LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Reliance On Insurers' Misrepresentation In Settling Suit Was Unreasonable

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 held that it was not reasonable for a wrongfully convicted criminal to rely on insurers' alleged misrepresentation in settling an underlying civil rights lawsuit against a city insured and its police detective, affirming a federal court's dismissal of fraud, silent fraud, civil conspiracy and negligent misrepresentation claims against the insurers (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Michael Louis Cristini, et al., No. 15-1257, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19728).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Courts May Review Only If There Was An EEOC Investigation

NEW YORK - Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, courts may review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conducted an investigation, not whether the investigation was sufficient, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 9 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 14-1782, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Civil Rights Claim

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found Sept. 2 that a civil rights claim under 42 U.S. Code Section 1983 against a private prison operator insured is barred from coverage under a $1 million commercial general liability policy and a $2 million commercial umbrella liability (CUL) policy, reversing a lower federal court in part (LCS Corrections Services, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 14-40494 c/w No. 14-40587, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15643).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurers Not Liable For $5M Settlement Arising From Wrongful Conviction

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on Aug. 17 held that insurers do not have to contribute to a law enforcement liability insurer's $5 million settlement of an underlying civil rights lawsuit against the City of Elkhart, Ind., stemming from a wrongful arrest and prosecution, granting their motions for judgment on the pleadings (TIG Insurance Co. v. City of Elkhart, et al., No. 13-902 c/w No. 13-992, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107807).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Inmate's Tainted Water Case Fails To Establish Liability Against Officials

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 18 dismissed an inmate's civil rights claim related to allegations that he was forced to drink water contaminated with toxic chemicals on grounds that he had not established liability on the part of the prison officials named as defendants (Kenneth Williams v. Thomas Birkett, No. 14-12755, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108370).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor On Claim That It Violated Human Rights

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 30 held that an insurer did not have an obligation to investigate claims that racial animus motivated its insured's decision not to settle an underlying lawsuit stemming from a police shooting, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a civil rights lawsuit against it (Levert Smith, et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1002, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13290).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 4th Circuit Reinstates Worker's Harassment Suit After Applying Hybrid Test

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 reinstated a sexual harassment suit filed by a temporary factory employee, opining that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides for joint employer liability and that when the "hybrid" test is properly applied to the worker's suit, both the factory and the temp agency were the worker's employers (Brenda Butler v. Drive Automotive Industries of America, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-1348, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12188).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Suit Seeking Recovery Of $250,480 Default Judgment Against Lawyer

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge found June 30 that although a civil rights lawyer's alleged conduct in representing a client is, at a minimum, abhorrent, a $250,480 default judgment against the lawyer cannot be recovered under his legal malpractice insurance policy (Michael Petersen v. Arch Insurance Co., No. 15-00832, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85183).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Inmate's Tainted Drinking Water Case Dismissed; Claim Not Stated

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on June 30 dismissed a former inmate's civil rights action which claimed a prison's drinking water was contaminated. The judge said that the plaintiff failed to state a claim (Rhea Michelle Walker v. Camp Brighton Prison, No. 15-12153, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84529).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Revives Transgender Worker's Bias, Retaliation Suit

NEW YORK - A trial court erred when it ruled that an employee's failure to exhaust administrative remedies deprived the court of subject matter jurisdiction over the employee's Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claims, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (Cole Fowlkes v. Ironworkers Local 40, et al., No. 12-336, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10339).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: Bias Complaint Was Filed When Delivered, Not When Fee Was Paid

PASADENA, Calif. - A filing date of a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 action was the date it was delivered to the court clerk, not the date the filing fee was ultimately paid, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 4, reversing a trial court's finding that a former restaurant cook's filing was untimely (Maria Escobedo v. Applebees, et al., No. 12-16244, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9313).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit: Verifying Title VII Charges Is Not A Jurisdictional Prerequisite

DENVER - Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's requirement that a claimant verify the charges against an employer is a nonjurisdictional matter, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 27 (Sabreen Gad v. Kansas State University, No. 14-3050, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8782).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Longshoreman's Title VII Retaliation Claims

ATLANTA - A longshoreman failed to prove his Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 retaliation claims, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 4, upholding a trial court's decision (Robert Williams v. Georgia Stevedore Association, Inc., et al., No. 14-11790, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7334).

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 Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 13-1019, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Clinic To Settle Transgender Worker's Sex Bias Claims For $150,000

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on April 9 granted a joint motion for approval of a consent decree under which a Florida clinic will pay $150,000 to settle claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it unlawfully terminated a transgender employee in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Lakeland Eye Clinic, P.A., No. 14-2421, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 4th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of EEOC's Suit Over Background Checks

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 upheld the rejection of a class complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that an employer's use of background checks violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after determining that the EEOC's expert testimony was unreliable (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman, No. 13-2365, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2592).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 4th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of EEOC's Suit Over Background Checks

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 upheld the rejection of a class complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that an employer's use of background checks violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after determining that the EEOC's expert testimony was unreliable (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman, No. 13-2365, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2592).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No 'Palpable Defect' In Ruling Dismissing Fraud Claims Against Insurers

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 3 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling that dismissed a wrongfully convicted criminal's claim that he relied on insurers' false statements when he settled an underlying civil rights case against a city and its police detective (Arrowood Indemnity Co., f/k/a Royal Indemnity Co. v. The City of Warren, Michigan, et al., No. 13-13938, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12304).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Upholds Successor Liability Ruling, Tax Award In Title VII Suit

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 29 upheld a successor liability decision, as well as a tax component award, in a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 suit brought by a restaurant worker who was subjected to a racist incident and then fired after complaining about it (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Northern Star Hospitality, Inc., d/b/a Sparx Restaurant, et al., No. 14-1660, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1465).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict For Workers Subjected To Gorilla Singing Telegram

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 upheld a jury verdict for two workers who alleged Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 violations after they were subjected to a work event, scheduled during a Texas holiday celebrating the abolition of slavery, during which the company brought in a gorilla singing telegram (James L. Henry, et al. v. CorpCar Services Houston, Limited, et al., No. 13-20744, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1208).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Lab Specialist's Equal Pay Act Claim Granted Conditional Certification

MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Jan. 15 conditionally certified an Equal Pay Act (EPA) collective claim filed by a former lab specialist who accuses her former employers of gender discrimination; however, the judge dismissed the plaintiff's Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim with prejudice (Danielle Ailts Campeau, et al. v. NeuroScience Labs Inc., et al., No. 14-324, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4813).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Lab Specialist's Equal Pay Act Claim Granted Conditional Certification

MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Jan. 15 conditionally certified an Equal Pay Act (EPA) collective claim filed by a former lab specialist who accuses her former employers of gender discrimination; however, the judge dismissed the plaintiff's Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim with prejudice (Danielle Ailts Campeau, et al. v. NeuroScience Labs Inc., et al., No. 14-324, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4813).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On EEOC's Duty To Conciliate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, must first attempt to resolve a claim of bias against a private employer through conciliation before filing suit, the court may conduct a "modest inquiry" into whether that portion of the statue was violated, the attorney representing Mach Mining LLC told the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments on Jan. 13 (Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 13-1019, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Motion To Strike Right Of Publicity Case

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge did not err in refusing to strike a right of publicity complaint as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) under California's anti-SLAPP statute, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 6 (Michael E. Davis, et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 12-15737, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 154).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Environmental Groups Have Right To Jury Trial Over Illegal Dumping

NEW BERN, N.C. - Environmental groups alleging that the previous and current owners of a swine farm violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by illegally disposing of animal waste have the right to a jury trial to determine the defendants' liability for civil penalties, a federal judge in North Carolina held Dec. 29 (North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, et al. v. Donald Taylor, et al., No. 12-CV-154-D, E.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177773).