SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 granted a motion to remand a former assistant store manager's wage-and-hour class complaint to state court, finding that the employer failed to show that the federal amount in controversy requirement was met (Payal Patel v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., No. 14-851, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98918).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An asbestos-related lung cancer death is an indivisible injury not subject to apportionment, Maryland's top court held July 21 in a divided opinion affirming more than $4 million in verdicts (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 84, September Term, 2013, Md. App.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 21 granted preliminary approval of a $504,000 settlement to end a wage class complaint filed by employees of a spa franchise, but he cautioned that prior to final approval, the parties must either explain why he erred in calculating the maximum recovery to be more than $6 million or why such a low recovery was warranted (Yvette R. Balderas, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, No. 12-6327, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99966).
CHICAGO - A long-term disability (LTD) insurer wrongfully denied a claimant's request for benefits because the insurer refused to consider the claimant's medical evidence in support of the claim, an Illinois federal judge said July 18 in remanding the claim to the insurer for a proper determination of disability (Joseph Mirocha v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 13-5724, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98025).
SAN FRANCISCO - Seven minor league baseball players filed a class complaint on July 21 in California federal court accusing 30 major league baseball clubs and the commissioner of Major League Baseball (collectively, MLB) of colluding to violate federal and state wage-and-hour laws and state unfair competition laws (Yadel Marti, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 14-3289, N.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on July 21 granted conditional certification to a class of directly employed individuals and contract workers seeking wages for time spent donning, doffing and showering (Shane Bowman, et al. v. The Doe Run Resources Corp., et al., No. 13-2519, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98333).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 18 partially granted conditional certification of a construction company worker's claims seeking unpaid overtime, adopting in part and rejecting in part the recommendations of a magistrate judge (Brian Soles, et al. v. Zartman Construction, Inc., et al., No. 13-29, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98181).
PHILADELPHIA - A substitute teacher who was not chosen for a permanent full-time post failed to show that he was passed over due to age discrimination, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Francis G. Landmesser v. Hazleton Area School District, No. 14-1188, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13822).
NEW ORLEANS - A member of a Texas city police department who was unable to perform all aspects of her job following the expiration of her medical leave was properly fired, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 17 (Mary Alice Silva v. City of Hidalgo, Texas, et al., No. 13-41064, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13658).
ST. LOUIS - Two former professional football players filed a class complaint in Missouri federal court July 17 accusing the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and NFLPA officials of actively concealing the long-term damage to players caused by concussions (Christian Ballard, et al. v. National Football League Players Association, et al., No. 14-1267, E.D. Mo.).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on July 18 upheld a trial court"s rejection of a class complaint alleging that the state unlawfully discriminates against black job applicants (Linda Pippen, et al. v. The State of Iowa, et al., No. 12-0913, Iowa Sup.; 2014 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 82).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Closely held companies terminating insurance coverage for contraceptive services mid-plan for religious reasons in light of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations, must notify participants and beneficiaries of the change, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed July 17 in a "frequently asked question."
NEW ORLEANS - An assistant police chief whose employment was terminated when he turned 65 pursuant to a mandatory city ordinance failed to prove discriminatory intent on the part of his employer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 17 (Nary Smith v. City of St. Martinville, No. 13-31233, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13697).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 upheld the dismissal of a worker's claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, finding that the target of her lawsuit, a property management company, was not her employer (Lisa M. Knitter v. Corvias Military Living, LLC, f/k/a Picerne Military Housing, LLC, No. 13-3027, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13413).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 15 partially granted a motion to dismiss wage claims in a class complaint filed by a health care aide, finding that the statute of limitations must be measured from the date the plaintiff filed her amended complaint because her original complaint did not give the employer fair notice of the claims she now makes (Markisha Gordon, et al. v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 13-7175, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95864).
DENVER - In a July 14 opinion and order, a Colorado federal judge declined to approve collective action notice in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by a security guard who alleges that he and others were denied overtime pay; however, the judge in the same opinion granted the lead plaintiff's motion to dismiss a counterclaim filed by the employer (Steven L. Saarela, Jr., et al. v. Union Colony Protective Services, Inc., No. 13-1637, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95253).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on July 15 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling finding that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does not owe former workers waiting time penalties for delinquent overtime pay (Charde Evans v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 10-1224, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96003).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citigroup Inc. will pay $7 billion to the Department of Justice and other state and federal agencies to settle claims that it misrepresented the investment quality of mortgage-backed securities it packaged, securitized, marketed, sold and issued prior to Jan. 1, 2009, according to settlement documents released by the Justice Department on July 14.
CINCINNATI - The sale of an Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. subsidiary less than three years after the takeover of Anheuser-Busch entitled the employees of the sold subsidiary to enhanced retirement benefits pursuant to unambiguous pension plan language despite those employees' retaining their jobs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11, reversing a trial court's rejection of the employees' request for the enhanced benefits (Rusby Adams, Jr., et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3149, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13146).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on July 11 granted final approval of a $4 million settlement ending an overtime class complaint filed by Fifth Third Bank mortgage loan officers (MLOs) (Dustin Swigart, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 11-88, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94450).
LOS ANGELES - In an unpublished opinion, a California federal judge on July 11 remanded a hospital's health care payment breach of contract case against a self-funded insurance plan to state court, saying the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. American Apparel Inc., et al., No. 13-6564, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94857).
PHILADELPHIA - An electronics store chain's method for calculating overtime pay for its salaried employees complies with federal law but violates Pennsylvania state law, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 10 (David Verderame v. RadioShack Corporation, No. 13-2539, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93688).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on July 9 granted final approval of a class action settlement over wrongful reimbursements for out-of-network health care services (Cathleen McDonough v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 09-571, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93559).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 10 ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement was met and denied a motion requesting that he remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by employees of a family restaurant and fun center chain (Franchesca Ford, et al. v. CEC Entertainment, Inc., et al., No. 14-1420, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94059).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on July 10 granted in part and denied in part a motion for conditional certification in a class complaint filed by call center employees alleging various wage violations (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services LLC, et al., No. 12-1798, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94594).