Articles Posted in Injury Law

by
The City of Laramie fired Bret Vance, an employee of the City’s Fire Department, after Wyomed Laboratory, Inc. conducted a breathalyzer test on Vance that indicated the presence of alcohol. Vance filed suit against Wyomed, alleging that Wyomed negligently failed to maintain its testing equipment, negligently failed to train employees on equipment maintenance, and negligently misrepresented that the test results were reliable and accurate. The district court granted Wyomed’s motion to dismiss, concluding that Vance’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Vance failed to bring his claims within the time prescribed by the relevant statute of limitations. View "Vance v. Wyomed Lab., Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

by
Charley Collins and his son, Brett, were both employed by COP Wyoming, LLC. Roger Ross, a job superintendent, was operating a track hoe when he struck Brett in the head, severely injuring him. Brett died from his injuries. Charley sued COP Wyoming and Ross, alleging that he suffered emotional injuries after he witnessed his son’s death. The district court concluded that Charley’s claims were derivative of the covered death of the son and were therefore barred by worker’s compensation immunity. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Charley’s claim for emotional injury is based upon a duty to him that is independent of the covered death of his son and is not barred by worker’s compensation immunity. View "Collins v. COP Wyoming, LLC" on Justia Law

by
At the heart of these three consolidated appeals was Sky Harbor’s alleged failure to pay rent to the Cheyenne Regional Airport and to leave the Airport premises. Sky Harbor argued that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide any of the cases now on appeal. The district court generally ruled in favor of the Airport in all three cases. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district and circuit courts did not lack subject matter jurisdiction in the three combined appeals; and (2) the judgments were entered in accordance with the law. View "Sky Harbor Air Serv., Inc. v. Cheyenne Reg’l Airport Bd." on Justia Law

by
Leon and Brenda Rogers purchased a home from Jeffrey Wright. The Rogers subsequently discovered several defects in the home and sued Wright, JWright Development, LLC, and JWright Companies, Inc. (collectively, the JWright defendants), alleging breach of contract, negligence, breach of warranty, and negligent and intentional misrepresentation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the JWright defendants. The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s order on the negligence claim but otherwise affirmed, holding (1) issues of material fact existed regarding whether the builder of the Rogers’ home breached its legal duty to build the home in a reasonable and workmanlike manner; and (2) the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the JWright defendants on the remainder of the Rogers’ claims. View "Rogers v. Wright" on Justia Law

by
Merit Energy Company, LLC hired an independent contractor, Basic Energy Services, Inc. to clean out its oil and gas wells. Basic employee Blake Horr was injured while performing the job. Horr brought suit against Merit, alleging several exceptions to the general rule that the employer of an independent contractor is not liable for physical harm caused to another by an act or omission of the contractor or his workers. After a jury trial, the district court entered judgment against Merit, concluding that Merit was substantially at fault and that its fault had caused Horr more than two million dollars in damages. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err in instructing the jury to determine if Merit retained control over any part of the work that caused injury to Horr; (2) did not abuse its discretion by refusing to give the jury Merit’s proposed instruction detailing Basic’s duty of care to Horr; and (3) did not err in denying Merit’s motion for judgment as a matter of law. View "Merit Energy Co., LLC v. Horr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

by
Plaintiff sued Cowboy Dodge, Inc. claiming he was entitled to damages in tort because the company terminated him in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Cowboy Dodge, concluding that Plaintiff had failed to make the required showing that his termination was “consequent” to filing a worker’s compensation claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence that his filing of a worker’s compensation claim was causally related to his discharge to raise a genuine issue of material fact for trial. View "King v. Cowboy Dodge, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Defendants alleging claims for conversion and fraud stemming from one Defendant's alleged theft of beer from Plaintiffs’ store and his subsequent sale of the stolen beer to the other named Defendants. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants, finding Plaintiffs’ claims barred by the governing statutes of limitation. Specifically, the court applied the discovery rule and concluded that the statutes of limitation for fraud and conversion barred Plaintiffs’ action. Further, the court concluded that the doctrine of collateral estoppel barred Plaintiffs from litigating the question of when the statutes of limitation began to run because a federal court had dismissed Plaintiffs’ federal claims as time-barred. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court did not err by applying the discovery rule to the fraud and conversion statutes of limitation; but (2) the doctrine of collateral estoppel did not apply in this case, and disputed issues of fact precluded summary judgment. View "Robert L. Kroenlein Trust v. Kirchhefer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

by
Plaintiff, a non-Indian, filed a complaint in state district court against Defendants, enrolled members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, for injuries sustained in a vehicle accident that occurred on a state highway within the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Defendants moved for summary judgment, asserting (1) the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) the two-year statute of limitations dictated by the Shoshone and Arapaho Law and Order Code should apply to bar Plaintiff’s action. The district court denied the motion, concluding (1) the court’s exercise of jurisdiction would not infringe on tribal sovereignty, and (2) the court had at a minimum concurrent jurisdiction over the action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) had subject matter jurisdiction over this action, and (2) properly concluded that Plaintiff’s action was timely filed under Wyoming’s four-year statute of limitations. View "C'hair v. Dist. Court" on Justia Law

by
Taylor Lysager, who was five years old, was attending a community basketball game at a former school building in Etna, Wyoming when lunchroom bench propped against the wall fell on him, causing a fatal skull fracture. Lysager’s personal representative filed a wrongful death action against Lincoln County School District No. 2 (School District), the Town of Thayne, and the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners (Lincoln County). Lincoln County filed an affidavit of noninvolvement in lieu of an answer, and the district court dismissed Lincoln County from the action without prejudice based on the affidavit of noninvolvement. The School District filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that it did not breach its duty of care and that its actions were not the proximate cause of Lysager’s injuries. The court entered summary judgment for the School District. Plaintiff appealed both orders. The Supreme Court (1) dismissed the appeal of the district court’s order dismissing the complaint against Lincoln County, holding that the order was not a final appealable order; and (2) reversed the entry of summary judgment for the School District, holding that while the material facts are largely undisputed, reasonable minds could differ in answering the questions of proximate and intervening cause. View "Amos v. Lincoln County Sch. Dist. No. 2" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

by
This dispute arose from promises Defendant Daniel Ochsner allegedly made during Plaintiffs’ several-year tenure living and working on Defendants’ ranch. The district court denied all of Plaintiffs’ claims and Defendants’ counterclaims. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court (1) did not err in denying Plaintiffs’ claims to a number of cattle; (2) erred in denying Plaintiffs’ claims to a cattle brand; (3) did not err in denying Plaintiffs’ Wyo. R. Civ. P. 15(b) motion to amend their complaint to conform to the evidence and to add promissory estoppel claims; and (4) did not err in denying Plaintiff’s motion to confirm an alleged settlement agreement between the parties. View "Gould v. Ochsner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law