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April ’18 Legal News Update

Legal news affects our everyday lives, whether we notice it or not. Here’s a summary of a few of this month’s major cases.

Kentucky Coal Miners Awarded $67.5 in Case against 3M

Two Kentucky coal miners have been awarded $67.5 million in a lawsuit alleging they suffered from black-lung disease. The lawsuit was filed against 3M, the manufacturer of dust masks used by the miners, which the lawsuit alleges were defective. Because of the defective safety masks, the plaintiffs fell ill with black lung, an incurable disease that chokes off breathing and often leads to premature death, says the complaint. Of the large award, $62.5 million was awarded for punitive damages. The remaining amount was designated for past and future pain and suffering.

Class Action Facebook Photo Scanning Lawsuit to Proceed

A federal judge allowed a class action lawsuit against Facebook over its photo-scanning technology to proceed. The lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals who say Facebook has violated Illinois law by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. Under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, Facebook could have to pay $1,000 to $5,000 for each time a person’s image is used without consent. Google is currently facing a similar lawsuit in Chicago.

ACLU Files Suit over New Kentucky Law Banning Abortion Procedure

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a new Kentucky law banning certain abortion procedures. The new state law bans the abortion procedure for women who are 11 weeks or more pregnant. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin Tuesday and took immediate effect, due to the bill’s emergency clause. The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky alleges the law blocks women’s constitutional right to an abortion by forcing them to travel out of state to obtain the procedure.

Supreme Court Rules Foreign Corporations Can’t be Sued for Alleged Abuses Under Alien Tort Law

The high court ruled in a suit that accused Arab Bank and its New York branch of clearing transactions that aided terrorism and laundering money for a group with alleged ties to Hamas. In the claims before the court, about 6,000 foreign nationals allege that they or their family members were injured in terrorist attacks in the Middle East.

Lawsuit Accuses Eli Manning of Participating In Memorabilia Fraud

A lawsuit has been filed against football star Eli Manning accusing him of participating in a scheme to defraud memorabilia collectors. On Thursday, a New Jersey judge ruled that a May 14 trial would go forward in the lawsuit that was filed in 2014 by a major collector and dealer of Giants-related memorabilia who was indicted on federal charges of selling counterfeit jerseys in 2011. The case against him was dropped after he proved that Giants employees had misrepresented their relationship with him to a grand jury.

Prince’s Estate Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Walgreens and Hospital

The estate of late musician Prince has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Walgreens over the star’s death. The lawsuit was filed in Illinois against the pharmacy and the Trinity Medical Center hospital by Prince’s heirs. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of failing to properly investigate and treat an initial overdose Prince suffered a week before his fatal overdose. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges two Walgreens employees gave the musician a medication for an “invalid medical purpose.”

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Not Guilty In Mexican Teen’s Death, Says Federal Jury

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a Mexican teen has been found not guilty in the boy’s death. On Monday, a federal jury found the agent not guilty of second-degree murder in the 16-year-old’s death. The Border Patrol agent opened fire at the teen through an urban fence separating Arizona from Mexico, hitting him 10 times. Prosecutors say the teen may have been part of a crew throwing rocks at Border Patrol at the time of the incident. A wrongful death suit filed by the mother of the boy is pending before the Ninth Circuit.

A Third Federal Judge Rules Against DACA Phase-Out

Previous rulings required the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to accept applications for renewal of benefits under the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) while litigation is pending. U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington, D.C., ruled that the government must also accept new applications, though he postponed his ruling for 90 days.

7th Circuit Blocks Disability Abortion Ban

A federal appeals court has upheld a permanent injunction blocking an Indiana law that banned abortions based on race, sex, ancestry, Down syndrome or other genetic disorders.

Barnes & Noble Data Breach Lawsuit Revived by Federal Court

Barnes & Noble is to face a customer data breach lawsuit after the case was revived by a federal appeals court. The complaint seeks to hold Barnes & Noble Inc. responsible for customer losses from a 2012 data breach, which involved payment verification machines that had been tampered with at 63 bookstores in nine states. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Wednesday voted 3-0 to revive the lawsuit and stated a lower court judge wrongly concluded that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit.


Our attorneys at McCoy, Hiestand & Smith strive to keep our community informed so check back with us monthly for a Legal News Update!