Articles Posted in Nebraska

The parents of a Maryland family have filed a lawsuit in Nebraska that invokes a 2003 Nebraska state law for the first time.

In September, a horrific Nebraska car accident claimed the lives of parents, their two children, and an unborn child. The law, extending legal protection to fetuses at any stage of development, is being invoked for the first time since its inception in 2003 in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of the family.

Numerous people involved with passing the Nebraska law said they were unaware of it being used in court before. It appears there is no precedent for it. Certainly, it stirs up a lot of political and emotional issues. It will be interesting to see how this tragic case plays out.

The Nebraska Supreme Court has agreed that a lawsuit arising from injuries suffered by a woman whose family purchased a used car from a car dealer that allegedly failed to inspect the car. The court held that under these facts; the dealer was obligated to warn consumers about potential defects.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in Sides v. St. Anthony’s Medical Center, that plaintiffs in a medical malpractice cases in Missouri may rely on an expert’s opinion that the injury would not have happened in the absence of the defendants’ negligence even without a specific proof of a negligent act. The court adopted the Restatement of Torts rule that if a medical malpractice plaintiff cannot demonstrate which specific act of negligence caused the injury but can demonstrate the potential causes are within the control of the doctor, and the injury would not occur in the absence of negligence, then a medical malpractice plaintiff has jumped over the motion to dismiss/summary judgment hurdle.

The defendant’s medical malpractice lawyer argued that Hasemeier v. Smith, 361 S.W.2d 697 (Mo. banc 1962), an OB/GYN medical malpractice case, was controlling. In that case, the court found that generally res ipsa loquitur is not applicable in medical malpractice cases. The Missouri Supreme Court did not overrule Hasemeier but it may as well have.

The Missouri high court’s ruling, in this case, is consistent with common sense and, as the court noted, the trend in many other states including Kentucky, Nebraska, and New York.

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