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Judge Robert B. King

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 [...]

Jun 6, 2023

Admissions policy withstands constitutional attack

Where a new admissions policy at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology visits no racially disparate impact on Asian American students, the district court erred when it concluded the policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Background The question is whether the admissions policy adopted by Virginia’s Fairfax County School Board […]

Apr 4, 2023

Precedent abrogated by SSA’s new rules

Where the Social Security Administration, or SSA, enacted new rules that had the effect of abrogating this court’s precedents, those rules controlled the outcome of the dispute. It was within that agency’s authority to enact the rules, they were of a type that Congress empowered the SSA to adopt, were not manifestly contrary to any […]

Mar 7, 2023

Improperly appointed ALJ’s decision vacated

Where a claim for disability benefits was denied by an administrative law judge, or ALJ, who was appointed in contravention of the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, it was vacated. The Supreme Court requires a new and plenary hearing before a different and properly appointed ALJ. Background Camille Brooks appeals from the 2021 opinion of the district […]

Feb 28, 2023

‘Tester’ has standing to sue over reservation websites

Because a “tester” did not need to show an intention or need to actually book rooms at hotels in order to establish informational injury-based Article III standing to sue for alleged ADA-website violations, the district court erred in dismissing her suit for lack of standing. This decision deepened a split among the circuits on this […]

Feb 27, 2023

4th Circuit finds standing in tester’s ADA suit against hotel

A disabled person with no intention of visiting Baltimore may nevertheless sue a hotel in the city for allegedly violating a federal law requiring that it provide on reservation websites details of its accommodations for disabled guests, a federal appeals court ruled. In its published decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said someone […]

Feb 13, 2023

PW County prevails in zoning dispute with church

Where a church purchased land knowing it was zoned for agricultural use and refused to comply with Prince William County’s requirements for a special-use permi, or SUP, Prince William County did not violate the church’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA. Background In November 2018, Alive Church of the […]

Hot air balloon
Jan 9, 2023

Coverage resolved in ‘gruesome’ accident

In a case where two people suffered “gruesome injuries” in a hot-air balloon accident, the district court made no error when it ruled that an insurance policy’s coverage limit of $100,000 per passenger applied rather than the $1 million coverage limit for non-passengers, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held. The injured persons […]

Jan 5, 2023

Lawsuit against prison officials reinstated

Where the district court granted summary judgment to prison officials on the basis the detainee failed to exhaust all administrative remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, or PLRA, but the record was unclear on what led to the failure to exhaust the remedies provided by the grievance procedure and whether those remedies […]

Dec 21, 2022

Coverage resolved in ‘gruesome’ hot-air balloon accident

Where two persons suffered “gruesome injuries” in a hot-air balloon accident, the district court did not err in holding that the policy’s coverage limit of $100,000 per balloon passenger was applicable, rather than the $1 million coverage limit applicable to non-passengers. The facts showed the persons were inside the balloon’s basket, or alighting from the […]

Sep 8, 2022

Jury to decide if work environment was hostile

Where an employee alleged that she was repeatedly called the n-word by the minor son of a supervisor, who was also the grandson of the owners, and there was evidence the company had actual or constructive knowledge of the harassment, the district court erred when it granted summary judgment to the company.  Background Tonya R. […]

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