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Mealey's Litigation Procedure - D.C. Circuit Stays Senate Subcommittee Subpoena On Backpage.com CEO

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The chief executive officer of online classifieds website operator Backpage.com LLC was granted temporary relief from a U.S. Senate subcommittee's discovery subpoena on Aug. 12 when a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted his emergency motion to stay, which was filed the same day (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232, D.C. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - D.C. Circuit Stays Senate Subcommittee Subpoena On Backpage.com CEO

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The chief executive officer of online classifieds website operator Backpage.com LLC was granted temporary relief from a U.S. Senate subcommittee's discovery subpoena on Aug. 12 when a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted his emergency motion to stay, which was filed the same day (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232, D.C. Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Virginia GOP Delegate Files Class Suit Over State Law

RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia Republican Party delegate filed a class complaint on June 24 in a Virginia federal court, seeking emergency injunctive relief from Virginia law to allow him and other delegates, both Democrats and Republicans, to vote their consciences at the parties' July national conventions (Carroll Boston Correll, Jr., et al. v. Mark R. Herring, et al., No. 16-467, E.D. Va.).

Mealey's Insurance - 3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Claims In Hurricane Irene Flood Coverage Dispute

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that dismissed an insured's breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation claims against its federal flood insurer over its alleged personal property damage caused by Hurricane Irene (Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 15-2923, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10894).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Tennessee Appeals Court: ERISA Preempts Claims In Lawsuit Against Insurer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on June 9 concluded that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts state law causes of action based on implied-in-law contract in a suit brought by health care corporations to recover costs for emergency medical services to patients participating in Blue Cross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc.'s (BCBST) insurance plans (HCA Health Services of Tennessee Inc., et al. v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc., No. M2014-01869, Tenn. App.; 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 407).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA: Carbon Fiber Supplier To Pay $125,000 For Violating Notification Law

SEATTLE - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced May 5 that SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC will pay $125,000 for violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Act (EPCRA) stemming from the company's failure to alert a local emergency planning committee about its storage of nitrogen and ammonium bicarbonate and its releases of ammonia and hydrogen cyanide at its Moses Lake, Wash., manufacturing plant.

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 9th Circuit Stays Remand Of Asbestos Case Pending Appeal

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted an emergency stay of remand of an asbestos case against an aircraft brake manufacturer (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 16-55431, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Stays Remand Of Asbestos Case Pending Appeal

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted an emergency stay of remand of an asbestos case against an aircraft brake manufacturer (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 16-55431, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA: Chemical Repackage Co. Will Pay $85,000 Over Illegal Waste Storage

PHILADELPHIA - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 28 that the owner of a chemical repackaging and distribution plant in Reading, Pa., agreed to pay a $55,000 penalty for illegally storing oil and hazardous waste and that it would donate $30,000 of emergency response equipment to a local fire department.

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Retired Emergency Workers Denied Class Certification In Slashed Benefits Suit

FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on March 23 denied a motion to certify a class of retired emergency workers who allege that their retiree benefits were improperly reduced (Craig Serafino, et al. v. City of Hamtramck, et al., No. 14-14112, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37353).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Report: Flint Water Crisis Mostly The Fault Of State Agencies, Emergency Managers

LANSING, Mich. - The Flint Water Advisory Task Force (FWATF) commissioned by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a report on March 21, which concluded that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) "bears primary responsibility for the water contamination in Flint." The task force also determined that "the framework" for the specific events that resulted in the water crisis was "a litany of questionable decisions and failures," conducted within the framework of the state's Emergency Manager Law.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Witnesses Tell Congressional Committee They Are Not Responsible For Water Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held its second hearing on the Flint water crisis on March 15, at which the former director of the Region 5 Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the former emergency manager for the city and the former mayor of the city all denied responsibility for the lead water crisis.

Mealey's Insurance - EMT Sentenced To 37 Months In Jail For Role In Fraud Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - An emergency medical technician (EMT) for a Pennsylvania-based ambulance service was sentenced March 10 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution for his role in a fraudulent billing scheme (United States of America v. Fritzroy Brown, No. 14cr596, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit Judge Stays Order Forcing Chemical Injury Plaintiffs To Dismiss Case

NEW YORK - A judge in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 granted an emergency stay of a lower court's order that required a group of plaintiffs to dismiss their chemical injury lawsuit pending in Pennsylvania state court against Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (Tronox Incorporated v. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, No. 14-5495, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Environmental Agency Declares Emergency In Town With Lead Tainted Water

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) on Jan. 25 declared a "water supply emergency" for the Village of Sebring and proposed revoking the license of the agency that supplies drinking water to the village due to excessive levels of lead in the water.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Michigan Lead Water Crisis Prompts 2 Probes; Advocates Want Governor Arrested

FLINT, Mich. - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Jan. 15 that his office is investigating the water crisis in Flint, Mich., to see if state laws were violated in connection with the lead contamination that has forced the governor to declare a state of emergency.

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Insurer's Petition Challenging Ex Parte Order

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer's emergency motion to rehear its petition for writ of mandamus challenging a lower court's grant of an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) that compelled the production of class-based discovery, according to a Nov. 18 pronounced order on the high court's website (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Nos. 15-0867, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Insurer's Petition Challenging Ex Parte Order

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer's emergency motion to rehear its petition for writ of mandamus challenging a lower court's grant of an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) that compelled the production of class-based discovery, according to a Nov. 18 pronounced order on the high court's website (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Nos. 15-0867, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 1st Circuit Rejects FEMA Workers' Bias, Retaliation Claims

BOSTON - A divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 17 ruled that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees who were terminated after their facility was closed failed to show that the closing was biased or in retaliation for complaints they made (Francisco Abril-Rivera, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 14-1316, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19908).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio Federal Judge Denies Emergency Relief In Sales Practices Class Suit

CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 13 denied a motion for emergency relief filed by an eyeglass retailer accused of violating Ohio state law with its "Buy One Get One Free" ads (Elliott Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., No. 15-2306, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153802).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Hospital From Suit Over Alleged Insurance Fraud

NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Hospital From Suit Over Alleged Insurance Fraud

NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Was Reliable To Show Wal-Mart's Negligence In Medication Filling, Panel Says

NEW ORLEANS - An expert's opinion on the standard of care was sufficiently reliable to pass a "gatekeeping assessment" for purposes of showing that Wal-Mart Stores Texas L.L.C. was negligent in failing to provide a 72-hour emergency supply of prescriptions when a customer's doctor could not be reached, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 12 (Shan Kovaly v. Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC, No. 14-20697, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14346).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Energy Future Holdings Proposes 2 Options For Reorganizing

WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on July 23 filed an amended plan of reorganization that includes two options for emerging from bankruptcy, with the company favoring a plan that includes $12.1 billion of new debt and equity arranged by an ad hoc group and the conversion of EFH into a real estate investment trust (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Court Won't Reconsider Immunity For Doctors, Hospital In Negligence Suit

CHICAGO - A state appeals court June 26 denied reconsideration of its ruling affirming the entry of summary judgment for several physicians and a hospital in a suit alleging medical malpractice and violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) (Koni Johnson v. Christine Pabin Bishof, et al., No. 1-13-1122, Ill. App., 1st Jud. Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 492)