LOS ANGELES - Imposing liability on a premises owner for household exposures to asbestos threatens "limitless liability," a divided California appeals panel held Nov. 21 in affirming judgment for the company (Wanda L. Beckering v. Shell Oil Co., No. B256407, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8363).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Restaurants, retail food establishments and vending machines with more than 20 locations will need additional nutritional labeling under rules finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 25 in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 21 approved a $27,500 settlement to be paid by Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and its store director in a lawsuit filed by three workers alleging that they worked off the clock without compensation (Icela Gonzalez, et al. v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., et al., No. 14-20792, S.D. Fla.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A split Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 19 denied both a petition for panel rehearing and a petition for rehearing en banc in a class suit in which Tyson Foods Inc. employees were awarded $5,785,757.40 for overtime activities, including donning and doffing before and after their shifts (Peg Bouaphakeo, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 12-3753, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21938).
DALLAS - The Texas Supreme Court on Nov. 21 reversed course and agreed to decide whether the state's laws protect a premises owner from liability for contemporaneous negligent acts in an asbestos exposure case involving a contractor, according to its docket (Magdalena Adrienna Abutahoun, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Co., No. 13-0175, Texas Sup.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A former employee of the Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (NSRC) on Nov. 18 filed a lawsuit in Ohio federal court alleging that she suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals when a train car imploded in a rail yard (Karalee Carr v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, No. 14-00883, S.D. Ohio).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 21 filed suit in the District of Columbia federal court against Sylvia Burwell, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D.D.C.).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Nov. 18 awarded a widow $5,635,080 for fatal asbestosis a husband contracted during work as a boilermaker at power plants owned by the lone remaining defendant (Magaly Fernandez, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Co., et al., No. 11-17044, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
DETROIT - The government may not enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate against a privately held for-profit company, a Michigan federal judge held Nov. 17 (M & N Plastics Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 13-14754, E.D. Mich.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Nov. 19 enjoined application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate against Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. but limited his judgment to the regulation as it existed at the time of the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue (Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 12-1000, W.D. Okla.).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The government on Nov. 18 responded to two religious schools' argument that Hobby Lobby was not an implicit endorsement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) accommodation allowing religious objectors to avoid paying for contraceptive insurance coverage as a means of ensuring insurance coverage while protecting religious rights (Dordt College and Cornerstone University v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 14-2726, 8th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - A Tennessee city does not owe its firefighters wages for time they spent in training for a paramedic certification even though they are required to complete the certification within a set amount of time to keep their jobs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 14 (Jon Misewicz, et al. v. City of Memphis, Tennessee, No. 14-5053, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21619).
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 upheld a jury ruling that a pharmacy and pharmacist are liable for damages sustained by a customer as a result of the pharmacist's privacy breach (Walgreen Co. v. Abigail E. Hinchy, No. 49A02-1311-CT-950, Ind. App.; 2014 Ind. App. LEXIS 560).
CINCINNATI - Two nuns who spent much of their time volunteering for two nonprofits that they later sued failed to show that they were actually employees of those organizations or that they were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 14 (Sister Michael Marie, et al. v. American Red Cross, et al., No. 13-4052, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21620).
NEW YORK - A multiemployer welfare fund was not entitled to reimbursement from another insurer for benefits paid on behalf of a plan beneficiary who was covered by both insurers because the claims were not "appropriate equitable relief" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 14 (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare Fund, et al. v. Gerber Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-4834-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21742).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Nov. 14 granted a defendant's motion to exclude expert evidence submitted by a former employee in an age discrimination suit, finding that the expert's testimony ignored pertinent information and cherry-picked certain factors to support the plaintiff's claims (Charles M. Bingham v. Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC, No. 1:13-cv-00211, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160499).
CHICAGO - A federal court judge must consider a former Chicago police officer's due process claim filed against the Chicago Police Board, the entity that fired him, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (Orlando Brown v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 13-2020, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21532).
NEW ORLEANS - Tankermen perform seaman work when loading and unloading vessels, and as a result are not owed overtime, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (Keith Coffin, et al. v. Blessey Marine Services, Incorporated, No. 13-20144, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21622).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 reinstated pay differential claims brought by a college program manager who alleges that she was denied the ability to negotiate higher pay while a male counterpart hired at the same time was allowed to negotiate (Margaret D. Thibodeaux-Woody v. Houston Community College, No. 13-20738, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21664).
GREENBELT, Md. - A federal magistrate judge in Maryland recommended Nov. 13 that no default judgment be awarded to a multiemployer health fund in its action seeking to recover overpayments under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act under the equitable theories of unjust enrichment and restitution (Food Employers Labor Relations Association and United Food & Commercial Workers Health and Welfare Fund v. David Dove, No. 8:14-cv-01273, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159773).
NEW YORK - A New York man filed a collective action complaint on Nov. 12 in New York federal court accusing Google Inc. and the outside agencies it uses of intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid various wage law requirements including overtime (Jacob McPherson, et al. v. Google, Inc., et al., No. 14-9026, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two veterans, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Vietnam Veterans of America filed a class complaint on Nov. 14 in the District of Columbia federal court. alleging that the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) has failed to review applications for correction of military records filed by thousands of veterans (National Veterans Legal Services Program, et al. v. The United States Department of Defense, et al., No. 14-1915, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 14, ruling on pretrial motions, ordered the employers of adult entertainers to pay more than $10.8 million in damages for various violations of federal and state wage laws (Sabrina Hart, et al. v. Rick's Cabaret International, Inc., et al., No. 09-3043, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160264).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 12 partially granted and partially denied plaintiffs' motion to certify eight putative classes in a wage and labor dispute. Among the classes denied was a state unfair competition law class, which was denied as being redundant to the class and subclasses certified (Charles Brewer, et al. v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 11-3587, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159380).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 17 denied review of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unpublished opinion ruling that participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) challenging the plan's fiduciaries' decision to continue investing in company stock failed to sufficiently plead causation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Thomas J. Metyk, et al. v. KeyCorp, et al., No. 14-240, U.S. Sup.).