WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to grant certiorari, which left standing an agreement reached in In re Managed Care Litigation that bars several physicians and physician groups from bringing claims against WellPoint Inc. in In re WellPoint, Inc. Out-of-Network "UCR" Rates Litigation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Sherman Act but not from bringing certain claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Medical Association of Georgia, et al. v. Wellpoint Inc., No. 14-554, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 remanded for further consideration in light of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' unpublished opinion affirming the dismissal of Employee Retirement Income Security Act breach of fiduciary duty claims by participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsored by Delta Air Lines Inc. (Dennis Smith, et al. v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 14-696, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt a New York state anti-subrogation law that prohibits insurers from obtaining reimbursement of medical benefits from participants' tort settlements (The Rawlings Company, et al. v. Megan Wurtz, et al., No. 14-487, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 let stand a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a multiemployer welfare benefits plan may seek reimbursement of health benefits paid on behalf of a plan participant who later received a third-party settlement because the plan language established an equitable lien by agreement (Bernard McLaughlin v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, No. 14-626, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 let stand a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that even though a disability plan's summary plan description (SPD) did not comply with the notice and disclosure requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it described only one level of internal review, a claimant's case was properly dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies because she did not establish that the SPD's deficiencies caused her failure to pursue a second-level internal review (Lucrecia Caprio Holmes v. Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Long Term Disability Plan, No. 14-551, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 20 declined to dismiss antitrust claims in a suit alleging that health insurers conspired with hospitals to drive multiple ambulatory surgical centers out of business (Arapahoe Surgery Center, et al. v. CIGNA Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 13-3422, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20488).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 upheld the rejection of a class complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that an employer's use of background checks violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after determining that the EEOC's expert testimony was unreliable (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman, No. 13-2365, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2592).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - While the evidence suggests a man suffered asbestos exposures, insufficient evidence links seven defendants to those exposures, a federal judge in Connecticut held Feb. 19 in granting the defendants judgment (Debra Bray, et al. v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., et al., No. 13-1561, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19523).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a California Supreme Court decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation (Pac Anchor Transportation, et al. v. People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc., No. 14-491, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - One of the oil and gas exploration companies sued by Louisiana residents who allege that they contaminated drinking water on Feb. 18 filed an answer to the claim, arguing that most of the claims against it have already been dismissed (Catherine P. Alford, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 13-5457 [consolidated], E.D. La.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The railway company defendants sued by a class of residents who contend that the defendants are liable for injuries related to the release of vinyl chloride and other chemicals from a train derailment on Feb. 23 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court arguing that one couple's specific claim must be dismissed (Allison Wileczek, et al. v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, et al. [In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases], No. 15-00017, Master Docket 13-784, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 23 that a North Carolina man was arrested for submitting a false claim seeking $2.3 million from the fund established to compensate business owners who suffered damages as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that followed the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 20 stayed a borrower's action against several banks pending the outcome of foreclosure proceedings, finding that both cases were parallel and arose from the same issues (Miguel Nieves v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 14-cv-2300, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20383).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge's determination that a trademark plaintiff abandoned any right to the mark through non-use and a corresponding order canceling the mark registration were reversed Feb. 20 by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group LLC, No. 14-3118, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2621).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a disability claimant's petition for writ of certiorari challenging the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision that a disability insurer was not required to consider additional documentation the claimant submitted after her appeal was denied by the insurer (Sharon Blair v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 14-670, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied writ of certiorari in an appeal over whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the exclusive remedy for age bias in employment (Anthony Hildebrand v. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, et al., No. 14-363, U.S. Sup.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A majority of the Illinois Supreme Court found Feb. 20 that a professional liability insurance policy was properly rescinded for a material misrepresentation made by an attorney and an appeals court erred when it applied the innocent insured doctrine and partially served the policy to preserve coverage for the attorney's partner (Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Co. v. Law Office of Tuzzolino and Terpinas et al., No. 117096, Ill. Sup.; 2015 Ill. LEXIS 304).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied review of federal appeals court ruling that nonwarning claims involving the generic heartburn drug metoclopramide are preempted (Mary K. Moretti v. Wyeth, Inc., No. 14-6319, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 23 released its decision allowing the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC, or FCTC) Secretariat to file submissions in a dispute between Philip Morris entities and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Philip Morris Brand Sarl [Switzerland], Philip Morris Products S.A. [Switzerland] and Abal Hermanos S.A. [Uruguay] v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay, No. ARB/10/7, ICSID).