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08/26/2016
S. Bertram, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance
Quaking like a duck trademark case- no duty to defend
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Eden Foods sued  S. Bertram, Inc. for trademark infringement, and Bertram asked Citizens Insurance Company of America to defend the lawsuit under an insurance policy Citizens issued to Bertram. Unfortunately for Bertram, the insurance policy

Submitted by: Kay Gaffney, Barnes Alford - Posted: 08/26/2016
08/19/2016
STATE OF CONNECTICUT v. CONNECTICUT EMPLOYEES UNION INDEPENDENT ET AL.
One toke not over the line: Pot smoked on the job does not warrant termination.
Supreme Court of Conn

Employee of University of Conn Health Center was found during work hours smoking marijuana in his car.  The arbitrator rule termination was too harshand ordered a period of suspension and other sanctions  and the State appealed.  Th

Submitted by: Kay Gaffney, Barnes Alford - Posted: 08/20/2016
08/16/2016
EMJ Corporation, et al v. Hudson Specialty Ins
Pro-rata is not fifty fifty with competing excess policies.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Westchester was a commercial umbrella insurer for EMJ Corporation, a general contractor building a J.C. Penney store in Southaven, Mississippi. During that project, EMJ subcontracted with Contract Steel Construction, Inc. for steel erection servic

Submitted by: Kay Gaffney, Barnes Alford - Posted: 08/16/2016
08/10/2016
In re Walgreen Co. Stockholder Litigation
Umpire Posner calls strike suit counsel “Out!” – fees and relief ejected after argument.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

It is an all too common scene – large public company announces planned merger with another public company and suddenly a strike suit is filed against one of the companies claiming some impropriety in the materials sent to shareholders for ap

Submitted by: r. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/12/2016
08/08/2016
Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v. Western Heritage Insurance Company
Medicare Advantage Organization may bring MSP private cause of action against primary payer
United States Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit

n the complicated world of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) jurisprudence, the 11th Circuit has joined the 3rd Circuit in allowing a Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) that provides Medicare Part C coverage to bring a private action to seek reimb

Submitted by: R. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/12/2016
08/08/2016
Karen Bird v. West Valley City and Kelly Davis
Bird put in dog house for protected speech allowed to continue her case.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals takes almost 14 full pages to describe the toxic environment that existed at the West Valley City, Utah animal shelter.  No, not the pooper scooper type of toxicity you might expect, but rather a workplace ri

Submitted by: R. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/10/2016
08/08/2016
Robert Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
Trial court misfires in dismissing wrongful discharge claim based on Mississippi employer’s termination of employee for having gun locked in his vehicle at work.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Swindol worked for Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation in Mississippi. In 2013, Swindol parked his vehicle in the company parking lot, presumably as he had done in days past. The problem? Aurora’s management team found out that there was a fi

Submitted by: Matthew V. Burrows of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C. in Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/09/2016
08/08/2016
American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. David Williams
Insurer’s “dog’s breakfast” of theories unable to defeat coverage for injury to dog walking friend.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

In a punny decision, the Seventh Circuit rejected the insurer’s arguments that couch surfing friend who took owners’ dog for a walk was not an insured under homeowner’s policy. At issue was whether, under Indiana law and the term

Submitted by: R. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell - Posted: 08/10/2016
08/05/2016
Blomker v. Jewell, Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Interior,
Vile and inappropriate ok; severe and pervasive not ok
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Blomker was fired after she called her supervisor various explicit names and twisted a supervisor’s arm.  Blomker sued for hostile work environment sexual harassment based on two men’s actions over three years.  The examples

Submitted by: Lisa M. Lee of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C. - Posted: 08/12/2016
08/04/2016
Cyphert, et al. v. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.
Discovery of confidential pre-sentencing reports and objections in related civil class action against criminal defendant is for the birds.
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

In a case involving bird seed, the 6th Circuit was recently asked to consider whether California class action plaintiffs could gain access to the Pre-Sentencing Reports and Objections by the government generated in connection with the defendant&rs

Submitted by: R. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/11/2016
08/02/2016
Evergreen Partnering Group, Inc. v. Pactive Corporation, Solo Cup Company, et al.
No Sherman Act conspiracy when the five largest users of a product make independent decisions not to buy from plaintiff
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Evergreen sued Pactive Corporation and the 4 of the other largest “converters” of polystyrene products others alleging an antitrust conspiracy not to purchase its recycled polystyrene resin to make, among other things, school lunch roo

Submitted by: R. Matthew Cairns of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Concord, New Hampshire - Posted: 08/08/2016
07/29/2016
TESORO REFINING AND MARKETING CO. V. NATIONAL UNION FIRE INS. CO.
Fifth Circuit affirms denial of insurance coverage under a commercial crime policy for acts of forgery committed by employee.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, LLC sued National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after the latter denied coverage under a commercial crime policy for the alleged acts of forgery committed by a Tesoro employee. The

Submitted by: David Fuqua, Fuqua Campbell, P.A. - Posted: 08/03/2016
07/22/2016
COTTRELL ET AL v. DUKE ET AL.
Dismissal of Shareholder Derivative Suit Against Wal-Mart Directors and Officers Affirmed.
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

A  former Wal-Mart executive resentful of “being snubbed” for promotion and apparently tired of the stress of his job contracted one of Wal-Mart’s general counsel and reported alleged bribery of Mexican officials. Following

Submitted by: A. Neil Hartzell, LeClair Ryan, PC - Posted: 07/31/2016
07/20/2016
CONTINENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY ET AL v. HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC, ET AL.
Insured Cannot Have Defense Costs in Asbestos Suits.
Appellate Division Superior Court of New Jersey

There were two different excess policies issued to Honeywell by St. Paul Fire and Marine and its parent, Travelers. Honeywell claimed defense costs arising from tens of thousands of claims alleging asbestos related product liability from brake clu

Submitted by: A. Neil Hartzell, LeClair Ryan, PC - Posted: 07/31/2016
07/08/2016
Strinko v. Haney
Kentucky's Court of Appeals Finds Prisoner's Due Process Rights Not Violated in Disciplinary Matter
Kentucky Court of Appeals

Disciplinary proceedings were brought against a prisoner at the Blackburn Correctional Complex when staff at the institution received an anonymous letter stating that the prisoner was hiding a cell phone and other contraband at a prisoner work sit

Submitted by: Casey Stansbury and Curt Graham of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. - Posted: 08/04/2016
07/07/2016
White v. Bell
No Excessive Force Liability without Proper Identification of Defendants
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

In this case, an inmate was unable to identify which correctional officer shoved him and caused his injuries while incarcerated. The trial court found it was unreasonable for a jury to find none of the officers liable, as it was clear the inmate w

Submitted by: Casey Stansbury and Curt Graham of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. - Posted: 08/04/2016
05/16/2016
Graves v. Mahoning County
Sixth Circuit Finds Constitutional Violation only if Arrest is Effectuated without Probable Cause
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The plaintiffs in this Section 1983 case alleged that police officers used invalid warrants to arrest them. Specifically, they argued the county clerks who issued the warrants were provided with only "conclusory complaints" from the offi

Submitted by: asey Stansbury and Curt Graham of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. - Posted: 08/01/2016

 

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