News

A New York couple is suing the community group that owns the land under their house.The couple claims that a bylaw requiring homeowners to be “of German extraction” violates the Fair Housing Act and prevents them from selling their home on the open market. Learn more.   
The PH media group found that two-fifths of callers were satisfied with how insurance companies handle telephone customer service. Unfortunately, the percentage drops “when younger clients’ responses are separated from the other responses. Read more here.  
The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that Google’s efforts to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate any copyright laws. The Court rejected the Author’s Guild’s infringements claims stating Google’s project is like a “card catalog for the digital age.” Learn more.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in a dispute regarding the handling of a third-party claim. After a motor vehicle accident in Forrest County, MS left Rodney Taylor a paraplegic a jury awarded him $2,862,920.84 plus interest.
The Tennessee Supreme Court recently overruled the summary judgment standard previously articulated by the Court in Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Co., 270 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008). Hannan provided a higher summary judgment standard than the federal equivalent articulated in Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Homeowners insurers in Connecticut were recently notified that the Connecticut Insurance Department  that they are not allowed to cancel or non-renew their homeowners policies because of foundation problems. A number of homeowners are concerned that their houses might be crumbling or deteriorating at the foundation. While no homes have yet to cave in or abruptly collapse, reports indicated that homes built in the 1980s are being affected for reasons not yet known.
The start of deer season means that deer will be crossing the roads more frequently, especially at dawn and dusk. According to State Farm, 1.25 million automobile accidents were caused by collisions with deer from July 1,2014 to June 30, 2015. The average cost of coverage for these incidents was valued at $4,135 while and the odds of hitting a deer was 1 in 169. Drivers who carry comprehensive insurance are more likely to have coverage for encounters with wildlife.
The U.S. Supreme Court has begun its new term in consensus. In a case involving a California woman who lost her legs while trying to board a state owned train in Innsbruck, Austria, most of the justices doubted that the lawsuit could proceed in U.S. courts since the only contact with the U.S was a travel agent in Massachusetts. This consensus isn’t expected to last as the court will be handling some very divisive social issues such as abortion, religious objection to birth control, race in college admissions, and the the power of public-sector unions in the next nine months.
Federal attorneys have announced that they plan to appeal a ruling that the U.S. government is responsible of some of the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. The suit argued that the construction of the navigation canal known as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet contributed to the conditions of catastrophic flooding in St. Bernard and New Orleans's Lower 9th Ward and that the damage caused by the flooding was an illegal taking of private property without adequate compensation.
Fantasy sports companies Fanduel and Draftkings are being accused  by a Kentucky player of negligence and fraud.  Adam Johnson of Jefferson County’s suit claims  that the players were “fraudulently induced” into putting money into Draftkings because the game is not fair. Allegedly, employees of the two companies have won by using insider information only accessible to them because of their positions in the company.
In spite of tremendous potential that comes with new car safety technology, many Americans are simply turning these features off because they don’t understand how to use them. The lack of knowledge about these features is attributed to a lack of education, outdated driver’s ed materials, and overlooked instructional CDs or DVDs.
Delaware's annual pumpkin flinging event has been canceled for the second year in a row due to a lack of insurance. After an incident where a woman was injured by an ATV, organizers of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin have stated, “[W]e have been unable to locate a willing insurer to adequately protect our host venue, our organization, our fans, and our spectators.” The annual event began in 1986 and allows contestants to use homemade contraptions to launch the pumpkins into the air.
In the state of Nevada, you have to be able to show proof of insurance before you can register your vehicle at the DMV. The DMV also requires proof of insurance before reinstating a suspended or revoked license. If drivers are suspended for a DUI, they are required to bring in a SR-22 Proof of Insurance certificate. New state policy requires insurance companies to notify both the insured and the DMV 10 days prior to cancellation if the insured has a SR-22 policy.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has determined that Browns Ferry Nuclear Planed which is owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority violated worker safety regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in a case against an asbestos victim. James Bobo began working for the plant after the asbestos insulation was installed. At night, his wife Barbara would shake out his clothes and sweep the dust off the floor. She died from malignant pleural mesothelioma a rare lung cancer caused by asbestos in 2013.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit  has reversed a Texas court’s ruling granting Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation summary judgement in an employee discrimination case. After 20 years of employment at Cargill with no disciplinary history, Marcelino Salazar’s employment was terminated for insubordination after he shrugged his shoulders in response to a supervisor's question.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a Mississippi court’s decision in an employment discrimination case. Robert McCollum brought charges against Puckett Machinery Company claiming the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by terminating his employment because his prostate cancer procedures would increase the cost of his employee health-care plan. Puckett asserts that McCollum was terminated because he showed up intoxicated to a sales meeting that happened a week before his second procedure.
Webb Sanders & Williams is proud to announce an early and critical victory on behalf of one of our clients, Singing River Health System (SRHS), in Federal Insurance Company v. Singing River Health System. The case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Under a new federal court ruling, “features and functions” of software programs are not trade secrets, especially in cases where those with access do not have to sign a confidentiality agreement. Warehouse Solutions Inc., which has developed tracking software for UPS and Fedex, sued Integrated Logistics after its owner, a former employee of Warehouse, created and sold own software that based its visual features directly on Warehouse’s software.
The Department of Justice has issued a memorandum outlining “six key steps” it plans to take in order to hold individuals accountable for corporate fraud or misconduct. While some of these guideline are already practiced by the DOJ, some are new and reflect the DOJ’s focus on individual liability in white-collar prosecution. Click here to learn more about these “six key steps.” 
When Jeremy Alcede’s company was forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court ordered him to hand over control of the Facebook and Twitter pages he had created for the company along with the passwords. Alcede refused stating that, since he created the pages, they were his personal property. The court ruled that, since the accounts bore the company’s name and linked directly to the company's website, they were property of the company under the Bankruptcy Code. Read more. 

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