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Medical Malpractice Judgment for Defendants Affirmed, and Criminal and Employment Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on August 09, 2010 5:39 PM

Csiszer v. Wren, No. 09-2010, involved an action against the hospital and obstetrician that provided care to a mother during the birth of their daughter, claiming that negligent care during the delivery was the proximate cause of the daughter's cerebral palsy.  The court affirmed judgment for defendants, holding that 1) the objectionable portions of defense counsel's argument, as well as any evidence presented concerning the financial aspects of the daughter's care and treatment, were rendered irrelevant by the jury's verdict in the defendants' favor on liability; and 2) the Arkansas statute setting forth the elements that a medical malpractice a plaintiff must prove through expert testimony did not burden plaintiffs' fundamental rights.

Fanning v. Potter, No. 09-1687, involved an action claiming that defendant U.S. Postal Service breached a settlement agreement entered into by the parties in 2003 after plaintiff suffered an on-the-job injury, that it retaliated against her for filing administrative complaints of employment discrimination, and that defendant conspired to commit both of these wrongs.  The court affirmed summary judgment for defendants on the grounds that 1) the settlement agreement unambiguously resolved the issue against plaintiff because no provision in the agreement required the USPS to keep plaintiff on its payroll indefinitely; and 2) plaintiff's Title VII claim lacked a materially adverse employment action on which a retaliation claim might be predicated.

In US v. Frook, No. 08-3680, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for using a social security number obtained on the basis of false information, holding that 1) defendant's admissions and the accompanying circumstantial evidence provided an adequate factual basis for defendant's guilty plea, and the district court did not plainly err in accepting it; and 2) it was not obvious why defendant's emotional concerns about his family constituted a "threat" or "promise" within the meaning of Rule 11, and the rule by its terms did not require a specific inquiry into these matters.

In US v. Malloy, No. 09-2618, the court affirmed defendants' convictions and sentences for conspiring to manufacture 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, holding that ) defendant's extortion conviction under Iowa Code section 711.4(7) qualified as a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1; 2) defendant's conviction for interference with official acts causing bodily injury was a crime of violence under section 4B1.1; and 3) the court would not weigh the evidence or consider the credibility of witnesses when reviewing the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal.

In US v. Salamasina, No. 09-2186, the court affirmed defendants' convictions for cocaine possession and distribution, on the grounds that 1) an objective officer considering the situation, in conjunction with the fact that officers had just executed an arrest warrant on defendant's fiancé on drug charges, would be warranted in conducting a search of defendants' vehicle incident to defendant's arrest under Gant's officer-safety consideration; and 2) the totality of the circumstances established probable cause to conclude that narcotics or evidence of defendant's illegal drug activities would be found in his home.

In US v. Frausto, No. 09-2165, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture, on the ground that the government's testimony from two police officers and two cooperating witnesses, together with recovered narcotics, sufficiently established defendant's involvement in a drug trafficking operation to sustain his conviction.

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