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).
RALEIGH, N.C. - Evidence supports a finding that a heating and cooling technician suffered asbestos exposure on the job sufficient to award death benefits, a North Carolina appeals court held Feb. 17 (Michael Ray Patton, et al. v. Sears Roebuck & Co., Specialty Risk Services, Carrier, No. COA14-955, N.C. App.; 2015 N.C. App. LEXIS 82).
MIAMI - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 declined to rehear a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) case, leaving stand a divided panel's conclusion that an orthodontist lacked standing to challenge delayed implementation of the law's employer mandate (Kawa Orthodontics LLP v. Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury, et al., No. 14-10296, 11th Cir.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Right to Life Michigan's action challenging implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate will proceed after a federal judge lifted his stay of the case on Feb. 17 (Right to Life of Michigan v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 13-1202, W.D. Mich.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 13 denied a motion for a protective order filed by the plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour collective action, finding that the plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence of threatened abuses (Dania Gissell Cruz Mejia, et al. v. Brothers Petroleum, L.L.C., et al., No. 12-2842, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18180).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Claims filed in 2007 alleging that a Florida city in 1992 unilaterally stopped following a 1982 consent decree requiring certain hiring protocol for its fire department were filed too late and barred by laches, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16 (Olivette Coffey Jr., et al. v. Dwight Braddy, etc., et al., No. 71-44, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18424).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge dismissed multiple claims, including one brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL), in a class action wage and labor dispute, leaving claims for meal break and rest period violations and declining to strike class allegations (Eve Miranda, et al. v. Coach Inc., et al., No. 14-2031, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18278).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 10 affirmed partial certification of a class of assistant store managers (ASMs) who claim that they are owed overtime (Mani Jacob, et al. v. Duane Reade, Inc., et al., No. 13-3873, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2040).
PHILADELPHIA - The accommodation through which those who object to the contraceptive mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) can avoid providing or paying for the insurance coverage does not burden religious practice, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 11 (Geneva College, et al. v. HHS, et al., 13-3536, Geneva College, Wayne L. Hepler, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1374, Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1376, Most Reverend David A. Zubik, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1377, 3rd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - An estate's executor failed to produce evidence of the existence of a valid and paid-for policy of voluntary life insurance with the estate's former employer and insurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 10, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims (Seth J. Diener, guardian ad litem of Estate of Joseph Thomas Mancuso IV, et al. v. The Renfrew Centers Inc. and Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 11-4404, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16421).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 10 ordered temporary relief in the form of the immediate instatement of a union representative who lost her job after a new company took over the center where she was employed (Joseph F. Frankl, Regional Director of Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board, for an on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board v. Adams & Associates, Inc., No. 14-2766, E.D. Calif.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Feb. 11 affirmed a board's decision to award a teacher compensation benefits, finding that she provided sufficient evidence to show that she suffered injuries caused by mold exposure at work (Michelle Cappelletti v. Marcellus Central School District, et al., No. 518495, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 3rd Dept.).
MIAMI - A Florida judge on Feb. 11 set aside a widow's $10.3 million asbestos verdict against Carnival Cruise Lines, saying insufficient evidence exists of exposure aboard the defendant's ships (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 06-00964CA01, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
NEW YORK - The evidence largely supports a jury's asbestos verdict, but the five plaintiffs originally awarded a record-setting $190 million verdict must stipulate to just under $30 million in damages or face a new trial on the issue, according to documents filed Feb. 9 in a New York court (Santo Assenzio v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Robert Brunck v A.O. Smith Water Products, Paul Levy v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Cesar Serna v A.O. Smith Water Products, Raymond Vincent v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Nos. 190008/12, 190026/12, 190200/12, 190183/12, 190184/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
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).