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Minors’ Involvement Affords Insight into Settlement Numbers for Fatality at Geothermal Plant

Settlement numbers in wrongful death cases are not often discernible given the confidentiality of most agreements, but where minors are involved, numbers generally are placed into the public record because of the court’s required settlement approval process.  Such was the case yesterday in a California wrongful death case arising from a workplace fatality when a worker fell into...

Worker’s Sprained Ankle Leads to $250,000 Punitive Damage Award for Retaliation

A railroad challenged a worker after the worker filed an OSHA complaint on grounds that he lied in that complaint about precisely how his on-the-job accident occurred (based on a discrepancy between the complaint and his prior version of the events).  An ALJ concluded that those charges of dishonesty amounted to unlawful retaliation against the employee for filing the OSHA complaint...

More Lawsuits Likely After $4.2 Million Verdict in Fracking Case

A Pennsylvania jury awarded a $4.2 million verdict to two families against an oil and gas company for the alleged contamination of their well water caused by fracking operations.  The verdict is likely to spur plaintiffs’ attorneys to file additional suits alleging injuries caused by fracking operations around the country.  Most of the plaintiffs’ claims in the Pennsylvania...

First Jury Verdict In Pelvic Mesh MDL Affirmed By Fourth Circuit

Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury’s award to a plaintiff of $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages on a design defect and failure to warn claim against the proprietors of transvaginal mesh medical devices used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and other pelvic issues.  This award was the first of the more than 70,000 similar cases involved...

$2.5 Million Judgment Reversed In Pennsylvania Utility Pole Painter’s Case

An intermediate appellate court in Pennsylvania reversed a $2.49 million judgment in favor of a worker for injuries sustained after falling 40 feet while working as an employee of an independent contractor for a utility.  The lower court judgment was against the utility, which appealed on the grounds that the trial court erred by not granting its motion for judgment notwithstanding the...

Pennsylvania Federal Court Sorts Through Claims Against Coke Plant, Dismisses Count For Punitive Damages

In a case involving a group of Pennsylvania plaintiffs that alleges injuries from “noxious odors and air particulates” allegedly emanating from a coke plant, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania examined the plaintiffs’ claims in deciding a motion to dismiss last week.  The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ public nuisance claim because...

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