NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 affirmed that a retirement plan participant's breach of fiduciary duty suit is time-barred under the applicable three-year statute of limitations and said that the evidence shows the participant had actual knowledge of the alleged breach more than three years before filing suit (Ramnand Ramnaraine v. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. et al., No. 14-3562, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14929).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge properly found that a subrogation provision in a health benefits plan clearly established the plan's right to recoup medical expenses paid on a defendant's behalf, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 25 (Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry v. Kyle J. Moore, No. 14-4048, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14945).
NEWARK, N.J. - A group of lease accountants presented sufficient evidence to make a "modest factual showing" that they were similarly situated and should be granted conditional certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 21, rejecting the employers' arguments to the contrary (Paula Robles, et al. v. Vornado Realty Trust, et al., No. 15-1406, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111038).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 21 preliminarily approved a $500,000 settlement in a wage-and-hour suit brought on behalf of a class of financial sales advisers, opining that while the amount is less than 11 percent of the total potential liability estimate given by the plaintiffs, the court's concerns may be addressed later (Cheryl Deaver v. Compass Bank, et al., No. 13-222, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111170).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
ST. LOUIS - A defendant on Aug. 24 won dismissal by a Missouri federal judge of a request for an order requiring her to repay more than $1.3 million in allegedly erroneously issued pension payments, but she must still face claims for restitution and unjust enrichment under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Pharmacia Corporation Supplemental Pension Plan et al. v. Virginia V. Weldon, No. 14-1498, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111544).
NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).
SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate panel held Aug. 24 (John M. Kalahar and Peggy L. Kalahar v. Alcoa Inc., No. 72635-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's determination that the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) lacks associational standing to sue a claims administrator for violations of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act was reversed by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 (New York State Psychiatric Association Inc., et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 14-20, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14641).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) extension of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime coverage to workers employed by third-party agencies who provide in home care and companionship services, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Home Care Association of America, et al. v. David Weil, et al., No. 15-5018, D.C. Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri power plant failed to show that it was the statutory employer of a repairman and thus entitled to the protection of the workers' compensation exclusivity after the worker was injured while performing a repair, a Missouri appellate panel ruled Aug. 18, reversing a trial court's decision (James E. Eaker v. Kansas City Power & Light Company, No. WD77851, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 822).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a second amended class action complaint alleging that Verizon Communications Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by removing retirees from the company's pension plan and funding their benefits through the purchase of a single premium group annuity contract, finding no error in the transfer of benefits (William Lee, et al. v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 14-10554, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14588).
NEW YORK - Individuals who volunteered at Major League Baseball's FanFest are exempt from receiving wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14 (John Chen, et al. v. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., et al., No. 14-1315, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14275).
CHICAGO - A trial court erred when it ruled that a union could be denied participation in staffing changes at a juvenile detention center where it represents workers, a split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 17 (Jimmy Doe, et al. v. Cook County, Ill., et al., No. 10-2746, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14433).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 17, in a unanimous decision, declined to assert jurisdiction in a case in which the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) claims that Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association [CAPA], No. 13-RC-121359, NLRB).
ST. LOUIS - The lessee of a struggling nursing home was responsible for the patients' care but not delinquent medical insurance premiums for the staff, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 12, reversing a district court's ruling that the lessee was responsible for the insurance payments under the theory of successor liability (Kevin Nutt, et al. v. Stafford Kees, et al., No. 14-3364, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14134).
LOS ANGELES - Nothing in the record indicates that a vessel owner controlled the area where a man suffered fatal exposure to asbestos or that it had knowledge of the dangers he did not possess, a California appeals court held Aug. 11 in finding the action preempted (Mary Murat, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. B247889, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5710).
ST. LOUIS - A multiemployer health fund is not entitled to equitable relief in the amount it paid in medical benefits to students who were also covered by student accidental medical insurance under the fund's coordination-of-benefits provision pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 10 (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare Fund v. Student Assurance Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-2376, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13941).
RICHMOND, Va. - A former Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. contract worker failed to show that he was eligible to receive overtime wages or that he was discharged for refusing to work more than 40 hours per week without compensation, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 5 in a per curiam opinion (Robert Schmidt v. Bartech Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-2321, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13663).
RICHMOND, Va. - Two similar disputes between a franchisor and franchisees must be broken up and partially litigated in federal court and partially decided via arbitration based on clear language in the franchise agreements, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 5 (Chorley Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1799 and 14-1833, Justin Trouard, et al. v. Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 14-1800 and 14-1834, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13652).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The owner of two car dealerships that merged following the Chrysler bankruptcy needed to bargain with the union that represented the mechanics of the dealership that closed, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 4, enforcing a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (Dodge of Naperville, Inc., et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-1032, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13527).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 affirmed a district court's decision granting a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of a seaman's claims in the Republic of the Philippines, finding that his injury-related claims were governed by his employment contract (Emmanuel Navarette v. Silversea Cruises Ltd., et al., No. 14-13324, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13634).
SAN FRANCISCO - A border patrol agent who was not chosen for a promotion despite being eligible for the position presented sufficient evidence to proceed with his age-bias suit, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 3 (John M. France v. Jeh Johnson, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, No. 13-15534, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13487).