JSH Reporter Summer 2015 - Page 14

APPELLATEHIGHLIGHTS 014 APPELLATE highlights AUTHOR: Jon Barnes EMAIL: jbarnes@jshfirm.com Following is a list of the recent Appellate Cases we believe are of interest to our diverse group of clients. If you would like any additional information on the cases below, please feel free to contact any of the lawyers in our Appellate Department. BIO: jshfirm.com/jonathanpbarnes featured case May 21, 2015 Merkens v. Federal Ins. Co. (Arizona Court of Appeals) The court affirmed summary judgment for the workers’ compensation carrier because plaintiff, a laboratory research associate, failed to seek a determination from the Industrial Commission that she was entitled to continuing benefits after her benefits were terminated. She thus failed to exhaust her administrative remedies, which precluded her bad faith claim. MORE INFORMATION: http://www.jshfirm.com/contentadmin/files/ Merkens%20v.%20Federal.pdf April 21, 2015 Lee v. M&H, Wal-Mart (Arizona Court of Appeals) The court affirmed judgment as a matter of law for plaintiff’s special employer, M&H, on grounds that it was immune from tort liability under Arizona’s worker’s compensation law. M&H was the subcontractor in charge of supervising and controlling the construction project where plaintiff was injured. The court also affirmed summary judgment for Wal-Mart, which did not owe a non-delegable duty or retain any control over plaintiff’s work, as plaintiff argued. MORE INFORMATION: http://www.jshfirm.com/contentadmin/files/Lee%20 v%20MH%20and%20WalMart.pdf April 23, 2015 State v. Bernstein (Herman) (Arizona Supreme Court) The court held that a trial court’s “gatekeeper” role applies equally to Rule of Evidence 702(d) when a party contends that an expert has not properly applied generally reliable principles or methods. It further held that errors in application should result in the exclusion of evidence only if they render the expert’s conclusions unreliable; otherwise, the jury should be allowed to consider whether the expert properly applied the methodology in determining the weight or credibility of the expert testimony. More Information:http://www.jshfirm.com/contentamin/files/State%20v.%20Bernstein.pdf March 25, 2015 Austin, et al. v. the Peoria Unified School District (Arizona Court of Appeals) The court affirmed dismissal because plaintiff’s Notice of Claim was not filed with all members of the school district’s Governing Board, as A.R.S. § 12-821.01 requires. MORE INFORMATION: http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/ Div1/2015/1CA-CV14-0220.pdf