MINNEAPOLIS — A radio host who was one of more than 100 iMedia Brands Inc. employees terminated in March 2020 with no prior notice due to the “financial impact” of the coronavirus pandemic can’t proceed with class claims brought under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act as she has not shown that her proposed class of 15 meets the numerosity requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(1) or that she is an adequate class representative because she has an individual age bias charge also pending, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled July 1.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed the remand to state court of a wrongful death suit filed against a nursing home by the family of a woman who died there from COVID-19, finding that there are no claims for willful misconduct under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act and no longer “any federal claims, but only negligence claims under Louisiana law.”
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi federal court on Jul. 5 denied a testing laboratory’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a health insurer seeking to enforce a settlement agreement that the insurer alleged the parties had reached concerning reimbursement for COVID-19 tests administered by the laboratory.
LOS ANGELES — A disability insurer agreed to pay long-term disability benefits to a claimant suffering from post-COVID syndrome, according to a June 24 notice of settlement filed by the parties in California federal court.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on July 6 a conciliation agreement with a Florida medical practice accused of violating the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) by collecting employees’ family members’ COVID-19 testing results.
ATLANTA — A trial court correctly held that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of service members when it comes to their opposition to COVID-19 vaccines pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, service members argue in an appellee brief filed June 10 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, opposing the federal government’s appeal of a preliminary injunction granted to two military officers.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel said on June 20 that although it recognizes that the coronavirus pandemic “has caused overwhelming economic losses to untold businesses and individuals dependent on those businesses in our state, nation, and the world,” insureds’ claims at the center of six coverage lawsuits are restricted by their insurance policies’ “clear and plain meaning.”
PHOENIX — In a case in which nursing students successfully won a preliminary injunction to prevent an Arizona state community college district from enforcing its policy that they satisfy the COVID-19 vaccination requirements of its member colleges’ clinical partners and complete their assigned in-person clinical rotations in order to graduate, a federal judge on June 30 denied both the students’ motion to amend their complaint to seek compensatory and punitive damages and a motion to intervene by their former attorneys and dismissed without prejudice the case as moot.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A petition by health care workers challenging the New York Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 vaccination requirements was denied June 30 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch joining in the dissent.
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on June 27 held that an insurance policy’s contamination exclusion precludes coverage for a private real estate investment management company insured’s more than $12 million in damages arising from the coronavirus pandemic, granting the insurer’s motion to strike the insured’s complaint.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Capital One Bank on June 10 moved to dismiss the second amended class action complaint of a former credit card customer alleging that it failed to keep its promises regarding relief from minimum monthly payments and late fees for customers experiencing financial hardship in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, contending that it had never made any such promises and that the customer lacked standing to seek injunctive relief since she no longer had a credit card account with Capital One.
BOSTON — Whole Foods Market Inc. workers who filed a putative class complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after being disciplined when they wore Black Lives Matter (BLM) masks and other attire failed to adequately plead racial bias or retaliation claims, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 28, noting that its reasoning somewhat differed from that of the trial court.
NEW YORK — A federal judge on June 24 granted a commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss a clothing boutique operator’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption and property damage coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown orders, finding that the case “is indistinguishable” from Kim-Chee LLC v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. where the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a similar argument by the insured.
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York ruled on June 17 that two putative class complaints by Hofstra University students over the spring 2020 transition to remote instruction belong in state court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) “home state exception.”
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a per curiam opinion issued June 13 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of hospital workers’ complaint over a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, finding that the employees who appealed failed to show any error in the judgment and instead attempted to introduce “an entirely new argument on appeal.”
BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge in Maine on June 17 denied a motion to stay sought by Maine health care workers referred to only as Does in their case challenging the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate after being directed to reveal their names and ordered the plaintiffs to file a first amended complaint by July 8.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed June 27 to rehear en banc arguments in a case by a federal employee union, federal employees and others suing over an executive order (EO) requiring federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an exemption.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal court on June 23 granted a medical insurer’s identical motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim five separate complaints brought by a health care provider seeking full reimbursement for COVID testing services originally filed in small claims court and removed to federal court by the insurer, holding that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act did not provide a private right of action to health care providers, but allowing the provider to amend its complaint to bring claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 24 issued a temporary stay of the mandate of its affirmance of a North Carolina federal court’s dismissal of a hotel and restaurant owner insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic one day after the insured filed a petition for rehearing.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on June 23 held that a lower court erred in denying insurers’ motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit seeking property and business interruption insurance coverage for its alleged loss of income during the closure of its Atlantic City casino in response to COVID-19 pandemic shutdown orders, reversing and remanding for the entry of an order to dismiss the complaint against all insurers.