EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 6 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sherry Schnepper, et al. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0154, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14383).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Feb. 9 recommended denying a motion for preliminary approval of a $150,000 settlement of a wage-and-hour class lawsuit brought by a water treatment technician against his employer (Nicholas Millan, et al. v. Cascade Water Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1821, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15412).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A police lieutenant who was denied a promotion to police chief may proceed with his claims that he was denied the promotion due to his age, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 5, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling for the city (Lt. LeRoy Hilde v. City of Eveleth, a Minnesota political sub-division, No. 14-1016, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1802).
NEW YORK - Sufficient evidence exists of a company's predecessors utilizing asbestos-containing products at the World Trade Center (WTC) during a man's time there, a New York appeals court held Feb. 5 (James Augustus Proctor and Joy C. Proctor v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 14153 190040/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 938).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 upheld the dismissal of a former campus ministry employee's lawsuit, finding that her bias claims are barred by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's ministerial exception (Alyce T. Conlon v. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, et al., No. 14-1549, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1871).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 6 reinstated a racial bias and retaliation lawsuit filed by the former employee of an Illinois shelter after determining that there were questions about when the decision to terminate the worker was made (Linzie J. Ledbetter v. Good Samaritan Ministries, et al., No. 14-2822, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1943).
NEW YORK - Bankruptcy courts do not have jurisdiction to award compensation to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and his retained legal accounting professionals out of assets in a 401(k) plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 5 (In the Matter of: Robert Plan Corporation [Kenneth Kirschenbaum v. United States Department of Labor], No. 14-1144, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1807).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Feb. 5 asked parties to explain why North Carolina residents' action alleging asbestos exposure largely in North Carolina should not be transferred to that state (Anthony Trezza and Peggy Trezza v. 84 Lumber Co., et al., No. 14-1282, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13740).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The universal application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate cannot preclude a constitutional challenge to the law, a local-level politician argues in a Feb. 4 brief to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jeffrey Cutler v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-5183, D.C. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Coca-Cola Co. and several of its divisions asked a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 3 to dismiss a Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) class complaint brought employees after dozens of laptops containing their personal data were stolen (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Company, et al., No. 14-6476, E.D. Pa.).
TAMPA, Fla. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate substantially burdens religious practice, as does requiring objectors to provide details of their insurance carrier to the government, which forces objectors to "become excessively entangled" in the process, a federal judge in Florida held Feb. 3 (Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-580, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12506).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Feb. 3 granted preliminary approval of an $840,000 settlement to be paid by an employer to end Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class claims brought by job applicants (Jason Smith, et al. v. Res-Care, Inc., No. 13-5211, S.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12256).
MIAMI - After finding that certain injury-related claims asserted by a cruise line worker fell within the scope of an agreement that provided for arbitration under Bahamian law, a Florida federal judge on Feb. 3 partially granted a motion to compel the dispute to arbitration (Meredith Rutledge v. NCL [Bahamas] Ltd., et al., No. 14-23682, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12554).
LOS ANGELES - Because an underlying dispute between a delivery person and his employer involves direct claims of violations of California's wage and hour laws or arises out of such purported violations, a policy exclusion bars employment practices liability coverage for the allegations, a California federal judge ruled Jan. 29, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Admiral Insurance Co. v. Kay Automotive Distributors Inc., No. CV 13-05100, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11357).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 29 affirmed the rejection of a former Georgia county worker's disability discrimination claims, finding that her rejected request to work from home was not a reasonable accommodation and that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as to her constructive discharge claim (Gloria Abram v. Fulton County Government, No. 14-11550, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1380).
NEW ORLEANS - A financial adviser who was fired after he, while at work, purchased a $25 money order for his attorney, may proceed with his age discrimination and defamation claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 2 (Lloyd Flanner v. Chase Investment Services Corp., doing business as JP Morgan Securities, L.L.C., No. 13-31132, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1603).
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).
LOS ANGELES - An attorney's suit alleging that that two principles comingled and mismanaged bank account funds, shorting him of compensation seeks in excess of $75,000, Napoli Bern Ripka & Associates argues in removing the action on Jan. 28 (Marc I. Willick v. Napoli Bern Ripka & Associates, et al., No. 5-652, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Hourly workers who allege that they were denied pay for any time worked in excess of 40 hours per week were granted conditional certification of their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit by a California federal judge on Jan. 30 (James Warren Ash, et al. v. Bayside Solutions, Inc., No. 14-2183, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11323).
ALBANY, N.Y. - An employee's death is a separate injury from his disability and necessitates a separate reimbursement claim by an employer, a New York appeals court held Jan. 29 in affirming denial of the untimely reimbursement claim (In the Matter of the Claim of Richard J. Connolly v. Consolidated Edison, et al. and Special Disability Fund, Workers' Compensation Board, No. 518246, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 685).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 29 denied an employer's request for summary judgment on claims asserted by a former employee for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and other claims, allowing her mold-related exposure claims to proceed (Tina Canalejo v. ADG LLC, d/b/a Great Expressions, No. 8:14-cv-17, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10271).
SAN FRANCISCO - A district court erred in rejecting a limo driver's wage-and-hour claims and denying him leave to amend his complaint, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 27 (Robert G. Greene, AKA Robert A. Greene v. Executive Coach & Carriage, No. 12-17306, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1257).
SAN FRANCISCO - There is a triable issue as to whether a plan participant complied with the governing plan documents' requirements for changing beneficiary designation, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 28, reversing summary judgment in an interpleader case seeking a determination as to the proper beneficiary of proceeds under two employee benefit plans (Lawrence M. Becker, as fiduciary of the Xerox Corporation Savings Plan and Xerox Corporation Retirement Income Guarantee Plan and Carmen Stephanie Mays-Williams v. Asa Williams Jr., as personal representative of the Estate of Asa Willie Williams, No. 13-35069, 9th Cir.).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 upheld a trial court's ruling for an employer that terminated an employee following his leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), finding that there was no proof of retaliatory animus (Murad Y. Ameen v. Amphenol Printed Circuits, Inc., No. 14-1086, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1150).
RICHMOND, Va. - A trial court did not err when it allowed a jury to twice modify its verdict in a lawsuit brought by a worker who claimed that she was terminated following her whistle-blowing, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 26 (Andrea Gail Jones v. SouthPeak Interactive Corporation of Delaware, et al., Nos. 13-2399 and 14-1765, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1114).