Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming that county court’s grant of summary judgment against Plaintiff on her claim that Defendants tortiously interfered with her business relationship with her employer. On appeal, Plaintiff argued, in part, that there existed a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether interference by Defendants was justified. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the undisputed facts showed that Defendant’s actions were justified because they provided truthful information to Plaintiff’s employer about Plaintiff; and (2) therefore, Defendants could not incur liability for interfering with Plaintiff’s business relationship with her employer. View "Thompson v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court overruled the application of the collateral order doctrine to the extent that it authorized an interlocutory appeal from a denial of sovereign immunity. Plaintiff brought this negligence action against the Bellevue Public School District (BPS) and Bradley Nord, alleging that while Nord was a BPS teacher and Plaintiff was a student, Nord made nonconsensual sexual contact with Plaintiff that began a sexual relationship between the two occurring primarily on BPS premises. BPS and Nord filed separate motions to dismiss, claiming sovereign immunity under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act’s intentional tort exception. The motions were denied. Nord filed a motion to reconsider or to alter or amend, which motion was also denied. BPS appealed, and Nord cross-appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and cross-appeal because the appeal from the order at issue was not statutorily authorized. View "E.D. v. Bellevue Public School District" on Justia Law

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In this dispute over the calculation of he two-year statute of limitations under the State Tort Claims Act (STCA), the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that the action was time barred. Plaintiff filed a complaint against the State, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Medicine (collectively, the State), alleging invasion of privacy. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s action as barred under the STCA statute of limitations set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,227(1). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in concluding that Plaintiff’s complaint was time barred under section 81-8,227(1). View "Komar v. State" on Justia Law

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Under the facts of this case, certain childcare centers did not owe a legal duty to protect an infant from the criminal acts of a former employee. The infant in this case was abused by his nanny, and the infant died from his injuries several days later. The parents and special administrator for the infant’s estate sued two childcare centers where the nanny had worked previously, alleging that the childcare centers were negligent because the knew or should have known that the nanny had been abusive to other children while working as their employee but failed to report it to authorities. The district court directed a verdict in favor of the childcare centers and dismissed them from the case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, as a matter of law, the childcare centers could not be liable in tort for the infant’s death because their conduct did not create a risk of physical harm to the infant and because they did not have a special relationship with either the infant, Plaintiffs or the nanny that would give rise to an affirmative duty to protect the infant from the risks posed by the nanny. View "Bell v. Grow With Me Childcare & Preschool" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the district court that denied Plaintiff’s discovery motions and granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice. Plaintiff, personally and as personal representative of the estate of Mickley Lynn Ellis, sued Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. and its agents in their individual and official capacities after Ellis, who was incarcerated in the Saunders County jail, died from a bilateral pulmonary embolism while being treated at the Saunders Medical Center. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, finding no material issue of fact as to causation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. View "Ewers v. Saunders County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Plaintiff’s motion for new trial in this personal injury action. Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence after an automobile collision, claiming that her neck, back, and wrists were injured in the accident. Defendant admitted that her negligence caused the collision and “some injury” to Plaintiff but denied the nature and extent of the injuries and damages claimed by Plaintiff. The jury returned a unanimous verdict for Defendant. The district court denied Plaintiff’s motion for new trial and entered judgment on the jury’s verdict. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the jury’s verdict was supported by sufficient evidence. View "Lewison v. Renner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the district court’s order dismissing with prejudice Plaintiff’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff, an attorney, filed a complaint for breach of contract against Defendant. The trial court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend. Plaintiff then filed an amended complaint including claims for tortious conversion and a violation of Nebraska’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, holding (1) neither general nor specific personal jurisdiction over Defendant existed; but (2) the district court erred in dismissing the complaint with prejudice. The court modified the district court’s order to a dismissal without prejudice. View "Nimmer v. Giga Entertainment Media, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing Appellants’ complaint alleging that the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) negligently failed to enforce Nebraska statutes and regulations against Pierce Grain Elevator, Inc. (PEI). The complaint was filed under Nebraska’s State Tort Claims Act (STCA). In dismissing the complaint, the district court concluded that Appellants’ suit was barred by the STCA’s discretionary function exception provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,219(1). The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s determination that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case, holding that Appellants’ claims were grounded in a state agency’s alleged failure to suspend or revoke a license and that the Legislature has preserved sovereign immunity for such conduct. View "Amend v. Nebraska Public Service Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Landlord in this negligence action brought by Tenant seeking to recover damages for injuries she sustained when falling on the entry step of the single-family home she rented. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not err in the portion of the ruling in the summary judgment order that Landlord was not obligated to warn Tenant of a dangerous condition on the property; but (2) genuine issues of material fact precluded an award of summary judgment with respect to Tenant’s allegation that Landlord failed to exercise reasonable care to repair and maintain the property as required by the parties’ lease. View "Benard v. McDowall, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting the State’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for damages under the Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, holding that Plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead a claim of actual innocence. Defendant was convicted of attempted first degree sexual assault and attempted third degree sexual assault of a minor. The court of appeals reversed Defendant’s convictions and remanded the cause for a new trial. While the state sought further review, Defendant completed his prison sentence. Defendant subsequently filed this claim alleging that he had been entrapped. The district court granted the State’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the affirmative defense of entrapment is legally insufficient to show actual innocence as opposed to legal innocence, which is a required element of a wrongful conviction claim. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, holding that Defendant failed sufficiently to allege facts to support a finding of actual innocence. View "Nadeem v. State" on Justia Law