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March 2021 Fourth Circuit Tort & Insurance coverage Instances of Curiosity | Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

From time to time Marc Manos, a member of the Nexsen Pruet member, a member of the SC Bar Torts and Insurance Practice Section Council, sheds light on some of the recent Fourth Court of Appeals cases that focus on tort and insurance law.

Below you will find the cases of tort and insurance cases selected for March 2021 with links to the reports of the Fourth Circle to which reference is made.

Variety Stores, Inc. v Walmart, Inc.

No. 19-1631 (March 4, 2021) (Unpublished) BRAND, WILLFULNESS District Court has ruled Walmart for $ 95,500,000 for infringement of BACKYARD BBQ® and unregistered trademarks. While the bulk of the ruling deals with specific trademark law issues, the fourth court was overturned and remitted to trial because the district court failed to define intent in a jury’s brief. This was done according to the simple doctrine of error that Walmart failed to preserve the problems (pp. 19-25). While the court found sufficient evidence that a reasonable jury could determine premeditation, the court’s failure to define premeditation as something more than the will to do a deliberate act required a new trial. Branded premeditation (and in my opinion for any unfair competition or other illicit act) required the jury to understand that the evidence was more than a willful act or even negligence, but legal meaning requires recklessness, willful disregard, or purpose hurt or here an intention to hurt.

View the case here.

Morris versus Lincoln National Life Ins. Co.

# 19-1546 (March 4, 2021) (Unpublished) LIFE INSURANCE, ERISA employee diagnosed with leukemia left work in October 2014 when he was showing active symptoms. He never returned to work before his death in September 2015. His group life insurance switched from a provider to Lincoln National on January 1, 2015, and he purchased basic and supplemental life insurance. The guidelines included the requirement that an employee must be actively and actively employed on January 1, 2015, and be completely incapacitated on that day. The district court issued a summary judgment to the insurer. The Fourth Ward confirmed that the insurer can be both the plan administrator and the insurer without irreparable conflict of interest, but turned back and found coverage for the employee. Both policies included a Pre-Insurance Credit Scheme (PIC), as described in the Revised Plan for 2015, which allowed an employee who had this coverage under the previous plan to continue under the new plan even if he ended up on January 1 not actively worked. 2015, provided the employee meets the other conditions of the PIC clause. The PIC clause does not apply if an employee is completely disabled on January 1, 2015. The definition of total disability in the policy states that the condition causing the disability must persist at least 180 days prior to the effective date of January 1, 2015. The employee was only unable to work for 60 days on that day, so that the Fourth District overturned the summary judgment on no insurance cover and placed a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff in custody.

View the case here.

Mays against sprinkle

No. 19-1964 (March 4, 2021) (Published) CIVIL RIGHTS, 8th and 14th AMENDMENTS, INTENTIONAL INDIFFERENCE TO MEDICAL NEEDS Plaintiffs’ deceased (Mays) was arrested for public intoxication on consecutive nights after passing out on the seat a vehicle was found. The first night he had a bag of prescription bottles and told the surrogate that he was taking gabapentin and alprazolam. On the second night, an emergency call reported that Mays was “extremely intoxicated” with alcohol and prescription drugs. The caller asked for help to get Mays out of the vehicle and specifically asked for medical care. Representatives on site discovered that Mays could hardly lift his head, could not get out of the vehicle without their help and finally lay down on the loading area of ​​the pickup, even though it was full of water. They found a bag of prescription drugs gabapentin and citalopram. The gabapentin had been prescribed three days earlier and ninety-one capsules were missing. The citalopram was from almost three weeks earlier and all thirty capsules were missing. Mays passed out during the transport, could not leave the patrol car unaided, had to be tried and the judge ordered him to be held until he was sober again. Mays needed help in jail to remove his shoes, glasses, and other personal items and could not speak coherently. Mays was locked in a cell. During a two-hour security check, he was seen lying on a sleeping mat in the cell. Until then, Mays had not received any medical treatment or evaluation. Twenty minutes later, another officer saw him on the mat, checked him and found that he was passed out. He tried to wake him up and then started resuscitation until the emergency services arrived. Mays died of acute hydrocodone, gabapentin, citalopram and alprazolam intoxication. The district court dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that it did not assert sufficient facts and qualified immunity. The fourth circle has reversed. As a remand prisoner, only the procedural clause of the Fourteenth Additional Article was applicable. However, the court is investigating the 8th Amendment cases to determine the deliberate indifference to serious medical needs while in custody. Mays pleaded for sufficient evidence to objectively indicate a serious illness based on his apparent inability to function and the known presence of several prescription drugs in combination with alcohol on two consecutive nights. Even a layperson would easily see the need for medical treatment if he could prove the alleged facts. The facts presented also adequately supported the subjective tine – the officers subjectively knew about the serious condition of the prisoner and the excessive risk of inactivity. A precedent set by the Fourth District Court at the time of arrest found that a pre-trial detainee could not be punished, and that right includes a requirement that government officials should not deliberately neglect any serious medical needs of the detainee. So the Fourth Circle was reversed. “Mays ‘failure to tell officials that he was using a fatal amount of drugs, assuming he could put it that way, doesn’t matter when we put the bag of prescription pills in Mays’ truck along with his near-vegetative state consider the caller’s request for medical care. ” Attention. This plausibly goes beyond the typical interaction of an officer with a drunk person. ”

View the case here.

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