News

The US Fifth Circuit Court has decided that a nursing home employee’s rights were not violated when she was discharged after refusing to pray the Rosary with one of the tenants. The court claims that Kelsey Nobach did not give sufficient evidence that Woodland Village Nursing Center knew that her religious beliefs needed accommodations. http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/13/13-60378-CV1.pdf
When Jeffrey Dugas and Cylie Blevin’s son was injured by ingesting a toxic substance left in the laundry room of a Regal Inn, they sued Sohum L.L.C. for damages. Century Surety Company had issued a general liability insurance policy to Sohum and agreed to defend Sohum in subject  to a complete reservation of rights. Sohum claims that the Reservation of Rights letter they received from Century was in bad faith and accused Century of unfair commercial practices.
The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules against former employee of PHM Corporation (Oak Nursing Home) who claims she was discriminated against because of her race. When Brenda McElroy, former Activities Director of the nursing homes new Alzheimer’s unit, complained to her Administrator Megan Terrell that she was suffering from severe menstrual cramps and bleeding and  asked if could leave for the day, Terrell told her to say until 3 PM or she would be fired.
Small businesses face many challenges and changes as they grow. As small businesses grow, they require different corporate structures. If you have already incorporated your business, how do you change your status? Find out here. http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2015/08/can-i-change-my-corporation-status.html
Two construction companies and two supervisors were charged with manslaughter of worker Carlos Moncayo who was crushed in a construction site collapse. According to New York District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Moncayo’s death was “tragic, but it was foreseeable and avoidable.” Vance claims that ample warnings were issued about the safety of the site to the Sky  Materials Corp and Harco Construction LLC supervisors William Cueva and Alfonso Prestia even minutes before the collapse.
Amarin Corporation PLC of Dublin, Ireland maker of Vascepa, a prescription fish-oil pill, achieved First amendment rights to publicize unapproved used for its drug against the FDA.
Businesses are relying more and more on text messaging to keep in contact with colleagues  and customers, but it's causing headaches for company lawyers. Texting is alluring because of it’s convenience. almost everyone who owns a cell  phone carries it around with them everywhere they go which makes collaboration much easier. Unlike emails however, text messages cannot be received from servers.
A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that flies and insects fall under the absolute-pollution exclusion policy after neighbors of Excel Dairy filed suit claiming “[o}ffensive and noxious odors, particulate matter, flies and other insects” coming from the dairy were ruining their quality of life. The appeals court held that that “[t]he absolute-pollution exclusions also encompass appellants’ claims regarding flies and other insects. Under the exclusions, ‘pollutants’ encompasses ‘any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant,’ not just contaminants dispersed through the air.
The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision to expand Mississippi’s employment “at will” exception policy. TheMcArne “at will” exception policy prevents the termination of employees that report any criminal conduct of the employer. Steven Edward Galle brought a case against former employer Isle of Capri Casino claiming he had been wrongfully discharged under the McArne policy.
Debbie Kopszywa filed suit against her former employer Home Depot claiming she was terminated due to age and gender discrimination when her position was filled by a younger male. Home Depot claimed she was released due to poor work performance. Kopszywa admitted to committing a number of violations warranting discipline but felt she was being targeted for termination due to discrimination.
School is back in session, and your kids have probably already brought home a mountain of homework for you in the form of legal documents. We want our kids to be safe and protected at school. Know your school’s policies on these issues as the year get started.http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2015/08/5-back-to-school-legal-reminders.html  
There’s been a recent trend in the workplace to monitor employees through wearable devices like smartglasses or wristbands and even microchips implanted under the skin. Employers use the data collected from these devices to monitor employees’ health, safety, and productivity, but are they overstepping their bounds on employee privacy?
Did you know that three of the four women who have served on the highest court in the land were all confirmed by the Senate on the first week in August? Earlier this month, Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan all celebrated the anniversaries of their entrance into the court.
According to a letter from the Department of Medicaid Executive Director Dr. David Dzielak, the DOM’s difficulty “in pursuing its obligation to recoup subrogation claims,” caused the Mississippi Legislature to make changes this year in how the DOM may collect these claims. The attached letter points out some of the major changes and includes links for more information.
When the Ferraros’ filed their first claim for benefits on their flood insurance policy following Hurricane Isaac, they submitted a signed proof of loss form along with the initial adjuster's estimates for $103, 836.83. Later, a public adjuster estimated the damage at $320, 436.55. The Ferraros’ failed to file a signed proof of loss form along with this estimate for damages. The lack of this form and their failure to provide the email from their adjuster saying the form wasn’t needed resulted in a ruling for the insurance company in their suit to recover the denied claim.
Discussions on minimum wage are being held in many states and even nationally. This month Minnesota takes the top spot with the highest minimum wage in the Midwest at $9 an hour. The new wage law does allow some exceptions. For more details on those and how the Governor of Minnesota expects the increase wages to affect the state read here: http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/15ee14cb7f7e4311a738c7e334c814ef  
What exactly does a claim of “handmade” mean? When it comes to bourbon, one judge in California ruled “that 'handmade' cannot reasonably be interpreted as meaning literally by hand nor that a reasonable consumer would understand the term to mean no equipment or automated process.” Maker’s Mark, the defendant in the misleading marketing suit, promotes its Kentucky bourbon as handmade. Read more about the case here:
Drones are making the news everyday. Increased use of drones by individuals and businesses introduce increased liability and legal questions. Click below to find the Insurance Services Office’s latest drone related endorsements along with a link to a drone webinar and white paper. http://www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/academy-journal/2015/07/27/376301.htm  
According to a panel of judges for the Seventh Circuit Court, retailers whose databases have been hacked causing users credit information to be used fraudulently will have to answer for the lack of security. The court limited the plaintiff's complaints by saying federal law doesn’t recognize private information as a property right. The Insurance Journal has all the details: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/08/03/377142.htm  
Mary Alice Stennett worked for the Tupelo Public School District for 37 years. When her last position was eliminated, she applied for seven positions within the TPSD. She was not hired for any of them. The Fifth Circuit found she had met her burden of establishing a prima facie case and the district court should not have issued a summary judgement in favor of the TPSD. Find out why: http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/13/13-60783.0.pdf  

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