U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Disability Benefits Calculation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An injured maritime worker's compensation is based on the rate at the time he or she becomes disabled regardless of when a compensation order is issued, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 20 (Dana Roberts v. Sea-Land Services, Inc., et al., No. 10-1399, U.S. Sup.).

Jury In Retrial Of Asbestos Case That Netted $322M Verdict Finds For Defense

RALEIGH, Miss. - A Mississippi judge on April 25 entered judgment on a defense verdict after a retrial in an asbestos case in which the plaintiffs initially netted a $322 million verdict (Thomas Brown Jr. v. Phillips 66, et al., No. 2006-196, Miss. Cir., Smith Co.). Subscribers may view the judgment...

New Jersey Appeals Court Says Drug Rep's Retaliation Claim Was Filed Too Late

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division panel on May 9 agreed that a Celgene Corp. sales manager's claim of retaliation under New Jersey law was barred by the statute of limitations and was not tolled by an almost identical lawsuit pending in a Texas state court (David Schmidt...

NFL Players File Master Complaint Over Head Injuries

PHILADELPHIA - The National Football League has been aware for years of the risks associated with repetitive head impacts during NFL practices and games but "ignored the risks and/or was willfully blind to the risks and/or actively concealed the risks from NFL players," former NFL players and...

U.S. High Court: Pharma Sales Reps Not Owed Overtime

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A pharmaceutical sales representative, or detailer, falls under the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) definition of an "outside salesman" and is not owed overtime compensation, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 18, rejecting the DOL's interpretation of its own...

4th Circuit: Whistle-Blower Failed To Show Firing By Alpharma Was Retaliatory

RICHMOND, Va. - A whistle-blower whose False Claims Act (FCA) 31 U.S.C.S. § 3729-3733 complaint resulted in a $42.5 million settlement by Alpharma Inc. failed to prove that she was fired in retaliation for telling the company about possible FCA violations in connection with the promotion of a controlled...

Maintenance And Cure Ordered For Illness Discovered After Employment Ended

NEW YORK - A seaman is entitled to maintenance and cure for an illness that indisputably occurred during his service even if his symptoms did not present until after his employment was completed, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15, reversing a trial court ruling ( Richard Messier...

Former Players Say NFL Is Wrong To Frame Concussion Claims As A Labor Dispute

PHILADELPHIA - Allegations by thousands of former National Football League players that the NFL ignored the risks of brain injuries to players from repeated head impacts are not governed by union contracts as the NFL asserts and therefore should not be dismissed, the former players say in Oct. 31 briefs...

2nd Circuit Affirms $1.8M Workplace Retaliation Verdict Against Pfizer

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 13 affirmed a $1.8 million judgment against Pfizer Inc. for allegedly retaliating against a research scientist who complained about workplace safety (Becky McClain v. Pfizer Inc., No. 11-3002, 2nd Cir.).

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Claims Alleging Mycotoxin Poisoning Against County

JACKSON, Tenn. - After finding that claims asserted by the daughters of a school custodian who alleged that mold exposure caused their mother's death were barred by the exclusive remedy provision of workers' compensation law, a Tennessee appeals court on Feb. 13 affirmed dismissal of their complaint...

Avandia MDL Court Remands 2 3rd-Party-Payer Cases To Pa. State Court For Now

PHILADELPHIA - Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Humana Health Plan Inc. to sue Avandia maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) for double damages under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, a Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on April 17 remanded to Pennsylvania...

Pennsylvania Judge Orders Mediation For NFL Concussion Claims

PHILADELPHIA - The federal judge in Pennsylvania presiding over a multidistrict litigation involving thousands of former National Football League players alleging that the NFL ignored the risks of brain injuries to players from repeated head impacts ruled July 8 that the parties should participate in...

NFL Prepared To Settle Concussion Claims For $765 Million

PHILADELPHIA - In an Aug. 29 order, a Pennsylvania federal judge announced that the National Football League and players have reached a $765 million settlement in the concussion injury multidistrict litigation (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, No. 12-2323, E...

New Jersey Panel Says Drug Company 'Watchdog' Covered By Whistle-Blower Law

TRENTON, N.J. - A Johnson & Johnson "watchdog" employee who was fired can sue the company for retaliation under the state's whistle-blower protection law, a state appeals court panel said Sept. 4 in reversing summary judgment and remanding the case to the trial court with new criteria...

9th Circuit: Incorporating SEC Filings By Reference Into SPD Is Fiduciary Act

SAN FRANCISCO - Participants in eligible individual account plans (EIAPs) sponsored by a drug manufacturer sufficiently alleged that the plans' fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duty of care imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining company stock in the plans when the...

Pa. Top Court: Workers' Comp Exclusivity Doesn't Apply In Latent Disease Cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The exclusivity provision in Pennsylvania's workers' compensation act does not bar a tort action when the injury arises outside the act's 300-week limit for compensation, the state Supreme Court held Nov. 22 in a 5-1 opinion reinstating two asbestos actions (Kathleen Tooey...

N.C. Court Affirms Admission Of Experts Testifying On Their Area Of Expertise

RALEIGH, N.C. - A workers' compensation commission properly admitted the testimony of a veterinarian on the issue of animal studies in an asbestos-related esophageal cancer case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held Dec. 3 (Paulette Smith Wise, executor of the estate of Harvey Smith v. Alcoa...