FRANKFORT, Ky. — Because Kentucky’s grandparent visitation statute does not address issues raised in an action brought by a paternal grandfather to continue visiting his granddaughter, who had been adopted by her maternal grandmother, the Kentucky Supreme Court applied a statutory stepparent exception to the case. The state high court on Jan. 21 reversed and remanded to the family court to determine whether visitation was in the child’s best interest.
BOSTON — The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on Feb. 9 reversed a decision by the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, that a woman was ineligible for long-term care benefits from Medicaid, finding that her creation of a nominee trust did not make her property a countable asset.
SAN FRANCISCO — Appellants recently asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the application of California Insurance Code Sections 10113.71 and 10113.72 “consistent with their plain language and remedial purpose” and direct an appeals court to confirm the application of these statutes to a $1 million life insurance policy, arguing that the appeals court’s opinion “leaves vulnerable” senior and disabled policyholders that the statutes intended to protect.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 9 signed a consent decree reached between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Michigan company under which the employer will pay $60,000 to end claims that it refused to hire a job applicant due to his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
TRENTON, N.J. — The assertion from an expert witness in a slip-and-fall case that nursing home staff should inspect a resident’s room once per hour is inadmissible net opinion, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Feb. 5, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment for malpractice liability.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 4 issued an amended order granting final approval of a settlement by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to end a collective and class age discrimination complaint by job applicants that includes a more than $11.6 million settlement and two years of programmatic relief.
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 3 ordered the state Department of Health (DOH) to produce records of the number of COVID-19-related deaths among nursing home and assisted living residents in the state, finding that the department had violated the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) by rebuffing a nonprofit organization’s request for the information for more than six months.
TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal judge in Arizona on Feb. 1 denied an assisted living facility’s motion for summary judgment on a nonprofit organization’s claims that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) by unlawfully discriminating against deaf individuals, finding that questions of fact exist regarding whether the facility’s refusal to provide an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for a potential resident who is deaf “constituted a denial of a full and equal opportunity to enjoy Defendant’s services.”
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted final approval of a settlement by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to end a collective and class age discrimination complaint by job applicants that includes a more than $11.6 million settlement and two years of programmatic relief.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on Jan. 29 affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a nonprofit group challenging the legality of allowing unlicensed management companies to operate skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), finding that the group lacked standing and that the operation of SNFs by unlicensed management companies does not violate state or federal law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 3 ruled that the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s denial of a former railroad worker’s request to reopen a benefits request under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) and the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) is subject to judicial review because it constitutes a final decision of the board.
CINCINNATI — An employee’s decision to apply for and accept a demotion after being placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP) is not an actionable discharge under Ohio Revised Code Section 4112.14, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 28.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “Federal courts are the experts in deciding removal jurisdiction, not HHS and not the U.S. Attorney,” the plaintiff in a COVID-19-related wrongful death case against a nursing home argues in a Jan. 28 response to a statement of interest filed by the United States regarding the preemptive effect of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 refused to review a case in which a medical center that refused to provide further treatment to a terminally ill patient following a committee meeting on the ethics and medical value of continued care asked it to determine whether a safe harbor provision in the Texas Advance Directives Act is constitutional and whether the center was taking a state action by denying additional care.
PHILADELPHIA — The exact ages of a surgeon’s replacements are not needed during the pleading stage for his age bias claim to survive a dismissal motion, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 29.
DENVER — A major marketing company will pay $150 million to resolve a criminal charge for selling millions of Americans’ information to perpetrators of elder fraud schemes after a federal judge in Colorado on Jan. 27approved a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) the company entered into with the U.S. Department of Justice.
PITTSBURGH — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 affirmed the dismissal of a man’s challenge to the calculation of his Social Security retirement benefits. A lower court correctly found that it had no jurisdiction over four claims alleging failure to include income and due process violations and that a fifth claim regarding an alleged employment termination in 1998 was time-barred, a Third Circuit panel said.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Department of Health (DOH) appears to have undercounted the number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 by approximately 50 percent, the state attorney general said Jan. 28 in issuing the preliminary results of an investigation that also found that noncompliance with infection control procedures and inadequate staffing levels at some facilities put residents at increased risk.
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed a probate court’s ruling that a deceased woman’s son, who was not named or referred to in her will, was not a pretermitted heir, concluding Jan. 20 that the lower court erred in applying the law of Massachusetts instead of New Hampshire to the issue.
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 22 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc by a health care services company challenging the panel’s Dec. 23 opinion reinstating a fired social worker’s age bias claim after determining that the company’s hiring of an older replacement didn’t negate the claim.