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Mealey's Labor & Employment - N.Y. Justice Rejects $11M Verdict In Asbestos Case Involving Ford Friction Parts

NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 13 rejected expert causation testimony and set aside an $11 million friction-products asbestos verdict against Ford Motor Co., finding the "every exposure" theory incompatible with science and state law (Arthur H. Juni Jr. and Mary Juni v. A.O. Smith Water...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Claims Challenging Paid Detail Ordinances

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 upheld the dismissal of claims challenging two ordinances passed by the City of New Orleans related to paid detail for city police officers, finding that the ordinances did not violate the U.S. and state constitutions (Walter Powers, Jr...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Macy's Delivery Drivers Seek Preliminary Approval Of $2.8M Wage Settlement

NEWARK, N.J. - Independent contractors who deliver furniture and provide installation services in New Jersey for Macy's Inc. and Home Delivery Link Inc. moved April 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to settle their wage claims for $2.8 million (Henry Badia, et al. v. Home...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - American Apparel Faces Class Complaint Following Mass Layoff

LOS ANGELES - Three California residents on April 16 filed a class complaint against their former employer, American Apparel Inc., alleging that the clothing company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), the California WARN Act and California Business and Professions...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Court Publishes Opinion Freeing Crane Maker From Asbestos-Brake Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals court on April 17 reissued and published an opinion affirming that a couple lacks evidence of exposure to asbestos from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Collective Bargaining Agreement Doesn't Preempt Employee's Asbestos Case, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - Negligence and strict liability claims involve an employer's duty to provide a safe workspace under Pennsylvania law and would not require interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement, the federal judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held April 15 in...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - High Court Won't Decide If Service Provider Is Fiduciary In Excessive Fee Case

WASHINGTON,D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 denied review of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (JHUSA) and its related entities are not fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in regard to allegations by participants...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Patterson-UTI Drilling Agrees To Pay $14.5M To Settle Race Bias Claims

DENVER - Patterson-UTI Drilling Co. LLC, a Texas-based multistate oil drilling company, agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle a racial and national origin discrimination lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and to resolve...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Supreme Court Won't Address Timeliness Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 declined to consider whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that pension plan trustees' claims that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Supreme Court Won't Review Ruling That Reimbursement Action Seeks Legal Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a multiemployer welfare fund was not entitled to reimbursement from another insurer for benefits paid on behalf of a plan beneficiary who was covered by both insurers because the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Alaska High Court: Police Standards Council Decision Is Entitled To Deference

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A decision by the Alaska Police Standards Council to revoke an officer's police certificate is entitled to deference, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled April 17 (Alaska Police Standards Council v. Lance Parcell, No. S-15364, Alaska Sup.; 2015 Alas. LEXIS 40).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Partial Conditional Certification Granted In Time Warner Sales Agents' Wage Suit

SAN ANTONIO - A Texas federal judge on April 16 partially granted a motion for conditional certification of a collective action and authorization for notice in a wage lawsuit brought by Time Warner Cable inbound sales agents (Abbie Garcia, et al. v. TWC Administration, LLC, d/b/a Time Warner Cable, No...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 6th Circuit: Equitable Defenses Not Available In ERISA Collection Action

CINCINNATI - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act bars an employer in an action brought by multiemployer benefit funds to collect delinquent payments under a union contract from asserting the equitable defenses of laches and estoppel, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 (Operating...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judicial Review Of MPPAA Arbitration Requires Complaint, 4th Circuit Rules

RICHMOND, Va. - A multiemployer pension fund properly filed a complaint in federal district court to seek review of an arbitration order related to the fund's assessment of withdrawal liability under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - District Court Applied Incorrect Standard Of Review, 9th Circuit Panel Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A District Court erred in applying an abuse-of-discretion standard of review to a benefits denial suit because the summary plan description (SPD) does not constitute the plan document as the insurer argued, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 21 in vacating and remanding...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Claimant; Correct Standard Of Review Applied

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 determined that a district court correctly applied an abuse of discretion standard of review in a disability benefits suit and correctly determined that the claimant is owed benefits under the policy (R. Jeffrey Evans v. Sun Life &...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Agrees To Decide When Constructive Discharge Clock Begins

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 27 agreed to hear the appeal of a constructive discharge suit brought by a former U.S. Postal Service employee and decide if the clock begins ticking when an employee resigns or at the time of an employer's last allegedly discriminatory act (Marvin...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Top Court Vacates ACA Birth Control Ruling, Remands Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 27 granted two Catholic groups' petition for certiorari and vacated a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate did not substantially burden religious beliefs. The court...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Class Suit Over Background Checks Survives Dismissal Motion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 23 declined to strike class allegations brought by applicants and employees of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) who allege that the authority's background check policy that disqualifies from employment individuals...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Stanley Black & Decker Settles Wage Dispute For $4.97M

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 23 granted final approval to an offer by Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and other related entities to pay $4.97 million to settle a wage-and-hour class complaint (Donovan Long, et al. v. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., et al., No. 14-1246, S.D. Calif...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court: EEOC's Conciliation Efforts May Be Reviewed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Courts have a limited authority to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has met its duty under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to attempt conciliation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 29 in a unanimous opinion that vacated a decision by the Seventh...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Leaves Case Largely Intact After Rejecting Florida's Pleading Standard

TAMPA, Fla. - Federal pleading standards and not Florida's more strict ones apply to an asbestos action, and plaintiffs largely adequately plead negligence, strict liability and fraudulent concealment claims against safety mask and airplane parts defendants, a federal Florida judge ruled April 27...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Claimant Provided Sufficient Evidence Supporting Claim, Wash. Federal Judge Says

SEATTLE - A disability insurer erred in denying a claim for short-term disability (STD) benefits because the claimant adequately proved that she could not perform the functions of her job, a Washington federal judge said April 27 (Dana Mirick v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, et al., No...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Missouri Majority: Employee Exclusions Bar Coverage For $7M Wrongful Death Suit

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A majority of the Missouri Supreme Court found April 28 that the injuries that resulted in an insured's employee's death were the result of an unsafe workplace and could only have been brought against an employer, affirming a lower court's ruling that coverage for a...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit: NLRB Must Reconsider Withholding Of Benefits

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 29 partially vacated a ruling in favor of a union and against the employer and remanded the portion of the ruling regarding benefit discrimination for reconsideration (800 River Road Operating CO LLC, DBA Woodcrest Health Care Center v....