Afternoon Briefs: $950M malpractice lawsuit can proceed against Katten; Breonna Taylor’s family says police withheld bodycam footage
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Katten faces $950M malpractice suit after judge agrees to apply California damages rule
Katten Muchin Rosenman will face a $950 million malpractice lawsuit after a California trial judge rejected its request to apply Washington, D.C.’s defense-friendly contributory negligence law. The law firm’s attorneys at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles argued the law should apply since Claudia Callaway, the partner named in the lawsuit, works in the D.C. office. But Orange County Superior Court Judge William D. Claster held Friday that “where the work was performed is a different question from where the tort and the resulting injury occurred.” Lawyers for plaintiff CashCall Inc., had argued the consumer lender was harmed by legal advice provided in California that exposed the company to several lawsuits starting in 2013. Under that state’s plaintiff-friendly compensatory negligence law, which will now apply in this case, CashCall could still receive 90% of available damages even if jurors find the company 10% responsible. (Law.com, Bloomberg Law, July 9 order)
Lawyers for Breonna Taylor’s family sue Louisville police over body cameras
In a lawsuit filed against the Louisville Metro Police Department on Wednesday, lawyers for Breonna Taylor’s family alleged that officers involved in the March 2020 raid that resulted in the Black woman’s death in Kentucky had been issued body cameras that were programmed to automatically activate in certain circumstances. According to the lawsuit, signals from police vehicles near the scene could have caused the body cameras to begin recording, which conflicts with the police department’s prior statements that Taylor’s death was not captured on video. The city of Louisville settled a $12 million wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor’s family last year. (CNN, ABC News, the Washington Post, the Hill)
Judge urges lawyers to provide pro bono services to victims, families of Florida condo collapse
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman told a group of attorneys who appeared in his courtroom on Wednesday to get organized if they wanted to work for victims of the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida. “I got the best of the bar here, but not everybody can have a leadership role, and the faster you all realize that and try to reach some consensus, the faster we can move this along and try to get the victims some compensation,” Hanzman told them, according to NBC News. He also said he hoped they would work pro bono. As of Saturday, more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the building’s condo association, with some attorneys estimating the disaster could result in more than $1 billion in damages. (NBC News)