Crook v. Speed – petition from Covington County (Judge Edward Bowen) seeking appeal of denial of summary judgment in a ten-year-old case where the plaintiffs allege that the defendant sold them gasoline at a higher price in Collins than they were sold outside of Collins. Defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiffs have 1) no proof that the defendants set the prices for gas at the Collins Jr. Food Mart, 2) no proof that the plaintiffs ever purchased gasoline at the Collins Jr. Food Mart, and 3) no proof that the defendants conspired to set prices. The plaintiffs filed a response claiming summary judgment should be denied because the plaintiffs had not yet taken the depositions of the defendants. Summary judgment was denied hence the petition.
On March 26, 2014, the Court denied the petition.
Johnson & Johnson v. Taylor – another pet. for interloc. from the denial of summary judgment in an eleven-year-old case. This time in a Risperdal case in front of Judge Lamar Pickard. Taylor was prescribed Risperdal for psychotic episodes. She later developed tardive dyskinesia – a known side effect listed on the drug’s label. She sued the drug’s manufacturer and the prescribing physician who has testified he was well aware of tardive dyskinesia as a side effect of Risperdal. Johnson & Johnson moved for summary judgment on the grounds that 1) the plaintiff had no proof that the label was inadequate and 2) she had no proof of causation under the learned intermediary doctrine. The trial court denied the motion and this petition is the result. Taylor’s Response.
On March 12, 2014, the Court denied the request for interlocutory appeal.
(meanwhile, the Lousiana Supreme Court threw out a $330 million verdict for the state and federal governments against Johnson & Johnson claiming that they were out Medicaid money used to prescribe Risperdal since the drug was being prescribed based on false claims as to its safety. The Times-Picayune; La.S.Ct. Opinion.)
Luster v. State – Luster was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in 1998. Representing himself he argues that he is now 72 years old and has reached his natural life expectancy and should be released. He also cites M.C.A. Sect. 47-5-139(1)(a) that provides that persons sentenced to life for anything other than capital murder may request a conditional release when they have served 15 years and reached the age of 65. This reminds me of a discrepancy I’ve been thinking about for a while. The capital murder statute actually contains three different sentences: death, life, and life without parole. But another statute, M.C.A. § 47-7-3(1)(h), states that no one convicted of a violent crime (which would include murder) is eligible for parole. Apparently there is no sentence these days that could be life with parole. As I’ve posted before, I know of murder cases which, because of the victim, have pled out to manslaughter (where anything goes) and the defendant serves one year in prison. Update: The Miss. S. Ct. denied the petition on the grounds that Luster had failed to show that he had requested relief from the sentencing court as set forth in the statute.
Kuhlman Electric v. Borg Warner – discovery, full faith and credit – Discovery dispute in suit raising indemnification issues concerning environmental contamination of Kuhlman Electric Corporation’s Crystal Springs plant. When Borg Warner sold KEC it agreed to provide limited indemnification for environmental contamination so long as KEC assisted Borg Warner on any such issues. In 2000, KEC notified BorgWarner that there was an issue with PCBs at its Crystal Springs plant. Borg Warner began a $50 million remediation after the parties entered into an access agreement that BorgWarner would have access to the Crystal Springs property. The agreement is governed by Illinois law.
In 2010 BorgWarner sued KEC in Illinois alleging that KEC breached its duties to BorgWarner by failing to disclose the PCB contamination. In Illinois, the court required KEC to produce some 40,000 documents that KEC claimed were privileged. KEC foiled an interlocutory appeal with the Illinois Appellate Court and that case is pending.
In Mississippi KEC filed the instant lawsuit against BorgWarner in 2012. BorgWarner requested production of the 40,000 documents; KEC refused and the Circuit Court (Judge Pickard) ruled that BorgWarner is not entitled to the documents pursuant to the Illinois case of Waste Management, Inc. v. International Surplus Lines, Ins. Co., 144 Ill.2d 178 (Ill. 1991), which, the court held, would require production of the documents only if this were a dispute pursuant to an insurance contract. BorgWarner filed a petition for interlocutory appeal on Feb 4 asking for a stay of the proceedings until this issue is decided in Illinois, and, then, deferral to that court’s ruling inasmuch as the matter is controlled via the parties’ agreement by Illinois law.
May 1, 2014 Order staying case pending resolution of discovery issue in Illinois