Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

January 8, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupHappy New Year! The Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Some highlights from the past week include rulings that a case over a toddler’s “flammable dress” will press on, a win for meso plaintiffs in Pennsylvania, and a Ky. hospital loses appeal over a $1.45 million punitive damages award:

Mom can press ‘flammable dress’ claims over toddler’s burning injury: The mother of a toddler who was severely burned when her Gymboree dress was ignited by a candle can move forward with design defect and failure-to-warn claims, a Minneapolis federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Susan R. Nelson of the District of Minnesota said the design defect allegation survives children’s clothing manufacturer Gymboree Corp.’s summary judgment motion because plaintiff Amber Oldenburg presented evidence that less flammable material could have been used to make the dress at issue. (Products Liability)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court opens door to suing employers in meso cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that the state Workers’ Compensation Act does not bar plaintiffs who develop mesothelioma more than 300 weeks after their employment ends from suing to recover damages from their former employers. In a 5-1 decision, the Supreme Court majority said the WCA does not encompass claims for latent mesothelioma and therefore does not provide employers with immunity from suits filed after the act’s 300-week timeframe for seeking workers’ compensation. (Asbestos)

Hospital loses appeal of $1.45 million punitive damages award: A jury’s $1.45 million punitive damages award against a hospital for negligently discharging an indigent, wheelchair-bound patient hours before his death is not excessive, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled. Two of the three judges on the appellate panel said the jury’s award in the 13-year-old case does not warrant a new trial, given St. Joseph Hospital’s reprehensible conduct in discharging James “Milford” Gray twice in a 16-hour period. (Medical Malpractice)