Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

July 9, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupHighlights from the past week’s litigation headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include coverage of the Hobby Lobby decision, a bankruptcy court ruling over student loan debt, a $9 million jury verdict in meso case and a ruling against Wells Fargo for the bank’s automated calls to a minor’s cellphone:

Split high court gives some companies religious exemption on contraceptives: Closely held, for-profit corporations may claim a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring that most employers include copay-free contraception in employees’ health insurance plans, a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30. Relying on a 1993 statute that the court said provided “very broad protection for religious liberty,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the 5-4 majority that the law does not discriminate “against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.” (Insurance Coverage)

Deferred tuition not subject to ban against discharge of student loan debt: A private college has failed to convince a bankruptcy judge in California that financial aid it offered to a former student in the form of deferred tuition is not subject to discharge. On June 13, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali of the Northern District of California ruled in an apparent case of first impression for the court that a private college’s offer of deferred tuition does not fit within 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). (Bankruptcy)

Boston federal jury returns $9 million verdict in meso case: A Boston federal court jury has found that asbestos-spray insulation maker T&N Ltd. engaged in grossly negligent conduct in exposing a construction supervisor to the product and returned a $9.3 million verdict against the company. The award returned June 20 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts included $6.2 million in punitive damages. (Asbestos)

Wells Fargo’s calls to minor’s cellphone violated federal law, 11th Circuit says: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a ruling in favor of a woman who claims Wells Fargo Bank illegally used an automated dialing system to call her minor child’s cellphone without her permission. On June 9, the three-judge appellate panel said the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, applied to cellphone service subscriber Lynn Breslow and her child, who had exclusive use of the phone. (Bank & Lender Liability)