NEW ORLEANS - A former nurse supervisor's claims for pain and suffering and punitive damages under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) are barred by Dean v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 15 (Susan L. Vaughan v. Anderson Regional Medical Center, No. 16-60104, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2699).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 15 issued his findings of fact and conclusions of law on causes of action asserted by truck drivers in relation to wage and rest break claims, finding that judgment should be entered in favor of a transport company on all of its claims (Todd Shook, et al. v. Indian River Transport Co., No. 1:14-1415, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21522).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Although an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 9 found that some fraud and contract-based claims related to a 2014 data breach experienced by Premera Blue Cross merited dismissal, he held that the plaintiffs cured some previous deficiencies and concluded that their claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18322).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A substance abuse provider's claims that an insurer failed to pay for medically necessary treatments are preempted by ERISA or fail to state a claim, a federal judge in North Carolina held Feb. 9 (Bobby P. Kearney, M.D., PLLC, v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, et al., No. 16-191, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18428).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 10 issued a summary order vacating a New York federal judge's ruling that a pension plan participant does not have standing to sue on behalf of himself, his pension plan and other similarly situated Employee Retirement Income Security Act plans over alleged improper fiduciary conduct (Landol Fletcher v. Convergex Group LLC, et al., No. 16-734, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2459).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 9 granted a joint motion seeking to enjoin numerous pending wage proceedings against nightclub owners in 12 different federal and state courts based on a $6.5 million settlement that was granted preliminary approval two days earlier (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-10877, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18369).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 8 denied motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) and other groups opposed to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new "fiduciary rule" set to take effect April 10, saying that the DOL has not exceeded its authority and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Edward Hugler, Acting Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1476, consolidated with 3:16-cv-1530, 3:16-cv-1537, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17619).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A Riverside County, Calif., Superior Court jury on Feb. 7 issued a verdict in favor of the former University of California Riverside's chief campus counsel, who alleged that she was retaliated against after refusing to cover up the school's discriminatory culture and awarded her $2.5 million for past and future lost earnings and past noneconomic damages (Michele Coyle v. Regents of the University of California, et al., No. RIC1503362, Calif Super., Riverside Co.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Feb. 7 affirmed a district court's decision to deny a hospital's motion to compel arbitration of numerous class action claims asserted against it by a former nurse, finding that the nurse did not waive her right to assert her claims in a judicial forum under her collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (Tanya Vasserman v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, No. B267975, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 90).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on Feb. 6 found that an in camera review of an insurer's documents requested through discovery by a disability claimant is necessary to determine if the documents are protected under the work product doctrine or if the fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege applies (Cherylle McFarlane v. First Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 16-7806, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16433).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on Feb. 6 signed a final order canceling a trial scheduled for March following an $81,308.71 settlement between a group of Mexican migrant workers who claimed that the owners of farms they worked at underpaid them and violated federal labor laws (Cecillo Gutierrez-Morales, et al. v. Earl Lee Planck Jr., et al., No. 5:15-cv-158, E.D. Ky.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted an employee's motion to remand her class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and various labor codes, finding that her employer failed to show that the amount in controversy would exceed $5 million under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jasmine Miller v. A-1 Express Delivery Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06251, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15795).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A former insurance company long-term disability (LTD) claim specialist filed a nationwide class complaint Feb. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut seeking more than $50 million from her former employer and two of its subsidiaries for unpaid overtime (Stephanie McKinney v. MetLife, Inc., et al., No. 17-173, D. Conn.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners' motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).
NEW YORK - A trial court erred when it permitted the admission of an employer's settlement offer and disqualified counsel on both sides in a disability bias suit brought by a pregnant employee, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 2 (Jia Sheng v. M&TBank Corporation, et al., No. 14-4467, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1912).
SAN FRANCISCO - A former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accusing NFL Enterprises LLC and individual teams of conspiring to suppress the wages of cheerleaders while the salaries for the football players have "skyrocketed" (Jane Doe, et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on Jan. 27 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation and denied pension plans' motion to dismiss an amended class action complaint alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying the factual record must be developed before a summary judgment motion could be considered (Ivette M. Martinez-Gonzalez, et al. v. Catholic Schools of the Archioceses of San Juan Pension Plan, et al., No. 16-2077, D. Puerto Rico, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11903).
PHILADELPHIA - A Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claim can be defeated where an employer shows that it honestly believed that an employee misused FMLA leave, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 30 (Fredrick Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, No. 15-3839, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1593).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 26 refused to dismiss a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that a participant in an employer profit-sharing and 401(k) plan's complaint provided sufficient facts to plausibly state these claims (Charlene F. McDonald, et al. v. Edward D. Jones & Co., et al., No. 4:16 CV 1346, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10820).
RICHMOND, Va. - In a case in which an employee alleged that his employer improperly administered life insurance benefits, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 27 affirmed a federal judge's decision dismissing the complaint alleging misrepresentation, constructive fraud and infliction of emotional distress because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act completely preempts these state law claims (Billy E. Prince, et al. v. Sears Holdings Corp., No. 16-1075, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1512).
MIAMI - Concluding that a former employee was properly terminated for cause, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 25 ruled that he violated both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by accessing the emails of other employees without authorization (Brown Jordan International Inc., et al. v. Christopher Carmicle, No. 16-11350, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1310).
DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).
SEATTLE - The Railway Labor Act (RLA) preempts a flight attendant's claim that she was unlawfully denied the right to use already allotted vacation leave earlier than planned to care for a sick family member in violation of the Washington Family Care Act (WFCA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 25, finding that the dispute is a "minor" one under the RLA and a grievance must be filed pursuant to the controlling collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (Alaska Airlines Inc. v. Judy Schurke, et al., No. 13-35574, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1318).
PASADENA, Calif. - A California federal court did not err in decertifying a class of Costco Wholesale Corp. workers alleging various wage violations after finding that individualized issues predominate over common ones, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 20 (Eric Stiller, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, Nos. 15-55361 and 15-55691, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1062).
TOLEDO, Ohio - A trial court judge did not err when allowing a jury to hear evidence about an administrative hearing that concluded that a man should be terminated from his job for representing that he was married to obtain insurance benefits for his ex-wife because presentation of the information did not result in "a manifest miscarriage of justice," an Ohio appeals court panel ruled Jan. 20 in affirming the man's sentence and conviction (State of Ohio v. Marvin Arnold, No L-15-1126, Ohio App., 6th Dist.; 2017 Ohio App. LEIS 227).