WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 26 declined to review the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a shareholder-owner's state law claims related to improper cancellation of her health care coverage were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (CeCelia Catherine Ibson v. United Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 14-1119, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 20 upheld the dismissal of a former hospital employee's federal bias claims after determining that the employee waited too long after receiving her right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file her suit but reversed dismissal of the worker's state law claim, opining that the same deadline did not apply (Shawlean Lee v. Columbia/HCA of New Orleans, Incorporated, No. 14-30761, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8292).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A wage-and-hour class complaint filed by Jack in the Box Inc. workers belongs in federal court, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 19, reversing a trial court's remand of the suit (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box, Inc., No. 15-35262, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8227).
RICHMOND, Va. - The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (133 S. Ct. 2517 ) did not alter the analysis for retaliation claims established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (411 U.S. 792 ), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 21 (Iris Foster v. University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, No. 14-1073, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8384).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on May 18 denied an employer's motion to decertify a class of account managers alleging that, based on their duties, they were misclassified as ineligible to receive overtime pay (Sandra Kelly, et al. v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc., No. 13-441, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64258).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 18 found that an insurer has no duty to defend its interstate motor carrier insured against an underlying suit brought by one of its independent truck drivers because the directors and officers and company coverage is barred by the policy's unpaid compensation and breach of contract exclusions (Altom Transport Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins., et al., No. 14-cv-9547, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64397).
CHICAGO - Notre Dame is not entitled to a preliminary injunction while it challenges the opt-out provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate, a divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 19 (University of Notre Dame v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-3853, 7th Cir.).
GRETNA, La. - A split Louisiana appellate panel on May 14 vacated a trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a Louisiana city in a class lawsuit filed by firefighters over changes to pension contributions (Michael Dunn, et al. v. City of Kenner, No. 14-CA-113, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 937).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on May 15 recommended certifying a class of FedEx Freight Inc. drivers alleging various wage-and-hour violations (Roy D. Taylor, et al. v. FedEx Freight, Inc., et al., No. 13-1137, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64177).
CINCINNATI - The majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 14 determined that a disability insurer arbitrarily and capriciously denied a claim for "any occupation" long-term disability benefits because the insurer disregarded reliable medical evidence in support of the claimant's disability (Samuel Niswonger v. PNC Bank Corp. and Affiliates Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 13-4282, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8076).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it concluded that Department of Veterans Affairs nurses seeking unpaid overtime pay must show that the overtime was officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 15 (Stephanie Mercier, et al. v. United States, No. 2014-5074, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8003).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion on May 18 that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries' initial selection of plan investments without considering "the contours of the alleged breach of fiduciary duty" under trust law (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 13-550, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey federal court must reconsider a class complaint filed by deliverers alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors following a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding what employment test applies to those claims, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 12 (Sam Hargrove, et al. v. Sleepy's LLC, Nos. 12-2540 and 12-2541, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7832).
CHICAGO - One of three former employees of DeVry University Inc. who allege that they were fired in retaliation for complaining about their supervisor's derogatory remarks may proceed with his retaliation claim, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 13 (Elizabeth Castro, et al. v. DeVry University, Inc., No. 13-1934, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7912).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on May 12 affirmed a lower court's rulings in a coverage dispute over underlying legal malpractice claims but remanded to consider the attorney insured's application for counsel fees and costs (Law Offices of Anthony Carbone v. Chicago Insurance Co., et al., No. A-3384-13T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1080).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 upheld a District Court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit brought by Michigan childcare providers who opposed union dues or agency fees automatically being withdrawn from their state subsidies (Carrie Schlaud, et al. v. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 12-1105, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7786).
NEW ORLEANS - A plan management agreement between Humana Health Plan and a health plan's administrator, which provided that Humana would supply subrogation and recovery services, did not vest Humana with discretionary authority sufficient to make Humana a fiduciary with standing to bring claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on May 11 (Humana Health Plan, Inc. v. Patrick Nguyen, No. 14-20358, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7741).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 8 denied a third motion to certify a class of San Francisco police officers who claim that they were denied promotions due to their age (Juanita Stockwell, et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., No. 08-5180, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61577).
HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 11 denied a motion to certify a wage-and-hour lawsuit as a collective action after determining that the plaintiff's two affidavits provided insufficient evidence to support her claims (Millie Bradley, et al. v. The Arc of Northwest Indiana, Inc., No. 14-204, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60985).
NEW YORK - Nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster's Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 in order to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employee alleges in a class action complaint filed May 8 in federal court in New York (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15 CV 3608, S.D. N.Y.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 11 vacated decertification of a class of black steel workers who accuse their employer of discriminatory promotion practices and a hostile work environment, finding that the trial court "misapprehended the reach of Wal-Mart [Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (131 S. Ct. 2541 )] and its application to the workers' promotions class" and remanded with instructions to certify the class (Quinton Brown, et al. v. Nucor Corporation, et al., No. 13-1779, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7739).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 8 that the "catalyst theory" of recovery of attorney fees is available under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and that judicial action is not required under that theory in order to establish some degree of success on the merits (Christopher Templin, et al. v. Independence Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-4493, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7624).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia court on May 7 reversed a decision that denied a claim for compensation filed by a technician against his employer, finding that the evidence supported his claims that his health conditions were caused by mold exposure at work (Tommy Jackson v. Fayette County Commission, No. 13-0460, W.Va. Sup.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 578).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 8 denied preliminary approval of a $140,000 class settlement in a wage-and-hour suit brought on behalf of hourly employees of Lumber Liquidators Inc. after determining that the $10,000 proposed incentive award for the named plaintiff was excessive (Crelencio Chavez, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., et al., No. 09-4812, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60789).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state's workers' compensation courts properly credited one set of experts relying on case-specific evidence over conflicting expert testimony, West Virginia's top court held May 7 (George A. Vaughan v. Alcan Rolled Products - Ravenswood LLC, No. 14-0817, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 593).