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U.S. High Court Hears Oral Arguments In Funeral Protest Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A man who was trying to bury his dead son, a member of the U.S. military, in a "private, dignified manner" was entitled to call upon Maryland's tort law when he was prevented from doing so, the attorney representing Albert Snyder argued Oct. 6 before the...

4th Circuit Considers Whether Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) The federal government argued before a panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 that a district court judge erred in finding that the individual mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is unconstitutional, while the...

4th Circuit Considers If Dismissal Of Health Care Law Challenge Appropriate

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) A group of plaintiffs in Virginia, including a private Christian university, argued before the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 that a lower court erred in finding that Congress acted within its power in enacting the individual mandate contained in the Patient...

Mack Sperling: The 4th Circuit On Recusals And Pro Hac Vice Admissions

We all sometimes say things that we are sorry to have said. Even judges. Those types of statements by a District Court Judge in South Carolina, which the Fourth Circuit called "neither wise nor temperate" were the subject of a recusal motion ruled on last week by the Fourth Circuit, in Belue...

4th Circuit: Virginia Lacked Standing To Challenge Health Care Reform Act

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 8 reversed a lower court ruling holding that the individual mandate provision contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was unconstitutional, finding that the State of Virginia lacked standing...

4th Circuit: Court Lacks Jurisdiction To Hear Challenge To Health Care Act

RICHMOND, Va. -- In a divided opinion, the majority of Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 8 held that the Anti-Injunction Act strips the court of jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss...

Virginia Petitions High Court Over Dismissal Of Challenge To Health Care Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Commonwealth of Virginia on Sept. 30 filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in finding that Virginia lacked standing to challenge the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Rules Retirement Plan Trustees' Failures Must Have Causal Link to Plan Losses to Hold Trustees Liable

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw Plasterers' Local Union No 96 Pension Plan v. Pepper , No. 10-1364 (4th Cir., December 1, 2011) The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that retirement plan trustees cannot be held liable for failures to investigate the prudence of plan...

Wachovia Shareholder Gets a Lump of Coal From 4th Circuit

The Fourth Circuit delivered a lump of coal right before Christmas to a Wachovia shareholder whose 100,000 shares of the Bank's stock, once worth about $5.6 million, sank into near worthlessness when Wachovia failed. The case, decided December 23rd, is Rivers v. Wachovia Corp. , [ an enhanced version...

Williams Mullen LLP: 4th Circuit Upholds Plan Administrator's Interpretation To Deny Disabled Doctor's Benefits Claim

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a plan administrator's interpretation of a long term disability plan and affirmed the denial of a disabled physician's claim for benefits in Fortier v. Principal Life Insurance Company , No. 10-1441...

U.S. High Court Majority Upholds State's Immunity From Employee's Bias Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A state employee is blocked by sovereign immunity from recovering damages from his state employer for claims of discrimination brought under the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 20, affirming a decision...

4th Circuit Finds Possible Trademark Infringement In Google's AdWords Program

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 9 found sufficient evidence to create an issue of fact as to whether Google Inc. had committed direct infringement by allowing the use of third-party trademarks by participants in its AdWords program, reversing in part...

Williams Mullen - McCravy v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.: Recognizing A Broader Scope for ERISA's Equitable Remedies

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The Fourth Circuit has reversed an earlier position and now recognizes a broader scope for equitable remedies available to ERISA plaintiffs following the U. S. Supreme Court's decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011) [ enhanced version available...

Williams Mullen Alert: Are Civil RICO Class Actions Based on Alleged Immigration Offenses Dead?

By Mary E. Pivec and Reba Mendoza The Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Walters v. McMahen [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] affirming the trial court's dismissal of a civil RICO class action at the pleading stage is encouraging news for employers in industries beset by...

Williams Mullen: The Emerging Frontiers For Equitable Remedies Under ERISA In The 4th Circuit: Moon v. BWX Technologies

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit continues to build out the boundaries of ERISA's equitable remedies, which have expanded in the Fourth Circuit in the wake of the U. S. Supreme Court's decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , 131 S. Ct. 1866...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Holds That Plan Administrators' Alleged Fiduciary Breach Based On 401(k) Plans' Fund Selection Is Time-Barred

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The Fourth Circuit rejected the claims of a putative class action brought on behalf of participants of two retirement plans sponsored by Bank of America. In David v. Alphin , No. 11-2181 (4th Cir. Jan. 14, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Upholds Lengthy 'Stent' for Interventional Cardiologist

By John Staige Davis V Can a cardiologist be sent to prison for performing medically unnecessary stent procedures, even though he stented a considerably lower percentage of his patients than his peers? In United States v. McLean, No. 11-5130 (Apr. 23, 2013) ) [lexis.com subscribers may access the...

U.S. High Court Won’t Hear Arguments That Punitives Are Preempted In Drug Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 refused to hear arguments by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. that federal drug regulations and high court precedent preempt the awarding of state law punitive damages in an Aredia/Zometa jaw injury case ( Novartis Pharmaceuticals...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Tobacco Buyout Dispute

By Troutman Sanders Tobacco Practice In an earlier blog post, we discussed a case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia evaluated the methodology used by the United States Department of...

Company, Government Tell High Court That Landowners’ Claims Are Time-Barred

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Attorneys for CTS Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice told the U.S. Supreme Court April 23 that a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought by landowners asserting claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation...

Norton Rose Fulbright: CERCLA's Federal Discovery Rule Does Not Preempt State Statutes Of Repose

By Janet L. McQuaid , Michael P. Gaetani , Joshua Snyder , and Jennifer Blair Caplan . . . [T]he United States Supreme Court held in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger 1 that Section 9658 of CERCLA 2 does not preempt state statutes of repose that set a time frame after which a potential defendant is no longer...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test For Exercise Of Objective Prudence By Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan assets. In Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment...

Foley & Lardner LLP: 8th Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower's Suit Finding Facts Were Already Publicly Disclosed

By Jacqueline N. Acosta In an August 7, 2014 opinion, the Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a whistleblower’s suit alleging that a number of pain pump device makers had violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by marketing their pain pumps for harmful off-label uses. United States ex rel. Paulos...

4th Circuit Affirms Directed Verdict In 1st Ethicon Pelvic Mesh MDL Trial

RICHMOND, Va. — (Mealey’s) The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a directed defense verdict last year in the first Ethicon pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation trial ( Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. , No. 14-1244, 4th Cir.). ( Opinion available...

4th Circuit Affirms $2 Million Award In 1st Pelvic Mesh Trial, Says 510(k) Not Probative

RICHMOND, Va. — (Mealey’s) In an expedited appeal, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan.14 affirmed a $2 million verdict in the first pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation case to go to trial and affirmed the trial court’s exclusion of the device’s 510(k) clearance as...