Westlaw Journals

Data breach suit against Neiman Marcus to proceed

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: Four people who sued Neiman Marcus Group on behalf of 350,000 customers over a 2013 data breach at the high-end retailer have standing to proceed with their privacy suit, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Hilary Remijas and the other plaintiffs plausibly alleged a substantial risk of fraudulent charges and identity theft after hackers installed malware on Neiman Marcus’ computer system, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided.

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Class action accuses airfare info distributors of antitrust violations

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: Consumers have sued the world’s leading airfare information distributors in Manhattan federal court, accusing them of conspiring and strong-arming airlines and travel agents into using their technology systems.

Defendants Amadeus IT Group, Sabre Corp. and Travelport Ltd. offer competing products — centralized reservation networks known as global distribution systems, or GDS — where airlines can list flight information to help travel agents or websites book trips for customers.

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Judge rejects bid for factory video inspection in surgical stapler case

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

A plaintiff’s request to conduct a videotaped inspection of Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s surgical stapler factory was properly denied because it would be of “minimal value,” a Minnesota federal judge has decided.

Chief U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim of the District of Minnesota issued the decision in the case of Susan Webb, who says she sustained permanent brain injuries because an Ethicon surgical stapler failed to fire during her 2009 esophageal surgery.

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Justice Department sues to stop merger of Electrolux, GE appliance division

From Westlaw Journal Antitrust:  The U.S. Justice Department has filed suit to prevent Swedish appliance maker Electrolux from acquiring General Electric Co.’s appliance division because the merger allegedly would reduce competition for major cooking appliances.

According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the $3.3 billion acquisition would reduce the “big three” cooking appliance manufacturers in the United States to two — Electrolux and Whirlpool — and would increase prices for ranges, cooktops and wall ovens.

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Navy veteran sues VA for locked-in syndrome; wins $21M

Michael Farley, a male veteran of the U.S. Navy, claimed he suffered a stroke that resulted in locked-in syndrome, rendering him a quadriplegic and completely paralyzed, only able to move his eyes and no ability to speak, after a visit to a Veterans Affairs (VA) urgent care clinic.

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Minnesota takes aim at student loan ‘debt forgiveness’ company

From Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability: Minnesota’s attorney general has sued a company for allegedly promising student loan “forgiveness” and charging residents up to $1,500 to submit forms that are available for free through the federal government.

“The cost of college has risen over 1,000 percent in the last 30 years,” Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a July 1 statement.  “A record-high 40 million people owe money on a student loan.  Some companies exploit this by charging upwards of $1,000 to enroll borrowers in federal repayment programs that people can apply to for free on their own.”

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Supreme Court takes up question of tribal court jurisdiction over tort claims

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an appellate ruling that gave an Indian tribal court broad jurisdiction over a nonmember company in a case involving a Dollar General intern allegedly sexually assaulted at a store on tribal land.
The high court granted certiorari June 15 after Dollar General Corp. argued that granting a tribal court jurisdiction goes against Supreme Court precedent and threatens the rights of thousands of companies.

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Milwaukee archdiocese seeks to protect cemetery maintenance funds

From Westlaw Journal Bankruptcy: The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that a federal law meant to strengthen religious rights bars a creditors’ committee in the church’s Chapter 11 case from accessing millions of dollars in cemetery maintenance funds set aside in a separate trust.

Earlier this year, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the archdiocese to turn the money over to the bankruptcy estate so it can be available to compensate victims who were sexually abused by the clergy.  The turnover would not violate the archdiocese’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1, the appeals court said.  Listecki v. Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors, 780 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2015).

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Florida appeals court strikes down med-mal cap for personal injury cases

From Westlaw Journal Medical Malpractice: Florida’s cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional with respect to personal injury actions, a state appeals court has ruled, citing a state Supreme Court decision that invalidated the cap in wrongful-death cases.

The damages cap violates the Florida Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law because it prevents people with dire injuries from being fully compensated, while people who sustain less severe injuries can recover the full extent of their losses, the 4th District Court of Appeal said, noting the question was one of first impression.

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Alabama federal court seeks guidance on ‘take-home exposure’ duty

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos:  An Alabama federal judge has certified questions to the state Supreme Court seeking clarification on the state law regarding premises owners’ duty of care toward workers’ family members who are exposed to asbestos secondhand.

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith of the Northern District of Alabama said there are no clear, controlling precedents to guide him on that question or on the causation standard to apply when a plaintiff is exposed to asbestos multiple times.

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