In the News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[01/20] In re: Horizon Healthcare
In a putative class action arising out of the theft from a health insurer of two laptop computers containing sensitive personal information, alleging willful and negligent violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. section 1681, et seq., as well as numerous violations of state law, the district court's Rule 12(b)(1) dismissal of the suit for lack of Article III standing is vacated where: 1) in light of the congressional decision to create a remedy for the unauthorized transfer of personal information, a violation of FCRA gives rise to an injury sufficient for Article III standing purposes; 2) even without evidence that the plaintiffs' information was in fact used improperly, the alleged disclosure of their personal information created a de facto injury; and 3) all of the Plaintiffs suffered a cognizable injury, and the complaint should not have been dismissed under Rule 12(b)(1).

[01/20] Syed v. M-I, LLC
In a class action filed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and presenting question of first impression in the federal courts of appeals, the district court's dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is reversed where: 1) a prospective employer violates 15 U.S.C. section 1681b(b)(2)(A) when it procures a job applicant's consumer report after including a liability waiver in the same document as a statutorily mandated disclosure; and 2) in light of the clear statutory language that the disclosure document consist 'solely' of the disclosure, a prospective employer's violation of section 1681b(b)(2)(A) is 'willful' when the employer includes terms in addition to the disclosure, such as the liability waiver here, before procuring a consumer report or causing one to be procured.

[01/19] Kabran v. Sharp Memorial Hosp.
In a suit against a hospital, alleging plaintiff was mishandled by an occupational therapist which caused spinal shock and bleeding and in turn caused plaintiff's deterioration into quadriplegia and death, the Court of Appeals judgment upholding the trial court's grant of plaintiff's motion for a new trial, which contained expert affidavits explaining the significance of autopsy evidence, is affirmed where: 1) Code of Civil Procedure section 659a does not deprive a court of fundamental jurisdiction to consider affidavits submitted after the 30-day deadline set forth in the statute; and 2) because the hospital did not object to the timeliness of the affidavits in the trial court, it may not raise this issue for the first time on appeal.

[01/19] In re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation
In a consolidated appeal involving claims for personal injuries sustained by eighteen workers who participated in the large?scale cleanup operations across Lower Manhattan following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, involving the issue of whether Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), a public benefit corporation, has the capacity to challenge a New York State claim?revival statute as unconstitutional under the New York State Constitution, and whether that challenge succeeds on the merits, two questions are certified to the New York Court of Appeals.

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Workers' Comp

[01/20] Metro Machine Corporation v. DOWCP
In a petition for review of an order of the Benefits Review Board affirming decisions of an ALJ granting a claim for medical benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. section 907, the petition is denied where: 1) the only error the ALJ committed was in failing to apply the 'naturally or unavoidably results' standard to the fracture claim; and 2) remand for application of that standard would be a futile exercise, given that there was no issue presented regarding avoidability.

[11/22] Gage v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
In a workers' compensation action brought by petitioner, a deputy sheriff who sustained a job-related injury, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision denying penalties for the unreasonable delay of advance disability pension payments is annulled and remanded where: 1) such payments qualify as compensation under Labor Code section 3207; 2) such penalties available under Labor Code section 5814 are available for unreasonable delay or denial of the payment of compensation; and 3) no other provision of the Labor Code excludes such payments from the penalty provisions of section 5814.

[11/15] Lee v. West Kern Water Dist.
In a case involving the applicability of the workers' compensation exclusivity rule, which governs the matter of when an injured worker can bring a civil action against the employer and when he or she is instead limited to the remedy of a workers' compensation award, brought by a former employee against a water district and four coemployees, alleging assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the coemployees staged a mock robbery with plaintiff as the victim, the trial court's judgment is: 1) reversed as to the grant of defendants' motion for a new trial where the jury instructions were not erroneous, and alternative grounds for affirmance proposed by defendants lack merit; and 2) affirmed as to the order denying the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

[08/17] Kerrigan v. MSPB
In an appeal of a final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board dismissing, for lack of jurisdiction, his claim that his workers' compensation benefits were improperly terminated in retaliation for protected whistleblowing activity, the Board's decision is affirmed where, although the Board incorrectly held that 5 U.S.C. section 8128(b) bars its review of petitioner's appeal, petitioner failed to make a nonfrivolous allegation that his protected disclosure was a contributing factor in the agency's action.

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