Utah Law Developments

JurisdictionUtah,United States
CitationVol. 33 No. 1 Pg. 40
Publication year2020
Utah Law Developments
Vol. 33 No. 1 Pg. 40
Utah Bar Journal
February, 2020

Appellate Highlights

January, 2020

By Rodney R. Parker, Dani Cepernich, Robert Cummings, Nathanael Mitchell, Adam Pace, and Andrew Roth

Editor’s Note: The following appellate cases of interest were recently decided by the Utah Supreme Court, Utah Court of Appeals, and United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following summaries have been prepared by the authoring attorneys listed above, who are solely responsible for their content.


Intercontinental Hotels Grp. v. Utah Labor Comm’n, 2019 UT 55 (Sept. 4, 2019)

For workers’ compensation purposes, “a slip-and-fall accident arises out of employment where the employee slips and falls in a place, and at a time, in which the employee would not otherwise have been but for the employee’s employment obligations.Id. ¶ 18. The claimant was entitled to benefits, where she tripped and fell for an unexplained reason in the parking lot adjacent to her office while on the way to work.

Burningham v. Wright Medical Tech., Inc., 2019 UT 56 (Sept. 5, 2019)

The federal district court certified four questions regarding whether and to what extent implanted medical devices should be immune from strict liability design defect claims under Utah law because they are “unavoidably unsafe.” Among other things, the supreme court held that a party may invoke the unavoidably unsafe exception, as an affirmative defense, where a device enters the market through the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) process on a case-by-case basis. The decision contains a discussion of when and what jury instructions will be appropriate under different theories of liability.

South Salt Lake City v. Maese, 2019 UT 58 (Sept. 20, 2019)

Affirming the appellant’s conviction for traffic infractions, the supreme court held that the right to a jury trial in criminal cases under the Utah Constitution does not extend to cases where the sanction would be limited to incarceration for thirty days or less and/or a minor financial penalty. The court’s in-depth review of the plain language and historical context of the provision at issue will likely provide a useful framework for interpreting other provisions of the Utah Constitution.

Vander Veur v. Groove Entertainment Technologies, 2019 UT 64 (Oct. 29, 2019)

The court of appeals previously held that an implied covenant may preclude an employer from firing an at-will employee to...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT