Heidi Hoffstetler was a human resources employee at the College of Wooster before she was terminated while suffering through severe postpartum depression symptoms. During her illness, Ms. Hoffstetler’s doctor stated in a report that Hoffstetler needed to work fewer hours until her PPD symptoms subsided. The College of Wooster was displeased with learning that Ms.
Ricky Martin is not excused from a claim against him alleging copyright and trademark infringement. Luis Cortes-Ramos accuses Martin of recording a song very similar in composition to one Cortes-Ramos wrote for a songwriting contest for which Martin was a judge. The First Circuit Court says the suit against Martin can go on, dismissing Martin's claim that an arbitration clause in Cortes-Ramos's contest agreement with SuperSong Contest protects him from lawsuits stemming from the contest.
Linda Jones was a 37-year employee of Children's Hospital and Health System who passed away three days into her retirement from bladder cancer. As the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed, Jones's death came six days too soon for her daughter to receive benefits from her retirement pension. Though Jones had named her daughter, Kishunda, as the beneficiary of her pension, the plan stated that if the policyholder passed away before the distribution dates began, the benefits would be given to the plan holder's spouse.
Are employers responsible for protecting employees from sexual harassment? A recent case from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seeks to answer that question. In Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, LLC., a former CNA asked the court to decide if her former employer, an assisted living center, should be responsible for the extreme harassment she endured from a patient, harassment that eventually led to injuries requiring time off work to recuperate, and to her dismissal from her job.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently gave their final ruling on whether or not employers can force individual arbitration in employee legal claims. In a highly controversial move, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of employers allowing them to force individual arbitration and, at the same time, limit class-action moves by employees. Learn more about the ruling and what it means for the future of employee legal claims here.
American drone company, AeroVironment allegedly transported a bomb on a commercial flight and then fired employee Mark Anderson to cover it up, according to a wrongful termination claim filed by Anderson. The claim alleges that Anderson, who was head of security efforts for company government programs, learned of the bomb incident about a month after it happened and promptly reported the incident to the heads of AeroVironment and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians can finally put a wrongful termination suit behind them long after the case was settled in late 2015. The Tribal Council requested an outside party investigation to determine if Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed complied with the requirements of the settlement payout. Sneed was cleared of any wrongdoing in May.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Texas district court that equipment lease company, Sierra Equipment, Inc. doesn’t have a leg to stand on in their suit brought against Lexington Insurance. Sierra alleged that Lexington was obligated to cover damages to Sierra-owned equipment leased to LWL Management, who was insured by Lexington, despite there being no coverage agreement between LWL and Lexington that included Sierra as a party to LWL’s policy with Lexington.
In the wake of a series of fatal and non-fatal accidents involving autonomous vehicles, many Americans say they don’t feel safe sharing the roads with driverless cars, according to a recent survey brought by the American Automobile Association, better known as AAA. Learn more.
A Texas restaurateur’s hopes of opening a real-life Krusty Krab restaurant were dashed after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the rights to the name “The Krusty Krab” belonged to Spongebob Squarepants and his creators at Viacom. Though Viacom had not registered “The Krusty Krab” with The U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the name was important enough to the Spongebob series to deserve trademark protection.
A South Carolina judge had no choice but to declare a mistrial in Bostic v. 3M Co., a suit brought against Johnson & Johnson by the husband of Bertila Boyd-Bostic after Boyd-Bostic died from mesothelioma. After her death, Boyd-Bostic’s husband filed the suit against 3M and Johnson & Johnson alleging the talc powder in Boyd-Bostic’s favorite baby powder made by J&J contained trace amounts of asbestos, a mineral linked to mesothelioma.
A Mississippi-based offshore oil rig worker has filed a federal lawsuit in New Orleans against his employer, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, alleging racial bias and intimidation from supervisors. Maurice Wilson of Morton, Mississippi, who is African-American, claims he was subjected to intimidation on multiple occasions by supervisors, including an incident involving a picture drawn by a supervisor depicting Wilson hanging from a rig structure surround by KKK members.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta accuses retirement plan services provider, Invesco, of a series of allegations, including breaching their fiduciary duties. The plaintiffs in the case surmised that Invesco’s alleged actions show the company did not have its plan participants’ best interests in mind, but rather their own.
The former owner of Florida-based public adjuster company, Nationwide Adjusters, LLC., Jorge Fausto Espinosa, Sr. has been sentenced to 20 years for intentionally setting fires and causing water damage to multiple homes in order to file false or fraudulent insurance claims. Espinosa, Sr. was charged with more than 28 counts of arson, along with a host of grand theft auto and insurance fraud charges. Read more.
Jamba Juice parent company, Whirl Colorado, LLC, has filed a suit against its insurer, Houston Casualty Insurance Co., for refusing coverage in a sexual assault suit brought against Jamba Juice by a former juvenile employee who alleged sexual assault by a former manager at a Colorado location. Whirl alleges Houston Casualty offered a “temporary defense coverage” to Whirl, but also implemented a series of “impermissible conditions and limitations” regarding defense.
Though the decision handed down by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in a case brought by a disabled Burger King employee may seem harsh, the First Circuit stands firm in the judgment because, as stated in court documents, “the law is the law.” After Burger King employee Victor Sepulveda-Vargas was traumatized from a late-night robbery at the restaurant, Sepulveda-Vargas was found to qualify as a disabled individual under the American Disabilities Act.
A recent report published by The Tennessean stated that 2016 and 2017 saw more construction worker deaths in the Nashville metro area than it had in 30 years. The number of random site inspections has also declined since 2008, according to the report. Read more on the story here.  
A bill proposed by Georgia lawmakers that would make unauthorized computer access unlawful has been vetoed by Georgia governor, Nathan Deal. The decision came after more than 50 cyber experts wrote the governor with urges to veto the bill due to potential unintended consequences. Learn more.