Westlaw Journals

Supreme Court considers how to interpret labor-management agreements

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Nov. 10 from attorneys for a plastics manufacturer and for a group of retirees over how to interpret a contract that does not clearly define the duration for retiree health benefits.

Although the case involves one company’s retirees’ health benefits, the high court’s decision could have broader implications for interpreting collective bargaining agreements in general.

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Contractor sues U.S. Bureau of Prisons for lighting supply program documents

From Westlaw Journal Government Contract: A contractor has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the Federal Bureau of Prisons to turn over documents about an agency lighting supply program in response to the company’s Freedom of Information Act request.

Elumenus Lighting Corp. says in the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that the BOP is deliberately withholding documents about the agency’s LED lighting service and supply program and associated contracts.

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Drugmakers seek Supreme Court ‘holds’ pending Teva patent ruling

At least a half-dozen drugmakers and a handful of tech companies have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take their cases and sit on them while it determines whether federal appeals panels hearing patent disputes must defer to district court findings of fact.

Companies such as Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Stryker Corp. and Apple Inc. have been filing certiorari petitions since the justices agreed to take up the question, seeking orders that would put their patent disputes on hold while the high court decides Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. et al. v. Sandoz Inc. et al., No. 13-854, oral argument heard (U.S. Oct. 15, 2014).


Subsidies case puts Obamacare’s fate in justices’ hands yet again

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide this term whether the need-based subsidies that form a key part of the Affordable Care Act should be available in all 50 states or only in those that chose to set up their own health insurance exchanges.

The high court agreed Nov. 7 to review a July ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the tax credits nationwide, rejecting arguments that Obamacare makes them available only in states running the optional exchanges that two-thirds of them declined to establish.  King et al. v. Burwell et al., No. 14-1158, 759 F.3d 358 (4th Cir. July 22, 2014).


Salix Pharmaceuticals misled investors about inventory levels, suit says

By Phyllis L. Skupien, Esq. Managing Editor, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Securities Litigation & Regulation: A Salix Pharmaceuticals shareholder has filed a proposed class action alleging the company inflated its stock price by misrepresenting the wholesale inventory levels of its premier drug, Xifaxan.

The suit, filed by the Woburn Retirement System in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says misleading information about inventory affects investors’ ability to determine the accuracy of projected revenues.

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‘Social media in the workplace: Around the world 3.0,’ by Daniel Ornstein, Esq.



For a one-minute audio intro to the commentary, click here.

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Daniel Ornstein

Daniel Ornstein

N.Y.C. property owner asks Supreme Court to revive suit over 9/11 contamination

By Ken Bradley, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: The U.S. Supreme Court should review a 2nd Circuit decision that found the owners and lessees of the World Trade Center were immune from an environmental cleanup lawsuit stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a developer that spent $26 million to remove asbestos and other “WTC dust” from its nearby property.

In a reply brief filed with the high court Nov. 7, Cedar & Washington Associates, which owns a property at 130 Cedar St. in New York, says the appeals court’s decision “threatens to have wide-ranging and profound impacts on issues of national significance ranging from the balance of war power between the executive branch and Congress, to the stability of the insurance and commercial real estate markets.”

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No coverage owed by insurer in teacher abuse case

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: An insurance company has no duty to defend or indemnify a special education teacher accused of committing multiple “shocking and offensive acts” against one of her students, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The three-judge panel said an “intentional acts” exclusion in National Casualty Co.’s policy relieves the insurer of any liability in connection with the underlying suit filed by Repheka Persadi and her parents.

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11th Circuit revives some of hospital company exec’s FCA claims

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud: A former health care executive who alleged his ex-employer paid kickbacks and violated a federal law governing physician referrals can proceed with some allegations in his False Claims Act suit against the hospital operator, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said J. Michael Mastej offered enough support for his claims that Health Management Associates Inc. paid kickbacks and violated the Stark Law during the time he was worked there.

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Estate can sue Royal Caribbean for negligent shipboard medical care, 11th Circuit says

From Westlaw Journal Medical Malpractice:  Royal Caribbean Cruises could be vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of on-board medical staff in treating a cruise ship passenger who suffered a head injury and died, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in an issue of first impression.

A three-judge panel struck down the long-standing rule set forth in Barbetta v. S/S Bermuda Star, 848 F.2d 1364 (5th Cir. 1988), that immunized ship owners from vicarious liability for negligent medical care provided to passengers by employees or agents.

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