BATON ROUGE, La. - A man's numerous other health conditions as well as the indignities his disease imposed upon him make his mesothelioma action timely and support the resulting $2,314,208 asbestos verdict, a Louisiana appeals panel held Sept. 19 (Maria Elena Luna, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 2013 CA 2177, La. App., 1st Dist.).
MILWAUKEE - The administration's decision to delay implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate does not provide a cash-only physicians group with standing, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 19 (Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney v. John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in his official capacity, No. 14-2123, 7th Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - A former doughnut shop assistant manager filed a class complaint on Sept. 19 accusing her employer of intentionally misclassifying her and other assistant managers as ineligible to receive overtime pay (Helen Rambo, et al. v. Heartland Restaurant Group, d/b/a Dunkin' Donuts, No. 14-1257, W.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - An employee whose previous gender, age and national origin discrimination claims against her former employer failed cannot now bring a new lawsuit alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 18 (Tomoko Funayama v. Nichia America Corporation, No. 14-1923, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17910).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 dismissed a disability plan administrators' appeal of a federal district court's order remanding a claim for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to the administrator, ruling that the remand order is not an immediately appealable final decision and that, therefore, there is no appellate jurisdiction (Susan Mead v. Reliastar Life Insurance Company, No. 11-192-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17771).
NEW ORLEANS - People who are represented by counsel when filing charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may, like pro se parties, invoke the judicially recognized exceptions to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's named-party requirement, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 17 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Simbaki, Limited, et al., No. 13-20387, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17881).
ATLANTA - A former body shop employee who was fired after fighting at work failed to prove that he was terminated due to his race, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 16 (Eric Archie v. Frank Cockrell Body Shop, Inc., No. 13-14108, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17741).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 denied en banc rehearing in a pair of cases challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate opt-out, leaving stand a June decision affirming denial of injunctive relief (Michigan Catholic Conference, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-2723, The Catholic Diocese of Nashville, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., Nos. 13-2723, 13-6640, 6th Cir.).
MILWAUKEE - A cash-only physicians group challenging the Internal Revenue Service's implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) faced repeated questioning during Sept. 16 oral arguments from a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel seemingly skeptical of its standing (Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney v. John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in his official capacity, No. 14-2123, 7th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania nurse who was fired from his job just a few months after he started failed to prove that his termination was due to anything other than his poor performance, so he must pay back the student loan provided by his employer, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 12 upholding a trial court's decision (Arthur J. Petrikonis v. Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company, LLC, No. 13-4403, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17642).
NEW ORLEANS - A university director who was forced to resign after telling a member of a U.S. representative's staff that he believed the representative was a "fear monger" may proceed with his free speech claim against his former employer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15 (Christian Cutler v. Stephen F. Austin State University, et al., No. 13-40685, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17715).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Sept. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer was prejudiced by an insured's late notice of an arbitration claim arising from the alleged wrongful termination of a former employee (C.L. Thomas Inc. and Thomas Fuels Lubricants & Chemicals Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co. and Acordia of Texas, Inc., No. 13-13-00566-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 10148.)
NEWARK, N.J. - Plaintiffs involved in an antitrust and racketeering multidistrict litigation case accusing Aetna Inc. of underpaying out-of-network reimbursement claims asked a New Jersey federal court on Sept. 12 to deny the defendant's motion to dismiss the suit, which Aetna had filed just two days after the plaintiffs' filed a motion in support of a $120 million settlement (In Re: Aetna UCR Litigation, Master File No. 07-3541, MDL 2020, D. N.J.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Sept. 11 declined to approve a $900,000 settlement by CVS Pharmacy Inc. to end wage claims filed by distribution center workers and ordered the plaintiffs to file an amended motion with additional evidentiary support (Leticia Ceja-Corona, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1868, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127946).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 10 partially certified a class of Wal-Mart truck drivers who are suing the retailer for various wage violations (Charles Ridgeway, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a Delaware Corporation dba Wal-Mart Transportation LLC, et al., No. 08-5221, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126806).
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 11 overruled objections to a magistrate judge's order that denied a motion to compel discovery and denied a motion to compel compliance with subpoenas that were filed by a Michigan man in his class complaint accusing his former employer of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to properly determine Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes payable at the time of his retirement (John B. Davidson, et al. v. Henkel Corporation, et al., No. 12-14103, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127152).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Sept. 12 granted a plaintiff's motion for limited discovery beyond the administrative record in his wrongful denial of benefits case (Christopher Brown v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-661, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128219).
ATLANTA - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s elimination of the causation requirement in Black Lung benefits cases permits pursuit of a denied claim originally made final in 2006, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 12 (Jim Walter Resources Inc. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Viola L. Davis o.b.o Johnny E. Davis, No. 13-13185, 11th Cir.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Sept. 10 dismissed a disability claimant's suit against an insurer after determining that the state law claims alleged in the complaint are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sheila Smith Foto v. Standard Insurance Co. et al., No. 13-341, S.D. Miss.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126591).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 9 granted final approval of a settlement by 11 Ohio teacher unions in a class complaint filed by non-union teachers challenging the fees they were required to pay (Kathleen Thaxton, et al. v. Ohio Education Association, et al., No. 11-707, S.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 9 ruled that an asbestos worker raised a triable issue of fact with regard to the injuries he suffered while remediating the World Trade Center disaster site following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, No. 09-680, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126854).
INDIANAPOLIS - Even where an employer concedes exposure in an asbestos-related workers' compensation case, an employee still carries the burden of demonstrating that the exposure gave rise to his disease, an Indiana appeals court held Sept. 10 (Mary Ragon as personal representative of the estate of Larry Ragon v. Eli Lilly & Co., No. 93A02-1402-EX-80, Ind. App., 2014 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1205).
DETROIT - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept.12 held briefing of a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate challenge in abeyance until resolution of the government's unopposed motion to remand (Mersino Management Co., et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 13-1944, 6th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 11 passed legislation grandfathering more insurance plans from compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum coverage standards