Justia Injury Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
Bisbano v. Strine Printing Co., Inc.
Plaintiff was a sales representative who had CVS as a client at Allied Printing Services and at his subsequent employment at Strine Printing Company (SPC). While working for Allied, Plaintiff had surreptitiously helped to pay the car lease of a CVS employee. When CVS later learned of Plaintiff's role in the apparent kickback, CVS decided it would not do business with Plaintiff and asked SPC to remove him from the CVS account. SPC subsequently dismissed Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued SPC and its owner (collectively, Defendants) for contract, quasi-contract, and tort claims. The federal district court granted summary judgment to Defendants. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to establish that relief was warranted on his unjust enrichment, intentional interference, misrepresentation, and contract claims. View "Bisbano v. Strine Printing Co., Inc." on Justia Law
Garcia-Catalan v. United States
Appellant sued the United States for the negligence of its employees at the commissary at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico after she slipped and fell while strolling through one of the aisles. Appellant premised her action on the Federal Tort Claims Act. The government moved to dismiss Appellant's complaint, arguing that Appellant failed to allege that federal employees had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that purportedly existed at the commissary. The district court dismissed Appellant's complaint for failure to state a claim. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the district court applied the plausibility standard for pleadings too mechanically in this case; and (2) Appellant's complaint contained sufficient factual content to support a plausible claim or negligence against the United States. Remanded. View "Garcia-Catalan v. United States" on Justia Law
Hammond v. Kmart Corp.
Plaintiff filed suit against Kmart Corporation and Sears Holdings Corporation (collectively, Kmart), bringing a federal claim of racial discrimination under 42 U.S.C. 1981 and a pendent state law claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff, an African-American woman, alleged that a white Kmart sales clerk insulted her with racial slurs and comments while she was placing items on hold in a layaway transaction. The district court dismissed the federal claim for failure to state a claim under section 1981 and dismissed without prejudice the state law claim. Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her section 1981 claim. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to make out a section 1981 claim where her only allegation of harm she suffered was from the sales clerk's utterances, and nothing more. View "Hammond v. Kmart Corp." on Justia Law
A.G. v. Elsevier, Inc.
Plaintiffs, minors who were born with permanent brachial plexus injuries, sued through their mothers and next friends, alleging separately that their injuries were caused by the application of excessive traction during delivery. At both trials, the defense introduced into evidence a case report that purported to document an instance of brachial plexus injury occurring in a delivery. Plaintiffs lost their medical malpractice cases and subsequently sued the authors of the report, the journal in which it was published, and the publisher, contending that the report was false and that Defendants engaged in fraudulent conduct in publishing the report. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that, because the causation allegation was wholly speculative, Plaintiffs' claim did not reach the plateau of plausibility that is the "new normal in federal civil procedure." View "A.G. v. Elsevier, Inc." on Justia Law
McArdle v. Town of Dracut, Mass.
Appellant was a former teacher in the town of Dracut, Massachusetts public schools. During the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, Appellant failed to appear at school. Appellant subsequently applied for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave but did not notify the Dracut superintendent in writing of his request for FMLA leave, nor did he return a completed medical certification in accordance with Dracut's FMLA leave policy. On September 28, 2009, Appellant was terminated for abandoning his position. Appellant filed this suit in 2011 against individual decision-makers in the Dracut schools, alleging (1) violations of his rights under the FMLA; and (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference with advantageous business relations in violation of Massachusetts state law. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that Appellant had not worked enough to be eligible for FMLA leave and otherwise finding Appellant's claims meritless. The First Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed, holding (1) Appellant was not eligible for FMLA leave; (2) Appellant did not establish that Dracut's handling of his FMLA leave application caused him any harm; (3) Dracut did not unlawfully retaliate against Appellant; and (4) Appellant's state law claims against Defendants were without merit. View "McArdle v. Town of Dracut, Mass." on Justia Law
Schaefer v. IndyMac Mort. Servs.
Plaintiff refinanced his home mortgage and entered into a refinancing loan and mortgage agreement with IndyMac Bank, which assigned the mortgage to OneWest Bank. The mortgage was serviced by IndyMac Mortgage Services (all three services are referred to as "OneWest"). After Plaintiff fell behind on his payments, Harmon Law Offices, counsel to OneWest, informed Plaintiff that his home would be foreclosed. Fannie Mae purchased Plaintiff's house at a subsequent foreclosure sale. Eleven days later, Harmon served Plaintiff with an eviction notice. Plaintiff sued OneWest, Fannie Mae, and Harmon, asserting negligence and negligent misrepresentation and seeking an injunction against the pending eviction, an order nullifying the foreclosure, and monetary damages. The district court dismissed the complaint, concluding that the economic loss doctrine barred Plaintiff's tort claims and that the tort claims failed because Defendants had not breached any duties owed to Plaintiff. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff's claims. View "Schaefer v. IndyMac Mort. Servs." on Justia Law
Bower v. El-Nady Bower
Mother, an Egyptian citizen, acted in violation of a court order when she, together with her two children, boarded an EgyptAir Airlines Company flight to Cairo, Egypt. The father of the children and Mother's former husband (Father) brought this lawsuit against Mother and EgyptAir. Father claimed EgyptAir was negligent in allowing Mother to board the flight despite "red flags" suggesting she was abducting the children. The district court granted summary judgment for EgyptAir, concluding that the airline did not know of Mother's plan to abduct the children and did not owe Defendant or the children a duty to investigate the red flags. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Father's claims, holding (1) the district court had jurisdiction over the claims; and (2) the claims, which challenged airline ticketing, check-in, and boarding procedures, were preempted under the Airline Deregulation Act. View "Bower v. El-Nady Bower" on Justia Law
Corporate Techs., Inc. v. Harnett
Brian Harnett worked as an account executive and salesman for Corporate Technologies, Inc. (CTI), which provided Harnett information technology solutions to sophisticated customers. When Harnett was hired, he signed an agreement that contained non-solicitation and non-disclosure provisions. Harnett later left CTI and began working for OnX USA LLC (OnX), where he participated in sales-related communications and activities with certain of his former CTI customers on behalf of OnX. CTI sued Harnett, alleging breach of contract and tortious interference with CTI's contractual rights and advantageous relationships. CTI sought a preliminary injunction restraining Harnett from doing business with certain customers, which the district court granted. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the issuance of the preliminary injunction, holding that the district court's conclusion that Harnett likely engaged in solicitation in violation of the agreement was reasonable, and therefore, the court did not err in granting injunctive relief. View "Corporate Techs., Inc. v. Harnett" on Justia Law
Stonestreet Constr., LLC v. Weybosset Hotel, LLC
This case arose from a Hampton Inn & Suites renovation and construction in Rhode Island. Stonestreet Construction, as the construction manager and general contractor, entered into a construction contract with Weybosset Hotel. Because of cost overruns and other delays, Allstate Interiors & Exteriors, one of the subcontractors on the project, filed a complaint against Stonestreet. Stonestreet counterclaimed against Allstate and brought a third-party complaint against Weybosset, bringing several state law causes of action arising from the construction project. After a trial on Stonestreet's third-party complaint against Weybosset, the district court ruled in favor of Stonestreet on its breach of contract claim and awarded damages in the amount of $571,595. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) exercising supplemental jurisdiction following Allstate and Stonestreet's partial settlement; (2) interpreting the construction contract for the purpose of calculating damages; and (3) denying Weybosset's discovery motion regarding supplemental expert reports. View "Stonestreet Constr., LLC v. Weybosset Hotel, LLC" on Justia Law
Goat Island S. Condo., Inc. v. IDC Clambakes, Inc.
For nearly twenty years, Plaintiff, Condominium Associations, and several IDC development entities disputed the ownership and use of certain property in Rhode Island. IDC Properties constructed and Defendant, IDC Clambakes, operated the Newport Regatta Club on the contested property after Plaintiff asserted that the rights of the IDC entities to own or develop the property had lapsed. The Rhode Island Supreme Court found in favor of Plaintiff. Defendant later declared bankruptcy. This case came to the First Circuit Court of Appeals from a bankruptcy court decision and concerned the question whether Defendant trespassed on Plaintiff's property or whether, through its actions during the pendency of the litigation, Plaintiff impliedly consented to operation of the Club by Defendant while title to the property was in dispute. The First Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision that Plaintiff impliedly consented to Defendant's operation of the Club, holding that the bankruptcy court's decision was fully reasoned and supported by the evidence. Remanded for a determination whether compensation was owed for Defendant's authorized use and occupancy. View "Goat Island S. Condo., Inc. v. IDC Clambakes, Inc." on Justia Law