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School, Sheriff Had 'No Legal Duty' to Protect Students in Mass Shooting

Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at a Parkland high school, and changed the lives of untold survivors.

Fifteen survivors of the massacre sued the school for failing to protect them, but a federal judge dismissed their lawsuit. The judge said the school and sheriff's officials had "no legal duty" to protect them.

It's another painful chapter in the ongoing tragedy of violence in America's schools. And the survivors' case, for now, is closed.

Court Revives Grandma's Case Against Officials Who Sent Her to Men's Jail

Fior Pichardo de Veloz was on her way to Miami for the birth of her grandchild when a not-so-funny thing happened.

She was arrested on old drug charges, but that wasn't it. What happened next made all the newspapers: police took her to the men's jail.

It got worse. That's why she sued in Pichardo de Veloz v. Miami-Dade County.

A recent Engle-progeny case decided by the Eleventh Circuit is making headlines as Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds just had a $20 plus million judgment reinstated by an appellate panel.

Sadly, the plaintiff's estate had to bring the appeal as the plaintiff, Judith Berger, passed. Notably though, Mrs. Berger did testify at trial, and won. Unfortunately, during a post-judgment motion, the court vacated the $20 million in punitive damages that were awarded.

Autistic Kids Proceed to Trial Against Disney

Disneyland is famous for Mickey Mouse and really long lines. And that's a problem -- the long lines, not Mickey Mouse.

According to plaintiffs in a class-action, the lines at Disney's theme parks are even worse for them. They are autistic children, and they want to cut to the front.

In A.L. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US, a federal appeals court said the plaintiffs may proceed. It doesn't mean they will get a pass, but at least they'll get a trial.

When news of the Parkland school shooting broke, the nation was shocked and saddened. While school shootings seem to occur with an alarming frequency, the high death toll at Parkland, and the failure of the first responders, really set it apart.

Notably, due to the onsite law enforcement officers failing to take appropriate action, a group of students have banded together to file the most recent lawsuit related to the shooting. As disturbing as the shooting was, when it was reported that onsite law enforcement actually ran away from the shooter and refused to enter the building after escaping, outrage and litigation ensued.

In a line of cases that even the most cynical of tort reformer wouldn't blink an eye at, another tobacco company appeal has been swatted down by the appellate courts.

In one of the thousands of Engle progeny cases, R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris unsuccessfully lobbed a Hail Mary appeal and, not surprisingly, lost. The tobacco giants challenged the multi-million dollar jury award to an individual plaintiff that suffered the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.

Court Affirms $620,000 in Damages for Smoker

When it comes to fault in a smoking-death case, there is no mystery.

Tobacco companies and smokers are both blameworthy. But in Florida there was some confusion about liability and damages in Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Company.

A jury said the smoker was partially responsible for her death, and awarded $620,000 against R.J. Reynolds. The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, but said the company was 100 percent responsible for fraudulently concealing the dangers of smoking.

FINRA, the securities industry's self-regulating organization, will be able to regulate with a little more impunity now after the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there is no private right of action for association members to sue the regulatory body when it doesn't follow its own rules.

A broker that was a registered member of a FINRA affiliated broker sought to bring an individual lawsuit against the organization due to an alleged failure to abide by their own rules. Unfortunately for that broker, the appellate court agreed with the district court's dismissal of his case due to there being no law authorizing a private right of action against FINRA.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the appeal of Boston Scientific from the $27 million verdict rendered against them in 2014. The verdict stemmed from four consolidated cases as a result of transvaginal mesh implants gone wrong.

While Boston Scientific appealed all four cases initially, it dismissed three of the appeals. Only plaintiff Amal Eghnayem's case, where she was awarded nearly $7 million by the jury, was up on appeal.

Statute of Limitations Ends Smoking Case

When William Hecht was a teenager, the Surgeon General warned that smoking caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His mom, who suffered from COPD, warned him as well. After years of smoking, he developed the same condition.

He sued a tobacco company for allegedly concealing that smoking could cause his disease. A jury said it was too late, and a federal appeals court agreed.