Mary Ann Nichols of Chicago has filed a federal lawsuit against the dietary supplement company NaturMed Inc., which is also known as Institute for Vibrant Living. Her suit alleges that the company violated federal and state advertising laws.

A federal judge decided against dismissing the class-action lawsuit against this company.

In the lawsuit, she accused the company of breaches of warranty and deceptive practices in the advertising of a drink supplement the company manufactures, All Day Energy Greens, after she found it did not achieve statements on the label that claimed it would increase energy and improve digestion.

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Jeffrey Gerasi appealed an order granting summary judgment to the defendant, Gilbane Building Company Inc. The issue on appeal was whether there was a  material fact existing as to whether Gilbane retained control over the work of its subcontractor, Geary Electric. Gilbane could have been directly liable under section 414 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts for its negligence in exercising its retained control. Originally Gerasi’s lawsuit pursued a theory of liability against Gilbane under the theory of vicarious liability. He later abandoned that argument.

Gibane was hired by AT&T Services Inc. to act as general contractor for the replacement of two air conditioning systems to cool AT&T’s Wabash telecommunications building at 520 South Federal St. in Chicago. Johnson Controls inspects, maintains and performs or arranges for repairs to the Wabash building. Gilbane hired Geary Electric to do the electrical work on this project.

Gilbane had a written contract with both AT&T and Geary. Gilbane was to conduct weekly safety meetings. The AT&T/Gilbane contract required Gilbane to place “the highest importance and priority on health and safety for the [w]ork performed” and provided that Gilbane was “responsible for the safety and protection of the [w]ork, workers of [c]ontractors and [s]ubcontractors, and any other persons or public or private property as required by law.”

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Edgar Gonzalez was a construction worker employed by a commercial contractor.  While working at a project commissioned by the city of Los Angeles, he was  erecting a wall-forming system used to support poured concrete. Gonzalez, 30, climbed to the top of a 30-foot form panel; the panel gave way.  He fell to the ground where he suffered fatal injuries. Gonzalez was survived by his wife and two minor children.

The Gonzalez family sued Atlas Construction Supply Inc., the designer of the wall- forming system and the supplier of its component parts.  The lawsuit claimed that the system had been defective. The defendant Atlas Construction denied responsibility and maintained that Gonzalez’s injuries and death resulted from the negligence of the general contractor, the city of Los Angeles, and the crane operator who placed the wall form panel in that location.

The jury entered a verdict for $27 million apportioning liability at 55% to Atlas and 45% to the general contractor.

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A jury found that the mesothelioma contracted by James Lester Phillips was caused in part by exposure to asbestos contained in Bendix brakes. In an appeal, Honeywell challenged the $5.8 million awarded to Phillips’s wife and surviving children.

In the published portion of the appellate opinion, the court rejected Honeywell’s claims of evidentiary error, concluding that the trial court properly admitted a 1966 letter of a Bendix employee sarcastically addressing an article in Chemical Week magazine that stated asbestos had been accused, but not yet convicted, of being a significant health hazard.

The court reasoned that the letter was circumstantial evidence relevant to the issue of Bendix’s awareness of asbestos’s potential to cause cancer. The court noted that Illinois and Florida cases holding admission of this letter was prejudicial were distinguishable because they did not include the important limiting instruction to the jury.

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The plaintiff, Jo Huskey, and her husband filed a product liability lawsuit against Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. After a nine-day trial, the jury returned a general verdict in the amount of $3.27 million for the Huskeys on their design defect, failure to warn and loss of consortium claims. Ethicon appealed after the trial judge denied its post-trial renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or in the alternative for a new trial.

The court of appeals found that the Huskeys offered sufficient evidence to sustain the jury’s verdict and the district court committed no reversible error.

In 2008, Jo Huskey began suffering symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).  In January 2011, after her condition worsened, she discussed treatment options with her physician. By this time, Mrs. Huskey was regularly leaking urine while coughing, laughing and sneezing. She also experienced pain during intercourse. At the suggestion of her physician, Mrs. Huskey agreed to have the doctor surgically implant a medical device called the Tension-Free Vaginal Tape-Obturator (TVT-O).

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Emanuele Secci was injured after his motorcycle was involved in a crash with the defendant Aram Tonakanian, who was driving a green and white taxi marked with United Independent Taxi Drivers‘ insignia. The jury found that Tonakanian was United’s agent, but not an employee. With that verdict, the trial court granted United’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) under the state’s code of civil procedure.

The appeal of that trial judge’s order resulted in an appeal where the appellate court reversed the trial court’s order and reinstated the jury’s verdict. In doing so, the appeals panel concluded that California law does not preclude consideration of controls required by public regulations in finding an agency relationship.

In this case, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Secci, the appellate court concluded that the evidence presented at trial was more than sufficient to support a jury finding that Tonakanian, the taxi driver whom the jury found responsible for the crash and Secci’s injuries, that he was United’s agent and thus, United was vicariously liable for Tonakanian’s acts.

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Jessica Ferrer and her companion, Katherine Winslow, were injured when a taxicab driven by Tesfamariam Okbamicael struck the two of them as they crossed the street. Okbamicael worked for Yellow Cab, which owned the taxicab.

Ferrer brought this lawsuit against Okbamicael and Yellow Cab alleging that the driver, Okbamicael, was negligent and that Yellow Cab was vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Ferrer also alleged that Yellow Cab was liable for her injuries suffered in the crash under the theories of direct negligence (negligence as a common carrier) and negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, supervision and training.

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When President Trump delivered his State of the Union speech before the joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, he falsely asserted that medical malpractice liability reform would greatly impact the costs of health insurance and pharmacy drug prices.

In response, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) made the following statement:

“There is no evidence that rigging the legal system to strip Americans of their rights to hold wrongdoers accountable will lower the cost of health insurance. In fact, studies have found that limiting consumer and patient rights may actually increase costs to patients.”

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Cameron Hansen, 48, was a cement mason working at a construction site at Loretto Hospital at 645 Central Ave. in Chicago. The defendant in this case was Stone Mountain Access Systems Inc., which was the company that provided the scaffolding at the job site. Stone Mountain was responsible for designing and consulting for the building of this scaffold for this job.

Hansen was attempting to disassemble the scaffolding on Nov. 11, 2010 when it tipped over and he fell to the ground. Hansen sustained a traumatic brain injury along with unspecified injuries to his neck, left shoulder, left hip and left knee. He required five surgeries and physical therapy. The injuries left him with permanent disability.

He blamed Stone Mountain for the placement of counter-weights for the scaffold falling over and this accident. Stone Mountain maintained that there was nothing wrong with the equipment or the way the scaffold was built and argued that Hansen’s dismantling of the scaffold was the sole cause of the scaffold’s fall.

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A Minnesota jury has signed a $28 million verdict for the injuries suffered by a teenager who is now a quadriplegic after the car in which she was passenger was struck by a school bus. The crash occurred in 2009 when Paige Anderson was just 16 years old.  Another passenger in that car was killed in the crash.

The case was tried to a jury in Itasca County, which assigned 10% of the fault for the crash to the bus driver. The rest of the liability was placed on the driver of the vehicle in which Paige Anderson was seated. The attorney representing her said that both drivers are insured against claims like this, but the insurance coverage is substantially less than this verdict. The attorney representing Paige Anderson was Stephanie Ball.

“Awards this large are very rare in greater Minnesota, but this was a unique and heartbreaking case,” Ball stated, adding that the jurors’ verdict “recognizes the tragic injuries suffered by a young woman whose life was just getting started.”

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