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Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[11/19] Malen v. MTD Prod., Inc.
In plaintiffs’ suit against a manufacturer and seller of a reconditioned riding lawn mower, claiming that the injury to his foot on the rotating blade was caused by the defective design and construction of the mower, district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in concluding that the undisputed evidence established that plaintiff’s own actions were the sole proximate cause of his injury, is reversed and remanded where: 1) a reasonable jury could find that the lawn mower was defective; and 2) a trier of fact reasonably could find that the defective condition of the mower was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury.

[11/18] Rain v. Rolls-Royce Corp.
In a competitor’s suit against defendant Rolls-Royce Corporation, claiming that defendant twice breached a non-disparagement agreement the parties executed in connection with the settlement of an earlier lawsuit, district court’s judgment in defendant’s favor is affirmed where: 1) district court correctly granted defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment as to the claim based on the Texas lawsuit as defendant was immune from liability under Indiana’s absolute litigation privilege; and 2) district court did not err in reading the contract term “disparage” not to include the sort of personal embarrassment plaintiff suffered as a result of being escorted out of an event because there is no indication that plaintiff’s business or his reputation as a businessman was adversely impacted.

[11/18] Kirschner v. KPMG LLP
In a case involving the standing of the trustee of a bankrupt corporation’s litigation trust to sue third parties who allegedly assisted corporate insiders in defrauding the corporation’s creditors, an appeal from the dismissal of the suit brought by the trustee is affirmed where the trustee lacked standing because the insiders’ misconduct was imputed to the corporation.

[11/16] San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a school district’s petition for writ of review of an ALJ’s conclusion that the claimant suffered a psychiatric injury caused predominantly by industrial factors, arising from the claimant’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits for work-related stress, is denied as, when read together, the plain meaning of section 3208.3(b)(3) and section 3208.3(h) is that the entire set of industrial and nonindustrial causal factors must be taken into consideration in determining whether or not a psychiatric injury was substantially caused by “good faith personnel actions.”

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