CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on March 31 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute, rejecting the insured's argument that bulletins from Federal Emergency Management Agency waived the proof-of-loss requirement and extended the time under which she could file her coverage lawsuit (Theresa Caivano v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 15-5791, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50490).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 20 denied a coalition of insurance associations' emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal of a ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not exceeded its authority in formulating its new "fiduciary rule" and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that the plaintiffs have not met their burden to satisfy four factors required to obtain an injunction pending appeal (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 39806).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 14 instructed a coalition of insurance associations opposed to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new "fiduciary rule" to file a supplemental brief to their emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal of a ruling that the DOL has not exceeded its authority in formulating the new rule 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).
ATLANTA - A Georgia appellate panel on March 14 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to a hospital and the denial of summary judgment to the doctor in a case where a patient with mental health issues killed himself after being discharged from the hospital after finding that the trial court correctly excluded the plaintiffs' experts from opining on the standard of care applied to the emergency room nurses (Richard Bernard Everson, et al. v. Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Inc., No. A16A1709, Brian Jordan v. Richard Bernard Everson, et al., No. A16A1710, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 128).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A collection of community groups, the NAACP and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on March 2 filed notice of petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking emergency action to abate "the imminent and substantial endangerment" to East Chicago, Ind., posed by lead contamination of drinking water.
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 28 granted an emergency motion for stay of removal filed by two immigrants seeking to represent themselves and a class of individuals with refugee applications, holders of valid visas and other individuals from seven countries who are legally authorized to enter the United States in response to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump one day earlier changing the way certain non-citizens may enter the United States and imposing a 120-day moratorium on the refugee resettlement program (Hameed Khalid Darweesh, et al. v. Donald Trump, et al., No. 17-480, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five Michigan Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 26 sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to investigate a series of concerns pertaining to lawsuits involving the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., including the way in which the State of Michigan is applying its emergency manager law (EML) to block the City of Flint from suing the state.
CHICAGO - Failing to apply for a job with a replacement subcontractor does not doom retaliation claims filed against that employer by two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 19 (Shannon Volling, et al. v. Kurtz Paramedic Services, Inc., No. 15-3572, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18816).
ST. LOUIS - Johnson & Johnson on Sept. 20 filed an opposition response to a plaintiffs' emergency motion to remand a suit to Missouri state court, saying the removal of the suit in which the plaintiffs claim that there is a link between the company's baby powder and cancer was timely (Tiffany Hogans, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01470-JCH, E.D. Mo.).
NEW ORLEANS - The mere fact that a man and his co-workers cannot identify a company that allegedly supplied asbestos-containing products to their employer does not preclude recovery or justify finding the defendant improperly joined, a federal judge in Louisiana held Sept. 14 in granting emergency remand (William Gregory Bozeman v. Wyeth Holdings Corp., et al., No. 16-14606, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124713).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three weeks after the CEO of online classifieds website operator Backpage.com LLC was granted an emergency stay from a trial court's order requiring him to comply with a U.S. Senate subcommittee's discovery subpoena related to an online sex trafficking investigation, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Sept. 2 dissolved the stay and affirmed the order requiring compliance (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232, D.C. Cir.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.
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.).
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.
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).
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.
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.