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Indiana Supreme Court Reinstates Capped Judgment In Medical Malpractice Case

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Supreme Court on Jan. 15 reinstated a trial court's decision to reduce a wrongful death judgment to$1.25 million, the cap imposed by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, concluding that the plaintiff forfeited his opportunity ...read more

7th Circuit Overturns Indiana Sex Offender Law Banning Use Of Social Media

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 ruled that an Indiana statute that prohibits most registered sex offenders from using social networking websites, instant messaging services and chat programs is unconstitutional (John Doe ...read more

3rd Circuit: School District May Base Salary On Location Of Experience

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania public school districts are within constitutional guidelines when they set teacher salaries based, in part, on prior in-state teaching experience, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Patrick S. Connelly v ...read more

Judge: Retroactive Application Of Statute Of Repose Amendment Unconstitutional

PHILADELPHIA - Retroactively applying a 1990 amendment to Louisiana's statute of repose to bar a couple's failure-to-warn asbestos claim unconstitutionally encroaches on judiciary domain, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Jan. 29 (In re Asbestos ...read more

Motion To Intervene Denied In Case Challenging Missouri Health Insurance Law

ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 31 denied a motion by a not-for-profit corporation to intervene in a suit seeking a declaration that portions of a state law are unconstitutional because they are in direct conflict with portions of the federal ...read more

7th Circuit: Prisoner Failed To Show Indifference To His Medical Needs Occurred

CHICAGO - The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in a case involving an Illinois prisoner who claimed he received substandard medical treatment, concluding that the plaintiff had not established ...read more

5th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Saying Constitutional Violations Voided Loan

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 13 affirmed the dismissal of a Texas couple's lawsuit claiming that their home equity loan was void because the documents were signed in the living room of their home in violation of ...read more

Divided Supreme Court Finds Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Challenge Surveillance Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26 held that Amnesty International USA and others lacked standing to bring a constitutional challenge to an amended portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA ...read more

Judge: Secondhand Smoke Did Not Violate Prisoner's Constitutional Rights

MILWAUKEE - A pro se prisoner's constitutional rights were not violated by secondhand smoke from prison staff, according to a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who said March 8 that the prisoner could have avoided ...read more

Man Loses Challenge To Indianapolis Ban On Smoking In Taverns

INDIANAPOLIS - Claims by a pro se Indianapolis man that the city's 2012 anti-smoking ordinance is "humiliating" to smokers and violates their constitutional rights were thrown out March 13 in an Indiana federal court (Bobby Ray Long v. Greg ...read more

2nd Circuit Finds No Error In Imposition Of Dismissal Sanctions

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 15 upheld a federal judge in New York's decision to impose dismissal sanctions against a pro se plaintiff in a suit brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after agreeing ...read more

Fracking Suit Settlement Unsealed In Pennsylvania; Access To Court Records Upheld

WASHINGTON, Pa. - A confidential settlement agreement between a Washington County, Pa., family and natural gas extraction companies was unsealed by a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Washington County judge March 20 on the grounds that businesses ...read more

FDA Says It Won't Appeal Prohibition Of Warning Labels

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will revise proposed graphic cigarette warning labels rather than appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a case in which the labels were found to infringe on tobacco companies' constitutional rights ...read more

School District Ordered To Comply With Discovery Requests In Facebook Posting Case

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota federal magistrate judge on March 20 ruled that a school district failed to demonstrate "an undue burden" related to most of the documents sought in a discovery motion by the plaintiffs in a dispute over a student's ...read more

New York High Court Rejects Online Retailers' Challenge To Internet Tax Law

ALBANY, N.Y. - A challenge to New York's "Internet tax law" by two leading online retailers was rejected March 28 by a New York State Court of Appeals majority, which found the law to be constitutional on its face and not in violation of ...read more

California Panel: Refusal To Operate On Patient With HIV Violated Civil Rights

VENTURA, Calif. - A California appellate panel on April 17 ruled that denying a woman surgery based on her HIV-positive status and was a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Maureen K. v. Theodore Tuschka, M.D., No. B236150, Calif. App., 2nd Dist ...read more

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Weigh Constitutionality Of New Cigarette Warnings

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 22 declined to resolve an apparent circuit conflict regarding the constitutionality of graphic cigarette warning labels the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had proposed but has since withdrawn (American ...read more

Preliminary Certification Granted In Suit Challenging Defense Of Marriage Act

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 19 provisionally certified a class complaint challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and alleging that it prevents homosexual immigrants from receiving ...read more

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Proof Of Title VII Retaliation Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 retaliation claim must prove but-for causation, the attorney representing the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 (University ...read more

5th Circuit: National Security Exception Bars FBI Worker's Bias Claim

NEW ORLEANS - An FBI contract employee's claim of discrimination fails under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's national security exception, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 29, affirming a trial court (Bobbi-Anne Toy ...read more

Fired Chicago Tenured Teachers' Due Process Claims Tossed By Illinois Federal Judge

CHICAGO - Tenured Chicago teachers were not denied their constitutionally protected property interest in continued employment when they were dismissed without individualized determinations of their qualifications, certifications, experience and performance ...read more

Michigan Federal Judge Partially Certifies Class Suing Over Search And Seizures

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on May 14 partially certified a class of individuals and businesses subjected to search and/or seizure of their property by the Michigan Department of Treasury to satisfy an alleged tax debt who allege that their constitutional ...read more

Plan Administrator Lacks Standing In Lawsuit Against Custodian, 7th Circuit Rules

CHICAGO - A pension plan administrator does not have constitutional standing to bring suit against the plan's custodian for refusing to make a distribution to the plan's participant because distributions were frozen as a result of a Michigan state ...read more

5th Circuit: Firing An Employee Who Is Lactating Violates Title VII

NEW ORLEANS - Discharging a female employee because she is lactating or expressing *** milk constitutes gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 30 (Equal Employment ...read more

Asbestos Reforms Among Those Stricken By Oklahoma Top Court As Unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY - A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court on June 4 struck down several asbestos litigation reforms as part of a ruling finding the state's 2009 comprehensive tort reform package unconstitutional (Carol A. Douglas, et al. v. Cox Retirement ...read more