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Federal Judiciary

: Sixth Circuit Cases

Oct. 20-25, 2008: US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions

By Michael Stevens

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    PUBLISHED OPINIONS

OpinionShort Title/District
08a0381p.06 Jo Ann Allen v. Highlands Hospital Corporation
    Eastern District of Kentucky at Pikeville

RONALD LEE GILMAN, Circuit Judge. Jo Ann Allen and Debra Slone (collectively the plaintiffs) sued their employer, Highlands Hospital Corporation (HHC or the Hospital), for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA). In November 2003, both women were terminated after they allegedly violated HHC?s confidentiality policy. HHC determined that Allen and Slone had breached the 1 No. 07-6414 Allen et al. v. Highlands Hospital Corp. Page 2 confidentiality of one of its patients, Allen?s minor granddaughter, by permitting the removal of the girl?s x-rays from the Hospital without written authorization from the girl?s mother. Allen and Slone each filed a state-court action against HHC. They claimed that the Hospital?s stated reason for discharging them was a pretext designed to hide age discrimination. Both cases were removed to federal district court and consolidated for trial. HHC subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted. For the reasons set forth below, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.

08a0382p.06 Chaz Concrete Co LLC v. Codell
    Eastern District of Kentucky at Frankfort

DUGGAN, District Judge. In this action, brought pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (?RICO?), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68, plaintiffs-appellants Chaz Concrete Co., LLC, Grant Trucking, Inc., Green River Seed and Sod, Inc., and Sweeney Enterprises, Inc. 1 No. 07-5870 Chaz Concrete Co., et al. v. Codell, et al. Page 2 alleged that defendants-appellees James C. Codell and J.M. Yowell employed mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1341, in a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Transportation?s Federal Highway Administration of money and property by certifying non-qualifying entities for participation in Kentucky?s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (?DBE?) program. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the plaintiffs? RICO claims. For the reasons set forth below, we REVERSE the judgment.

08a0383p.06 Franklin v. Bradshaw
    Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati
08a0384p.06 USA v. Pruitt
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville
08b0016p.06 In re: Bettye Zwosta v.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Lexington
08b0016p.06 In re: James Setters v.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Covington
08a0385p.06 Brown, et al v. Cassens, et al
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

KAREN NELSON MOORE, Circuit Judge. This case involves the dismissal of the claims of Plaintiffs-Appellants Paul Brown, William Fanaly, Charles Thomas, Gary Riggs, Robert Orlikowski, and Scott Way (collectively referred to as ?plaintiffs?) against Defendants-Appellees 1 No. 05-2089 Brown et al. v. Cassens Transport Co. et al. Page 2 Cassens Transport Company (?Cassens?), Crawford & Company (?Crawford?), and Dr. Saul Margules (collectively referred to as ?defendants?) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants employed mail and wire fraud in a scheme to deny them worker?s compensation benefits under the Michigan Worker?s Disability Compensation Act (?WDCA?), MICH. COMP. LAWS § 418.301, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (?RICO?), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961(1)(B), 1962(c), 1964(c), and that the defendants? conduct constituted intentional infliction of emotional distress (?IIED?) under Michigan law. The plaintiffs appealed the district court?s dismissal of their RICO claims based on the reverse preemption of the RICO claims under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1012, and for failure to plead certain claims with particularity, for failure to allege a pattern of racketeering activity, and for failure to plead reliance on the defendants? fraud. A divided panel of this court affirmed the district court?s dismissal of plaintiffs? RICO claims because plaintiffs had failed to plead detrimental reliance on alleged misrepresentations of defendants. The Supreme Court vacated our judgment and remanded for further consideration in light of Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., ? U.S. ?, 128 S. Ct. 2131 (2008), which held unanimously that a civil-RICO plaintiff does not need to show that it detrimentally relied on the defendant?s alleged misrepresentations. On remand, we REVERSE the district court?s dismissal of plaintiffs? RICO claims because the WDCA does not preempt their RICO claims and because plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded a pattern of racketeering activity given that reliance is not an element of a civil RICO fraud claim. We REMAND to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The plaintiffs also appeal the district court?s dismissal of their IIED claims for failure to plead outrageous conduct. We AFFIRM the dismissal of the IIED claims because the alleged conduct of these defendants could not be deemed outrageous under Michigan law.

08a0386p.06 Jelovsek v. Bredesen
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville

ALAN E. NORRIS, Circuit Judge. These consolidated cases ask the question whether Tennessee laws governing the wine industry violate the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution. This is one of several lawsuits filed across the country after the Supreme Court invalidated wine-related laws in Michigan and New York which allowed only in-state wineries to sell and ship wine directly to consumers. Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005).

The plaintiffs-appellants include Tennessee residents Frederick Jelovsek and Martin Reddish, individual oenophiles who would like better access to wine produced outside of Tennessee, and a winery based in the state of Indiana, S.L. Thomas Family Winery, Inc., which would like to sell directly to Tennessee residents. Plaintiffs sued the Governor, Attorney General, and Executive Director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, in their official capacities. In addition, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee (?WSWT?) successfully intervened as a defendant. For convenience sake, as the Court did in Granholm, the appellants will collectively be referred to as ?the wineries,? unless distinguishing them is appropriate, and the appellees will be referred to as ?the state.?

The district court granted defendants? Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings. Jelovsek v. Bresden, 482 F. Supp. 2d 1013, 1023 (E.D. Tenn. 2007).1 The district court concluded that since both in- and out-of-state wineries are prohibited from selling and shipping wine directly to Tennessee consumers, this case is distinguishable from Granholm. The invalidated laws in Granholm denied only out-of-state wineries the ability to ship to consumers, a disparate treatment that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. We agree with the district court that the Tennessee shipping restrictions are distinguishable from those struck down in Granholm and affirm the district court?s judgment as to the Tennessee ban on the direct shipment of alcohol to consumers, including wine. However, the wineries make a broader challenge to the Tennessee regulatory scheme for alcohol, specifically wine. As discussed below, we conclude that certain other challenged laws are discriminatory on their face, and thus vacate the district court judgment as to those laws, and remand for further proceeding

08a0387p.06 USA v. Kuehne
    Southern District of Ohio at Dayton

    NOT RECOMMENDED FOR
FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION OPINIONS

       

OpinionShort Title/District
08a0631n.06 Shollenbarger v. Planes Moving & Stor
    Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati
08a0632n.06 DTR Industries, Inc. v. NLRB
    National Labor Relations Board
08a0632n.06 DTR Industries, Inc. v. NLRB
    National Labor Relations Board
08a0634n.06 Groeneveld Transport Efficienc v. Jan Eisses
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0635n.06 USA v. Brownlee
    Western District of Tennessee at Memphis
08a0636n.06 Christina Howington v. Quality Restaurant Concepts, L
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville
08a0637n.06 USA v. Keith Pratt
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0638n.06 USA v. Matthews
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0639n.06 USA v. Weisburg
    Northern District of Ohio at Toledo
08a0640n.06 Ridgley v. Dept of Labor
    Department of Labor (except OSHA)
08a0641n.06 USA v. Conway
    Western District of Tennessee at Jackson
08a0642n.06 USA v. Milburn
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville
08a0643n.06 USA v. Franklin
    Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington
08a0644n.06 Thomas v. City of Detroit
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0645n.06 Michael Graham v. Best Buy Stores, L.P.
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0646n.06 USA v. Smith
    Western District of Tennessee at Memphis
08a0647n.06 USA v. Shrout
    Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington
08a0648n.06 USA v. McCree
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0649n.06 USA v. Cheney
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0650n.06 Thomas Sparks v. HSBC Auto Finance
    Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati
08a0651n.06 Dennis Verhoff v. Time Warner Cable Inc.
    Northern District of Ohio at Toledo
08a0652n.06 USA v. Henry
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville

Full post as published by Sixth Circuit Cases on October 25, 2008 (boomark / email).

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