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Plaintiff Jimmy Vasquez, an inmate in the Colorado Department of Corrections (“CDOC”), filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, contending CDOC medical providers were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Vasquez specifically alleged Defendants delayed treating him for the hepatitis C virus (“HCV”), resulting in his suffering life-threatening permanent liver damage. In appeal No. 17-1026, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to grant Defendants summary judgment, concluding Vasquez’s claims against Defendants Davis, Webster, Melloh, and Chamjock were time-barred, and Vasquez failed to present sufficient evidence that Defendant Fauvel acted with deliberate indifference. In appeal No. 17-1044, the Court vacated an injunction requiring the CDOC to test Vasquez’s liver function every three months. View "Vasquez v. Davis" on Justia Law

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NDSC Industrial Park, LLC (“NDSC”) appealed a district court order dismissing its “Consent Decree Order Motion.” In the late 1990s, the United States and the State of Colorado each filed complaints against Colorado & Eastern Railroad Company (“C & E”) under CERCLA. These complaints sought reimbursement of response costs associated “with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances at the Sand Creek Industrial Site located in Commerce City and Denver, Colorado.” In an effort to avoid protracted litigation, the parties entered into a partial consent decree (the “Consent Decree”) on April 13, 1999. Pursuant to the Consent Decree, C & E agreed to sell two parcels of land, the OU3/6 Property and the OU1/5 Property (collectively the “Properties”), and pay the net proceeds of the sales to the United States and Colorado. In 2002, the remediated OU1/5 and OU3/6 Properties were put up for auction by the United States pursuant to the Consent Decree. NDSC was the winning bidder. Prior to closing on the purchase of the Properties, NDSC was made aware that C & E had already conveyed its fee interest in a right-of-way. In 2014, NDSC filed suit in Colorado state court to quiet title to the railroad right-of-way against C & E, and other interested parties in the Properties. The district court dismissed the motion because NDSC lacked standing to enforce the terms of the consent decree. On appeal, NDSC claimed the district court erred in concluding it: (1) was attempting to enforce the consent decree, as opposed to seeking a limited declaration regarding the meaning of the consent decree; and (2) did not have standing to seek a declaration that a conveyance of property violated the terms of the consent decree. Finding no reversible error in the district court’s dismissal, the Tenth Circuit affirmed. View "United States v. Colorado & Eastern Railroad Co" on Justia Law

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In this personal-injury action, the DeKalb-Cherokee Counties Gas District ("DC Gas") appealed a circuit court order denying DC Gas's renewed motion for a judgment as a matter of law ("JML") or, in the alternative, for a new trial. Plaintiff Timothy Raughton, an employee of the City of Fort Payne, was working at the city landfill. One of his duties on that day was to tell users of the landfill where to dump their refuse. Neal Ridgeway, in his capacity as an employee of DC Gas, drove a dump truck to the landfill. The bed of the dump truck contained bricks and concrete blocks that had been collected from a site on which DC Gas planned to have constructed an office building. While Ridgeway dumped the contents of the truck at the landfill, Raughton stood next to the truck. In an effort to dump the remaining debris, while Ridgeway performed a maneuver, the side wall of the truck bed fell from the truck, striking and injuring Raughton. There was no evidence in this case indicating that the clutch-release maneuver violated any formal safety standards. Raughton sued DC Gas, alleging negligence and wantonness. The trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of DC Gas on Raughton's wantonness claim, but his negligence claim proceeded to trial. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Raughton in the amount of $100,000. The trial court entered a judgment on that verdict and denied DC Gas's renewed motion for a JML. DC Gas appealed. After review of the circuit court record, the Alabama Supreme Court determined there was no evidence indicating that the side wall of the dump truck had become detached in the past or that DC Gas's agents knew that it might become detached. Moreover, no evidence was presented clearly showing how the side wall was attached to the truck or showing exactly why and how it had become detached. Thus, there was no evidence presented indicating that an inspection would have revealed that it might become detached and, therefore, that an inspection would have prevented the accident. Accordingly, the Court concluded that DC Gas could not be held liable based on its alleged negligence (failure to properly inspect the truck). Based on the foregoing, the Court reversed the trial court's judgment denying DC Gas's renewed motion for a JML, and rendered judgment in favor of DC Gas. View "DeKalb-Cherokee Counties Gas District v. Raughton" on Justia Law

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Stephen Hrobowski, one of two named defendants in a civil action pending with the Lowndes Circuit Court, petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to direct the trial court to vacate its August 30, 2017, order denying Hrobowski's motion for a change of venue and to enter an order transferring this action to the Montgomery Circuit Court on the basis of the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The Alabama Supreme Court determined it was undisputed: that the accident that was the subject of the action occurred in Montgomery County; that the accident was investigated by law-enforcement personnel based in Montgomery County; and that both the plaintiff and the other named defendant resided there at all pertinent times. Even assuming, that there might be some question as to whether Hrobowski remained domiciled in Lowndes County, the fact that a defendant resides in a particular forum does not, for purposes of the interest-of-justice prong of 6-3-21.1, Ala. Code 1975, outweigh the forum where the tortious conduct occurred. The Supreme Court held the trial court exceeded its discretion in denying Hrobowski's motion for a change of venue based on the interest-of-justice prong of the forum non conveniens statute. Therefore, the Court granted Hrobowski's petition and issued a writ of mandamus directing the Lowndes Circuit Court to vacate its August 30, 2017, order denying Hrobowski's motion and to enter an order transferring the underlying action to Montgomery County. View "Ex parte Stephen Hrobowski." on Justia Law

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Jeremy White appealed a district court order denying his motions for relief from a judgment relating to primary residential responsibility and for contempt against Cassie Loibl. White and Loibl had one child together, born in 2015. In March 2016, the State sued White to decide issues of child support, health insurance and who could claim the child for income tax purposes. White was incarcerated when the State filed its complaint. The Barnes County Sheriff personally served White with the complaint at the Barnes County Correctional Facility. Loibl moved to establish parental rights and responsibilities. Loibl served White with the motion by mailing it to the Barnes County Correctional Facility and two other addresses in Valley City. White did not respond to either the State's complaint or Loibl's motion. The district court entered a judgment awarding Loibl primary residential responsibility and sole decision-making responsibility of the child. The court awarded White supervised parenting time and ordered him to pay $575 per month in child support. In February 2017, White moved for relief from the judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) and for contempt against Loibl. White claimed he did not respond to Loibl's motion because he did not receive the motion. He stated he was released from jail on March 4, 2016, and did not reside at the addresses to which Loibl mailed the motion. On appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court, White argued the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion because extraordinary circumstances justified relief because he did not receive Loibl's motion. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's order. View "North Dakota v. White" on Justia Law

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Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, appealed a judgment awarding Rick and Janan Snider, doing business as RJ Snider Construction ("RJ Snider"), $198,255.08 for unjust enrichment and quantum meruit claims. In 2011, RJ Snider contracted with Granville Brinkman to furnish materials and labor for construction work on real property owned by Dickinson Elks. RJ Snider's principal place of business was located in Washington. In 2012, RJ Snider applied for a contractor license from the North Dakota Secretary of State, and the license was issued on in February 2012. RJ Snider provided services and materials for Dickinson Elks' property from December 26, 2011, to November 30, 2012. Dickinson Elks paid RJ Snider for all of the services and materials it provided between December 26, 2011, and February 1, 2012. RJ Snider billed Dickinson Elks $174,642.10 for the services and materials it provided from March 15, 2012, until November 30, 2012. Dickinson Elks did not pay any of this amount. In January 2013, RJ Snider recorded a construction lien against Dickinson Elks' property. In May 2014, Dickinson Elks served RJ Snider with a demand to start a lawsuit to enforce the lien and record a lis pendens within 30 days of the demand. RJ Snider sued Dickinson Elks in June 2014, seeking foreclosure of the construction lien and a money judgment. RJ Snider recorded a notice of lis pendens on July 28, 2014. Dickinson Elks moved for summary judgment, arguing RJ Snider's complaint should be dismissed under N.D.C.C. 43-07-02 because RJ Snider was not a licensed contractor when it started work on the property. Dickinson Elks also argued RJ Snider did not have a valid construction lien, because RJ Snider did not record a lis pendens within 30 days of receiving the demand to enforce the lien. The district court partially granted the motion and entered a judgment forfeiting RJ Snider's construction lien because RJ Snider did not record a lis pendens within 30 days of receiving Dickinson Elks' demand to enforce the lien as required under N.D.C.C. 35-27-25. The court concluded RJ Snider's claims were not precluded under N.D.C.C. 43-07-02. RJ Snider amended its complaint, claiming it was entitled to a money judgment against Dickinson Elks under the principles of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. The North Dakota Supreme Court concluded RJ Snider was not precluded from maintaining its claims; however, the Court reversed and remanded for the district court to determine whether any of the damages awarded were for services and materials provided before RJ Snider was licensed. View "Snider v. Dickinson Elks Building, LLC" on Justia Law

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Carl Genberg was an executive for Ceragenix Corporation when he suspected misconduct by the Company's Board of Directors. When he acted on these alleged suspicions, he was fired. He sued Ceragenix's Chief Executive Officer for retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and defamation under Nevada law. The district court granted summary judgment to the CEO on both claims. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Court concluded a reasonable factfinder could have concluded two emails at the heart of this case could have been viewed as protected activities that had contributed to Genberg’s termination, or the absence of which would not have lead to his termination. Either way, the Court concluded the CEO was not entitled to summary judgment based on the same-action defense with respect to these emails. Because the district court found otherwise, the Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the CEO on the Sarbanes-Oxley claim. Regarding the defamation claim, the Court affirmed the district court’s award of summary judgment: the CEO's statements fell under the common-interest privilege, and Genberg did not present evidence of an abuse of the privilege. View "Genberg v. Porter" on Justia Law

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The Superior Court of Navajo County erred when it denied Defendants’ motion for change of venue in this legal malpractice action filed by a Hospital located in Navajo County against a professional limited liability company (PLLC) organized in Maricopa County and its attorneys, both Maricopa County residents. After the Hospital sued, Defendants moved to transfer venue to Maricopa County, arguing that venue in Navajo County was improper unless a statutory exception applied under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-401. The trial court denied the motion, finding that venue in Navajo was proper under section 12-401(5) because the Hospital “exclusively contracted business in Navajo County,” and under section 12-401(18), reasoning that LLCs should be considered corporations for venue purposes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the PLLC was not required, expressly or by necessary implication, to perform in Navajo County; and (2) the trial court erred when it applied the subsection (18) exception on the basis that LLCs, like corporations, are amenable to veil-piercing, where venue and the alter-ego doctrine reflect different policy considerations. View "Butler Law Firm, PLC v. Honorable Robert J. Higgins" on Justia Law

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Itron alleged that misrepresentations by three of SmartSynch's corporate officers (defendants) caused it unknowingly to assume an unwanted $60 million contractual obligation to a third party, Consert. Itron eventually settled Consert's claims and then filed suit against defendants for negligent misrepresentation. The magistrate judge ordered Itron to produce, without qualification, materials that were shielded from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. The Fifth Circuit granted Itron's petition for mandamus and vacated the magistrate judge's order, holding that the mere act of filing the lawsuit effected no waiver of any attorney-client privilege. The court remanded with instructions to reevaluate defendants' motion. View "In Re: Itron, Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2016, Kansas sent notices of decisions to terminate its Medicaid contracts with two Planned Parenthood affiliates, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (“PPGP”), and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (“PPSLR”). The notices cited concerns about the level of PPGP’s cooperation in solid-waste inspections, both Providers’ billing practices, and an anti-abortion group’s allegations that Planned Parenthood of America (“PPFA”) executives had been video-recorded negotiating the sale of fetal tissue and body parts. Together, the Providers and three individual Jane Does (“the Patients”) immediately sued Susan Mosier, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (“KDHE”), under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(23) and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction enjoining Kansas from terminating the Providers from the state’s Medicaid program. "States may not terminate providers from their Medicaid program for any reason they see fit, especially when that reason is unrelated to the provider’s competence and the quality of the healthcare it provides." The Tenth Circuit joined four of five circuits that addressed this same provision and affirmed the district court’s injunction prohibiting Kansas from terminating its Medicaid contract with PPGP. But the Court vacated the district court’s injunction as it pertained to PPSLR, remanding for further proceedings on that issue, because Plaintiffs failed to establish standing to challenge that termination. But on this record, the Court could not determine whether PPSLR itself could establish standing, an issue the district court declined to decide but now must decide on remand. View "Planned Parenthood v. Andersen" on Justia Law