Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Medicaid, Disability Discrimination Suit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, on Oct. 3 denied an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services motion to dismiss an injunctive and declaratory relief action filed under the Medicaid, Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act statutes, saying the plaintiff properly stated claims against the state in her challenge to a decision denying her residential psychiatric treatment (S.B., et al. v. Julie Hamos, in her Official Capacity as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services,  No. 3:12cv03077, C.D. Ill., Springfield Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142851).

7th Circuit: Indiana Must Cover 'Medically Necessary' Dental Services

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 26 affirmed a federal trial court order granting a class of Medicaid plaintiffs from Indiana preliminary injunctive relief in their challenge of the state's cap on "medically necessary" dental care under the state's Medicaid program. The Seventh Circuit concluded that Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration must not attach "arbitrary" caps to medically necessary dental care under federal and state law (Sandra M. Bontrager, et al., v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et al.,  No. 11-3710, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20157).

Judge: Family Of Shooting Victim Can Have Officer's Training Reports, Emails

PRESCOTT, Ariz. - A federal judge in Arizona on Sept. 13 ruled that the family of a man who was shot by a police officer during a domestic disturbance call can have the training records of another officer who also was at the scene because they are relevant to the family's claims and that they can also have emails the City of Flagstaff claimed were privileged by the work product doctrine because the city failed to sufficiently describe the protected nature of the communications (Ruth Bradburn Mitchell, et al. v. City of Flagstaff, et al.,  No. CV 11-08140-PCT-FJM, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131225).

5th Circuit: U.S. Department Of Labor May Sue State For Unpaid Wages

NEW ORLEANS - The State of Texas is not immune from a lawsuit filed by the federal government on behalf of private individuals seeking unpaid wages, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 12 (Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor v. State of Texas, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services Division,  No. 12-50049, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19138).

10th Circuit: Air Force Civilian Employee Failed Federal Medical Act Violations

DENVER - A former Department of the Air Force civilian employee failed to prove that her termination following an extended leave violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and constituted gender and race discrimination, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 20, upholding a District Court decision (Quinn Smith v. Michael W. Wynne, Secretary Department of the Air Force, No. 11-6195, 10th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17470).

Claims Of Retaliation For Taking Medical Leave Survive Summary Judgment

BOSTON - A jury could find that an investment management firm retaliated against a senior tax project leader for taking medical leave, a Massachusetts federal judge found Aug. 21 in denying the firm summary judgment on the employee's claims for violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (Christine M. Caloia v. Putnam Investments, LLC, and Cheryl Ahl, No. 11-10073, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117510).

Standard Chartered Sued Over Role In Iranian Bank Money-Laundering Scheme

NEW YORK - Survivors, as well as family members, heirs and representatives of 241 U.S. servicemen killed or wounded in a 1983 Iran-sponsored bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, sued Standard Chartered Bank on Aug. 15 in New York federal court, alleging that the bank and its New York branch tortiously interfered with a 2007 judgment by conspiring with Iranian government-backed banks to cover up nearly 60,000 secret transactions totaling more than $250 billion (Deborah D. Peterson, et al. v. Standard Chartered Bank, No. 12-6257, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the complaint available within the full Mealey's article.

Illinois Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Class Suit Over Debt Collection Calls

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 10 denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed by two Illinois men who allege that they received automated phone calls to their cell phones from a debt collection company seeking to collect money from a family member (Nicholas Martin, et al. v. Leading Edge Recovery Solutions, LLC, et al., No. 11-5886, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112795).

New Jersey High Court: Some Warning, Warranty Claims About Stent Aren't Preempted

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Aug. 9 ruled that some failure-to-warn claims and some breach of warranty claims involving the Cordis Cypher drug-coated coronary stent may survive federal preemption, a ruling that applies to 47 state court cases in which plaintiffs claim that they were injured or that family members died after being implanted with the now-withdrawn stent (Vonnie Cornett v. Johnson & Johnson, et al.,  No. A-88/89 September Term 2010 066671, N.J. Sup.; 2012 N.J. LEXIS 831).

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2nd Circuit Reinstates Domestic Help's Wage Claims

NEW YORK - A girl who was brought to the United States to work for people she considered family may proceed with her Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim because genuine issues of fact remain as to whether the girl was a domestic service employee under the federal law, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 31, partially vacating a trial court ruling (Linda Velez v. Betsy Sanchez, et al. v. Hernando Sanchez, No. 11-90, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15805).

Delaware Jury Awards $2.86M For Mesothelioma In Asbestos Exposure Case

NEW CASTLE, Del. - A Delaware jury on July 27 awarded $2.86 million to the family of a man who died from mesothelioma that he contracted by working with talc power contaminated with asbestos (In re Asbestos Litigation, Michael Galliher v. RT Vanderbilt, No. 10C-10-315, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).  Subscribers may view the verdict slip available within the full Mealey's article.

Federal Judge Allows Claim That Worker Was Denied Leave For Muscular Dystrophy

PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on July 16 granted summary judgment to a national trucking company on an employee's claim that he was illegally misclassified as exempt from overtime pay but denied it judgment on the worker's claim that the company violated the Family and Medical Leave Act when he sought leave due to his muscular dystrophy (Rafael Brea v. Heartland Express, Inc. of Iowa, No. 11-00042, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98149).

Federal Judge Issues Contempt Order For Failure To Process Medicaid Transfers

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on July 16 held the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in contempt for failing to properly process requests by patients to transfer from one managed care organization (MCO) to another in light of the MCO's impending termination of its provider contract with a health care provider that operates eight hospitals in the eastern part of the state (Appalachian Regional Healthcare, et al. v. Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co., et al.,  No. 12-114, E.D. Ky.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98168).

Workers' Families Permitted To Plead Discovery Rule In Wrongful Death Action

BATON ROUGE, La. - A First Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal panel issued an opinion June 28 affirming in part dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the representatives of deceased wood treatment facility workers; the representatives of the deceased plaintiffs will be allowed on remand to attempt to establish that they have a right of action for wrongful death under the discovery rule (Eugene Barber, et al. v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wausau, No. 11-357, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2012 La. App. LEXIS 913).

Court Finds Losses Caused By Vapor Barrier Are Not Covered Under Policy

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals court on June 25 affirmed a trial court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that homeowners that sought coverage for damage caused by a vapor barrier failed to show that their losses were not excluded from the coverage available under the policy (Jerome Koskovich, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. A11-2206, Minn. App.; 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 581).

Ohio Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment In Medicaid Eligibility Dispute

CINCINNATI - A federal judge in Ohio on June 18 granted a plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in a class action of veterans and spouses of veterans seeking injunctive relief regarding how the Ohio Medicaid program calculates eligibility for the state's Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver Program. The judge, however, granted summary judgment regarding one plaintiff, saying her claims against the state do not survive her death (Betty A. Ledford, et al., v. Michael B. Colbert, in his capacity as Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services,  No. 1:10cv706, S.D. Ohio, Western Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83840).

Insurer's Attempts To Contact Defeat Bad Faith Claim, Panel Majority Holds

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Citing an insurer's repeated attempts to contact the family of an injured party, a Florida appeals panel majority on June 13 found no evidence that an insurer failed to attempt settlement in bad faith, affirming a lower court's judgment in the insurer's favor (Olive Goheagan v. American Vehicle Insurance Co., No. 4D10-3781, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 9573).

New Jersey Court Upholds Denial Of Benefits In Medical Assistance Program

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on June 13 upheld a decision by the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (division) to deny benefits to former Medicaid beneficiaries in the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), operating under the NJ FamilyCare program. The Appellate Division concluded that Medicaid and SCHIP are two distinct programs and that the eligibility rules for the two programs are different (S.J., et al., v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, et al., Nos. A-5714-10T1, A-5803-10T2, and A-5804-10T1, N.J. App. Div.; 2012 N.J. Super. LEXIS 95).

No Coverage For Suit Alleging Insured Infected Third Party With HIV, Judge Rules

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An insured's alleged infection of a third party with HIV is not a "bodily injury" under the personal liability section of a homeowners insurance policy, a Missouri federal judge ruled June 6, further finding that coverage is also barred by the policy's abuse and communicable disease exclusions (Brent Lambi v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, No. 4:11-CV-00906-DGK, W.D. Mo., Western Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78563).

Alabama Appeals Court: Contractor Had Knowledge Of Defective Concrete Slab

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals on May 25 revived a suppression claim in a construction defects action, ruling that there was evidence that the defendant was aware of problems with a concrete slab on the site of a newly constructed hotel (Bella Investments Inc. v. Multi Family Services Inc., No. 2110120, Ala. Civ. App.; 2012 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 131).

Temporary Restraining Order Granted To Provide Care At Residential Medical Center

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on May 25 granted a plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order that requires that she be provided with medical treatment at a residential facility under Medicaid until the court can rule on a motion for preliminary injunction (S.B., by and through her father, W.B. v. Julie Hamos, in her official capacity as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, No. 12-3077, C.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73088).

Connecticut Jury Awards $2,403,339 In Asbestos Case; Industry Group Found Liable

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A Connecticut jury on May 22 held an industry group liable for a man's exposure to asbestos and awarded his surviving family members $2,403,339 (Gail S. Acquarulo, Executrix of the Estate of Hannibal Saldibar et al. v. Tile Council of North America Inc., f/k/a Tile Council of America., No. CV095024498S, Conn. Super., Fairfield at Bridgeport Dist.). Subscribers may view the verdict sheet available within the full update.

School Board Awarded Summary Judgment On Former Custodian's Claims

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A school board did not interfere with a custodian's Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights and fired her due to poor work performance and not because she is black or disabled, an Alabama federal judge held May 22 (Brunetta Ratcliff v. Mountain Brook Board of Education, No. 2:11-cv-0029, N.D. Ala.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71101).

Louisiana Federal Judge Rejects CMS's Subrogation Of Malpractice Settlement

NEW ORLEANS - A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on May 21 denied a motion for partial summary judgment by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeking to recover a portion of a medical malpractice settlement the family of a Medicare beneficiary received for services covered under Medicare (Kristen B. Sorrell, et al. v. Lakeview Regional Medical Center, et al.,  No. 11-3084, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70519).

Arbitration Relief Denied In Pennsylvania Suits Alleging Fracking Contamination

SCRANTON, Pa. - The Bradford County, Pa., families seeking relief from an order granting stipulated, binding arbitration with natural extraction companies accused of contaminating domestic water wells were denied relief May 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Jason Otis, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 11-115, M.D. Pa.; Edwin Bidlack, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 11-129, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66252; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66264).