Justia Injury Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendant and dismissing Plaintiff's action alleging that Defendant was liable as his co-employee "for reckless, willful, wanton and/or reprehensible conduct" that led to him being run over with a concrete truck while working on a construction project, holding that there was no error.In granting summary judgment for Defendant, the district court concluded that Defendant was immune from liability because, under Wyoming law, Plaintiff's sole remedy was workers' compensation benefits. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether Defendant lost statutory immunity because his actions were willful and wanton. The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed, holding that the district court (1) erred by ruling that Defendant was not responsible for Plaintiff's safety and work conditions because he was not Plaintiff's supervisor; (2) did not err in ruling that Plaintiff did not present evidence showing that Defendant knew his actions presented a serious risk to Plaintiff or that it was highly probable harm would result if he disregarded the risk; and (3) did not err by ruling that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to whether Defendant acted willfully and wantonly. View "Lovato v. Case" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of district court granting summary judgment to Riverton Memorial Hospital, LLC and dismissing this complaint alleging that Hospital violated the now-repealed Wyoming Hospital Records and Information Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. 35-2-605 to 35-2-617, holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed precluding summary judgment.In their complaint, Rebecca and Tyler Wiese claimed that the Hospital failed to provide them all "health care information" concerning Rebecca's labor and delivery, including information associated with her Centricity Perinatal electronic medical record, in violation of the Act. The district court granted summary judgment of the Hospital, concluding that the Hospital complied with the Act by informing the Wieses and that Centricity electronic record and audit trial did not exist and/or could not be found. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) audit trails were "health care information" under the Act; and (2) a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether Hospital complied with the Act with respect to Rebecca's Centricity electronic record and audit trail. View "Wiese v. Riverton Memorial Hospital, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing Plaintiff's negligence action, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment for Defendants based on Plaintiff's failure to submit a timely notice of claim under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act (WGCA), Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-39-113.In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that she suffered damages because of the medical treatment she received at a hospital and that she timely submitted a notice of claim as required by the WGCA. The district court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, concluding that there was no dispute of material fact that Plaintiff failed to file or present her notice of claim within two years of the alleged act, error, or omission, as required by Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-39-113(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment to Defendants based on Plaintiff's failure timely to submit a notice of claim under the WGCA. View "Casey v. Teton County Hospital District" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Medical Commission Hearing Panel (Commission) upholding that decision of the Wyoming Workers' Compensation Division denying Claimant's request for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits for a work-related injury that Claimant asserted made him unemployable, holding that the Commission's decision was supported by substantial evidence and was unaffected by any error of law.At issue was Claimant's request for PTD benefits for a work-related back injury Claimant suffered in 2002. The Division denied Claimant's application for PTD benefits, and the Commission upheld the Division's denial of PTD benefits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission correctly determined that Claimant did not meet his burden of proving he was entitled to PTD benefits under the odd lot doctrine. View "Genner v. State, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court reversing the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) awarding Plaintiff permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) after she injured her back and left hip while working as a registered nurse, holding that the district court did not err.The OAH awarded Plaintiff benefits after finding that she had made a tangible effort to seek suitable employment given her health, education, training, and experience. The district court reversed, finding that Plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence that she actively sought work and did not present expert medical testimony showing she was incapable of working. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the OAH decision was not supported by substantial evidence because Plaintiff did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that there was no suitable work given her health. View "McBride v. State, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Wyoming Workers' Safety and Compensation Division denying coverage for Claimant's thoracic spine treatment, holding that the Medical Commission's decision was supported by the hearing evidence.After the Division denied Claimant's compensation coverage for his thoracic spine treatment Claimant appealed. The Compensation Commission upheld the denial of coverage following a contested pain hearing, and the district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the record contained substantial evidence to support the Commission's findings that Claimant's thoracic spine injury was unrelated to his work-related accident; and (2) Claimant failed to meet his burden of proving that his thoracic spine evaluation and treatment were compensable under the "rule out" doctrine. View "Hart v. State of Wyoming, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendants' renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and request for a new trial in this negligence action, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion.Plaintiff, the wrongful death representative for William Gray, brought this action against Defendants for the wrongful death of Gray following a motorcycle vehicle collision in a construction work zone, alleging that Defendants disregarded their duty to implement reasonably safe traffic control at an intersection. The district court entered judgment against Defendants and denied their motion for judgment as a matter of law and request for a new trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. View "JTL Group, Inc. v. Gray-Dockham" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) upholding the Wyoming Workers' Compensation Division's denial of Appellant's request for an endless pool to treat his work-related injury, holding that there was no error.Appellant requested that the Division preauthorize the purchase of a small pool with an underwater treadmill known as an endless pool to help him manage his medical condition. The Division denied the request in part, and the OAH upheld the determination. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the OAH had authority to decide this case; and (2) the OAH properly determined that Appellant was collaterally estopped from relitigating his right to an endless pool for treatment because the issue was fully decided in an earlier OAH order denying the claim. View "McCallister v. State, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing this complaint alleging negligence for failure to state a claim, holding that there was no error.Neva Larue Moses negligently collided with another vehicle while driving a vehicle owned and insured by Moses Inc., killing her and the other driver. Moses Inc.'s insurer settled the ensuing negligence claim and then canceled Moses Inc.'s policy. Moses Inc. brought this claim against the Estate of Neva Larue Moses and the Neva Larue Moses Living Trust, arguing that the defendants were liable for its increased insurance costs from another insurer. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a person who borrows another person's vehicle does not owe the vehicle owner a duty to protect it from increased insurance costs. View "Moses Inc. v. Moses" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying Plaintiff's motion to peremptorily disqualify the judge assigned to her case, holding that the district court erred by denying Plaintiff's motion.Plaintiff brought this action against her coworker and their employer, alleging claims of battery and negligence against her coworker and that the employer failed properly to supervise and control the coworker. The judge assigned to Plaintiff's case subsequently recused himself and assigned another judge to the case. Four days later, Plaintiff filed her motion to peremptorily disqualify the second judge. The district court denied the motion as untimely. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the motion was timely. View "Berens v. Mumme" on Justia Law