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Tag Archives: wrongful death

Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Death — Workers’ Compensation – Exclusivity Provision – Corporate Merger – Successor Corporation (access required)

Mendenall v. Anderson Hardwood Floors, LLC The court certifies the following question to the S.C. Supreme Court: Does the “dual purpose” doctrine allow an injured employee to bring an action in tort against his employer as a successor in interest who, through a corporate merger, received all liabilities of a predecessor corporation that never employed the injured person but allegedly performed the negligent acts that later caused the employee’s injuries, or is such an action barred by the exclusivity provision of the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Act?

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Widow settles wrongful death suit for $500,000 (access required)

A Mount Pleasant kayaking company’s insurer has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a wrongful death case arising from an employee’s car crash. The suit alleged that an employee of Natures Adventures Outfitters caused a fatal crash on Highway 17 near Charleston in September 2009. The employee, John Dupre, was attempting to cross the highway in a Jeep hauling a kayak trailer when he pulled out in front of a car driven by James Blair.

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Arbitration – Nursing Home Contract – Equitable Estoppel – Interstate Commerce – Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Death (access required)

McCutcheon v. THI of S.C. at Charleston, LLC Plaintiff cannot seek to enforce the terms of a nursing home admission agreement while simultaneously seeking to escape enforcement of the arbitration agreement he signed at the same time. Defendant’s motion to dismiss and compel arbitration is granted.

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Mother of four dies after hospital misdiagnoses heart condition (access required)

A mother of four young children died of heart complications after being misdiagnosed during several visits to the same hospital, according to the attorneys who helped her husband win a six-figure verdict in McDowell County Superior Court. The defense is appealing the decision. William H. Elam (pictured) and his son William R. Elam of Elam & Rousseaux in Charlotte sued three physicians at McDowell Hospital in Marion, alleging that they bungled the treatment of Aziza Katy and caused her tragic death. A jury awarded Katy’s estate $667,000 in September, and the defense filed an appeal Dec. 12.

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Civil Practice – Standing – Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Death – Insurance – Declaratory Judgment Action (access required)

QBE Insurance Corp. v. Sellers In the underlying state-court wrongful death action, defendant Sellers is suing plaintiff’s insured. In this action, plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that its general commercial liability policy does not require plaintiff to defend or indemnify its insured in the wrongful death action. Even though, under S.C. law, Sellers might not have standing to assert a counterclaim alleging that an additional policy applies, under federal law, Sellers has standing to assert such a counterclaim.

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Against the odds, nursing-home claim is rebuffed   (access required)

Trial attorneys relish a challenge. Whether it’s the sympathetic plaintiff, the unpopular client, the witness with a past, or the formidable adversary, challenges present opportunities to explore new theories, adopt different strategies and polish skills. And overcoming them makes a win all the sweeter. Rarely, though, do multiple challenges come packaged in a single case. For Raleigh, N.C., lawyer Mike Hurley (pictured on right), that case arrived just before Thanksgiving last year, when he took over the defense of a wrongful death action against Britthaven Nursing Home in Chapel Hill, N.C., scheduled for trial in just six months.

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Admiralty – Wrongful Death – Navy Training Exercise – No Contribution from U.S. – Sovereign Immunity (access required)

In the Matter of the Complaint of Vulcan Materials Co. v. Massiah v. U.S. In this appeal of a $1.25 million wrongful death award against Vulcan Materials Company in a suit in admiralty after the death of a 19-year-old seaman when his rigid-hull inflatable boat collided with a tug during a Navy training exercise on the James River, the 4th Circuit affirms the district court award to the seaman's family members and its decision that the U.S. can't be held liable for contribution.

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