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).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 18 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a case in which a divided panel ruled June 9 that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to an Indian tribe's operation of its casino (National Labor Relations Board v. Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Government, No. 14-2239, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16807).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The makeup of the National Labor Relations Board had no effect on the regional director's right to conduct union elections and certify the results during the same time, two split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panels ruled Sept. 18 in two separate opinions (UC Health v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1049, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16628; SSC Mystic Operating company, LLC, doing business as Pendleton Health & Rehabilitation Center v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1045, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16629).
PITTSBURGH - An expert's omission of proffered price-influencing variables in testimony in an antitrust class action does not render his regression analysis "irrelevant," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 18, denying a motion to exclude that testimony (Resco Prods., Inc. v. Bosai Minerals GRP., et al., No. 06-235, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124930).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Because plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit have stated enough of a claim to support breach of fiduciary duty allegations regarding excessive fees charged to their retirement plan, a North Carolina federal judge on Sept. 17 denied the plan's motion to dismiss the lawsuit (Karolyn Kruger, M.D. et al. v. Novant Health Inc. et al., No. 14-208, M.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124171).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Notices of settlement among the U.S. Justice Department, Florida and North Carolina and Adventist Health System-Sunbelt Inc. were filed Sept. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina stating that Adventist will pay more than $118 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit, claims first brought to light by three former employees, alleging that it overpaid doctors to lock in patient referrals (Untied States of America, et al. v. Adventist Health System-Sunbelt, Inc., et al., Nos. 12-856 and 13-217, W.D. N.C.).
LOS ANGELES - The state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision bars a tort action alleging exposures to asbestos from pipes a man brought home from work because it involves the same mesothelioma his occupational exposure triggered, a California appeals panel held Sept. 17 (Mary Melendrez, et al. v. Ameron International Corp., Nos. B256928, B259423, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 820).
PHILADELPHIA - An agreement settling hearing-loss claims that purportedly released a railroad from liability from any and all conditions is too broad to free them from asbestos-related lung cancer claims, a federal judge held Sept. 17 (Roger Lee Hindle and Mary Lou Hindle v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 13-6297, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124100).
MINNEAPOLIS - A general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit arising out of the funding of an employee pension benefits plan because the policy at issue clearly excludes coverage for the failure of any investment program to perform as represented by an insured, a Minnesota federal judge said Sept. 16 (Publishing House of the Evangelical Church in America d/b/a Augsburg Fortress Publishers v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co. et al., No. 14-550, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123473).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 16 dismissed a pension fund's complaint against its investment advisers because the trustees of the pension fund failed to allege a legally cognizable loss sustained as a result of the placement of assets in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme (Trustees of the Upstate New York Engineers Pension Fund v. Ivy Asset Management et al., No. 13-3180, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123590).
SALT LAKE CITY - The right to self-defense is a limited exception to the at-will employment doctrine, a divided Utah Supreme Court ruled Sept. 17 in a case involving whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. erred when it fired several employees after they were involved in physical confrontations with shoplifting customers (Shawn H. Ray, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 2015 UT 83, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 241).
PHILADELPHIA - In choosing to repay a withdrawal from a pension fund through annual payments, the contributor must pay the single highest contribution rate listed in the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), rather than averaging the rates in the applicable CBAs, but is not required to pay a surcharge as part of its repayment, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 16 (Board of Trustees of the IBT Local 863 Pension Fund v. C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1956 and 14-1957, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16449).
PHILADELPHIA - Apple Inc. on Sept. 14 removed a class complaint accusing the company of failing to pay workers in its stores in Pennsylvania for the time they spend waiting for and undergoing security checks to a Pennsylvania federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Natasha Franklin, et al. v. Apple, Inc., No. 15-5119, E.D. Pa.).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals court should reinstate a $10.3 million asbestos verdict because evidence of significant quantities of asbestos installed on cruise ships a man spent years living aboard meets the "featherweight burden" in Jones Act cases, a widow argues in a Sept. 14 opening brief (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 3D 15-356, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).
PHILADELPHIA - An assignment of the right to payment is sufficient to confer standing to a medical provider to sue a health insurer for payment under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 11 in reversing a district court's ruling (North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna Inc., No. 14-2101, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16158).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 14 said a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in denying a disability claim and affirmed a district court's ruling on the basis that the ruling is "imminently correct" (Ronald T. Alsup, M.D. v. Unum Provident Corp., et al., No. 15-30346, 5th Cir.).