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Keyword: Court:

07/22/2016
Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board
A federal agency took a significant adverse employment action against an employee; the employee appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which again sided against the employee; the Court considered which Court the employee could go for review after the MSPB decision.
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Anthony Perry, the appellant, worked for the Census Bureau until 2012.  In 2011, he received a memorandum notifying him that he would be terminated because of “problems with his attendance.”  The appellant argued that he had

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell and Robert E. Carden of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/25/2016
07/21/2016
Southern Insurance Company v. Affiliated DM Insurance Company; University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association
When Two Insurance Policies Include Excess Coverage for the Same Property, Interest, and Risk, a Pro Rata Approach for Liability Applies.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

“Affiliated” Insurance and “Southern” Insurance provided insurance coverage for property damage leased by “Association,” but owned by “University.”  Affiliated’s policy listed University b

Submitted by: Nina Dangourian, Knapp, Petersen & Clarke - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. vs. PRESTIGE IMPORTS, INC., AND OTHERS.
Attorney who withdrew from representation after 16 years of litigation under a contingency fee agreement, and whose client ultimately obtained a judgment in excess of $27 Million was not allowed to pursue an attorney lien based upon a contingency fee. Instead, the attorney was only allowed recovery for his services under a theory of quantum meruit.
SUPREME COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS

Attorney George Deptula undertook to represent Prestige Imports, Inc. on a contingent fee basis against a bank, which was later acquired by Bank of America. After many years of litigation, Deptula obtained an $8 Million judgment, which was set asi

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
KIRSCHENBAUM, ET AL., V. 650 FIFTH AVENUE AND RELATED PROPERTIES
Second Circuit finds that Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act not applicable to foreign judgment debtors who are not agents of foreign sovereigns.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

A class of Plaintiffs – as judgment creditors – sought to employ the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”) of 2002 to enforce their judgment.  Plaintiffs we

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
Kandice Pullen v. Caddo Parish School Board
Plaintiff-Appellant, an employee of defendant school board, sued claiming that she was harassed by another board employee. The board obtained summary judgment below, which was reversed in part. A key issue was the standard to apply to various instances of harassment that took place while the work relationship of the individuals changed.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff-appellant was allegedly sexually harassed by another board employee while he was her direct supervisor as well as times when he was not her direct supervisor.  The district court held that the Board’s efforts to prevent sexual

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
KUBALYA, JR. V. SUPREME PRODUCTION SERVICES, INC.
Plaintiff-Appellee brought a proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) action against his employer. After suit was filed, but before the employer-appellant was served with the suit, the employee policy was changed and required employees to arbitrate all employment disputes, including FLSA claims. The Court of Appeals was asked to determine the enforceability of the arbitration clause.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

An employee policy change requiring employment disputes to be arbitrated was put into place after Plaintiff-appellee filed suit.  The employer appellant sought to enforce that arbitration agreement, which the District Court denied after findi

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
OHIO PUBLIC EMPLOYEEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM V. FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORP. ET AL.
Dismissal of a securities fraud action brought by a state employees retirement fund was reviewed by the Sixth Circuit with emphasis on loss causation elements.
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Plaintiff-appellants appeal dismissal of their Third Amended Complaint for damages flowing from alleged securities fraud.  Plaintiff-appellant is a state employees retirement fund that lost much of its value after investing in the Federal Hom

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
MARIA HERNANDEZ V. WILLIAMS, ZINMAN, & PARHAM PC
Debt Collection Notice Requirements clarified by Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Plaintiff-appellant purchased an automobile, but was unable to continue making payments.  A collections company contacted Hernandez about the consumer loan.  That company later retained Williams, Zinman, and Parham, P.C. (“WZP&rdqu

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Andrew J. Godbold, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/22/2016
07/20/2016
Kandice Pullen v. Caddo Parish School Board
To Prevail on a Strict Liability Sexual Harassment Claim, an Employee Must First Prove that the Alleged Harasser was the Employee’s Supervisor and Not Just a Coworker
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Pullen, an employee of the Caddo Parish School board, claimed that she was sexually harassed in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Graham, another board employee.  Graham was Pullen’s supervisor for the first peri

Submitted by: Nina Dangourian, Knapp, Petersen & Clarke - Posted: 07/21/2016
07/19/2016
CINCINATI INSURANCE COMPANY v. H.D. SMITH, LLC,
Insurer Must Defend Claims That Drug Distributor Contributes To “Pill Mills”
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Faced with the mounting problems of prescription drug abuse, the State of West Virginia sued H.D. Smith, L.L.C., a drug distributor for allegedly contributing to the state drug epidemic of addictions to codine, oxycodone and the like. H.D. Smith a

Submitted by: A. Neil Hartzell, LeClair Ryan, PC - Posted: 07/25/2016
07/19/2016
SANCHEZ ET AL. v. CROCS, INC. ET AL
Dismissal of Shoe Manufacturer’s Audit Firm Upheld In Securities Class Action Claim.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

Crocs, Inc. is an international shoe company with over 19,000 stores both domestically and internationally. With its success came bookkeeping and inventory control issues. This resulted in a reported buildup of inventory (thus suggesting a sales i

Submitted by: A. Neil Hartzell, LeClair Ryan, PC - Posted: 07/26/2016
07/18/2016
SHEET METAL EMP’RS INDUS. PROMOTION FUND V. ABSOLUT BALANCING CO., INC.
Sixth Circuit finds federal law, rather than state contract law, applies to question of whether employers are bound to terms of collective bargaining agreements
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Plaintiffs-Appellants are multi-employer funds established by a collective bargaining agreement between the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor National Association and the Sheet Metal Worker’s International Association Local Union N

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Haley E. Moody; Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/20/2016
07/18/2016
NICHOLSON V. SECURITAS SECURITY SERVS. USA, INC.
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the employer.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff-Appellant Helen Nicholson was employed by Defendant-Appellee, Securitas, and was placed as a receptionist at a company called Fidelity. At Fidelity’s request, Securitas removed Nicholson from Fidelity’s office and was unable

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Haley E. Moody; Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/20/2016
07/18/2016
CRAMER V. STARR (MUNGUIA/BEJARANO)
Under Arizona’s “original tortfeasor rule,” a defendant may allege and prove, and the trier of fact may consider and find, the fault of a nonparty physician, and a tortfeasor may be liable for any enhanced harm caused by a medical provider.
SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA

Under Arizona’s comparative fault regime, the trier of fact shall consider the fault of all persons who contributed to the alleged injury. Further, pursuant to Arizona’s rules of civil procedure, in allocating fault, the trier of fact

Submitted by: Marc H. Harwell & Haley E. Moody; Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC - Posted: 07/20/2016
07/15/2016
Miller v. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and Curtis Green, D.O.
A jury verdict for medical expenses will not be reduced when the medical bills are “discounted” by the medical providers.
Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District

The jury returned a verdict in plaintiff Harold Miller’s favor in his medical malpractice action against defendants, Dr. Green and Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.  Plaintiff was awarded $638,347.91, with $133,347.91 itemized for medic

Submitted by: Nina Dangourian, Knapp, Petersen & Clarke - Posted: 07/18/2016
07/14/2016
In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain EMail Account controlled and maintained by Microsoft Corporation
Stored Communications Act does not authorize courts to issue and enforce against U.S.based service providers warrants for the seizure of customer email content that is stored exclusively on foreign servers.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

The US government cannot use search warrants to access consumer data stored by service providers overseas. The case involved accessing email data from Microsoft Corp from storage in Ireland. The government issued the search warrant under the Store

Submitted by: Sheila Kerwin and Leslie Kallas, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA. - Posted: 07/14/2016
07/14/2016
Detroit Free Press, Inc. v US DOJ
The media and the public cannot have complete and unfettered access to the mugshots of federal criminal defendants.
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Detroit Free Press challenged the refusal of the U.S Marshall Services’ to release photos/mugshots of four Michigan police officers charged with bribery and drug conspiracy. In a narrow decision,

Submitted by: Sheila Kerwin and Leslie Kallas, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA. - Posted: 07/18/2016
07/14/2016
Laura Hatcher v Board of Trustees of Southern
Retaliation claim remanded as timing made claim plausible.
United States Supreme Court for the Seventh Circuit

Laura Hatcher, a professor at Southern Illinois University, has won a partial reversal of the district court dismissal of gender-retaliation claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed that her claim was not protected speech and there was no evidence the

Submitted by: Sheila Kerwin and Leslie Kallas, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA. - Posted: 07/18/2016
07/13/2016
IN THE MATTER OF: MOTORS LIQUIDATION COMPANY, debtor
No bankruptcy protection for GM in ignition defect cases.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

The 2nd Circuit has reversed a General Motors decision in their bankruptcy proceedings that would have shielded GM from liability relating to ignition switch defects. When negotiating the bankruptcy in 2015 and the new corporate entity, GM did not

Submitted by: Sheila Kerwin and Leslie Kallas, Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA. - Posted: 07/14/2016
07/12/2016
Brown v. Taylor
Fifth Circuit: Prisoner Mailbox Rule Applied to Civilly Committed Person
United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

laintiff Clarence Brown was an inmate who had been convicted of sexually violent offenses, then civilly committed after serving his time in prison.  While civilly incarcerated, he filed a § 1983 lawsuit, complaining about how he had been

Submitted by: John Anderson and Mallory Schiller, Dickinson Wright - Posted: 07/13/2016
07/11/2016
Construction Contractors Employer Group, LLC v. Federal Insurance Company
Sixth Circuit: Even Though Employee Used Two Methods of Theft, Stolen Funds Still Counted as One “Loss” Under Insurance Policy
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

A construction trade organization (“Construction Contractors”) obtained crime-coverage insurance, after realizing that an employee of one of its subcontractors was stealing large sums of money.     The policy inc

Submitted by: John Anderson and Mallory Schiller, Dickinson Wright - Posted: 07/11/2016
07/11/2016
Peterson v. C.R. Bard, Inc
Fifth Circuit: Plaintiff’s “colorable” testimony as to lack of memory regarding discovery of product defect not enough to defeat summary judgment
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

A plaintiff and her husband filed suit against defendants, two medical device manufacturers, after the wife had a surgery which implanted one of defendants’ devices in her body.  The device subsequently malfunctioned, and at some point,

Submitted by: John Anderson and Mallory Schiller, Dickinson Wright - Posted: 07/13/2016
07/11/2016
Overman v. City of East Baton Rouge
Fifth Circuit: Title VII liability for sexist hiring decision, but damages must still be mitigated
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

The plaintiff, a career law enforcement officer, alleged gender hiring discrimination under Title VII.  She held both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in sociology, as well as a J.D., all earned from Tulane University.  Dur

Submitted by: John Anderson and Mallory Schiller, Dickinson Wright - Posted: 07/13/2016
07/08/2016
Bernadette Magno, et al., v. The College Network, Inc.
Contract Containing an Arbitration Clause Requiring Students from California Enrolled in a Distance-Learning Program to Participate in Proceedings in Indiana is Deemed Unconscionable and Void
California Court of Appeals for the Fourth District

Plaintiffs’, who were California residents and seeking to become Registered Nurses, were approached and enrolled with sales representatives from Indiana State University for an online distance-learning program.  The trial court found th

Submitted by: Nina Dangourian, Knapp, Petersen & Clarke - Posted: 07/20/2016
07/05/2016
Cotarel v. Dorel
Court affirms jury verdict for door handle cover manufacturer.
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

 Appellant's twenty-three-month-old son drowned in a pond after climbing out of his crib and leaving their home in the middle of the night. The appellants sued Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. (Dorel) for wrongful death under Mis

Submitted by: Kay Gaffney, Barnes Alford - Posted: 07/06/2016
06/30/2016
In re: FRANCIS MALOFIY
"Bad Girl" lawyer sanctioned by the Court.
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Malofiy, who was the lawyer in the recent case filed against L ed Zepplelin,  filed a copyright infringement lawsuit  against the performing artist Usher, as well as other defendants, over the song “Bad Girl.” Malofiy’s

Submitted by: Kay Gaffney, Barnes Alford - Posted: 07/05/2016
06/29/2016
OneWest Bank, N.A. v. Melina
Second Circuit joins sister circuits in holding that subject matter jurisdiction over a national bank depends upon the location of its main office
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

The Second Circuit joined its sister circuits in holding that, for purposes of subject matter jurisdiction, a national bank is a citizen only of the state listed in its articles of association as its main office,  In tracing the history of 28

Submitted by: Barbara O’Donnell, Zelle, McDonough & Cohen LLP - Posted: 06/30/2016
06/29/2016
Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. DP Engineering, L.L.C.
Professional services exclusion bars duty to defend lawsuits concerning engineering project mishandling, but indemnity coverage determination was premature.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

A nuclear power plant hired the insured engineering firm, DP, for a project which required DP to move a 520-ton stator.  The stator was secured to a gantry for moving.  During the moving process, the gantry collapsed, killing one worker,

Submitted by: Rina Carmel, Zelle McDonough & Cohen LLP - Posted: 07/01/2016
06/28/2016
Andrews v. America’s Living Centers, LLC
Fourth Circuit Leaves Door Open to Recover Attorneys’ Fees under Rule 41(d)
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

The Fourth Circuit has ruled that attorneys’ fees are a permissible award under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(d), but only where the underlying statute provides for attorneys’ fees or when the court makes a specific finding that t

Submitted by: Bradford D. Box, Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell, PLC - Posted: 06/30/2016
06/28/2016
NELSON V. UNITED STATES
Government Not Liable for Bike Accident on Federal Land
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

Nelson sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act after striking a sinkhole while bike riding on United States Air Force Academy land. After a bench trial, the district court awarded him $7 million. The Academy appealed, arguing that

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/11/2016
06/27/2016
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt
In a 5-3 vote, U.S. Supreme Court declares Texas’ challenged abortion regulations unconstitutional.
United State Supreme Court

Writing for the majority in a 5-3 decision, 579 U.S. _____ (June 27, 2016), Justice Stephen Breyer sided with the petitioner abortion clinics in declaring Texas’ restrictive abortion regulations a medically unnecessary and unconstitutional l

Submitted by: Barbara O’Donnell, Zelle, McDonough & Cohen LLP - Posted: 06/27/2016
06/27/2016
MPC Franchise, LLC v. Tarntino
Second Circuit rejects “should have known” standard for cancellation of trademark due to fraud
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

A Second Circuit panel unanimously held that the scienter standard in In re Bose Corp., 580 F.3d 1240 (Fed. Cir. 2009) applies in the Second Circuit.  Bose applied a scienter standard that “a trademark is obtained fraudulently under the

Submitted by: Rina Carmel, Zelle McDonough & Cohen LLP - Posted: 06/30/2016
06/27/2016
In Re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation
Internet Companies Not Liable For Collecting Consumer Information
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

In a lengthy and complex opinion, the Third Circuit has largely dismissed multi-district class action claims in which young children alleged that Viacom and Google had violated their privacy rights by collecting information about the web sites tha

Submitted by: Michael F. Aylward, Morrison Mahoney. LLC - Posted: 06/28/2016
06/24/2016
Miller v. University Health Network
Damages Not Presumed For Litigant’s Abuse of Civil Process
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Pennsylvania’s intermediate appellate court has sustained a lower court’s finding a hospital violated the Dragonetti Act by improperly commencing a law suit against the families of patients who died at the hands o

Submitted by: Michael F. Aylward, Morrison Mahoney. LLC - Posted: 06/28/2016
06/24/2016
Narragansett Electric Company v. Century Indemnity Company
Second Circuit Reverses Insurer’s Duty to Defend Pollution Claim
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

The Second Circuit has issued a summary order, reversing a New York District Court’s declaration that an insurer had a duty to defend environmental cleanup litigation in Massachusetts notwithstanding an old pollution exclusion in its policy.

Submitted by: Michael F. Aylward, Morrison Mahoney. LLC - Posted: 06/28/2016
06/07/2016
BISHOP V. 7-ELEVEN, INC.
The Ninth Circuit Revives Labeling Class Action Over 7-Eleven Potato Chips
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Bishop brought a putative class action against 7-Eleven under California’s consumer protection statutes, claiming that he was misled by the packaging labels on 7-Eleven-brand potato chips. The district court dismissed Bishop’s Second A

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/05/2016
05/24/2016
SAHU V. UNION CARBIDE CORP.
Union Carbide Not Responsible For Actions of Subsidiary in Bhopal Property Damage Suit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Property-owners sued Union Carbide Corporation (“UCC”) for property damage arising from the inadequate waste management system of a pesticide factory located in Bhopal, India, which was owned and operated by Union Carbide India Limited

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/06/2016
05/23/2016
BURST V. SHELL OIL CO.
General Causation Experts Opining on Connection Between Benzene-Containing Gasoline and Cancer Excluded
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Burst sued Shell Oil Company, Chevron USA, Inc., and Texaco, Inc., alleging that her late husband was regularly exposed to defendants’ benzene-containing gasoline while he worked as a gas station attendant and mechanic and that this exposure

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/06/2016
05/23/2016
HOCHENDONER V. GENZYME CORP
The First Circuit Dismisses Putative Class Actions Where Plaintiffs Failed to Link Specific Harm to Drug Shortage
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

In this consolidated action, patients (and spouses of patients) afflicted with Fabry Disease—a rare and potentially fatal disorder that prevents the body from synthesizing a key enzyme—brought putative class actions against Genzyme, th

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/06/2016
05/16/2016
SPOKEO INC. V. ROBINS
In Standing Analysis, Bare Procedural Violations of Statutory Rights Insufficient to Constitute “Concrete” Harm
Supreme Court of the United States

Robins brought a federal class-action against Spokeo, Inc., a company that collects and provides personal information about individuals to a variety of users, after discovering that his Spokeo-generated profile contained inaccurate information. Ro

Submitted by: John R. Mitchell and Nancy Niu of Thompson Hine LLP - Posted: 07/11/2016

 

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