Justia Injury Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court
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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Expert Training, LLC after Plaintiff settled with all other defendants in her personal injury lawsuit, holding that the district court did not err.Plaintiff was injured when she fell from the attic of Sunrise Shopping Center to the floor below. Plaintiff sued the Shopping Center's owner, various property management companies, and Expert Training, the staffing company that provided janitorial and maintenance workers to the Shopping Center. Plaintiff settled with all defendants except Expert Training. The district court subsequently entered summary judgment in favor of Expert Training, finding that Expert Training was not engaged in a joint venture and that it owed no duty to Plaintiff. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment on Plaintiff's joint enterprise and negligence claims. View "Weir v. Expert Training, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) affirming the denial of Appellant's request for benefits related to her injury, holding that substantial evidence supported the agency's decision.On May 3, 2019, Appellant, a sales associate at Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson, was moving a motorcycle when her back grabbed and her legs felt weak. On May 6, Appellant was standing in her kitchen and turning slightly to the left when she felt excruciating pain. Appellant filed a claim with the Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division for benefits related to her May 6 injury. The Division denied Appellant her requested benefits. The OAH and the district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the law does not require OAH to reference the "second compensable injury" rule in its decision; and (2) there was substantial evidence to support OAH's conclusion that Appellant failed to prove her May 6 injury was caused by the May 3 injury. View "Boylen v. State, ex rel., Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing this personal injury lawsuit as untimely, holding that the district court erred in ruling that Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-3-118 did not apply to Plaintiff's voluntary dismissal.On October 20, 2013, Plaintiff brought this lawsuit against Defendant seeking damages for his injuries incurred in an accident with Defendant. On November 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the case without prejudice, which the trial court granted. On July 22, 2020, Plaintiff filed a new complaint. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the new action was outside the four-year statute of limitations under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-3-105(a)(iv)(C) and that the claims were untimely under section 1-3-118. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that dismissal was not warranted because section 1-3-118 does not limit its application to dismissals initiated by an opposing party or sua sponte dismissals. View "Hugus v. Reeder" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the decision of the Medical Commission upholding the denial of Appellant's request for benefits, holding that there was substantial evidence to support the Commission's denial of coverage.In 2007, Appellant suffered a compensable injury to her left knee. More than a decade later, Appellant submitted requests to the Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division to cover treatment for her right knee, ankles and back and further applied for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. The Division denied both requests, and the Commission affirmed the ruling. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that that there was substantial evidence to support the Commission's findings that (1) Appellant's right knee, ankle, and back injuries were not second compensable injuries; and (2) Appellant did not qualify for PTD benefits under the odd lot doctrine. View "Ross v. State, ex rel., Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to the City of Lander and dismissing Plaintiffs' negligence claim on grounds of governmental immunity, holding that the district court erred both procedurally and as a matter of law when it granted summary judgment.Plaintiffs found a bat in their home and called the Animal Control Division of the Lander Police Department. The bat was captured but escaped before it could be tested for rabies. Plaintiffs filed a complaint seeking damages for the cost of the rabies vaccines and mental anguish. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the City. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court procedurally erred when it granted summary judgment on grounds not raised by the parties without giving notice and a time to respond; and (2) the City was not entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law on the undisputed facts of record. View "Cornella v. City of Lander, Wyoming" on Justia Law