When a Richard Ruth’s Bar & Grill customer, Emmanuel Kehagias, was assaulted at the bar, owners Richard and Jane Ruth failed to notify their commercial general liability insurer, Founders, of the incident. When Kehagias’s attorney sent a letter of representation, the Ruths forwarded the letter to their agent’s wholesaler Hull & Company.
The U.S. Department of Labor has again addressed changes to the salary threshold for overtime pay exemptions. The proposed amendment to the rule raises the minimum annual salary requirement for the white-collar exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act from $23,600 to $35,308. DOL attempted to amend the rule in 2016, but a federal court in Texas blocked enforcement of the rule shortly before it took effect.
Denny Rice succeeded in his wrongful termination suit against Merchants Foodservice to a tune of $1.25 million in lost future earnings. On appeal Merchants Foodservice argued Rice wasn’t due to collect lost future earnings because his new job paid more than he earned as a truck driver with Merchants. The appeals court denied the appeal calling their reasoning faulty logic.
To raise capital toward the development of a prototype aircraft and to purchase a competing aircraft manufacturer, Kestral Aircraft Co. (Kestral) entered into an agreement with Living Benefits Asset Management, LLC, (Living Benefits) to purchase and sell life settlements. Kestral never raised the funds he’d hoped to raise and never purchased any life settlements.
Does an insurance policy’s Cooperation Clause require the insured to follow the insurance company’s recommendation regarding settlements? Petroleum Solutions, Incorporated (PSI) faced a suit from Bill Head Enterprises (Head) because a fuel tank systems constructed and installed by PSI on Head’s property leaked. PSI brought claims against Titeflex Corporation, the manufacturer of the flex connector responsible for the lead. Titeflex countersued.
Premier Directional Drilling, L.P., utilizes directional-driller-consultants (DD) and measurement-while-drilling-consultants (MWD) in its oil drilling operation. Some DDs are classified as employees; others, independent contractors (IC). Five ICs filed suits against Premier alleging they were inaccurately classified as ICs and not employees. The district court awarded damages in favor of the plaintiffs.
The case of a Chicago salesman accused of selling trade secrets to a Chinese company caught the eye of attorneys last month when it went to trial. Robert O’Rourke, who spend 30 years in sales for cast iron products manufacturer Dura-Bar, accepted employment with Dura’s Chinese competitor. Before he left, however, O’Rourke downloaded 1,900 files containing Dura trade secrets. O’Rourke does not deny downloading the files. His defense team denies the files were trade secrets because he claims Dura did not take “reasonable measure” to protect the information.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit certified two questions to the Mississippi Supreme Court dealing with voluntary payment of an insurance company. An explosion at Omega Protein Corporation’s Moss Point, Mississippi location resulted in the death of an employee of Accu-Fab & Construction, Inc. Omega had insurance coverage from ACE American Insurance Company and First Specialty Insurance Corporation.
In a split 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the District Court’s opinion that agents of American Family Life Insurance Company are employees not contractors due to unique facts of significant control exerted by the company. The Sixth Circuit based its decision on the weight given to independent contractor agreements. The case gives relief to many insurance carriers who have watched the case closely.
In 2002, Eric Stricklett drove a vehicle which struck and injured eleven-year-old Scott Alves. Alves’s parents provided Stricklett’s insurer, Summit Insurance Company, with Alves’s medical records but told them the child continued to undergo medical treatment for his injuries and they had not received his medical bills. They did submit the medical bills to Summit a short time later. In March 2003, Summit informed the Alveses their investigation showed no fault on the part of Stricklett for the accident and they would make no offers.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found SuperShuttle franchisee van drivers are independent contractors, not employees. The NLRB applied the entrepreneurial opportunity principle to the common law independent contractor analysis.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Eleventh Circuit in denying job applicants a disparate impact claim under the ADEA. The case centers around Dale Kleber, a 58-year-old attorney, who applied for an in-house counsel position with CareFusions Corporation. Although the job description required “3 to 7 years (no more than seven years) of relevant legal experience” and Kleber held more than 7 years experience, he applied for the job. A younger candidate whose experience met the requirements was hired instead. Kleber filed a disparate impact violation suit.
When three employees left the employment of Kelly Services, a staffing agency based in Minnesota, and went to work for a competitor, the agency filed a suit alleging a violation of their contract’s non compete clause. Kelly Services obtained a preliminary injunction that lasted through the one-year duration of the non compete agreement. When the injunction was lifted, the employer continued the case seeking attorneys’ fees. The non compete clause required the employee to pay all attorneys fees incurred to enforce the agreement.
After 45 years as precedent for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Exemption 4, National Parks & Conservation Association v.
Most CGL policies cover physical injury to a property, which may include the loss of use of the property or loss of use of a property that is not physically injured. Thee Sombrero, Inc, a commercial property owner, successfully sued Crime Enforcement Services, a private security service for Sombrero’s nightclub, for breach of contract and negligence. CES’s insurance company, Scottsdale, denied coverage.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied Erik Brunetti’s application to register “FUCT” as a mark in 2011 because the mark is a “vulgar term”, which is prohibited. Brunetti appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which affirmed the USPTO. Brunetti took his case then to the Federal Circuit.
Springboards to Education, Inc., launched a literacy program entitled “Read a Million Words campaign” in 2005. They marketed the program to school districts. In 2008, Houston Independent School District (HISD) implemented a similar program called “Houston ISD Millionaire Club”.
Human Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana found itself in the middle of larger antitrust action in which it was not an active party. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit where University Health Shreveport and Vantage Health Plan, Inc., alleged Willis-Knighton Medical Center engaged in anticompetitive practices, plaintiffs learned of documents between Humana and Willis-Knighton. Humana initially refused to comply with subpoenas for documents and was eventually compelled by the court to produce those documents.
In 2019 Supreme Court cases to watch, we find the question of whether a Jones Act seaman can assert a claim for punitive damages in conjunction with a claim for unseaworthiness. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that plaintiff Christopher Batterton could assert a claim for punitive damages after suffering permanent disability while working as a deckhand. In a similar case, the Fifth Circuit ruled punitive damages could not be recovered under the Jones Act or general maritime law.
To dismiss an action with prejudice, a court must show “the failure to comply with the court order is the result of purposeful delay or contumacious conduct and the district court first employs lesser sanctions”.