Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

December 4, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Some highlights from the past week include oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, a request for the nation’s high court to review a decision affecting victims of Bernie Madoff, and the high court’s refusal to disturb a ruling reversing a $1.5 billion verdict against Exxon Mobil:

Wal-Mart worker asks Supreme Court to allow suit over benefits denial: The Supreme Court heard oral argument Oct. 15 between attorneys for an insurer and a worker who says an appeals court misread federal law when it dismissed her lawsuit seeking to overturn a denial of disability benefits. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. says Julie Heimeshoff waited too long to seek judicial review of its decision and that the high court should uphold the dismissal of her lawsuit. (Insurance Coverage)

Union, casino employee argue legality of neutrality agreement before Supreme Court: A union seeking to represent employees of a Florida casino and a worker opposed to unionizing have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to determine if a neutrality agreement between the casino and union violates federal anti-bribery law. Under the agreement the casino operator said it wouldn’t oppose a unionization campaign and would give the union access to the facility and employee contact information. The union promised financial support for a casino ballot initiative. (Employment)

SIPC tells Supreme Court Madoff trustee can sue on its behalf: The Securities Investor Protection Corp. has joined in a request by Irving Picard, the trustee seeking to recover money for victims of Bernie Madoff, that the U.S. Supreme Court examine a federal appellate panel’s ruling that he lacks standing to pursue claims against the investment banks allegedly used to back Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The SIPC, which reportedly has paid out more than $800 million to compensate former Madoff customers, says the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision barring Picard’s suit has eviscerated its statutory subrogation right to recover those sums. (Bankruptcy)

Supreme Court allows reversal of $1.5 billion Exxon Mobil verdict to stand: The U.S. Supreme Court will not disturb a Maryland court’s decision to reverse a $1.5 billion verdict against Exxon Mobil Corp. for a gasoline leak that allegedly damaged hundreds of properties and endangered residents’ health. The high court on Nov. 18 denied review to over 400 toxic-tort plaintiffs who claimed the state court’s Feb. 26 ruling eliminated their established property rights and stripped them of due process of law and protections against unreasonable takings of private property. Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Albright et al., 433 Md. 303 (Md. 2013).  (Toxic Torts)