Pennsylvania Teens Can't Be Suspended For MySpace Parodies

PHILADELPHIA - (AP) Two Pennsylvania teens cannot be disciplined at school for MySpace parodies of their principals created on home computers, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a high-profile case involving students and free speech. The postings, however lewd or offensive, were not likely to cause...

Supreme Court: No First Amendment Protection For Government Employee's 'Petition'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A government employer's actions alleged to be retaliatory are not limited by the First Amendment's petition clause unless the employee's petition is related to a matter of public concern, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 20, vacating a ruling by the Third...

3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Health Care Act Case For Lack Of Standing

NEWARK, N.J. - (Mealey's) A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 3 affirmed the dismissal of a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) brought by a New Jersey physician, one of his patients and a physician organization, saying that the plaintiffs failed to...

Securities Fraud Class Action Dismissed Under Heightened Pleading Rules

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in City of Roseville Employees' Retirement System v. Horizon Lines, Inc., et al. , Case No. 10-2788, on August 24, 2011, in a 2-to-1 decision, read opinion here [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], affirmed the...

Ballard Spahr LLP: 3rd Circuit Finds FAA Preempts N.J. Law On Class Action Waivers

By the Consumer Financial Services Group In the first federal appeals court decision to apply AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion to a non-AT&T Mobility arbitration agreement, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts New Jersey...

High Court Refuses To Review Ruling In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an insured seeking review of whether an insurer is collaterally estopped from enforcing an arbitration clause in a settlement agreement pertaining to asbestos-related injury claims ( George...

Behrend v. Comcast: 3rd Circuit Affirms Class Certification In Antitrust Case

By Louis M. Solomon Our immediately prior posting addressed the issue of how a single case in a multiparty, multidistrict litigation raising industry-wide antitrust claims was plucked out and sent to arbitration. How a plaintiff manages around that result is a question not just of international litigation...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Law Firm's Appeal Regarding Debt Collection

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 23 declined to hear a case in which the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals had determined that a law firm's communication with a Chapter 13 debtor pertaining to the foreclosure of her home was a violation of federal debt collection...

3rd Circuit Reinstates Certification Of Nationwide Class Settlement In De Beers Diamond Case

In Sullivan v. DB Investments, Inc. ("Sullivan II"), No. 08-2784, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 25185 (3d Cir. Dec. 20, 2011) (en banc), the Third Circuit reinstated the district court's certification of a nationwide class settlement comprising indirect and direct purchasers of diamonds from De...

Supreme Court Will Review Class Certification In Comcast Antitrust Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 25 agreed to decide "[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding...

3rd Circuit: Humana Can Sue GSK For Reimbursement For Avandia-Related Expenses

PHILADELPHIA - (Mealey's) Medicare Advantage provider Humana Medical Plan Inc. is allowed under Medicare law to seek reimbursement from GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) for the costs of treating insurance customers who were injured by GSK's Avandia diabetes drug, a unanimous Third Circuit U.S. Court...

3rd Circuit Upholds Conversion Of Skinner Bankruptcy To Chapter 7

PHILADELPHIA - (Mealey's) A bankruptcy court has the authority to determine at the disclosure statement stage that a Chapter 11 reorganization plan is unconfirmable without first holding a confirmation hearing if it is obvious that the plan is patently unconfirmable, the Third Circuit U.S. Court...

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione: 3rd Circuit Issues Key Ruling Regarding 'Reverse Payment' Settlement Agreements

On July 16, 2012, the Third Circuit issued a key ruling in In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] regarding so-called "reverse payment" settlement agreements, which are not uncommon in the pharmaceutical industry. In these types of agreements...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Concepcion Mandates Individual Arbitration Even When Statutory Rights Cannot Be Vindicated, 3rd Circuit Holds

By the Consumer Financial Services Group The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion , 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], obligates courts to compel individual arbitration even where the plaintiff has proven that doing so...

High Court Hears Oral Arguments In Antitrust Class Certification Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 heard oral arguments on "[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to...

High Court Considers Whether Participant Must Reimburse Health Plan Under ERISA

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a health plan administrator's claim for reimbursement against a plan participant is subject to equitable limitations, including unjust enrichment, under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502...

William A. Ruskin: Strong Contractual Terms Can Deflect Tort Liability

By William A. Ruskin Well drafted contracts provide an effective means to mitigate tort liability. In particular, contractual risk allocation provisions can assist companies in better controlling their litigation disposing of claims when they arise. In an article titled, " Minimizing Tort...

High Court Considers Whether Offer Of Judgment Moots Collective Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer's offer of judgment in an amount representing alleged unpaid wages plus attorney fees, costs and expenses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 to an employee who brought a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) moots the collective...

High Court Will Consider Whether Reverse-Payment Settlements Are Anti-Competitive

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) The Supreme Court on Dec. 7 granted the Federal Trade Commission’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking consideration of whether reverse-payment settlements of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and generic manufacturers of the drug...

U.S. High Court: Prison Officers Not Immune From Assault Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives sovereign immunity for law enforcement officers' acts where a claim arises out of one of six intentional torts where an officer is "acting within the scope of his office or employment," a unanimous U.S. Supreme...

Supreme Court Says Health Plan Terms Govern ERISA Reimbursement Action Based On Equitable Lien

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 ruled that a health plan administrator's claim for reimbursement against a plan participant under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(3) based on an equitable lien by agreement is governed by the terms of the...

3rd Circuit Rejects Garlock’s Appeal Of Grace’s Plan For Lack Of Injury, Standing

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc. does not have standing to object to fellow debtor W.R. Grace & Co.’s confirmed plan of reorganization because Garlock cannot show that it will be harmed by the plan, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Abbey Spanier LLP: 3rd Circuit Joins 7th, 9th Circuits Holding That Federal Common Law Standard For Successor Liability Applies To FLSA Claims

Last week, the Third Circuit issued a precedential decision holding that the federal common law standard for successor liability is applicable to claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The plaintiff filed a class and collective action...

3rd Circuit Says Design Defect Claims For Generic Fosamax Are Preempted

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) Strict liability design defect claims involving generic versions of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax are preempted by federal law despite plaintiffs’ attempts to narrow U.S. Supreme Court case law, a panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April...

Ballard Spahr LLP: 3rd Circuit Holds That Courts, Not Arbitrators, Should Rule On Classwide Arbitration

By Steven W. Suflas, Alan S. Kaplinsky, Mark J. Levin, Burt M. Rublin, and Michelle M. McGeogh In Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc. [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that where an arbitration clause is...