Justia Injury Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court
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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Sweetwater County School District No. 1 and dismissing Plaintiff's negligence claim, holding that genuine issues of material fact did not preclude summary judgment in favor of the School District.Plaintiff, through his mother as next friend, brought this action claiming that he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell and struck his head on a PVC pipe that had been placed across a concrete walkway outside his elementary school building to divert water away from the building. Plaintiff claimed that the negligent placement of the pipes across the walkway created a dangerous condition, causing his injury. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the School District. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted the School District summary judgment. View "Miller v. Sweetwater County School District #1" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the determination of the Medical Commission Hearing Panel that Scott Triplett failed to meet his burden to show entitlement to a right hip replacement, holding that the Medical Panel's decision was neither arbitrary or capricious.The Medical Panel determined that Triplett did not meet his burden of proof to establish that the hip replacement surgery was a reasonable and necessary medical treatment for any injury related to his work injury. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Medical Panel's determination was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise contrary to law. View "Triplett v. State, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellants' motion to intervene in this wrongful death action, holding that heirs of the decedent cannot intervene in a wrongful death action brought by the wrongful death representative.Carrie Linn died after undergoing elective surgery. Carrie's niece, Kallista Mills, was appointed Carrie's wrongful death representative. Mills brought this wrongful death action against Charles Linn, Carrie's husband, alleging that he had negligently caused Carrie's death. One year later, Mills signed a release releasing Charles from all causes asserted against him. Mills and Charles then filed a stipulated motion to dismiss the wrongful death action with prejudice. After the execution of the release but before the filing of the stipulated motion to dismiss, Appellants - Carrie's daughters - filed a motion to intervene in the wrongful death action. Because Appellants did not timely serve counsel the motion, the court dismissed the action with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that beneficiaries, unless appointed as the wrongful death representative, are precluded from intervening in wrongful death actions. View "Archer v. Mills" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court denying Plaintiff's motion to amend and dismissing her survival action against Westview Health Care Center for injuries her deceased father received while in Westview's care, holding that the district court erred in dismissing Plaintiff's survival action.After Plaintiff filed her complaint, she moved to amend the complaint to add a wrongful death claim. The district court denied the motion to amend and dismissed the survival action on the grounds that Plaintiff was not the real party in interest. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Plaintiff's motion to amend because the wrongful death claim was barred by a two-year condition precedent; and (2) because Westview's motion was untimely, the court erred in dismissing Plaintiff's survival action on the grounds that she was not the real party in interest. View "Gaston v. Life Care Centers of America, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed part the judgment of the district court denying summary judgment in favor of the Wyoming State Hospital on Plaintiffs' claims asserting various claims of negligence under the Wyoming governmental Claims Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-39-101 - 120, holding that section 1-30-110's waiver of governmental immunity is not limited to medical malpractice claims.In denying the Hospital's motion for summary judgment, the district court concluded (1) the Hospital had waived its immunity under section 1-39-110, and (2) genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part, holding (1) because it did not involve the purely legal issue of whether the Hospital was immune from suit under the Claims Act, the Hospital's appeal with respect to section 1-39-118 and proximate cause is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction; and (2) the district court did not err in concluding that the Hospital had waived its immunity under section 1-39-110. View "Wyoming State Hospital v. Romine" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this wrongful death action, holding that Defendants did not owe a common law duty to Tyler Burns, who was killed by a gun stolen from Defendants' home.Tyler Burns was fatally shot by Phillip Sam. Plaintiffs, as personal representatives of Tyler's estate, brought this wrongful death action alleged that Phillip's mother, Dora Sam, and her boyfriend, Roger Davis, (collectively, Defendants) negligently stored the handgun used to kill Tyler. The district court granted summary judgment to Defendants, finding no common law duty. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no duty upon which a negligence claim may be based. View "Burns v. Sam" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court entered on the jury's verdict finding Defendant not negligent, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury verdict.Following a car collision, Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence. During trial, Plaintiff moved for judgment as a matter of law on the issue of Defendant's negligence. The district court reserved its ruling on the motion and gave the case to the jury. The jury found Defendant not negligent, and the court entered judgment on the verdict. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the court acted appropriately in sending the issue of Defendant's negligence to the jury; and (2) the jury could reasonably conclude from the evidence that Defendant failed to meet his burden to establish that Defendant breached his duty of ordinary care under the circumstances. View "Wageman v. Harrell" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court finding that Plaintiff's complaint against Defendant, a surgeon, alleging that he negligently treated Plaintiff's spinal condition, was barred by the statute of limitations, holding that the district court correctly found that Plaintiff's complaint was untimely filed.In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant did not meet the applicable standard of care in his performances of surgeries on her and in her after care. Defendant moved for summary judgment, asserting that the complaint was barred by the applicable statute of limitations, Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-3-107. The district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in finding that the statute of limitations expired four days before Plaintiff's complaint was filed. View "Candelaria v. Karandikar" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' complaint under Wyo. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and (c), holding that the district court did not err.Plaintiffs sued Defendants asserting claims for defamation per se, tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage and business expectancy, and false light invasion of privacy. The district court dismissed all claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs did not state claims for defamation per se; (2) Plaintiffs could not recast their second cause of action as a claim for prima facie tort; and (3) Plaintiffs did not state a claim for false light invasion of privacy. View "Bextel v. Fork Road LLC" on Justia Law