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Federal Judiciary

: Sixth Circuit Cases

Dec. 15-19, 2008: US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions

By Michael Stevens

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PUBLISHED OPINIONS

Opinion Short Title/District
08a0444p.06  Leslie Warthman v. Genoa Township Board of Truste
    Southern District of Ohio at Columbus

RONALD LEE GILMAN, Circuit Judge. Leslie Warthman filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas for Delaware County, Ohio, arguing that the Genoa Township Board of Trustees violated the Ohio Open Meetings Law when it terminated her employment without allowing her to respond to the allegations against her at a public hearing. The Township removed the case to the federal district court on the basis that a reference in the complaint to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution created federal question jurisdiction. Holding that the complaint did not state a federal cause of action, the district court remanded Warthman?s lawsuit to the state court. The district court declined, however, to award Warthman the costs and attorney fees associated with the removal and subsequent remand. For the reasons set forth below, we VACATE the portion of the district court?s judgment that denied Warthman her request for costs and attorney fees and REMAND the case for reconsideration of that issue.
08a0445p.06  USA v. Haygood
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0446p.06  Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Redland Insurance Company
    Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids

SUTTON, Circuit Judge. The question prompted by this insurance dispute is whether a driver of a tractor-trailer rig operates ?in the business? of a motor carrier after he completes one delivery and, in anticipation of receiving another delivery order, begins to drive to find a place to sleep for the night?at which point a fatal car accident occurs.

There, the truck driver testified that, ?after dropping off a trailer [at the last delivery point], he considered the day?s work over.? Id. at 484. Because the last delivery was a ?one-way haul,? the driver explained, he ?never got paid a dime for going no place after he left [the last elivery point].? Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). The only reason he chose to drive his truck back to the carrier?s office after eating his dinner was because he ?had no other place to park it.? Id. He was under no obligation to return to the carrier?s office, and the carrier allowed truckers to park their rigs at its office merely as a matter of convenience. Id. at 591. Here, Gale?s actions were directly linked to Everhart?s commercial interests. Gale was paid roughly $150 a day as long as the truck was available to pick up a load. Fresh off making one delivery for Everhart and reasonably expecting to receive a new assignment the next day, Gale was trying to find a place to sleep (so that he would be qualified to pick up the next day?s load) and positioning himself to get to ?Gary?East of Chicago? (where he reasonably expected his next pick-up would be). In the context of this insurance policy and on the undisputed facts of this case, the tractor-trailer rig was being ?used . . . in the business? of Everhart Trucking at the time of the accident and thus was not covered by the Redland policy. 

For these reasons, we affirm.
08a0447p.06  UAW v. ArvinMeritor Inc
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

RONALD LEE GILMAN, Circuit Judge. This is an action by retired employees and their union against Rockwell International Corporation and its successor companies. The plaintiffs sued the defendants under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to enforce what they contend was a promise by the defendants in the applicable collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to provided retirees and their surviving spouses with lifetime healthcare benefits. Finding that the CBAs contained such enforceable promises, the district court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs. For the reasons set forth below, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
08a0448p.06  USA v. Steven Shor
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0449p.06  Adrian & Blissfield R.R. Co. v. Village of Blissfield
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0450p.06  West v. Bell
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville
08a0450p.06  West v. Bell
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville
08a0451p.06  Shropshire v. Laidlaw Transit Inc
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

ALAN E. NORRIS, Circuit Judge. In this personal injury action, Livonia Shropshire brought suit against defendant Laidlaw Transit, Inc., on behalf of her daughter, Hannah,1 for injuries sustained in an automobile accident that occurred when she was five years old. Because our jurisdiction is premised on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, we apply state substantive law. Michigan?s no-fault automotive insurance scheme governs this case, and requires a plaintiff to show the existence of a ?serious impairment of body [sic] function? to recover noneconomic damages. The statute further provides that, for a plaintiff such as Hannah, who alleges she suffered a closed-head injury, whether she is seriously impaired is a question for the jury if a physician testifies under oath that the plaintiff ?may have a serious neurological injury.? In the district court, plaintiffs sought to introduce an affidavit satisfying this provision, but the court ruled it inadmissible. Without it, plaintiffs had no evidence that Hannah had suffered a serious impairment of body function, and the district court consequently granted summary judgment to defendant. Plaintiff appealed, and we now affirm the decision of the district court, though upon different reasoning.
08a0451p.06  Shropshire v. Laidlaw Transit Inc
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0452p.06  USA v. Davis
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

    NOT RECOMMENDED FOR 
FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION OPINIONS
       

Opinion Short Title/District
08a0759n.06  Anthony Legion v. Kenneth McKee
    Eastern District of Michigan at Flint
08a0760n.06  Martin v. United States DOL, et al.
    Department of Labor (except OSHA)
08a0761n.06  Purnell v. Arrow Financial Serv
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

PER CURIAM. Plaintiff Leslie Purnell brought this action against defendant Arrow Financial Services, LLC, alleging that Arrow?s efforts to collect on a long-closed Montgomery Wards account in his name violated federal and state statutes governing debt collection practices. Plaintiff?s appeal challenges the district court?s decision, after a bifurcated trial on some claims, to dismiss the remaining federal claims as barred by the oneyear limitations period set forth in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d). After review of the record and the applicable law, we reverse and No. 07-1903 2 The district court also declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Purnell?s 1 state law claims for violation of the Michigan Occupational Code, Mich. Comp. Laws § 339.901, and the Michigan Debt Collection Practices Act, Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.252. The dismissal of those claims without prejudice is not directly challenged on appeal. 2The letters were sent February 26, 2002, August 26, 2002, October 11, 2002, February 26, 2003, and August 9, 2004. Arrow spoke to plaintiff on August 23, 2002, October 9, 2002, and August 17, 2004. remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
08a0762n.06  USA v. Martedis McPhearson
    Western District of Tennessee at Jackson
08a0763n.06  William Paluda v. ThyssenKrupp Budd Company
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0764n.06  USA v. Geiger
    Eastern District of Tennessee of Chattanooga
08a0765n.06  USA v. Mendez
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0765n.06  USA v. Borrego
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0765n.06  USA v. Bencomo-Castillo
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0765n.06  USA v. Hernandez
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0765n.06  USA v. Perez
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0766n.06  USA v. Roach
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville
08a0767n.06  Martin Marietta Materials, Inc v. Bank of Oklahoma
    Western District of Kentucky at Paducah
08a0767n.06  Martin Marietta Materials, Inc v. Bank of Oklahoma
    Western District of Kentucky at Paducah
08a0768n.06  USA v. Dewitt
    Southern District of Ohio at Dayton
08a0769n.06  Linden Bowman v. USA
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0770n.06  Xiao Zhuang v. Michael B. Mukasey
    Board of Immigration Appeals
08a0771n.06  Pe Win v. Michael Mukasey
    Board of Immigration Appeals

Full post as published by Sixth Circuit Cases on December 21, 2008 (boomark / email).

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