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Judge Upends $289 Million Monsanto Roundup Cancer Award

Judge Upends $289 Million Monsanto Roundup Cancer Award

October 19, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA On October 11, 2018, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos tentatively ruled that she would toss out the jury’s $250 million punitive damage award and schedule a new trial on that issue. The judge also suggested she may also drastically reduce the $39 million compensatory damage portion of the Monsanto glyphosate lawsuit award. The final ruling is due on October 22. The results of this trial are expected to have significant impact on the hundreds of Roundup cancer lawsuits now pending.
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Victory for Tipped Employees -- Bad News for Tennessee Based Restaurant Chain

Victory for Tipped Employees -- Bad News for Tennessee Based Restaurant Chain

October 18, 2018. By Jane Mundy.
Nashville, TN: The Ninth Circuit gave the green light last month for bartenders and servers to sue restaurants--including a Tennessee based chain-- for allegedly underpaying them regarding tipping, a violation of the federal and Tennessee labor law. The cases were consolidated on appeal as Marsh v. J. Alexander’s and remanded for further proceedings.
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Fidelity Faces Self-Dealing Lawsuit over 401(k) Plan Mismanagement

Fidelity Faces Self-Dealing Lawsuit over 401(k) Plan Mismanagement

October 18, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Boston, MA On October 10, 2018, participants in the Fidelity Retirement Savings Plan filed a class action ERISA pension plan lawsuit against the Plan’s fiduciaries. The Complaint alleges that the Plan fiduciaries breached their duties under ERISA, thus harming the Plan and its participants and beneficiaries.
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New Jersey Win for Johnson & Johnson and Los Angeles Mistrials in Asbestos –Mesothelioma Cancer Talc Trials

New Jersey Win for Johnson & Johnson and Los Angeles Mistrials in Asbestos –Mesothelioma Cancer Talc Trials

October 17, 2018. By Jane Mundy.
Los Angeles, CA Within two weeks of each other, two juries in California failed to reach a verdict on the same issues regarding asbestos-talc claims, resulting in two mistrials. Nine votes are needed for a verdict on claims that J&J was guilty of negligence, failure to warn about the risk of asbestos and marketing defective products. On Sept 24, the sixth J&J mesothelioma trial, the Los Angeles jury was deadlocked 8-4 against J&J – one juror short of victory for plaintiff Kirk Von Salzen. Bloomerg reported that Von Salzen, a retired computer salesman, had used J&J’s talcum powder for 30 years when he was diagnosed in 2017. He was seeking over $12m in damages. Despite the result, his attorney was “satisfied” that eight jurors ruled against J&J.
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401(k) Lawsuit Continues against Franklin Templeton

401(k) Lawsuit Continues against Franklin Templeton

October 15, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA An ERISA pension plan lawsuit has survived numerous procedural challenges and will proceed as a class action against investment manager Franklin Templeton. Fernandez v. Franklin Resources Inc. claims that the fiduciaries in charge of managing the Franklin Templeton 401(k) Plan breached their duty to plan participants by causing the Plan to invest in funds offered and managed by Franklin Templeton, when better-performing and lower-cost funds choices were available. The motive was to benefit Franklin Templeton’s investment management business.
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UNUM LTD Claimants Must Beware of Exhaustion of Remedies Roadblock

UNUM LTD Claimants Must Beware of Exhaustion of Remedies Roadblock

October 15, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Chattanooga, TN On September 25, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted UNUM Life Insurance’s motion for summary judgment, thus ending Richard Ravenscraft’s UNUM disability lawsuit on the grounds that he had not exhausted administrative remedies. These are the rocks on which many long term disability lawsuits have been dashed.
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Los Angeles Sweatshops Cited for Wage and Hour Violations

Los Angeles Sweatshops Cited for Wage and Hour Violations

October 14, 2018. By Anne Wallace.
Los Angeles, CA In early September 2018, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined six garment contractors a total of $573,704 for labor law violations after uncovering a scheme where the contractors operated illegally under one license to avoid complying with California wage and hour laws. But what happens to the workers? Garment workers making far less than minimum wage, most without legal status, are hardly likely to bring California unpaid wages lawsuits. The best answer may lie in California’s specialized garment worker wage claim adjudication process. Even that may require some legal assistance, though.
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