News

Ambrea Fairchild sued her former employer, All American Check Cashing, after the company allegedly violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) Inc. firing her for being pregnant and for refusing to pay her overtime.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will determine if restrictions on the use of property constitute a violation of the Fifth Amendment. Zoning changes engaged in 1975 bared development on a lot owned by the Murr siblings, but the siblings have also
As technology advances sometimes it can be difficult for the laws to keep up. A new issue involving  non exempt employees who use their smartphones after regular working hours may be lurking in the shadows during the revision of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) in 2016. In the case Allen vs. City of Chicago a police officer sued  for unpaid overtime as a result form answering work related texts, emails, and calls from his cell phone while off duty.
The Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the District Court’s summary judgment for defendants after it found that the plaintiffs, Robert and Helen Allen, failed to disclose their personal injury claims during their Chapter 13 bankruptcy which was proceeding concurrently with their personal injury suit. The Court ruled that the suit should be barred by judicial estoppel. Judicial estoppel is a common law doctrine that prevents a party from asserting inconsistent positions in litigation.
Daniel Lawrence Whitney also known as Larry the Cable Guy has filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Gulfport against a gas station in Diamondhead, MS. The comedian and his company believe that the gas station’s name “Giterdone” is a trademark infringement upon Larry’s famous catchphrase "Git 'er done." The lawsuit notes that Whitney’s company owns 23 U.S. trademark registrations of the the phrase "Git 'er done" and that Whitney’s representatives have already sent the gas station two cease-and-desist letters which were ignored.
The U.S Department of Labour has charged a Connecticut based company for wrongfully terminating two employees after they filed complaints with OSHA. The employees filed complaints against Eastern Awning Systems Inc. after they became ill while working in the plant’s powder coat room. The plant was then inspected and cited for inhalation hazards and lack of adequate ventilation. The owner and president of the company Stephen Lukos fired the two employees while the inspection was underway.
Social media has radically changed the way individuals and businesses stay informed and make connections. It has also changed the way litigants obtain information in commercial disputes. All the chatting, clicking, and liking may seem harmless, but it all may be fair game in an investigation where the court believes it is relevant evidence or will lead to relevant evidence.  Now more than ever businesses need to examine their social media interactions and adopt policies that govern the use of social media by management and employees alike.
As the use of smartphones and other mobile devices become more popular in the healthcare setting, messaging applications are a common way many medical professionals communicate with one another. Unfortunately, platforms like GChat or WhatsApp are leaving them in danger of data breaches and other HIPAA liabilities.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court has reversed a Mississippi district court’s decision to deny Roy Anderson Corp. (RAC) its motion to compel arbitration. When RAC was hired by SeaBreeze I, LLC for a construction project building condominiums in Biloxi, MS, it hired a number of subcontractors to help with the job.
JSI Communications v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 15-60251 (5th Cir. 2015)
The Fifth Circuit recently reviewed a retaliation claim brought by an employee under Title VII after her employer denied her request to rescind her resignation. In this case, Plaintiff was an employee for the Houma Terrebonne Housing Authority (HTHA) for several years. She offered her resignation in June of 2012, to take effect September 1, 2012. Before her effective resignation, Plaintiff testified against her employer’s Executive Director in a grievance hearing, claiming that he sexually harassed her.
Insurance company Crum & Forster issued CGL policies to Creekstone Builders and Creekstone SC. The policy excluded coverage for work completed in South Carolina.  When Creekstone SC, a South Carolina based company, was sued over a project in South Carolina, Crum & Forster refused to the claim due to the South Carolina exclusion. The judge ruled the insurance company was at least partially liable and ordered it pay the $2 million policy limit. Find out why and how the insurance company may ultimately have to pay more of the $55 million judgement.
The new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure take effect December 1. The most talked about changes related to the loss of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and the collection ESI during discovery. Be prepared for these amendments to affect your e-discovery process sooner rather than later.  http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/them-s-the-rules-preparing-for-the-46532/
As companies increasingly produce products that rely on internet connections for updates and management, they must work with risk management and their insurance companies to make sure their liability policies change as products change. AIG explains how the Internet of Things could spell problems for companies without adequate coverage.
When Supervalu, a Minnesota-based grocery store chain, paid a claim related to an accident on the property of one of it’s stores, the company thought the issue was over. Then the estate filed a suit alleging the company “violated state insurance law by failing to promptly pay its claim” because the company was self-insured.
On New Year’s Eve, Sarah Sorensen attempted to break up a fight at the bar where she worked as a waitress in South Dakota. The attack left her with brain damage. The South Dakota Supreme Court overruled a decision by her workers comp insurance company, Harbor Bar, and said she was entitled to benefits.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas. This year, the Texas storm season lived up to the hype. The storm season there began in March with thunderstorms, tornadoes and massive rainfall which left property losses of $900 million in April and May. A drought and wildfires covered the state at the end of the summer only to be followed by more floods in the fall.
“Soft fraud” or the exaggeration or embellishment of an insurance claim results in significant losses for insurance companies each year. In a recent survey, one-quarter of respondents found padding their insurance claim to cover a deductible to be reasonable. Investigating these claims can be expensive and time consuming for the return of small settlements and may negatively impact an insurance company’s customer image.
Telecommuting offers significant benefits to both employers and employees. If your company allows telecommuting, do you have policies in place to limit your liability and will your workers’ comp cover any claims? Check your telecommuting policies for these best practices to ensure safety for both your employee and your company.
The Fifth Circuit recently decided, in an action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., whether, based on a discrepancy concerning an employee’s termination date, a disability-plan administrator’s initial denial of benefits (ultimately, the benefits were approved), constitutes a misrepresentation and resulting breach of fiduciary duty.

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