CM Report of Recent Decisions (2011v2)
2011 Volume 2
A summary of significant recent developments in the law focusing on substantive issues of litigation and featuring analysis and commentary on special points of interest.
Articles in this report
*Bell v. Hutsell–Don’t Be A Good Samaritan If You Find Underage Kids Drinking In Your Home
The parents of the boy who gave a party which Daniel Bell attended knew and witnessed underage drinking but took no action to stop it or actively prevent anyone from using their motor vehicles to drive home. That inaction, according to our Illinois Supreme Court, insulated the defendant parents from any civil liability arising from Bell's death.
Connecticut Jury Awards Record-Breaking $58 Million In Medical Malpractice Action
On May 25, 2011, a Connecticut jury awarded $58 million to the parents of Daniel D'Attilo, an eight year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy due to brain damage allegedly sustained as a result of a delayed and improper delivery.
Global Climate Change Law Under Review: The U.S. Supreme Court Declares That The EPA Is Better Suited Than The Judiciary To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a global warming lawsuit against five major power companies that sought to force the coal-burning utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Court unanimously determined that federal common law public nuisance claims could not be maintained against carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emitting entities in light of the federal Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency efforts to implement the Act.
No Allocation Of Settlement Responsibility To Non-Defendants Released As Part Of Settlement
When an insured reaches a settlement, the settlement sometimes includes claims for which insurance coverage is provided and those for which it is not. In such a case, a court may be required to allocate the settlement payment as among covered and non-covered claims for purposes of determining the insurer’s payment obligation.
U.S. Supreme Court Overrules The Ninth Circuit And Underlying California Supreme Court Case Prohibiting Class Action Waivers In Consumer Arbitration Agreements
In 2005, the California Supreme Court held that class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements are unconscionable and unenforceable if: (1) the agreement is an adhesion contract; (2) the dispute between the parties involves small amounts of damages; and (3) the party with inferior bargaining power alleges a deliberate scheme to defraud.