Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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After claimant was injured while inspecting a moored barge, he filed claims against the barge company as his employer, the owner of the barge, and the operator of the rock processing facility, under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. 30101‐30106, the Longshore and Harbor Workersʹ Compensation Act (LHWCA), 33 U.S.C. 901‐950, general maritime law, and New York state law. The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the Jones Act claims because claimant did not qualify as a ʺseamanʺ within the meaning of the Jones Act. However, the court held that the district court erred in dismissing certain of claimant's remaining claims against the owner of the barge and the operator of the rock processing facility. In this case, the district court erred in dismissing the LHWCA claim against Franz to the extent it was based on the alleged breach of Franzʹs duty, as owner, to turn over a reasonably safe vessel; and the state law claims against Tilcon for negligence, gross negligence, and violation of N.Y. Labor Law 200. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "In re Complaint of Buchanan Marine, L.P." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order granting summary judgment for Postal Holdings on Connecticut state law claims of private nuisance and negligence brought by plaintiffs. The court remanded with instructions to dismiss plaintiffs' First Amended complaint for lack of supplemental jurisdiction because a federal district court cannot exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims unless it has subject matter jurisdiction over the federal claims originally presented. In this case, under the Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. 7101–7109, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Postal Holdings' Third Party Complaint. Therefore, the district court correctly dismissed the Third Party Complaint and thus lacked supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs' state law claims. View "Cohen v. Postal Holdings, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's judgment in favor of shipowners in a negligence action filed by plaintiff after a deckhand unclipped a weighted halyard and it struck plaintiff in the head. The court held that plaintiff's evidence satisfied her burden of making a prima facie showing of entitlement to res ipsa loquitur. Moreover, the shipowners failed to rebut her evidence. The court explained that while no doubt things can happen at sea that could cause an extended halyard to slip out of a seaman's grasp without negligence, plaintiff's evidence was sufficient to show that this did not ordinarily happen without negligence. View "Manhattan by Sail, Inc. v. Tagle" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Plaintiff filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) after he was held in immigration detention for more than three years because the government mistakenly believed that he was a deportable alien. The district court found the government liable to plaintiff on the false imprisonment claim, dismissed the malicious prosecution claim and negligent investigation claim on motion, and entered judgment for the government on the negligent delay claim post-trial. The Second Circuit reversed the judgment as to the false imprisonment claim because it was time-barred. The court affirmed the judgment in all other respects, holding that the malicious prosecution claim failed because the government did not act with malice, the negligent investigation claim failed for lack of a private analogue, and the negligent delay claim failed because plaintiff suffered no cognizable damages. View "Watson v. United States" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against BNTK and BUSA for their alleged roles in plaintiffs' 2008 abduction from London and their prolonged detention in Belarus by authorities of that country. The Second Circuit held that it has jurisdiction to review this appeal pursuant to the collateral order doctrine; the district court acted within its discretion in ordering limited jurisdictional discovery and in sanctioning defendants for failing to comply with that order; but to the extent the challenged October 20, 2015 order not only required defendants to pay an earlier accrued monetary sanction but also struck their sovereign immunity claim in its entirety, it exceeded the district court's discretion. Accordingly, the court affirmed the challenged order generally, vacating only that part striking defendants' foreign sovereign immunity claim, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Funk v. Belneftekhim" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit held that, when applied, Section 5‐335 of the New York General Obligations Law prohibited Aetna's reduction of plaintiff's disability benefits. In this case, neither the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's, 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., preemptive force nor the Plan's choice of law provision compelled a different conclusion; and the court rejected Aetna's forfeiture argument. Therefore, the district court erred in granting Aetna's motion for summary judgment and denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in regard to plaintiff's entitlement to the past and ongoing benefits that Aetna has withheld on the ground that they are duplicative of plaintiff's personal injury settlement. Accordingly, the court reversed in part and remanded. View "Arnone v. Aetna Life Ins. Co." on Justia Law