Injury & Tort Law Decisions: Decided
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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?

The makers of blood thinner Pradaxa have agreed to pay a $650 million to settle U.S. lawsuits involving the drug.

The agreement, announced yesterday by German drug-maker Boehringer Ingelheim and reported by The New York Times comes after 4,000 lawsuits claiming the company failed to properly warn patients that the drug could lead to serious or fatal side effects were filed in state and federal courts.

The company continues to maintain that they've done nothing wrong. So why settle now?

After losing their appeal of a ruling regarding the terms of a multi-billion dollar settlement for injuries caused by 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP will seek U.S. Supreme Court review in the case.

"BP will seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court of the Fifth Circuit decisions relating to the compensation of claims for losses with no apparent connection to the Deepwater Horizon spill," said the company in a statement reported by CNN. "In addition, BP will ask the Fifth Circuit not to issue its mandate until the Supreme Court has considered the matter."

What is it about the settlement that has BP trying to take this case all the way to the top, and what does it want the Supreme Court to do about it?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to take another look at a case involving a Louisiana man who died after police stunned him with a Taser at least eight times while handcuffed.

The wrongful death case, Thomas v. Nugent, was brought on behalf of the young son of the man killed in the incident, Baron Pikes. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, finding it wasn't clear that Officer Scott Nugent had violated Pikes' constitutional rights; as The Associated Press reports, the court explained that an officer is typically granted immunity from lawsuits unless the officer violates such rights, and those rights must be clearly established at the time of the incident.

What exactly happened to Pikes? And what did the 5th Circuit do wrong, according to the Supreme Court?

Vibram, maker of those funky FiveFingers running shoes, has reached a settlement in a suit over the shoes' supposed health benefits.

The shoe manufacturer has agreed to shell out $3.75 million in settlement funds to be distributed to eligible class action members. According to Runner's World, the average class member will receive between $20 to $50 per pair.

What was the issue with the FiveFingers shoes, and how is this settlement going to fix the problem?

The U.S. Supreme Court has knocked down a multimillion-dollar restitution award to a child pornography victim, stating there needs to be more of a connection between the dollar amount and responsibility for the damage.

Paroline v. U.S. is one of many involving "Amy," a woman who was photographed as a child being raped by her uncle and whose images are commonly found on the computers of child porn offenders, reports The Associated Press. "Amy" had received $3.4 million in restitution from Doyle Randall Paroline, a man whose computer contained two images of her, but the High Court disagreed with the calculation in a 5-4 ruling.

How much restitution do these "Amy" cases warrant?

"Company Doe's" secrets could soon be revealed after a federal appeals court panel determined the corporation cannot keep product-safety litigation secret to protect its image.

The case involved the death of an infant, and the corporation wished to be only known as "Company Doe" in court papers to maintain confidentiality. But a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that sealing court records in this case violated the public's constitutional rights to "obtain access to civil proceedings," Reuters reports.

So when will "Company Doe" and its secrets be revealed? It's still not quite clear.

Unneeded Heart Stents Settlement: $37M for Mark Midei's Patients

A $37 million settlement agreement has been reached between the former owner of a Maryland hospital and patients of Dr. Mark Midei who went through unnecessary heart stent procedures.

Although Midei wasn't a party to the lawsuit, the settlement agreement seeks to do away with the class action lawsuits against Catholic Health Initiatives for Midei's actions, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The settlement agreement must be finalized by a judge before it's binding, but if approved on the current terms, as many as 273 patients could receive compensation.