Justia Injury Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
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The First Circuit affirmed the order of the district court entering summary judgment in favor of Defendant and dismissing Plaintiff's claims for fraud, civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment, holding that Plaintiff failed to make a sufficient showing on essential elements of her case.In 2014, Plaintiff sold her special limited partnership interests in an affordable housing property for $1.5 million. In 2016, the property sold for $11.7 million. Plaintiff brought this lawsuit alleging claims for civil conspiracy, fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty, alleging that she was fraudulently led to believe that Defendant had power over the property and would block any attempt to sell or refinance it. The district court entered summary judgment for Defendant. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff failed to establish that Defendant intentionally misrepresented the value of the property and Plaintiff's special interest; and (2) Plaintiff's remaining causes of action were unsuccessful in the absence of wrongdoing or foreseeable damages. View "Katz v. Belveron Real Estate Partners, LLC" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court finding that Electric Boat Corp. had failed to satisfy the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) for federal officer removal, holding that Electric Boat established the statutory requirements for removal.During the late-1960s, Michael Moore was allegedly exposed to asbestos during construction of a submarine, the USS Francis Scott Key, where he worked as an electronics officer. Moore and his wife (collectively, Moore), brought suit against Electric Board and others, alleging several state claims. Electric Boat removed the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442. Moore filed a motion to remand to state court, which the district court granted after finding that Electric Boat had failed to satisfy the requirements for federal officer removal under section 1442(a)(1). The First Circuit reversed, holding (1) the district court interpreted section 1442(a)(1) in a manner inconsistent with the 2011 congressional amendment to the statute; and (2) Electric Boat satisfied the standard for federal officer removal under section 1442(a)(1). View "Moore v. Electric Boat Corp." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment for Defendants in this personal injury action, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment as to all claims.This case arose from a car accident in Rhode Island involving Horace Johnson, the driver, and Carlton Johnson, a passenger. Carlton and his mother sued to recover damages for Carlton's injuries. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants - Horace, his insurer, and the company from which Horace had leased the vehicle. The First Circuit ultimately certified to the Rhode Island Supreme Court a question regarding the definition of "civil action" in Rhode Island's Rejected Settlement Offer Interest Statute, R.I. Gen. Laws 27-7-2.2. After the Rhode Island Supreme Court supplied its answer, this Court affirmed the district court's judgment in its entirety, holding that the district court (1) correctly concluded that section 27-7-2.2 was inapplicable; (2) properly concluded that an enforceable settlement agreement existed; and (3) was right to grant summary judgment as to Carlton's insurer bad faith claims. View "Johnson v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit posed a question of Massachusetts state law to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in this negligence and failure to warn case, holding that this case met the both the SJC's and this Court's certification standards.Appellants sued Sorin Group USA, Inc. in Massachusetts state court alleging negligence and failure to warn claims predicated on Sorin's not reporting adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning Mitroflow malfunctions in young patients. Sorin removed the lawsuit to federal court under diversity jurisdiction. The trial court judge granted summary judgment to Sorin, concluding that Appellants' claims were preempted. At issue on appeal was whether Massachusetts law imposes a duty on medical device manufacturers to report adverse events to the FDA that no more than parallel the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations. The First Circuit certified to the SJC the question of whether a manufacturer's failure to report adverse events to a regular such as the FDA gives rise to liability under Massachusetts law. View "Plourde v. Sorin Group USA, Inc." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of BB&S Acquisition Corp. in this case brought by the personal representative of the estate of George Forbes, who was killed in an accident allegedly caused by Wiley Hooks, holding that the district court did not err.Before the accident, Hooks, the employee of Gregory Trucking, had delivered lumber to BB&S, which contracted with Gregory Trucking to transport a separate load of its treated lumber. After Hooks completed Gregory Trucking's contractual obligation to BB&S, Gregory Trucking hit a pick-up truck driven by George Forbes. Plaintiff brought this suit alleging that BB&S had negligently selected Gregory Trucking as an independent contractor to transport its lumber and that BB&S was the "statutory employer" of Hooks under 49 C.F.R. 390.5. The district court granted summary judgment for BB&S. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) concluding that BB&S could not be liable under Massachusetts common law for the actions of an independent contractor that occurred after the completion of the job; and (2) concluding that BB&S was not the "statutory employer" of Hooks. View "Forbes v. BB&S Acquisition Corp." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court granting Defendant's motion to dismiss this action seeking damages for injuries received in a boating accident, holding that this case was allowed to proceed in Plaintiffs' chosen forum.Plaintiffs were ferrying in a small boat when another boat, owned by Defendant, plowed into Plaintiffs' boat and sunk it. The crash also left one of the Plaintiffs with serious personal injuries. Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendant, a U.S. citizen, in Massachusetts, bringing claims for maritime negligence, loss of consortium, and property damages. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint for forum non conveniens, arguing that Greece was the most appropriate venue for the case. The district court granted the motion and dismissed the case. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in failing to hold Defendant to his burden of showing that the public and private interest factors displaced the presumption weighing in favor of Plaintiffs' initial forum of choice. View "Curtis v. Galakatos" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed on a limited basis the district court's ruling that Plaintiffs suit must be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that dismissal was required.Plaintiff, a New York resident, brought this suit over a for-profit Israeli corporation that ranked the performance of United States investment analysts, claiming that that company defamed her in Massachusetts by posting a low rating of her professional performance. The district court dismissed the suit for lack of personal jurisdiction. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to meet her burden to adduce evidence of specific facts sufficient to satisfy the requirements of constitutional due process for the exercise of personal jurisdiction. View "Lin v. TipRanks, Ltd." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiff's action against a police officer, police chief, and town alleging a violation of his federal and state civil rights for being arrested without probable cause, holding that the district court erred.During a domestic relations dispute, police officers arrested Plaintiff for domestic abuse assault. The charges were later dropped. Plaintiff then brought this action arguing that he had used justifiable force during the incident under state law to defend himself and his property. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that the officer had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that there was probable cause under federal common law supporting Plaintiff's arrest for domestic violence assault. View "Karamanoglu v. Town of Yarmouth" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court entering summary judgment for Appellees and dismissing Appellant's complaint invoking 42 U.S.C. 1983 and claiming false arrest, malicious prosecution, civil conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, holding that there was no error.Appellant was attempting to enforce his perceived property rights when he unilaterally closed access to the portion of Cedar Street that crossed his property. A ruckus ensued, and Appellant was arrested for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. Appellant subsequently brought this action against a number of municipal actors, including the police officers who responded to the scene. The district court entered summary judgment for Appellees. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment against Appellant. View "Finamore v. Miglionico" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Plaintiffs' appeal for want of jurisdiction, holding that the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the bankruptcy rules), and not the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the civil rules), govern cases that have come within the federal district court's jurisdiction as cases "related to" a pending bankruptcy proceeding. 28 U.S.C. 1334(b).In this case arising from the derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Canada, Plaintiffs brought thirty-nine separate suits against several defendants. The derailment occurred on the watch of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA). MMA sought the protection of the bankruptcy court. Plaintiffs' suits were removed to federal district court. Plaintiffs subsequently joined Canadian Pacific Railway Company as an additional defendant. The suits were centralized in the District of Maine. The district court later granted Plaintiffs' request to dismiss their claims against all defendants except Canadian Pacific pursuant to a settlement agreement that was part of MMA's plan of liquidation. The district court entered judgment for Canadian Pacific. Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of their motion to file an amended complaint. The district court denied the motion as untimely. The First Circuit dismissed Plaintiffs' appeal, holding that the Bankruptcy Rules governed the procedural aspects of this case, Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider was untimely, and the attempted appeal was untimely. View "Roy v. Canadian Pacific Railway Co." on Justia Law