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September 27, 2020
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ERISA Lawsuit Targets ESOP Scam
ERISA Lawsuit Targets ESOP Scam
Wilmington, DE Set against the backdrop of California’s notorious water wars, the 1974 film “Chinatown,” focuses on the mysterious Evelyn, who must finally explain whether a young girl is her daughter or her sister. The awful truth unfolds. She is murdered – shot through the eye as her daughter or sister screams. Evelyn’s private detective/lover is told to leave it alone; he doesn’t understand what’s going on. His partner utters the grim tagline, “Forget it Jake; it’s Chinatown,” from which the movie takes its title. In Alvarez v. Wilmington Trust, the latest Wilmington Trust ERISA lawsuit, the prize at the center of the story is not water rights, but the vast sums of money held in Employee Stock Ownership Plans, ERISA retirement plans designed to invest primarily in employer stock.

3M Cannot Use “Government Contractor Defense” as Earplugs Lawsuit Continues
3M Cannot Use “Government Contractor Defense” as Earplugs Lawsuit Continues
Pensacola, FL A federal judge ruled in July that 3M ‘s defective earplug excuse cannot invoke the “government contractor defense,” which was key to 3M. The company has used this reasoning because it protects contractors from tort liability for defects in products designed and developed for the federal government, and 3M claimed its combat arms earplugs were designed in close collaboration with the military. Now that 3M is no longer immune to this defense, bellweather discovery is underway.

Workplace Sexual Harassment and Retaliation – Attorney Weighs In
Workplace Sexual Harassment and Retaliation – Attorney Weighs In
Manhattan, NY A sexual harassment and retaliation settlement was in the spotlight, this past July. It involved more than 25 construction workers who were subjected to physical assaults and other types of harassment, and some workers were retaliated against after complaining to supervisors. “It’s so important that these women supported and corroborated each other,” says attorney Vincent White.  “It is never okay for someone to harass you at work.”

Are Employers’ Facebook Recruiting Practices Exempt from Age Discrimination Laws?
Are Employers’ Facebook Recruiting Practices Exempt from Age Discrimination Laws?
San Francisco, CA Bradley et al v. T-Mobile US Inc. et al., a long-running lawsuit first filed in 2017, alleges that T-Mobile’s Facebook recruitment practices violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The nationwide, class action lawsuit also alleges violations of the California labor code and other state laws.

FDA Update on BIA-ALCL Finds More Cases, More Deaths
FDA Update on BIA-ALCL Finds More Cases, More Deaths
Silver Spring, MD  On August 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided an update on adverse events relating to breast implants, including breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The new FDA update on BIA-ALCL reports a total of 733 cases and 36 patient deaths globally, an increase of 160 new cases and 3 deaths since July 2019. Of those 733 cases, 84.6 percent involved Allergan implants.

Two Circuit Courts to Decide whether Drivers-for-Hire Can Get their Day in Court
Two Circuit Courts to Decide whether Drivers-for-Hire Can Get their Day in Court
San Francisco, CA  Two federal appeals courts have or will consider whether Lyft and GrubHub drivers are engaged in interstate commerce , and so exempt from the requirements of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The California labor lawsuit. Rogers v. Lyft, Inc., began as a dispute about the drivers’ lack of paid sick leave. The drivers’ appeal from a decision of the Northern District of California will be heard by the Ninth Circuit. On August 19 the Ninth Circuit held that Amazon last-mile delivery drivers were engaged in interstate commerce even when they never crossed state lines.

Bayer to Settle Essure Birth Control Lawsuits for $1.6 Billion
Bayer to Settle Essure Birth Control Lawsuits for $1.6 Billion
Santa Clara, CA Almost two years after Bayer stopped selling Essure in the U.S., and four years after the FDA told Bayer its birth control device needed a black box warning regarding potential serious side effects, the pharma giant will pay $1.6 billion to settle Essure lawsuits brought by nearly 39,000 women in the U.S. who suffered serious health complications as a result of Essure fallopian tube implants.

Biogen ERISA Lawsuit Slams 401k Fiduciaries for Poor Investments, High Costs
Biogen ERISA Lawsuit Slams 401k Fiduciaries for Poor Investments, High Costs
Boston, MA On August 31, participants in the Biogen, Inc. 401(k) Savings Plan filed a class-action ERISA lawsuit, alleging that plan administrators mismanaged employees’ retirement savings in ways that will leave them poorer in retirement.

Amazon Last Mile Delivery Workers Get Right to Sue under California Labor Law
Amazon Last Mile Delivery Workers Get Right to Sue under California Labor Law
San Francisco, CA California “last mile” delivery drivers, who are often hired as independent contractors, may have the right to file lawsuits for overtime, minimum wage and other California labor law violations. In a recent Ninth Circuit decision, Rittman v. Amazon, the court held that an Amazon Flex driver was not bound by the terms of an arbitration agreement he had signed. Even though his tasks never led him across state lines, he was exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act’s (FAA) enforcement provisions as a transportation worker engaged in interstate commerce.

Retaliation Lawsuit Against Elon Musk’s Rocket Company Following Sexual harassment Complaints
Retaliation Lawsuit Against Elon Musk’s Rocket Company Following Sexual harassment Complaints
Los Angeles, CA Over the course of three summers, former SpaceX intern Julia Crowley-Farenga claims that she was sexually harassed. In her California labor lawsuit, the (now) NASA engineer claims she was retaliated against for filing a sexual harassment complaint to human resources of Elon Musk’s rocket company.

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