Injury & Tort Law Decisions: Decided
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This has been a big year for landmark decisions and settlements, and FindLaw's Decided was there to cover all of 2014's big legal moments.

There were Supreme Court decisions and denials, companies settling over less than honest business practices, and even a reminder on how social media can screw up a perfectly good legal agreement.

Here's to 2014, and here's the Top 10 cases you loved most from this year:

Injured skiers and snowboarders got a win in the Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday; the state's highest court ruled that a ski resort's blanket liability waivers were not enforceable.

The ruling focused on the case of Myles Bagley, a snowboarder who was paralyzed in 2006 after an accident at the Mount Bachelor terrain park near Bend, Oregon. The Associated Press reports that Bagley had his injury claim against the ski resort thrown out of a lower court, because his lift ticket and season pass contained a liability waiver.

Why did the Oregon Supreme Court find that the waiver wasn't binding?

A 2010 oil spill in the Kalamazoo River area has prompted the company responsible to propose forking over $6.8 million in settlement funds.

Enbridge, a Calgary-based energy company, has offered to pay to settle a class-action lawsuit by those who lived within 1,000 feet of the affected river, offering more to those who live closest to the spill area. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that Enbridge has already settled with dozens of other plaintiffs, although four more spill-related cases are set for trial next year.

What are the terms of this proposed settlement?

The Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to pay nearly $140 million to settle sex abuse lawsuits linked to ex-elementary school teacher and convicted child molester Mark Berndt.

Berndt, 63, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2013 after pleading no contest to 23 counts of lewd acts upon a child, Reuters reports. Berndt was arrested after an investigation by police uncovered evidence that he'd forced his students to play a "tasting game" in which they were fed cookies tainted with Berndt's semen.

What are the details behind this settlement?

Earlier this month, we blogged about a lawsuit against Trinity Industries, which makes highway guardrails. The suit alleged that Trinity failed to report a change in the design of its guardrails to the government. This design change, the government said, led to the death of five people and the injuries of even more.

Yesterday, a federal jury in Texas returned its verdict against Trinity: $175 million, which will be tripled under a federal statute to $525 million.

What could have led to such a big verdict?

A federal judge ruled Thursday that BP was grossly negligent in causing the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and now the company has to pay.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier found that BP acted with "gross negligence" in the oil spill that killed 11 rig workers and caused billions of dollars in damage to Gulf businesses. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the precise dollar amount owed by BP as a result of this ruling isn't clear yet, but The Associated Press estimates the damage at $17.6 billion.

How does this new case relate to BP's past and future court woes?

The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld its earlier ruling that brand-name drug manufacturers can be held liable for warning labels on generic versions of their drugs.

The ruling allows an Alabama man who claims he was injured by a generic version of the heartburn drug Reglan to bring suit against Pfizer (which bought Wyeth, the company that originally produced Reglan), even though the man never actually took any of the drugs manufactured by the company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

What was the court's rationale in allowing the man to bring suit?

Johns Hopkins Hospital has proposed a $190 million payout to settle a class-action lawsuit over a gynecologist's secret recordings of patients.

The late Dr. Nikita A. Levy is alleged to have "surreptitiously recorded patients over the course of several years," reports The Baltimore Sun. Although Levy committed suicide in February 2013 amid an investigation into his alleged recordings, Hopkins had identified more than 12,500 potential victims.

What would this proposed settlement cover for Levy's victims?

A smoker's widow was awarded $23.6 billion in punitive damages from RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, but the award may not survive appeal.

A Florida jury on Friday granted Cynthia Robinson the multibillion-dollar sum in punitive damages, as well as $7.3 million in compensatory damages. Reuters reports that Robinson's husband was a chain smoker and died in 1996 of lung cancer at 36.

Does this incredibly large punitive award stand a chance?

Proposed class action settlements are often rejected by judges. But one particular class action settlement was so bad, a federal appellate judge threw both the lead plaintiff and his counsel out of the case.

The case before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a class action settlement over allegedly leaky windows manufactured by the Pella company, reports Forbes. What irked Judge Richard Posner was that Paul Weiss, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, inserted his father-in-law as a named plaintiff and negotiated himself a $2 million advance on his fees.

What other shady dealings did Posner take issue with?