Articles Posted in Injury Law

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Drew May worked for Integrated Direct Marketing, LLC (IDM) as an executive vice president until his termination. May later began working for Merkle, Inc., a competitor of IDM. IDM filed a complaint against May and Markle alleging breach of contract and conversion, among other claims. The federal district court granted summary judgment for Defendants on all claims except conversion. The court then certified to the Supreme Court the question whether, under Arkansas’s tort of conversion, intangible property such as electronic data, standing alone and not deemed a trade secret, can be converted. The Supreme Court answered the question in the affirmative, holding that, under Arkansas law, intangible property such as electronic data, standing alone and not deemed a trade secret, can be converted “if the actions of the defendant are in denial of or inconsistent with the rights of the owner or person entitled to possession.” View "Integrated Direct Mktg. Inc. v. May" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law

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Appellants sued Appellees in circuit court, alleging causes of action for civil conspiracy, intentional interference with a contractual relationship or business expectancy, fraud and fraudulent inducement, and violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA). Appellants later voluntarily dismissed their intentional interference and ADPTA claims. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees on the remaining claims. Appellants appealed, arguing that there remained genuine issues of material fact that precluded summary judgment in this case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellees failed to present sufficient proof to raise a question of fact with regard to the claims before the trial court on summary judgment. View "Muccio v. Hunt" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law

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Corina Mendoza was a passenger in the backseat of a vehicle operated by Anthony Adams when Adams ran into the back of a parked excavator. Mendoza filed a complaint against Adams and WIS International, Inc. and Washington Inventory Services, Inc. (collectively, WIS) seeking damages for her injuries and alleging that Adams was acting in the course of his employment with WIS at the time of the accident. WIS and Adams pled the affirmative defense of comparative fault, citing Mendoza’s failure to wear a seat belt at the time of the accident. WIS and Adams then filed motions challenging the constitutionality of Ark. Code Ann. 27-37-703, which restricts the admissibility of seat belt nonuse in civil actions. The Supreme Court accepted a request from the district court to determine the certified question of whether section 27-37-703 is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court held that section 27-37-703 is procedural and therefore offends the principle of separation of powers under article 4, section 2 of amendment 80, section 3 of the Arkansas Constitution. View "Mendoza v. WIS Int’l, Inc." on Justia Law

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Appellants filed a complaint for breach of contract, non-disclosure, rescission, damages, and negligence against Appellees. Appellants obtained a default judgment. Appellees moved to set aside the default judgment on the grounds that the summons was defective on its face. The circuit court granted the motion and set aside the default judgment due to the defective summons and resulting lack of personal jurisdiction over Appellees. Appellees then filed a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice on the grounds that service was never completed and that the savings statute did not apply. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the circuit court’s ruling setting aside the default judgment, as the summons failed strictly to comply with the requirements of Ark. R. Civ. P. 4(b); and (2) reversed the dismissal with prejudice, holding that Appellants were entitled to the benefit of the savings statute. View "Jones v. Douglas" on Justia Law

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Linda Wright brought this lawsuit against Travis Trammell, a police officer, alleging that he committed the state-law torts of false arrest and false imprisonment. Trammell moved for summary judgment on the basis of immunity. The circuit court denied the motion. Trammell appealed, asserting (1) he demonstrated no intent to commit the tort of false arrest or false imprisonment, and to the extent the proof demonstrated negligence, he was entitled to immunity pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 21-9-310; and (2) section 21-9-301 grants immunity against all tort claims, including intentional torts. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Trammell did not commit any intentional torts, and therefore, he was entitled to immunity from suit. View "Trammell v. Wright" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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The parties in this case were Ken Blevins, who was elected as Sebastian County Circuit Clerk in 2011, and David Hudson, who served as the county judge for Sebastian County. Hudson appointed a grievance committee to hear a complaint filed by several deputy clerks working for Blevins alleging that Blevins was sexually harassing them. When Blevins sought to terminate two of those deputy clerks, Hudson appointed a new grievance committee to hear the clerks’ complaints and ultimately ordered Blevins to retain the employees. Blevins filed suit, alleging that Hudson abused the grievance process and made statements during the grievance hearings that placed Blevins in a false light and contributed to his defeat in the next election. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Hudson. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that summary judgment was proper because Hudson was entitled to immunity on all claims raised by Blevins. View "Blevins v. Hudson" on Justia Law

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Decedent was a resident of Courtyard Gardens Health and Rehabilitation, LLC for nearly one year when she transferred to another nursing home. Decedent subsequently executed a purported durable power of attorney in favor of Appellant. Thereafter, Appellant, as power of attorney for Decedent, filed suit against Courtyard Gardens alleging negligence, medical malpractice, and violations of the Arkansas Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Act. After Decedent died, the circuit court entered an order substituting as the nominal plaintiff Appellant, as special administrator of Decedent’s estate and on behalf of the wrongful-death beneficiaries of Decedent (“the Estate”). Courtyard Gardens moved for summary judgment, asserting that the complaint and amended complaint filed by Appellant under the power of attorney given to him by Decedent were nullities because the power of attorney was invalid and that the circuit court should dismiss the action because the statute of limitations on the Estate’s claims had expired. The circuit court granted Courtyard Gardens’ motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in finding that the power of attorney was invalid and in granting summary judgment based on the conclusion that the complaints were nullities. View "Quarles v. Courtyard Gardens Health & Rehab., LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellants, property owners and holders of oil and gas leases, filed a class-action complaint against Appellee, the circuit court clerk, alleging that Appellee and two of her deputies falsely and fraudulently notarized oil and gas leases. On remand and following a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee, concluding that Appellants had failed to show any damages as a result of Appellee’s purportedly unlawful act in recording the leases. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the grant of summary judgment was not in error, as none of the evidence relied upon by Appellants created a factual question as to whether they sustained damages as a result of the actions alleged in the complaint. View "Lipsey v. Cox" on Justia Law

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Carolyn Gray brought a medical malpractice action against White River Medical Center and its insurer (collectively, WRMC), alleging failure to intervene, vicarious liability, lack of qualified staff, nondelegable duty, and breach of contract. The circuit court granted partial summary judgment in favor of WRMC, dismissed Gray’s breach of contract claim, and, for the remaining claims, allowed Gray ten days to amend her complaint. Gray amended her complaint. WRMC renewed its original motion to dismiss. Gray then filed a second amended complaint alleging negligent hiring of an independent contractor. WRMC moved to dismiss Gray’s additional claim. The circuit court granted WRMC’s remaining motions to dismiss. Gray appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without prejudice for lack of a final order, holding that the circuit court’s order did not contain specific factual findings that there was no just reason for delay in accordance with Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(b). View "Gray v. White River Health Sys. Inc." on Justia Law

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Respondents filed suit against Petitioner, an Arkansas corporation with its principal place of business in Faulkner County, alleging strict liability and negligence and seeking damages resulting from the noise, pollution, and vibrations of compressor stations owned and operated by Petitioner. The compressor stations were located in Van Buren County and White County. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss or transfer for improper venue. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of prohibition requesting that the Supreme Court issue the writ to prevent the circuit court from proceeding for lack of proper venue. The Supreme Court denied the requested writ of prohibition, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to a writ of prohibition where Petitioner failed to demonstrate that Faulker County was wholly without jurisdiction on the issue of venue. View "Desoto Gathering Co. v. Ramsey" on Justia Law