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By Jessica Surber
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

defective hip replacementThe verdicts against the manufacturers of defective hip replacement systems continue to pile up – and this latest one was a big hit to Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system.

The jury issued a $1.04 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson, reports Bloomberg News, with $30 million earmarked for six plaintiffs jointly suing the company in this case and the rest as a punitive judgement against the company. The case was in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas division, where all of the DePuy Pinnacle cases are being handled.

Another case earlier this year saw a $502 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson to resolve five cases from plaintiffs. A judge later cut the verdict to $150 million, Bloomberg reports.

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motorcycle tailpipe

How much do you know about your insurance coverage? For instance, if you have two cars insured under separate uninsured/underinsured motorist policies, do you assume that you are covered under both policies for an accident in either vehicle? Or do you know that there may be an insurance exclusion that applies?

This issue was the subject of a recent Kentucky Supreme Court case in which the justices strongly disagreed about whether an “average American” could understand certain exclusions in two insurance policies issued to a man who was later hurt by an underinsured driver.

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big rigsWhen it comes to claims arising from an 18-wheeler accident, an injured person is often wise to “cast a large net” and name as many defendants as possible. This is because insurance coverage issues and policy limits can restrict the ultimate recovery from a particular defendant, but, if several defendants are named, it is more likely that the plaintiff will be fully compensated for his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Of course, the defendants named in a tractor-trailer wreck case may have a viable defense, and they have a right to seek the dismissal of the case against them on procedural grounds. In such cases, it is up to the courts to decide who stays and who goes.

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delay sign

Some of the first concepts that law students are taught involve identifying the potential parties to a lawsuit and the appropriate court to file their claim. For instance, in order to seek relief in a court of law, a potential plaintiff must have standing. This means that the party has a sufficient connection to the issue to support that person’s participation in the legal proceedings at issue.

It’s a simple enough idea. But what happens when a plaintiff dies before the matter is resolved? Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 25.01 states that, unless the claim is extinguished by the plaintiff’s death, another interested party (such as the successor or representative of the plaintiff) may file a motion to be substituted as the plaintiff.

A Tennessee appellate court recently had an occasion to review a trial court’s decision regarding this issue in a motor vehicle collision case.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

file0001532482557 morguefile drummerboyA Missouri jury found in favor of a woman who developed ovarian cancer after long-term use of talcum powder in her genital area, awarding her $70 million in damages in late October.

This is the third large verdict against Johnson and Johnson in 2016, with two other juries handing out $55 million and $72 million verdicts to women or their families who were affected by ovarian cancer after the women’s long-term use of talcum powder products. Johnson and Johnson is the maker of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, both products containing talc that have been used by women in the genital area for decades. The public recently learned that Johnson and Johnson and other companies knew of this product’s link to ovarian cancer, but continued to market the product as safe for such use.

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insurance benefitsIn Kentucky, basic reparations benefits (BRB) are typically available without regard to fault in an automobile accident case, up to the insured’s policy limits for such benefits.

Recently, the state’s appellate court was called upon to review the procedures of a particular insurance company that had made it a practice to terminate such benefits based solely on “paper reviews” of its insured’s medical records.

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large bus

Pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, certain governmental entities can be held liable for damages resulting from their negligence. In this bus injury case, the plaintiff won the first round, but a higher court overturned the ruling.

In order to succeed in such a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant engaged in conduct that amounted to a breach of that duty, that the plaintiff sustained an injury or loss, and that there was causation (both causation in fact and proximate or legal causation). If any of these elements fails, so does the plaintiff’s cause of action.

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liability insurance coverage

When a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, he or she typically expects there to be a dispute about who was at fault or how much the claim is worth. What most people do not expect, however, is that a “routine” car accident case can quickly escalate into a battle with one’s own insurance company.

A recent case decided by Kentucky’s intermediate court of appeals illustrates the difficulties that can arise when an insured’s expectations as to what is provided under a policy do not line up with the language of the actual document. The case came down to what type of insurance would be paying the claim: uninsured motorist or liability insurance coverage.

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syringe

A medication error can be deadly. In this case in a Kentucky nursing home, a certified medical technician gave insulin to someone who didn’t need it, and the patient died. Two other patients were injected by this same technician, but they lived through the ordeal.

Most nursing homes and hospitals have protocols for ensuring that patients receive the right medicine. If a patient is still the victim of a medication error, that is an act of negligence or even abuse, and families of that patient can take action.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney

When you or a loved one enter a nursing home, you are asked to sign paperwork, in order to be admitted. Most of the forms you fill out provide much-needed medical information and cover things such as payment arrangements.

Usually, you’ll also find an agreement that specifies what happens if you or your loved one is injured or dies in the care of the facility, and you believe the facility is at fault. The agreement indicates that should you have a dispute with the care facility, you and the nursing home will go to binding arbitration, rather than court, to settle your differences or to seek compensation if the nursing home patient was injured or died.

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