Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court

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The circuit court correctly determined that the immunity provisions of Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 barred Appellants’ noise-based lawsuit against Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc. (the Legion) and correctly found that the immunity statute did not constitute a taking under the Arkansas Constitution. Appellants filed a complaint alleging that noise from a shooting range that the Legion had built interfered with the use and enjoyment of their land and constituted a nuisance. The Legion filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint should be dismissed because it was based only on noise, and Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 grants shooting ranges immunity for noise-based lawsuits if the range is in compliance with local noise-control ordinances. The circuit court granted the Legion’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Legion was entitled to immunity as long the shooting range did not violate any local noise ordinances; and (2) section 16-105-52 did not violate Appellants’ constitutionally protected property rights. View "3 Rivers Logistics, Inc. v. Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc." on Justia Law

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The circuit court correctly determined that the immunity provisions of Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 barred Appellants’ noise-based lawsuit against Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc. (the Legion) and correctly found that the immunity statute did not constitute a taking under the Arkansas Constitution. Appellants filed a complaint alleging that noise from a shooting range that the Legion had built interfered with the use and enjoyment of their land and constituted a nuisance. The Legion filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint should be dismissed because it was based only on noise, and Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 grants shooting ranges immunity for noise-based lawsuits if the range is in compliance with local noise-control ordinances. The circuit court granted the Legion’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Legion was entitled to immunity as long the shooting range did not violate any local noise ordinances; and (2) section 16-105-52 did not violate Appellants’ constitutionally protected property rights. View "3 Rivers Logistics, Inc. v. Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation in this negligence action filed by Robert Duran. Duran alleged that Southwest had failed to exercise ordinary care for his safety and to warn against any unusually hazardous conditions, leading to his electrical-shock injury while working near or inside an energized pad-mounted electrical transformer owned by Southwest. Duran was an employee of an independent contractor that was hired to perform utility-trenching services for Southwest. In granting summary judgment, the circuit court concluded that Southwest did not owe Duran a duty of care and that questions of material fact remained regarding whether that duty was breached. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Southwest owed Duran no duty to warn him of obvious dangers, to provide Duran with a reasonably safe work environment, and to act with reasonable care in the delivery of services. View "Duran v. Southwest Arkansas Electronic Cooperative Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation in this negligence action filed by Robert Duran. Duran alleged that Southwest had failed to exercise ordinary care for his safety and to warn against any unusually hazardous conditions, leading to his electrical-shock injury while working near or inside an energized pad-mounted electrical transformer owned by Southwest. Duran was an employee of an independent contractor that was hired to perform utility-trenching services for Southwest. In granting summary judgment, the circuit court concluded that Southwest did not owe Duran a duty of care and that questions of material fact remained regarding whether that duty was breached. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Southwest owed Duran no duty to warn him of obvious dangers, to provide Duran with a reasonably safe work environment, and to act with reasonable care in the delivery of services. View "Duran v. Southwest Arkansas Electronic Cooperative Corp." on Justia Law

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In this complaint alleging claims of invasion of privacy and outrage against the hospital who treated Patricia Cannady’s daughter before her death and a doctor and hospital employees, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center and dismissed the cross-appeal brought by St. Vincent, Jay Holland, and Candida Griffin of the denial of their motions for summary judgment as to Cannady’s outrage claim. Cannady’s daughter, Anne Pressly, died five days after being assaulted in her home. Pressly was treated at St. Vincent. Cannady filed suit against Defendants, alleging claims of invasion of privacy and outrage for the hospital’s employees’ acts of accessing Pressly’s medical record without reason and St. Vincent’s failure to restrict access to medical records. On remand from the Supreme Court, the circuit court denied Defendants’ motions as to the outrage claim but granted St. Vincent’s motion as to its vicarious liability. The Supreme Court held (1) St. Vincent was not liable for its employees’ actions; and (2) because the circuit court made no final decision on the merits of Cannady’s outrage claim, there was no final judgment to review, and therefore, the cross-appeal must be dismissed. View "Cannady v. St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center" on Justia Law

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In this complaint alleging claims of invasion of privacy and outrage against the hospital who treated Patricia Cannady’s daughter before her death and a doctor and hospital employees, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center and dismissed the cross-appeal brought by St. Vincent, Jay Holland, and Candida Griffin of the denial of their motions for summary judgment as to Cannady’s outrage claim. Cannady’s daughter, Anne Pressly, died five days after being assaulted in her home. Pressly was treated at St. Vincent. Cannady filed suit against Defendants, alleging claims of invasion of privacy and outrage for the hospital’s employees’ acts of accessing Pressly’s medical record without reason and St. Vincent’s failure to restrict access to medical records. On remand from the Supreme Court, the circuit court denied Defendants’ motions as to the outrage claim but granted St. Vincent’s motion as to its vicarious liability. The Supreme Court held (1) St. Vincent was not liable for its employees’ actions; and (2) because the circuit court made no final decision on the merits of Cannady’s outrage claim, there was no final judgment to review, and therefore, the cross-appeal must be dismissed. View "Cannady v. St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center" on Justia Law

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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

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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