86-year-old woman dies when power wrongfully turned off


A Louisiana jury reached a verdict of almost $1.3 million for the adult children of 86-year-old female Elsie Burleigh Caillouet.  According to the nine-volume Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks, published by Thomson Reuters, this amount is well-above the $340,000 median reward for deaths of females over 80 years old.

‘Beyond checking the box: Disaster planning for financial institutions,’ by Doug Langley and Stuart Winn, Preparis Inc.



For a one-minute audio intro to the commentary, click here.

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Stuart Winn

Stuart Winn

Doug Langley

Doug Langley

11th Circuit issues final ruling in defective Piper plane suit … or did it?

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 3 upheld summary judgment for Piper Aircraft Inc. in a suit over an allegedly defective single-propeller plane.

The plane’s owner, HTC Leleu Family Trust of South Africa, filed suit in South Africa against Piper and an international aircraft dealer before it was referred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to the appeals court opinion. (more…)

Delaware high court opens Wal-Mart boardroom to shareholder plaintiffs

From Westlaw Journal Delaware Corporate: The Delaware Supreme Court has handed Wal-Mart’s shareholder plaintiffs a win in a key discovery battle by affirming an order to turn over a wide range of information about how the retail giant’s directors handled a bribery scandal at its Mexican subsidiary.

The high court’s en banc ruling in a books-and-records action affirms a Chancery Court order requiring Wal-Mart Stores to produce seven years of information, including officer-level documents, computer backup tapes and general counsel documents that will provide ammunition for shareholder class actions in Delaware and Arkansas courts.  Ind. Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 7779, order issued (Del. Ch. Oct. 15, 2013).

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Judge won’t exclude expert against Lloyd’s but limits scope of testimony

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: Underwriters for Lloyd’s failed to have the testimony of a policyholder’s expert witness excluded in a coverage cancellation case, but the witness cannot state his opinions on the materiality of the insurer’s alleged misrepresentations, a Missouri federal judge has held.

Judge Charles A. Shaw of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri found the expert was qualified and his testimony factual, but he nonetheless excluded the expert’s view that Lloyd’s alleged policy misrepresentations were immaterial because he was stating a legal opinion under Missouri law.

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9/11 cleaning workers win reinstatement of toxic injury claims

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts:   The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has revived injury claims by 211 office cleaners who claim they were exposed to toxic fumes in buildings near the World Trade Center site during recovery efforts after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a July 10 opinion, a unanimous three-judge panel mostly reversed an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York, finding that the trial judge ruled improperly when he rejected the workers’ claims on the basis of certain interrogatory answers they provided.

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Advocacy group opposes DOJ settlements over 2008 financial crisis

By Phyllis Lipka Skupien, Esq., Managing Editor

From Westlaw Journal Securities Litigation & Regulation: Nonprofit taxpayer advocacy group Better Markets says the Department of Justice’s $7 billion settlement with Citigroup lacks sufficient disclosure about the fraud and is “worse” than the $13 billion deal it cut with JPMorgan Chase last year.

The amount of the settlement “is meaningless without disclosure of the key information about how many hundreds of billions of dollars Citigroup made, how many tens of billions investors lost, how many billions in bonuses were pocketed [and] which executives were involved,” the group said in a statement.

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Juries award New York plaintiffs triple national median

Jury Verdict Research® recently conducted an analysis of cases from the state of New York and revealed that the overall median compensatory personal injury verdict award is $275,750 and plaintiffs receive damages in 41 percent of cases that go to trial.

In comparison, the nationwide median is $45,000 and the nationwide plaintiff recovery probability, the number of plaintiff verdicts to total verdicts, is 46 percent.  The analysis is based on award data from 2007 through 2013.

Statistics were generated on the most frequently claimed injuries from New York and the percentage of the total number of awards in each category.

The following table highlights this information.

Most Frequently Claimed Injuries

Most Frequently Claimed Injuries

In addition, statistics were generated on the median awards for the most frequently claimed injuries from New York.  The median award is the middle value among awards listed in ascending order.

The following table provides a comparison between New York and the nation as a whole.

Injury Medians

Injury Medians

Statistics for this article were based on the Jury Verdict Research® Verdicts and Settlements Database, which contains more than 380,000 personal injury cases.  Although the database does not contain 100 percent of all personal injury cases, it does contain a sufficient sampling to produce descriptive statistics for specific areas of personal injury litigation.

For more information, visit


Parents can’t waive deceased son’s psychiatrist-patient privilege, Georgia Supreme Court rules

From Westlaw Journal Professional Liability: The parents of a 22-year-old man who committed suicide cannot waive their son’s psychiatrist-patient privilege in order to get confidential records to determine whether to bring a malpractice action, the Georgia Supreme Court has held.

The state high court’s 5-2 ruling reverses a trial judge’s conclusion that equity warranted disclosure of the son’s confidential communications with his psychiatrist.

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Allstate acts in bad faith by requiring ‘disinterested’ witness, class action says

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Bad Faith: A Pennsylvania woman claims in a class-action lawsuit that Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co. acts in bad faith by denying uninsured-motorist coverage to policyholders injured in car accidents caused by unidentified drivers when there is no “disinterested” witness to verify how an accident occurred.

The insurer’s “unfair and deceptive conduct … has been ongoing for decades” and is “motivated by greed and profit at the expense of the well-being of injured policyholders across Pennsylvania,” the suit says.

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