Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

October 15, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupSome highlights from the past week’s litigation news headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include a ruling in a case over ‘KKK’ marks on patient’s body, an appeal over online ballot tool access is filed in Maryland, and an agricultural aviator’s family settles Calif. wrongful-death suit for $6.7 million:

Negligence claim over ‘KKK’ marks on patient’s body can’t proceed: A Native American man who alleges a hospital nurse carved “KKK” on his stomach can pursue claims of battery and discrimination but not medical negligence against the hospital, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Sept. 20.  Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken of the District of South Dakota said Vernon R. Traversie did not provide sufficient expert testimony on the alleged breach of the standard of care to preclude summary judgment for the hospital on the medical negligence claims. (Medical Malpractice)

Maryland appeals ruling on online ballot tool access: On Sept. 24 the Maryland attorney general’s office appealed a federal judge’s decision ordering the state to allow disabled voters to use an online tool to officially mark their absentee ballots in the November election. Maryland’s current absentee ballot program, which requires voters to mark ballots by hand, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett of the District of Maryland said Sept. 4. (Computer & Internet)

Insurer not liable for man’s painkiller addiction, dental problems: An Arizona appeals court has rejected a policyholder’s claims that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona acted in bad faith by allowing him to become addicted to an “off-label” painkiller that damaged his teeth and then refusing to pay for his dental care. The Court of Appeals, Division 1 found no evidence that Blue Cross acted in bad faith in administering the prescription benefits specified in Nicolai Tavilla’s insurance policy. “The contract did not require Blue Cross to evaluate the decisions of Nicolai’s health care professionals or otherwise protect him from the adverse effects of his prescribed treatment,” the appeals court’s Sept. 11 opinion says. (Insurance Bad Faith)

Agricultural aviator’s family receives $6.7 million settlement after fatal crash: The family of a pilot who died after his crop-dusting plane struck an unmarked weather monitoring tower has settled a wrongful-death suit in California state court. Retired Napa County judge Scott Snowden mediated the $6.7 million settlement between pilot Stephen Allen’s family and the companies responsible for the tower, said plaintiffs’ counsel Roger A. Dreyer of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP. A notice of the settlement was filed Sept. 8. (Aviation)