BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A jury could conclude that an automobile dealership provided warranty work not as a service but as part of the sale of vehicles and that it knew about the dangers asbestos posed to household members, a Connecticut judge held June 12 in allowing products and premises liability claims (Kenneth Reed III, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 12-6034053 S, Conn. Super., Fairfield at Bridgeport).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 10 denied preliminary approval of a $5 million settlement in a class complaint over background checks, finding several deficiencies in the proposed agreement (Jose Rubio-Delgado, et al. v. Aerotek, Inc., No. 13-3105, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75300).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A class complaint accusing a bookseller of various wage-and-hour violations still belongs in state court, a California federal judge ruled June 11, finding that the defendants' successive removal was unjustified (Cassandra Carag, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., et al., No. 15-115, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75991).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 15 granted certiorari in Dollar General Corp.'s petition seeking to overturn the holdings of lower courts that a tribal court has jurisdiction over a boy's claims that he was sexually molested by a store manager while he was interning at the store, which is on the reservation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (Dollar General Corp., et al. v. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, et al., No. 13-1496, U.S. Sup.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Following remand from the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in Kansas on June 10 granted summary judgment to Embarq Corp. and dismissed the contractual vesting claims of 3,200 retirees, finding that the relevant summary plan descriptions (SPDs) did not establish lifetime medical or life insurance benefits for the 3,200 retiree class members (William Douglas Fulghum, et al. v. Embarq Corporation, et al., No. 07-2602, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76141).
NEW YORK - Interns suing Warner Music Group Corp. and Atlantic Recording Corp. (collectively, WMG) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for unpaid wages filed a motion June 9 seeking preliminary approval of a $4.23 million settlement (Kyle Grant, et al. v. Warner Music Group Corp., et al., No. 13-4449, Justin Henry, et al. v. Warner Music Group Corp., et al., No. 13-5031, S.D. N.Y.).
CINCINNATI - The National Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction to issue a cease-and-desist order to an Indian tribe regarding enforcement of provisions that conflict with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 9 after determining that the NLRA applies to the 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 9585).
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 5 declined to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing an employer of violating wage and labor laws and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly failing to pay employees for non-piecework completed (Jaime Perez, et al. v. Sun Pacific Farming Cooperative Inc., No. 15-259, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73986).
SAN FRANCISCO - A pilot advocacy group that negotiated and agreed to pilot work rules for pilots employed by Allegiant Air LLC was not a Railway Labor Act (RLA) bargaining representative, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 8 (International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airlines Division, et al. v. Allegiant Air, LLC, et al., No. 14-16465, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9506).
CINCINNATI - A former internal audit manager failed to prove that his association with his ill spouse or his age led to his termination, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 5, affirming a trial court's judgment (David Williams v. Union Underwear Company, Inc., d/b/a Fruit of the Loom, No. 14-6359, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9447).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 5 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a management protection insurance policy's "insured versus insured" exclusion bars directors and officers (D&O) liability coverage for an underlying civil suit that an employer brought against its former employee (Robert D. Redmond v. ACE American Insurance Co., No. 14-3864, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9392).
CHICAGO - A psychologist suffering from cognitive issues provided sufficient evidence that the acute-care facility where he was employed failed to engage in an interactive process to find accommodations; however, the employee's disability bias suit still fails as the employee was unable to show that he could perform the essential functions of his job with or without reasonable accommodation, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 4 (Michael Stern v. St. Anthony's Health Center, No. 14-2400, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9301).
RALEIGH, N.C. - Defendants lack standing to block the depositions of three experts in an asbestos case, and no case or federal procedural deadline bars the plaintiff from discovery intended to impeach the defendants' expert, a federal judge in North Carolina held June 5 (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., No. 12-752, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73102).
PASADENA, Calif. - A filing date of a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 action was the date it was delivered to the court clerk, not the date the filing fee was ultimately paid, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 4, reversing a trial court's finding that a former restaurant cook's filing was untimely (Maria Escobedo v. Applebees, et al., No. 12-16244, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9313).
NEW YORK - An increase in taxi fares to fund health care navigators and disability insurance duplicative of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits is arbitrary and exceeds the governing body's mandate, a New York appeals court ruled June 4, affirming a judge's ruling annulling the rules (In re Tanvir Ahmed, et al. v. The City of New York, et al., No. 101692/13, In re Adelso Raul Delorbe, et al. v. The City of New York, et al., No. 101762/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4655).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 reversed a District Court's injunctive relief award in an age discrimination suit, finding that the employee waived his right to seek such relief (David O. Peterson v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Incorporated, No. 14-10249, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9342).
NEW YORK - The denial of a claimant's benefits under a disability pension plan was not arbitrary or capricious because it was not clear that the disability was permanent or that she was disabled while employed, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 1 (Francy Ocampo v. Building Service 32B-J Pension Fund, et al., No. 14-0877, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9020).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 1 certified two classes of chiropractors suing insurers for allegedly systematically denying payment for certain services rendered (Alphonse DeMaria, et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 11-7298, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70176).
CHICAGO - A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional director on June 1 ruled that most of the part-time faculty of a Chicago-based university may vote on union representation because the university failed to meet its burden of establishing that those employees "serve a specific role in creating or maintaining the University's religious educational environment" (Saint Xavier University and St. Xavier University Adjunct Faculty Organization, IEA-NEA, No. 13-RC-022025, NLRB Region 13).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court correctly determined that a long-term disability administrator did not abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a long-term disability claim, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal said May 29 (Angel Dix v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Long Term Disability Program, No. No. 14-31200, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8930).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 vacated a district court's final approval of a $4.5 million settlement in a wage suit brought by day laborers, finding that the district court failed to satisfy the procedural standard outlined in In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liab. Litig. (654 F.3d 935 [9th Cir. 2011]) (Jeffrey Lee Allen, et al. v. Margie Bedolla, et al., No. 13-55106, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9139).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 sought the solicitor general's view as to whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a federal judge properly dismissed without prejudice a pension plan participant's claim that the plan improperly reduced his benefits, where the suit was not brought in the federal court specified in the plan's forum-selection clause (Roger L. Smith v. AEGON Companies Pension Plan, No. 14-1168, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - To prove religious discrimination by an employer, a prospective employee needs to show only that his or her need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had "actual knowledge" of the applicant's need for an accommodation, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14-86, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).
ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal court erred in granting injunctive relief in a union dispute as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) failed to demonstrate irreparable injury, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 27 (M. Kathleen McKinney, Regional Director of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board v. Southern Bakeries, LLC, No. 14-3017, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8710).