Justia Injury Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
Susman v. Kearney Towing & Repair Center, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court concluding that the statute of limitations for negligence, as set forth in Neb. Stat. Ann. 25-207, begins to run on the date of a plaintiff's injury, holding that that court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of a tire repair company on the grounds that it was barred by the statute of limitations.A pickup truck owned by a construction company was involved in an accident that occurred when the right rear tire of the vehicle suffered a tread separation, resulting in a roll-over. Employees of the company that were passengers in the pickup truck at the time of the accident brought a negligence suit against the tire repair company that mounted the tire. The tire repair company moved for summary judgment based on the four-year statute of limitations. Because the action was brought more than four years after installation of the tire but within four years of the accident the district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Employees' cause of action for ordinary negligence accrued at the time of the accident and not at the time the tire company installed the tire. View "Susman v. Kearney Towing & Repair Center, Inc." on Justia Law
Yerania O. v. Juan P.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court sua sponte entering a harassment protection order against Juan P., holding that the procedure utilized in this case deprived Juan of sufficient notice and an opportunity to be heard.Yerania O. Sought and obtained an ex parte sexual assault protection order against Juan, alleging that Juan had pestered her at work, followed her, and threatened to kidnap her and her children. After the case was submitted, the district court entered a harssment protection order on its own initiative, finding that it had jurisdiction and that a harassment protection order was more appropriate. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court's procedure violated Defendant's due process rights. View "Yerania O. v. Juan P." on Justia Law
Williams v. State
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting the State's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's negligence claim based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that the State was immune from Plaintiff's claims because they arose out of an assault.Plaintiff, an inmate, claimed that the State was negligent in its handling of security when it placed an inmate who had killed Plaintiff's brother in Plaintiff's housing unit. Plaintiff, afraid for his safety, assaulted the other inmate and was later himself stabbed in retaliation. Plaintiff's negligence claims were brought against the State pursuant to Nebraska's State Tort Claims Act (STCA), Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,209 to 81-8,235. The district court concluded that the State was immune under the intentional tort exception to the STCA. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff's claim arose out of an assault and was therefore barred by the intentional tort exception. View "Williams v. State" on Justia Law
Davis v. Ridder
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Thomas Ridder and Donald Limpach and dismissing this negligence action filed by Beetye Davis, holding that both defendants were entitled to summary judgment.Davis filed an amended complaint alleging that Limpach negligently failed to put a vehicle in park, injuring Davis, and that Ridder, the owner of the vehicle, negligently failed to maintain the vehicle. The district court granted summary judgment to both defendants, concluding (1) Limpach was entitled to summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds; and (2) Ridder was entitled to summary judgment because Davis failed to submit evidence that Ridder negligently maintained the vehicle. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Limpach was entitled to summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds; and (2) Ridder was entitled to summary judgment. View "Davis v. Ridder" on Justia Law
Lewis v. MBC Construction Co.
The Supreme Court vacated the order of the compensation court requiring Defendants to modify an existing home or potentially build a unit to meet the accessibility requirements of Allen Michael Lewis, holding that the compensation court's order did not provide a meaningful basis for appellate review.Lewis was injured in the course of his employment with MBC, resulting in the amputation of his left leg. Because of his restrictions, Lewis sought modification of his rental property from MBC and filed a motion to compel that would direct MBC to build the accessible house for his use. The compensation court found that Lewis' proposed house was not reasonable and necessary but directed MBC either to find an existing home to which modifications could be made or, alternatively, to provide housing for Lewis by either building or purchasing an accessible home for him. The Supreme Court vacated the order below, holding (1) the compensation court's order was confusing and the undertakings of each party were unclear; and (2) this case is remanded for the compensation court to enter an order in compliance with Workers' Comp. Ct. R. Of Proc. 11. View "Lewis v. MBC Construction Co." on Justia Law
Melton v. City of Holdrege
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court awarding Benjamin Melton workers' compensation benefits for a loss of foot and a partial loss of legs function after his leg was amputated below the knee, holding that the court's factual findings were not clearly wrong and there was no error of law.On appeal, Melton argued that the trial court erred in determining his loss and in deciding not to award a penalty regarding permanent loss of his foot or vocational rehabilitation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the compensation court (1) did not determine Melton's loss based on use of his prosthesis; (2) did not clearly err in not awarding Melton a total loss for use of his left leg; (3) properly awarded a combined total of 193 weeks of compensation; (4) did not clearly err in failing to award a waiting-time penalty, interest, and attorney fees with respect to late payment of permanent disability benefits for the loss of Melton's foot; and (5) did not err in denying vocational rehabilitation benefits. View "Melton v. City of Holdrege" on Justia Law
Boring v. Zoetis LLC
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing and vacating an award of penalties and attorney fees, holding that, for reasoning different from the court of appeals, the court of appeals did not err when it reversed the award of penalties and attorney fees.Martin Boring filed a petition against Zoetis LLC in the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court (WCC) claiming a compensable injury arising from his employment with Zoetis. The WCC awarded Boring temporary and permanent benefits and ordered Zoetis to pay Boring penalties and attorney fees under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-125. The court of appeals affirmed the benefits award but vacated the award of penalties and attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the WCC erred when it found that there was no reasonable controversy based solely on its reliance on the judicial admission in Zoetis' answer. View "Boring v. Zoetis LLC" on Justia Law
Yagodinski v. Sutton
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court excluding the expert opinion testimony of a licensed chiropractor in Nebraska that his patient sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle collision, holding that the court did not err in excluding the testimony.Plaintiff sued Defendant, who struck Plaintiff's vehicle from behind with his vehicle, alleging that Defendant's negligence resulted in Plaintiff's sustaining serious injuries. The defense in limine moved to preclude Dr. John McClaren, a licensed chiropractor, from giving any opinion testimony regarding his diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury. The trial court sustained the motion in limine, concluding that McLaren was not qualified to testify about the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. The jury returned a general verdict in favor of Plaintiff for $5,000. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that McClaren's testimony regarding the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury was correctly excluded because it fell outside the scope of chiropractic practice in Nebraska. View "Yagodinski v. Sutton" on Justia Law
Wizinsky v. State
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of the State in this negligence action for damages under Nebraska's State Tort Claims Act (STCA), Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-8,209 et seq., holding that the State was immune from Plaintiff's claims under the discretionary function exception of the STCA.Plaintiff was an inmate at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution during riots that occurred in 2015. In his complaint, Plaintiff, who was in protective custody at the time of the riots, alleged that, due to the Department of Correctional Services's negligence he was improperly commingled with general population inmates and placed at risk, causing the symptoms of his post-traumatic stress disorder to be exacerbated. The district court found in favor of the State. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly concluded that the discretionary function exception to the STCA shielded the State from liability on Plaintiff's claims. View "Wizinsky v. State" on Justia Law
Rodriguez v. Lasting Hope Recovery Center
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendants in this wrongful death action, holding that the district court properly found that Defendants owed no legal duty under the circumstances.Mikael Loyd was a patient for six days at Lasting Hope Recovery Center, a mental health facility, where he was treated by a psychiatrist employed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physicians (UNMC Physicians). The day he was released Loyd killed his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Rodriguez. As special administrator's for Melissa's estate, her parents brought this action against Lasting Hope and UNMC Physicians for failing to warn and protect Melissa from Loyd. The district court granted summary judgment to Defendants, concluding that they owed no legal duty to Melissa. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Melissa's death was not legally attributable to the breach of duty by Defendants because Loyd never communicated to them that he intended to harm Melissa. View "Rodriguez v. Lasting Hope Recovery Center" on Justia Law