TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 29 denied several motions by the secretary of the Labor to exclude expert testimony in a lawsuit alleging fraudulent activity in the purchase of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) (Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor, et al. v. First Bankers Trust Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-4450, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130749).
GREENBELT, Md. - Attorneys for United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and a former employee who sued the company for pregnancy discrimination, in a suit that was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in March, filed a stipulation of dismissal on Oct. 1, stating that they reached a resolution of all claims (Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 08-2586, D. Md.).
NEW BERN, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Sept. 29 determined that a retirement committee overseeing a pension plan is entitled to equitable contribution and reimbursement from plan participants for overpayments of pension benefits (Retirement Committee of DAK Americas LLC, et al. v. Rodney B. Smith, et al., No. 14-36, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133286).
NEW YORK - A pension plan must be reformed to provide the benefits reasonably expected by a class of plan participants as a result of the plan's misrepresentations, a New York federal judge said Sept. 29 after determining that the evidence submitted by the class plaintiffs fully supported their claims against the plan (Geoffrey Osberg v. Foot Locker Inc., et al., No. 07-1358, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132054).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 granted a petition for writ of certiorari in an appeal that asks the high court to determine whether California arbitration-only severability rule is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (MHN Government Services, Inc., et al. v. Thomas Zaborowski, et al., No. 14-1458, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a police detective after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined earlier this year that he failed to prove his case claiming that he was demoted in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution after he was perceived as being involved in a political campaign (Jeffrey J. Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, et al., No. 14-1280, U.S. Sup.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Sept. 29 granted a disability insurer's motion to dismiss a claimant's complaint because the only claims alleged against the insurer are state law claims, which are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Charles M. Davis v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 14-43, M.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130732).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In two separate orders, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 denied a rehearing and a rehearing en banc in a case in which a South Carolina union was found to have violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by creating an exclusive hiring hall for its drivers and preventing others from being employed (Teamsters Local Union No. 509 v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-1002, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17108).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge held Sept. 28 that because any lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme perpetuated by an insured's investment advisers were not "owned" by the insured pursuant to a blanket crime policy, the insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured (3M Company, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa, et al., No. 14-CV-1058 (PJS/JSM), D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131197).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge on Sept. 29 awarded $3 million in a take-home asbestos case after finding that Alabama law imposes a duty on employers to protect household members from asbestos exposure and applying substantial factor causation (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-S-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130741).
DENVER - A former plant employee who was fired for performance-related issues failed to establish under the "cat's paw" theory of recovery that his supervisor discriminated against him because of his race and then influenced the decision to terminate his employment, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 25 (Karry L. Thomas v. Berry Plastics Corporation, No. 14-3100, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17013).
CINCINNATI - A Michigan state prison inmate is not entitled to reimbursement of the portion of his pension benefits garnered by the State of Michigan to offset the costs of his incarceration because Michigan prisoners ordered by a state court to redirect pension benefits are not entitled to seek reimbursement of those benefits in federal court, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 25 (Stuart Robbennolt v. Heidi Washington, No. 14-2433, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17038).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 24 determined that a district court erred in granting a disability insurer's motion for summary judgment because it is not clear if the insurer properly denied a long-term disability (LTD) claim (Vicki Koning v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. No. 14-2188, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17022).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 25 granted approval of a $2.8 million settlement in a class complaint brought by independent contractors who deliver furniture and provide installation services in New Jersey for Macy's Inc. and HomeDeliveryLink Inc. (Henry Badia, et al. v. HomeDeliveryLink, Inc., et al., Nos. 12-6920 and 12-7097, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129033).
PASADENA, Calif. - A waiver of a plaintiff's representative Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim is unenforceable, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 28 and remanded the matter for the parties to decide in the first instance where the claim should be resolved (Shukri Sakkab, et al. v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., No. 13-55184, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17071).
MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader filed a class complaint Sept. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin alleging that she and other dance team members and cheerleaders were improperly denied minimum wage and overtime for the work they performed (Lauren Herington, et al. v. Milwaukee Bucks, LLC, formerly known as, Milwaukee Bucks, Inc., No. 15-1152, E.D. Wis.).
PHILADELPHIA - A district court did not err in approving a settlement related to two class action lawsuits alleging that a health insurer's use of two claims databases resulted in the underpayment of health care services because the settlement is fair and reasonable, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 23 (Cathleen McDonough, et al. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 14-3558, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16841).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 23 declined to certify for interlocutory appeal an opinion permitting a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a suit filed by employees of Chipotle Mexican Grill who allege that when they work the closing shift, they are automatically timed out but sometimes have to continue working (Leah Turner, et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 14-2612, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127705).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 22 dismissed with prejudice a class complaint accusing a family of companies that provide prescription benefit administration services of failing to protect the personal information of employees and customers from being stolen by unknown third parties (Joan Longenecker-Wells, et al. v. Benecard Services, Inc., d/b/a Benecard PBF, et al., No. 15-422, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126837).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A settlement's general references to unrelated asbestos injuries failed to adequately notify and inform the plaintiff under Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) standards, a California judge held in excluding the agreement Sept. 24 (Emerson v. Allied Packing & Supply Inc., et al., No. RG13 698637, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 22 certified a class of plaintiffs alleging that an amendment to a pension plan is illegal under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it was not enacted in accordance with ERISA's provisions (Juan M. Reyes v. Bakery and Confectionary Union and Industry International Pension Fund, et al., No. 14-05596, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126972).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A long-term disability plan is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the policy at issue does not fall within ERISA's safe harbor provision, a Kentucky federal judge said Sept. 21 (Eileen Latham v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 15-141, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125680).
NEW YORK - An arbitration clause in an employment agreement signed by workers who were made employees after working as independent contractors is not binding on events that occurred before the signing, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 22, upholding a decision by the district court (Jan P. Holick Jr., et al. v. Cellular Sales of New York, LLC, et al., No. 14-4323, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16815).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 21 granted final approval of a $1.5 million settlement to be paid by an international mail and freight company to end wage claims by a class of its workers but reduced the fees sought by class counsel from $500,000 to $370,236.50 (Dionne Marshall, et al. v. Deutsche Post DHL, et al., No. 13-1471, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125869).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California magistrate judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $900,000 settlement to pay claims brought by distribution center employees of CVS Pharmacy Inc., settling causes of action related to wages and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL,) and granted the claimants' motion for attorney fees (Leticia Ceja-Corona, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1868, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126885).