November 19, 2012
The new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Here are some highlights from the past week:
Child Labor: Are African children making chocolate for U.S. kids, a Hersey Co. shareholder asks in a book-and-records suit. The Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System has sued to prove that Hershey’s directors have long known that its suppliers use cocoa derived from unlawful child and forced labor on large farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Premises Liability and Gun Violence: Were the Century Aurora 16 theater, its parent company Cinemark USA and several employees negligent when a gunman opened fire at the midnight premier of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in Aurora, Colo., in July? What about the mall where the theater was located and its management company? “None of the employees in the theater turned on the lights or took any action,” said Marc Bern of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP in New York. “The only reason there were not more deaths is because the gun jammed,” he added. Bern represents the plaintiffs in a recent premises liability and negligence suit. The alleged shooter, James Holmes, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.
SCOTUS: Under the Civil Service Reform Act, federal employees may challenge personnel decisions, such as terminations, with the Merit Systems Procedural Board and may file discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Usually, MSPB appeals head straight to the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, but EEOC appeals head to the relevant federal district court. So, where does a former Labor Department employee file an appeal when the MSPB rejects a case involving both termination and discrimination claims on procedural grounds? The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the issue Oct. 2.