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4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Aug 14, 2023

Insurance appeal dismissed after intervening settlement

A commercial insurance carrier’s appeal of an order requiring it to defend a lawsuit was dismissed after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that it lacked jurisdiction because the underlying action was resolved by an intervening settlement.

Aug 7, 2023

Appeal dismissed after second untimely notice

Where a man failed to timely appeal from a district court’s judgment, the district court then entered an order reopening the appeal period and allowing him 14 days to appeal and he nevertheless failed to file his notice of appeal within that time period, his appeal was dismissed. Background Donte Parrish claimed that because of […]

Aug 7, 2023

Court reinstates $7.6M jury award

Where a trial court applied the wrong standard in reducing a jury award from $7.6 million to $1.8 million, and the original award was supported by substantial evidence, it was reinstated. Background Ramaco Resources suffered a coal silo collapse and submitted a claim for losses to Federal Insurance Company. When Federal denied the claim, Ramaco […]

Aug 7, 2023

Sale of services doesn’t trigger ERISA §1104 fiduciary duty

Where a plan participant alleged a consulting company acted for its own benefit, and thus violated the duty of loyalty under ERISA, when it pitched the investment committee to outsource its duties, but the duty of loyalty applies only to fiduciary activities (i.e., giving investment advice), and selling services isn’t investment advice, the consulting company […]

Jul 27, 2023

Unpaid leave satisfied employer’s ADA obligation

Where the accommodations requested by a disabled employee were not reasonable under the circumstances, an unpaid leave of absence constituted a reasonable accommodation. Background When Jay Hannah, a package delivery driver for United Parcel Service Inc., or UPS, injured his hip and buttocks, he requested that he be allowed to drive his route with a […]

Jul 27, 2023

Student fails to allege intentional discrimination

Where Exxon Mobil Corporation rescinded an internship offer after learning a student lacked permanent work authorization, and the student filed suit alleging discrimination against aliens, his suit was dismissed. His allegations failed to show intentional discrimination, as required to state a 42 U.S.C. § 1981 claim. Background Aldo De Leon Resendiz is an alien who […]

Jul 27, 2023

Provider did not err saying man could return to work

Where a man’s medical records showed he had a normal echocardiogram, had no heart symptoms, was walking three miles a day and had lost substantial weight, the long-term insurance provider did not err in concluding that he could return to his writer/editor position. Background Kevin Geiger sued Zurich American Life Insurance Company of New York, […]

Jul 27, 2023

Appeal dismissed because of intervening settlement

Where an insurance carrier appealed an order requiring it to defend a lawsuit, but the underlying action was resolved in a settlement agreement after the insurer appealed, the appeal was dismissed. Although the insurer argued the district court’s order to defend was effectively an injunction, there was no longer any duty to defend because of […]

Jul 25, 2023

Professor can’t show he was punished for speech

Where a college professor alleged that he was subjected to adverse employment actions in retaliation for protected speech, but two of the communications weren’t protected, and there was no causal connection between the third communication and the alleged retaliation, his suit was dismissed. Background Stephen Porter has been a tenured professor at North Carolina State […]

Jul 25, 2023

Company retaliated against whistleblower

Where a truck driver was terminated soon after he revealed that he had collected and submitted evidence showing his company violating the law, and the company admitted that it terminated him in part because he removed and copied documents and recorded employee conversations, he was awarded $107,940.07 in backpay and $5,000 in emotional distress damages. […]

Painter working at easel
Jul 24, 2023

Retirement comments aren’t evidence of age bias

A dean’s and provost’s internal deliberations about a professor’s retirement plans and resistance to technology after not renewing her contract were not “direct evidence” of age discrimination, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held.

Jul 18, 2023

Retirement comments not direct evidence of age bias

Where a university dean and provost made comments about a professor’s retirement plans, those comments, without more, were not “direct evidence” of age discrimination. Background In these consolidated appeals, Eva Palmer challenges the district court’s award of summary judgment to Liberty University Inc. on Palmer’s discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or [...]

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