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Citizens for a Better Flathead v. Bd. of County Comm’rs

Citizens for a Better Flathead v. Bd. of County Comm’rs, 2016 MT 256 (Oct. 11, 2016) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in striking Citizens’ expert report; (2) whether the district court erred in determining that the Commission substantially complied with the growth policy; (3) whether the district court erred in determining the Commission allowed meaningful public participation; (4) whether the district court erred in determining the Commission adequately incorporated public comments into its decision-making process; and (5) whether the final clause in part 6 of the revised growth policy survives constitutional scrutiny.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; (3) no; (4) no; and (5) yes.

Affirmed

Facts: The Flathead County Commission adopted the original Flathead County Growth Policy in March 2007.…

Cleveland v. Ward

Cleveland v. Ward, 2016 MT 10 (Jan. 12, 2016) (Shea, J.; Cotter, J., concurring) (7-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court improperly excluded trial testimony of Cleveland’s treating physician; (2) whether the district court improperly excluded trial testimony of Cleveland’s physical therapist; (3) whether the district court erred in granting a directed verdict on Cleveland’s claim that her rotator cuff tear and shoulder arthritis were caused by the collision; and (4) whether the district court erred in concluding that Cleveland could not recover damages incurred by Shelby House.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; (3) no; and (4) no.

Affirmed

Not Afraid v. State

Not Afraid v. State, 2015 MT 330 (Dec. 1, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to the governmental defendants on the ground that Not Afraid failed to produce evidence that they violated a standard of care.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Cyril Not Afraid was paralyzed in August 2009 when the car he was riding in crashed and everyone was ejected. The driver was convicted of felony vehicular homicide. The car had been driving on Zimmerman Trail, a steep, winding narrow road with concrete barriers along the sharp curve where the accident occurred. The car struck the barriers, causing it to go over the barriers and down a steep hillside.

Two accident reconstruction experts hired by Not Afraid determined that the car was traveling 45 mph when it first struck the concrete barriers.…

Reese v. Stanton

Reese v. Stanton, 2015 MT 293 (Oct. 13, 2015) (Rice. J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence opinions and reports of doctors who did not testify at trial; (2) whether the district court abused its discretion when it excluded evidence of the original charges billed by medical providers; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in striking portions of a video deposition as previously undisclosed expert opinion.

Short Answer: (1) yes, and the error affected the outcome of trial; (2) yes, as held in Meek; and (3) no.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for a new trial

Facts: In November 2009, while working for Montana Coffee Traders, Inc., Robin Reese was injured while riding in a van struck by a bus owned by Harlow’s School Bus Service.…

Hein v. Sott

Hein v. Sott, 2015 MT 196 (July 14, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether Hein’s negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims were barred by the statute of repose; (2) whether Hein’s Consumer Protection Act claims were barred by the statute of limitations; and (3) whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment because Hein did not provide expert testimony on causation for his Consumer Protection Act claim arising from Sott’s alleged breach of contract and deceptive billing practices.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) Yes for claims arising more than two years before Hein filed suit, but no for claims arising within the two years prior to Hein’s complaint; (3) Yes, as no expert testimony is necessary for issues that are not beyond the common experience of the trier of fact.…