News

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review in Class Action Concerning Defective Braking System

June 25th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a $5.6 million judgment against KIA Motors based on a defect in certain braking systems. The petition in Kia Motors America, Inc. v. Samuel-Bassett, --- S. Ct. ----, 2012 WL 2368701 (2012), was filed by Mr. Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin LLP. CCL’s Robert S. Peck was counsel of record for respondents.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Louisiana Class Action Case Brought by Katrina Victims

June 25th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of an insurer’s attempt to avoid liability to people whose property was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The case is Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Oubre, --- S. Ct. ----, 2012 WL 1358843 (2012).

Mr. Theodore B. Olsen of Gibson Dunn represented the petitioners. CCL’s Robert S. Peck was counsel of record for respondents.

Victory in West Virginia Supreme Court

June 21st, 2012

The West Virginia Supreme Court, in the case In re E.B., ruled today that the state Medicaid agency could only recoup Medicaid payments from that portion of a tort settlement representing payment for past medical expenses. Where a settlement is unallocated, and the parties can't agree, the trial court must hold an allocation hearing at which the state will bear the burden of proof regarding the portion of the settlement representing past medicals.

CCL’s Louis M. Bograd was lead appellate counsel for the plaintiffs.

CCL’s John Vail Participates in American Constitution Society Panel About Jury Trials

June 15th, 2012

The American Constitution Society, at its annual convention, hosted a roundtable on whether individuals are losing the right to trial by jury. Professor Arthur Miller of NYU Law School moderated. CCL’s John Vail was among the panelists. The Blog of the Legal Times covered the event.

Maryland High Court Accepts Review of CCL Appeal

April 20th, 2012

The Maryland Court of Appeals has agreed to consider the merits of an appeal concerning whether to abolish the common-law doctrine of contributory negligence and adopt comparative negligence. CCL’s John Vail is lead appellate counsel for the plaintiffs in Coleman v. Soccer Assoc. of Columbia, No. 02048.

CCL Authors Amicus Curiae Brief in Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Daniel

April 19th, 2012

CCL’s Andre M. Mura filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs/appellees in Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Daniel, Nos. 63 & 64 EAP 2011, now pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The brief, filed on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, argues that the Federal Drug Administration’s oversight of drug safety is no warrant for barring state-law remedies awarded to punish and deter a drug manufacturer’s reckless disregard for patient safety.

CCL’s Andre M. Mura Argues In Missouri Supreme Court

March 27th, 2012

The Missouri Supreme Court held oral argument in Watts v. Cox Medical Center, No. SC91867. The case concerns the constitutionality of a Missouri law limiting compensation for non-economic harm in cases where medical negligence is proven. Andre M. Mura presented argument on behalf of the plaintiffs. The Missouri Solicitor General’s Office argued on behalf of the defendants.

Missouri Lawyers Media has coverage of oral argument (subscription required). It notes that this “high-profile appeal” “has drawn attention from across the state and nation.”

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Post-Engle Multi-Million Dollar Verdicts Against Tobacco Companies

March 26th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a major push by tobacco companies to review the constitutionality of several million-dollar jury verdicts that will compensate the families of dead smokers. Bloomberg, Reuters, UPI, and Sunshine State News have coverage. These are the first of the so-called Engle cases tried and reviewed by the Florida courts. Bloomberg reports that “[a]bout 8,000 post-Engle cases claiming death and injury from smoking are pending against Reynolds, Altria Group Inc. (MO) and other U.S. cigarette makers in Florida state and federal courts.”

The cases are R.J. Reynolds Co. v. Gray, No. 11-272, R.J. Reynolds Co. v. Martin, No. 11-274; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Hall, No. 11-755; and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Campbell, No. 11-756.

Mr. Gregory G. Katsas of Jones Day represented the petitioners. CCL’s Robert S. Peck was counsel of record for the respondents in the Gray and Martin appeals. With him on the briefs was Valerie M. Nannery.

CCL Argues In Florida Supreme Court That State Cap on Noneconomic Damages Is Unconstitutional

February 9th, 2012

CCL’s Robert S. Peck argued in the Florida Supreme Court that Florida’s statutory limits on compensatory damages for non-economic harm violate plaintiffs’ rights of equal protection, trial by jury, access to the courts, and separation of powers under the Florida Constitution. The case, Estate of McCall v. United States, No. 09-163755, comes to the Florida Supreme Court on certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. With Bob on the briefs was Valerie Nannery.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Punitive Damages Award in Class Action Against Farmers Insurance

January 23rd, 2012

The Supreme Court has declined to review an $8 million punitive damages verdict against Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon in a class action brought by policyholders, in Farmers Insurance Co v. Strawn. The Oregon courts found that Farmers failed to comply with Oregon personal injury protection (PIP) law and its policy contract by failing to pay all reasonable medical expenses it was required to pay. CCL’s Robert S. Peck, counsel of record for the plaintiffs/respondents, opposed review of Farmers’ petition, which asserted in part that it was denied due process because plaintiffs proved the reliance element of fraud on a class-wide rather than individualized basis. Petitioners were represented by Mr. Theodore J. Boutros of Gibson Dunn.