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Chrissie Cole

Intoxicated Scottsdale Man Smashes Three Patrol Cars

A rowdy scene at Jade Palace restaurant in Scottsdale ended with one arrest and five wrecked cars on Wednesday night.
According to Scottsdale police, officers arrived at the restaurant and found…

Geoff Trachtenberg

No Personal Jurisdiction Over Across-the-Border Bar That Overserves Patron Killing Arizona Pedestrian

Interesting and disappointing personal jurisdiction memo opinion from Division One, Womack v. KC Arena. In short, KC operates a bar on the Nevada side of the Arizona-Nevada border, over served a patron who then drove across the state line and killed an Arizona pedestrian. Moreover, plaintiffs asserted that KC employees knew the patron lived in Bullhead City and that he would return there after…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Arizona Supreme Court Finds No Workers' Compensation Offset for Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Today the Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion in Cundiff v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. which dealt with workers’ compensation offsets in underinsured motorist (UIM) claims.Pima County Deputy Sheriff Jean Cundiff was injured by a third-party while on the job, in her patrol car. Although she was paid certain workers’ compensation benefits, the third-party only carried $15,000 in…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Supreme Scrooge: Arizona's Supreme Court Delivers a Serious Blow to Products Liability

Worried about lead in your toys this Christmas? You now have something else to worry about – if those toys harm or kill your children, your rights and remedies in the state of Arizona are under serious attack.This week, in State Farm Ins. Co. v. Premier Mfg. Sys. Inc., the Arizona Supreme Court held that, despite centuries-old common law “strict liability” in product liability cases, Arizona’s…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Court Permits Hospitals to Charge "Maximum Rates" to Those Who Can Least Afford It

Division One just handed down Banner Health v. Medical Savings Ins. Co., a terrible opinion which deals with whether a hospital can charge a patient and its “non-network insurer” full billed amounts historically paid by only two percent of all patients. The answer, for now, is yes in a two-to-one decision.Incidentally, by “non-network insurer,” I mean to refer to an insurer who has no agreement…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Court Holds Offer of Judgment Sanctions Include All Reasonable Expert Fees

Division One handed down Levy v. Alfaro today which holds that Rule 68 sanctions include all reasonable expert witness fees after the offer, not just those fees for testifying at trial. The decision is no surprise to those of us who regulaly try cases, but I suppose it is good to have it “clarified.”

Geoff Trachtenberg

Judicial Officers are Subject to the "De Facto Officer" Doctrine and Failure to Object to the Appointment of a Judge Pro Tempore is a Procedural Defect That Can Be Waived

Division One just handed down Garner v. Schindler, a short and sweet opinion on the nature of judges pro tempore (I am a judge pro tempore, by the way). In sum, the appellant had a probate dispute litigated before a judge pro tempore and, after the case was over, decided to raise (for the first time) hyper-technical defects in the judge’s appointment.The Court of Appeals, awknoweldged that…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Court of Appeals (Incorrectly) Dismisses Wrongful Death Appeal Due to Untimely Notice of Appeal After Plaintiff Attempts to Obtain a Change to the Breadth of the Trial Court's Judgment

Frank Zappa said, “We are a nation of laws; badly written and randomly enforced.” That’s probably the way that Joe Burkhamer feels, having lost his daughter (and son-in-law) in tragic accident in 2003, and now having had his appeal dismissed in a published opinion from Division Two, Burkhamer v. State of Arizona, because two of the three Judges on the panel decided that the appeal was filed too…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Arizona Court of Appeals Describes the Quantum of Evidence Needed to Prove Lost Earning Capacity and Addresses Damages for the "Increased Risk" of Harm

New case from Division One, Felder v. Physiotherapy Assoc., that has some good stuff in it concerning lost earning capacity and anxiety over the “increased risk” of harm.The first and main issue in the case concerns the quantum of evidence needed to prove lost earning capacity. Although the standard is “reasonable certainty” in predicting the future in such cases, the Court “conclude[d] that…

Geoff Trachtenberg

Statutes and Rules that Require Mandatory Disclosure of Medical Records Violate HIPPA

Arizona requires mandatory disclosure of medical records in medical malpractice cases and, amazingly, is currently considering a change to mandatory arbitration procedures to require the same thing. As we have often explained, these provisions violate HIPPA, the comprehensive federal scheme that provides essential privacy rights for medical records.The voice of reason is finally kicking in: …