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Personal Injury

4th Cir.: Vets’ tort claims against contractor not justiciable (access required)

Waste and water management systems in Iraq and Afghanistan were operationally controlled by the military, not its contractor. Thus, mass tort claims for harms caused by the contractors’ alleged environmental mismanagement were barred by the political question doctrine. Background As ...

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EDVA: New SCOTUS ruling doesn’t bar torture claims (access required)

Claims against a U.S. military contractor for its involvement in abuse of Abu Ghraib prison detainees can proceed and are not affected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s April decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank PLC. Background This civil action arises out ...

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EDVA: CEO’s references to contractor plausibly defamatory (access required)

A manufacturer stated a claim for defamation against the project-management company for whom it had provided turbines, based on oblique comments about “quality control” made by the company’s CEO on its shareholder earnings call. Background In this action, Plaintiff Fluor ...

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4th Cir.: Imprisonment not sufficient to appoint counsel (access required)

The district court did not err in dismissing an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims or in declining to appoint counsel, but remand is necessary because the lower court failed to address the plaintiff’s state-law medical malpractice claims. Background Plaintiff Steven Banks ...

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4th Cir.: Statistical significance analysis must be reliable (access required)

Experts’ calculation and application of statistical significance (p-values) must be relevant, reliable, and not likely to confuse jurors. After plaintiffs’ expert opinions were excluded, their non-expert evidence was not sufficient to survive summary judgment, and the district court appropriately granted ...

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4th Cir.: Shooting suicidal man was excessive force (access required)

An officer violated the Fourth Amendment in shooting a suicidal man who had a knife but was threatening only himself. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, but the unconstitutionality of his actions is clearly established as of the date ...

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4th Cir.: Employer not liable for supervisor’s crude comments (access required)

A plaintiff claiming that her supervisor defamed her with crude comments at work could not hold their employer vicariously liable for the statements. The comments were outside the scope of employment, and the district court lacked any indication that this ...

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4th Cir.: Data breach victims have standing for contract claims (access required)

After credit cards were fraudulently opened in their names, a class of optometrists alleged an injury in fact traceable to their professional organization. Background In July 2016, optometrists across the nation noticed that Chase Amazon Visa credit card accounts had ...

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4th Cir.: Judgment debtor didn’t delay payment owed to Medicare (access required)

A plaintiff who was owed a medical-malpractice judgment that would partially be reimbursed to Medicare had standing to sue the judgment debtor for delayed payment. However, the 37 days between the judgment and payment did not constitute “delay.” Background In ...

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