Soldier’s Shootings

The Fifth Circuit upheld a ruling against the families of three victims fatally shot in 2015 by a soldier stationed at Fort Hood. The families claimed the government was liable for Army employees’ negligent performance under three regulations, which were triggered by a report about a domestic violence incident involving the shooter and his wife. The families cannot show that the harm to the shooter’s wife and neighbors was “foreseeable to the Army,” the court ruled.

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Jail Death

The estate of a 36-year-old woman with hypertension who died while in pretrial detention in Covington County Jail may pursue deliberate indifference, failure to train and civil rights claims against several defendants, a federal court in Alabama ruled. The woman had repeatedly asked for medical assistance in the weeks before her death and was only given aspirin.

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Death After Arrest

The successor in interest to the estate of a woman who was found dead across the street from jail after being released may pursue several claims against the city of Huntington Beach, California, a federal court in state ruled. The woman was arrested twice on the same day for being so intoxicated she may have been a danger to herself, complained she was in mental crisis and needed help, and had an abrasion and hematoma on her head when she was released.

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Raw Sewage

An appeals court in Georgia ruled against a flight attendant who was “drenched in raw sewage” at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, finding the lower court properly granted Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corp. partial summary judgment on her negligence claims because recovery of damages for emotional distress under the state’s impact rule is permitted only when there is a causal connection between the alleged negligence and a physical injury.

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Zone of Danger

A grandmother is the “immediate family” of her granddaughter, the New York Court of Appeals ruled, finding that the grandmother can sue the owner of a building for emotional distress arising from the grandchild’s death after the two were suddenly struck by debris that fell from the facade of the building. The grandmother may pursue her claim for bystander recovery under a “zone of danger” theory, the court ruled.

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SWAT Raid

A federal court in Texas dismissed federal civil rights claims brought against Texas police officials over the tragic death of an 84-year-old, wheelchair-bound woman who was shot during a SWAT raid as officials were trying to serve a mental health warrant on her son. However, the court remanded the estate’s state law claims for wrongful death and negligence.

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