Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Appellant challenging the circuit court’s order dismissing her case with prejudice based on the statute of limitations. The circuit court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice because Appellant’s various complaints, including Appellant’s fourth amended complaint, were time-barred. In her complaints, Appellant named different defendants, and none of the amended complaints stated that they were incorporating Appellant’s earlier complaints. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s appeal was not final because not all defendants were dismissed, and therefore, there were still claims pending against some Defendants. View "Henson v. Cradduck" on Justia Law

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Upon the divorce of Thomas Jones and Kimberly Miller the circuit court entered a final order awarding Kimberly a $20,687.75 judgment against Thomas. The circuit court issued a writ of execution directing the sheriff to take possession and sell four vehicles owned by Thomas to satisfy Thomas’s indebtedness to Kimberly. Ollye Mae Jones, who was not married to Thomas at the time, unsuccessfully moved to intervene in the action. Ollye Mae and Thomas later filed a petition for replevin seeking possession of the four vehicles, asserting that the vehicles had been wrongfully taken from them. The circuit court dismissed the replevin action, concluding that the petition was barred by the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel; that Ollye Mae and Thomas lacked standing; and that the petition failed to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. The Supreme Court summarily affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of the replevin action because Ollye Mae and Thomas did not challenge all the grounds that the circuit court relied on in making its decision. View "Jones v. Miller" on Justia Law

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In this negligence action, the circuit court granted Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial and set aside the jury’s unanimous verdict in favor of Defendants. Defendants appealed, arguing that none of the arguments raised in Plaintiff’s new trial motion provided grounds to set aside the verdict. The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the jury’s verdict was clearly against the preponderance of the evidence and that a new trial was warranted under Ark. R. Civ. P. 59(a)(6). View "James Tree & Crane Service Inc. v. Fought" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Cynthia Frazier, an employee of Baptist Medical Center, was fatally injured when she was struck by a car driven by a fellow Baptist employee as she walked across the Baptist campus. Frazier’s estate sued Baptist for wrongful death. The case was submitted to the jury on interrogatories that asked the jury to both apportion fault and determine damages. The jury found, and the circuit court copied verbatim, the jury’s response to the interrogatories wherein its apportionment of fault and the damages was expressed. In Ford Motor Co. v. Washington, the Supreme Court held that a judgment is not a final order for appellate purposes when it requires interpretation based on information not manifest on the face of the judgment. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because there existed on the face of the judgment an ambiguity as to whether the jury had apportioned the fault in making its damages award or whether the apportionment had yet to be done. View "Williamson v. Baptist Health Medical Center" on Justia Law

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Teresa Jones filed claims against Truman Arnold Companies (TAC) for negligent supervision, retention, and hiring of a store manager, claiming that she was a victim of sexual assault and harassment while employed by TAC and that she was exposed to this harm due to TAC’s negligence. TAC moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Jones’s sole remedy was through the Workers’ Compensation Act and that the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission had the exclusive jurisdiction to determine the applicability of the Act. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss, ruling that the Act did not provide coverage for Jones’s claims because her alleged injuries amounted to “mental injury or illness,” which is not compensable under workers’ compensation. The TAC subsequently filed a petition for writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that the issue of jurisdiction resided exclusively with the Workers’ Compensation Commission because the facts, as presented in the complaint, could not be determined to fall outside the Act as a matter of law. View "Truman Arnold Cos. v. Miller County Circuit Court" on Justia Law

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Patricia Adams filed claims against Truman Arnold Companies (TAC) for negligent supervision, retention, and hiring of a store manager, claiming that she was a victim of sexual assault and harassment while employed by TAC and that she was exposed to this harm due to TAC’s negligence. TAC moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Adams’s sole remedy was through the Workers’ Compensation Act and that the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission had the exclusive jurisdiction to determine the applicability of the Act. The circuit court denied TAC’s motion to dismiss, concluding that the allegations fell outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction. TAC then petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of prohibition to preclude the circuit court from continuing to exercise jurisdiction over Adams’s claims against TAC. The Supreme Court granted the writ of prohibition, holding that the writ was warranted for the reasons stated in Truman Arnold Cos. v. Miller County Circuit Court, handed down this same date. View "Truman Arnold Cos. v. Miller County Circuit Court" on Justia Law

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In 2013, Felicia Farris filed an amended complaint alleging that, in 2005, she entered into a contract with Cynthia Conger, d/b/a Conger Wealth Management (Conger), entitled “Wealth Management Agreement.” In 2008, Farris sought to have Conger transfer sufficient funds from Farris’s Fidelity Investment Account to Farris’s personal checking account so that Farris could purchase certain property prior to a foreclosure sale. Conger failed to transfer the funds, and the property was sold to a third party. Farris ultimately obtained the parcel at additional costs. Farris brought this action against Conger in 2013. Conger moved for dismissal and for summary judgment, asserting that the cause of action sounded in the tort of negligence and, therefore, was barred by the three-year statute of limitations for tort actions. Farris argued that her cause of action was for breach of contract, and thus the five-year statute of limitations applied. The circuit court granted summary judgment, finding that Farris’s complaint sounded in negligence and, consequently, was time-barred. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in failing to apply the five-year statute of limitations for contract claims, making Farris’s cause of action timely. View "Farris v. Conger" on Justia Law

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Dayong Yang, as special administrator of the estate of his deceased child, filed this negligence action against the City of Little Rock, its employees, and Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) (collectively, Appellants) for the alleged mishandling of a 911 call by a City employee that had been made by Yang’s wife. Appellants moved for summary judgment on the grounds of statutory immunity. The circuit court denied summary judgment on Yang’s negligence claims against the City and the employees in their official capacities only. The court also denied summary judgment on Yang’s negligence claims against MEMS on all claims not covered by insurance. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the City and its employees did not show they were entitled to assert the affirmative defense of immunity; and (2) the circuit court erred in denying MEMS summary judgment for statutory immunity beyond its insurance coverage. View "City of Little Rock v. Yang" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Guy Hendrix, the decedent in this case, worked for Alcoa Inc. for nearly thirty years. After he retired, Hendrix filed a claim against Alcoa for workers’ compensation benefits, alleging that he was exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment, leading to his diagnosis of an asbestos-related cancer. An administrative law judge found that the claim was time-barred because it was not filed within three years of his last date of the injurious exposure. After Hendrix died, his estate initiated this wrongful-death and survival action against Alcoa. Alcoa moved to dismiss the claims, asserting that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction because the claims fell within the exclusive-remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. The circuit court agreed and dismissed the claims against Alcoa with prejudice. The estate appealed, arguing that because the statute of repose extinguished Hendrix’s remedy under the Act before it accrued, the exclusive-remedy provision no longer applied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the claim falls within the coverage formula of the Act, even though Hendrix was ultimately denied recovery on the ground that the claim was time-barred. View "Hendrix v. Alcoa Inc." on Justia Law

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Randeep Mann targeted Dr. Trent Pierce in a bombing. Dr. Pierce was seriously injured in the bombing. Mann was subsequently convicted of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against a person within the United States, among other charges. Dr. Pierce and Melissa Pierce subsequently brought tort claims against Mann. The circuit court granted the Pierces’ motion for partial summary judgment as to liability, concluding that offensive collateral estopped could be applied as a result of Mann’s criminal convictions. After a trial on the issue of damages, the jury awarded a total of $122,500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to the Pierces. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in applying the doctrine of offensive collateral estoppel in granting partial summary judgment on liability in favor of the Perces. View "Mann v. Pierce" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury