiff’s request to reopen discovery, set a new expert-disclosure deadline and other requests for time extensions without any sanction. After the extended deadline for filing an opposition to the motion for summary judgment came without Plaintiff’s opposing the motion, the district court dismissed the case for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with scheduling orders. The district court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. The First Circuit affirmed. View "McKeague v. One World Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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The district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this design defect and failure to warn action. Bernardino Santos-Rodriguez was riding in a boat when a corroded rod end that was part of the boat’s steering mechanism failed, resulting in a loss of steering and ejecting Santos from the boat. Santos sustained extensive injuries. Santos and four relatives sued Seastar Solutions, the manufacturer of the boat’s steering mechanism, alleging a design defect and a failure to warn. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Seastar. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Santos could not prove that any failure to warn or design defect in the steering rod caused his injuries; and (2) because the district court properly granted summary judgment on Santos’s underlying claims, his relatives’ derivative claims cannot succeed. View "Santos-Rodriguez v. Seastar Solutions" on Justia Law

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A corrections officer used the name of Joel Diaz-Nieves to shield his identity when participating in a controlled buy of fake cocaine. Joel lived with his parents and brother when FBI agents executed an arrest warrant at his home. After the indictment against Joel was dismissed, Joel and his family filed a complaint alleging that, as a result of Joel’s arrest, they suffered damages and injuries compensable under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the United States and dismissed Joel’s false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution claims. The court further dismissed the derivative and independent tort claims of Joel’s relatives under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment for the government and entering judgment on the pleadings. View "Diaz-Nieves v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Annalia Montany, a student in the University of New England’s (UNE) occupational therapy master’s degree program, injured her back when Scott McNeil, an instructor playing the role of a mock patient, feigned a fall while Montany attempted to assist him in transferring from a wheelchair into a bed. Because of her back problem she failed a practical exam and did not receive a passing grade for the course. Montany was subsequently dismissed from the program. Montany filed suit against UNE and McNeil, alleging negligence and breach of contract. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendant. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) contrary to Montany’s assertion, expert testimony was required in this case; and (2) Montany’s breach of contract claims failed. View "Montany v. University of New England" on Justia Law

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Federal subject-matter jurisdiction over this dispute involving claims of defamation and other causes of action was premised on a diversity of citizenship. Hearts With Haiti Inc. and Michael Geilenfeld sued Paul Kendrick. Although a jury found for the plaintiffs, the First Circuit remanded the case to address the question of whether federal subject-matter jurisdiction was lacking. The district court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Geilenfeld was domiciled in Haiti and thus was not a citizen of a state for the purposes of diversity jurisdiction. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) as a stateless American citizen domiciled abroad, Geilenfeld did not satisfy the requirements of diversity jurisdiction; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to cure the jurisdictional defect by dismissing Geilenfeld from the action. View "Hearts With Haiti, Inc. v. Kendrick" on Justia Law