WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House on March 11 passed a trio of bills seeking to grant additional religious exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s individual mandate and excluding military personnel and emergency services volunteers from the law's individual and employer mandates.
ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court on Feb. 24 affirmed a Court of Appeals decision reversing summary judgment for the defendants in a medical malpractice action, agreeing that there was evidence that a delay in emergency treatment may have caused further damage to a man's injured hand (Dr. Gihan Abdul-Samed, et al. v. Ryan S. Dailey, et al., No. S13G0657, Ga. Sup.; 2014 Ga. LEXIS 129).
LOS ANGELES - In reversing a lower court decision, a California appeals panel on Feb. 19 held that emergency room physicians alleged sufficient facts to reflect the existence of a claim for negligent delegation asserted against health maintenance organizations for allegedly knowing that their independent practice associations (IPAs) were unable to pay the physicians for providing statutorily required services (Centinela Freeman Emergency Medical Associates, et al. v. Health Net of California Inc., et al., No. B238867, Calif. App., 2nd. Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 158).
DETROIT - The bankrupt City of Detroit on Feb. 21 filed its Chapter 9 payment plan in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; the city says the plan will provide $1.5 billion for investment in the city and will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy this year (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that no additional discovery will change the fact that an insured failed to submit a complete, sworn proof of loss in support of a supplemental claim for Hurricane Isaac damage, a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 7 granted a motion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to dismiss the insured's breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit (Richard H. Clark, Sr., et al. v. FEMA, et al., No. 13-5232, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15871).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - W.R. Grace & Co.'s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection included a payment of more than $63 million to the U.S. government to resolve claims for cleanup and restoration of hazardous waste sites in 21 states, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Feb. 5.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 28 ruled that Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. can obtain up to $1.55 billion in financing from a dozen banks and financial institutions to support the company's operating needs as it emerges from bankruptcy (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Jan. 27 that an entire reinsurance arbitration panel, in which one member had a medical emergency, should be disqualified instead of having the reinsurer assign a new party-appointed arbitrator (Companion Property And Casualty Insurance Company v. Allied Provident Insurance, Inc., No. 13-cv-07865, S.D. N.Y.).
LONDON - RSM Production Corp. on Jan. 21 announced that it has made an application to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for emergency measures to defend against an oil and gas entity's demand for a $26 million payment.
DETROIT - The union representing the employees of the bankrupt City of Detroit on Jan. 20 filed a brief in the adversary proceeding filed by the Official Committee of Retirees of the City of Detroit against the city, arguing that the emergency manager put in charge of the city's bankruptcy lacks the authority to take any action to "diminish" retiree health insurance benefits (The Official Committee of Retirees of The City of Detroit v. The City of Detroit $(In Re: The City of Detroit$), Adv. No. 14-04015, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The owners of two Charleston-area restaurants, along with a resident, filed a class action suit on Jan. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to represent some 300,000 customers of a Charleston water utility who were placed under a declaration of emergency because of the release of a foaming agent used to clean coal (Shape Shop Inc., et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., No. 14-1288, S.D. W.Va.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 31 granted an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal in a nonprofit religious organization's case challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). By its own motion, the court consolidated the case with a similar case (Priests for Life, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 13-1261, D.C. Cir.).
CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 affirmed a district court ruling that the City of Flint, Mich., and its emergency manager did not violate the U.S. Constitution when it moved to modify health care benefits contracts with retired city employees because Michigan state law gave the city that power to avoid filing for bankruptcy (John Welch v. Michael Brown, No. 13-1476, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 131).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government on Jan. 3 filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing an emergency injunction pending appellate review or, in the alternative, a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment and injunction pending resolution following a Dec. 31 order by Justice Sonia Sotomayor that temporarily blocked the federal government from enforcing the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) against an order of Catholic nuns at the request of the group after a lower court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the mandate (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13A691, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - As part of its preparations to emerge from Chapter 11 protection in 2014 and to receive a tax break for 2013, W.R. Grace & Co. received authorization Dec. 17 from a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge to contribute up to $250 million to a qualified settlement fund for eventual distribution to an asbestos personal injury trust (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Dec. 8 denied an emergency application by individual airline customers seeking to prevent the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. The customers had argued that the merger violates federal antitrust laws (Carolyn Fjord v. AMR Corporation, No.13A579, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 20 was asked to halt jury deliberations in the damages retrial between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., after Samsung filed an emergency motion to stay the case (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - A divided en banc Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 7 ruled that the husband of a health plan participant may proceed with his claims that the plan sponsor and insurer breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to inform him during telephone conversations that the medical providers who were going to perform emergency surgery on his wife were out of network (James E. Killian v. Concert Health Plan, et al., No. 11-1112, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22657).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 4 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to certify for immediate interlocutory appeal the issues of whether Campo v. Allstate Insurance Co. (562 F.3d 751 [5th Cir. 2009]) should be reversed or has been superseded by a July 16, 2009, pronouncement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and whether federal law preempts all National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) procurement disputes (Robert Spong, et al. v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Ins. Co., et al., No. G-10-228, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157763).
ATLANTA - An injured worker was not an "emergency claimant" entitled to workers' compensation benefits from the Georgia Insurers Insolvency Pool, a Georgia appeals panel affirmed Oct. 31 (Hugh Reece v. Georgia Insurers Insolvency Pool, No. A13A1409, Ga. App., 4th Div.; 2013 Ga. App. LEXIS 858).