Articles Posted in Injury Law

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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

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The State incurred approximately $5,213,000 in suppression costs for the Oil Creek Fire, which it paid or will pay from the State’s Emergency Fire Suppression Account. The State filed a complaint against Black Hills Power (BHP) alleging that BHP was negligent in its inspection, operation and maintenance of a transmission line, which ignited the Oil Creek Fire. The State sought recovery for damages to State-owned property as well as for suppression costs associated with the Oil Creek Fire. BHP moved to dismiss the State’s claim for recovery of fire suppression costs, arguing that the State cannot make a viable claim for recovery of fire suppression costs in the absence of a specific state statute authorizing recovery. The federal court certified to the Supreme Court questions concerning the State’s ability to recover the expenses incurred in suppressing the wildfire. The Supreme Court answered (1) the state cannot generally recover its fire suppression and/or emergency service costs from a party whose negligence created the need for the emergency services because of the free public services doctrine; but (2) the State may recover the costs of its service where portions of the lands protected by the fire suppression effort were State lands. View "State v. Black Hills Power, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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Plaintiff, a high school student, filed suit against his school district and his teacher for injuries he received during a science demonstration conducted in the school gymnasium. Defendants moved for summary judgment under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. The district court granted the motion, concluding that Plaintiff’s injury did not fall within any exceptions to governmental immunity. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Defendants’ alleged negligence did not fall within the exceptions to governmental immunity for negligent operation or maintenance of a building or for negligent operation or maintenance of any recreation area. View "Fugle v. Sublette County Sch. Dist. #9" on Justia Law

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Appellee sued Appellant for trespassing on his property. Because Appellant’s counsel did not appear at the final pretrial conference and otherwise failed to comply with the scheduling order previously set forth, the district court sanctioned Appellant by limiting his presentation of evidence at trial to testifying himself and cross-examining witnesses called by Appellee. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of Appellee. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in sanctioning Appellant as it did for his attorney’s failure to comply with discovery procedures; (2) did not err in ruling that Appellant trespassed upon Appellee’s property; (3) did not commit clear error when it awarded damages for reclamation resulting from Appellant’s trespasses; but (4) erred in awarding an amount for damages resulting from Appellant’s camper and pickup truck being parked on Appellee’s property from November 4, 2011 until the date of trial. Remanded. View "Goforth v. Fifield" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a two-vehicle collision. Plaintiff filed a complaint against both drivers (Defendants) alleging negligence. Before trial, Defendants filed a notice of their admission of liability admitting that they were equally at fault in causing the collision. However, Defendants continued to contest damages. During trial, Plaintiff asked the jury to award damages in the range of $164,000 to $184,000. The jury returned a verdict awarding Plaintiff $80,000. Plaintiff appealed, claiming that the district court committed several errors in its trial and post-trial rulings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court committed no reversible error in its rulings. View "Stocki v. Nunn" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant, her former employer, alleging harassment, emotional stress, personal injury, loss of income, and age discrimination. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly dismissed Plaintiff’s discrimination and harassment claims where she not only failed to allege timely satisfaction of the statutory jurisdictional conditions precedent but failed to timely comply with the jurisdictional conditions precedent; and (2) the district court properly dismissed Plaintiff’s state law tort claims. View "Apodaca v. Safeway, Inc." on Justia Law

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This dispute concerned injuries sustained by Steven Johnson when he fell off a haystack while helping his father feed cattle on property owned by the Dale C. and Helen W. Johnson Family Revocable Trust. Steven and his wife (together, Appellants) sued the Trust, a co-trustee, and a successor co-trustee (collectively, Appellees), claiming that Appellees were negligent in a number of respects. The district court granted summary judgment for Appellees, concluding that the Trust owed Steven no duty of care. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that even if the Trust owed Steven the duty to exercise reasonable care, the negligence claim could not survive because no reasonable fact finder could conclude that the Trust acted unreasonably or breached a duty to Steven. View "Johnson v. Dale C. & Helen W. Johnson Family Revocable Trust" on Justia Law

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Mary Wise was involved in a single car collision in which she was the passenger and Steven Ludlow was the driver. Wise subsequently filed suit against Ludlow. The jury returned a verdict finding Ludlow negligent, that his negligence was a cause of Wise’s injuries or damages, and that Ludlow was fifty-five percent at fault and Wise was forty-five percent at fault. Wise appealed, and Ludlow cross-appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err (1) by instructing the jury on comparative fault; (2) in excluding evidence of Wise’s lack of financial resources to explain delays in seeking treatment for her injuries; (3) by admitting the testimony of Ludlow’s expert witness; (4) in denying Wise’s attempt to impeach Ludlow’s testimony with his answer to the complaint; and (5) in determining that it had personal jurisdiction over Ludlow. View "Ludlow v. Wise" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that she had been injured when she was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Defendant that left the road and rolled several times. Plaintiff served Defendant under Wyoming’s nonresident motorist statute by serving the Secretary of State and sending a copy by certified mail to Defendant at a Rock Springs, Wyoming address. However, Plaintiff had obtained a more current address in discovery in a prior proceeding. The district court quashed the attempted service and dismissed the case as untimely, concluding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate due diligence in locating Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff failed to exercise due diligence when she mailed notice of service to an address which she knew or and therefore, the attempted notice of the suit to Defendant did not satisfy the requirements of Wyoming’s nonresident motorist statute; and (2) service on Defendant’s former attorney did not satisfy the statute’s requirements. View "Dirks v. Jimenez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Injury Law

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PRM Partners was a leaseholder of lands which covered an oil well. PRM Partners designated Petroleum Resource Managements, Corp. (PRM) as the operator of the well. PRM contracted with Hot Oil Services, Inc. to perform the day-to-day operations of the well. In 2009, Hot Oil requested that Basic Energy Services, LP perform workover operations on the well. While Basic Energy was performing the workover operations, a fire erupted, which damaged various pieces of equipment, including Basic Energy’s workover rig. Basic Energy sued PRM Partners and PRM to recover the damage to its equipment. The district court granted summary judgment for PRM Partners and PRM, concluding that Hot Oil was an independent contractor and that neither PRM nor PRM Partners could be held liable for the acts of an independent contractor. The Supreme Court (1) reversed and remanded on the issue of whether PRM breached the contract and reversed and remanded on the claim that PRM acted negligently in hiring Hot Oil, holding that the district court erred in entering summary judgment on these issues, as PRM failed to carry the initial burden of a summary judgment movant; and (2) ordered that PRM Partners be dismissed from the appeal. View "Basic Energy Servs., LP v. Petroleum Res. Mgmt., Corp." on Justia Law