Justia Health Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Donegan
A Vermont statute requires all "health insurers" to file with the State reports containing claims data and other "information relating to health care." Liberty Mutual sought a declaration that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., preempted the Vermont statute and regulation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Vermont. The court held that the reporting requirements of the Vermont statute and regulation have a "connection with" ERISA plans and were therefore preempted as applied. The court's holding was supported by the principle that "reporting" is a core ERISA function shielded from potentially inconsistent and burdensome state regulation. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded with instructions to enter judgment for Liberty Mutual. View "Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Donegan" on Justia Law
The Evergreen Association, Inc v. City of New York
The City appealed the district court's grant of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining Local Law 17. Local Law 17, inter alia, requires pregnancy services centers to make certain disclosures regarding the services that the centers provide. The court concluded that the law was not impermissibly vague; plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits with respect to one of the challenged disclosures, which requires pregnancy services centers to disclose if they have a licensed medical provider on staff; plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits with respect to other provisions challenged by plaintiffs that require other forms of disclosure and impermissibly compel speech; and because the provisions are severable, the court severed the enjoined provisions from the rest of Local Law 17. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "The Evergreen Association, Inc v. City of New York" on Justia Law
Doe v. Guthrie Clinic, Ltd.
Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his complaint against the Guthrie Defendants. Plaintiff's principal issue on appeal required the court to consider whether the unauthorized disclosure of confidential medical information by a medical corporation's employee gives a plaintiff a right of action for breach of fiduciary duty under New York law that runs directly against the corporation, even when the corporation's employee acted outside the scope of her employment and is not plaintiff's treating physician. Plaintiff's appeal presented a question that has not been resolved by the New York Court of Appeals. Accordingly, the court deferred decision and certified the question to the New York Court of Appeals. The court disposed of plaintiff's remaining claims on appeal in a separate summary order filed simultaneously with this opinion. View "Doe v. Guthrie Clinic, Ltd." on Justia Law
Natural Resources Defense Council v. United States Food and Drug Admin.
The NRDC appealed from the district court's grant of summary judgment to the government. At issue was whether the NRDC had standing under Article III to bring this action to compel the FDA to finalize its regulation of triclosan and triclocarban, two chemicals used in over-the-counter antiseptic antimicrobial soap. The court held that the NRDC presented sufficient evidence of standing to withstand summary judgment as to the regulation of triclosan because standing could be based on exposure to a potentially dangerous product. The NRDC's evidence established that triclosan is potentially dangerous and that at least one of its members was frequently exposed to triclosan-containing soap. The court held, however, that the NRDC presented no evidence of members' direct exposure to triclocarban and failed to establish a particularized injury. View "Natural Resources Defense Council v. United States Food and Drug Admin." on Justia Law
National Labor Relations Board v. Special Touch Home Care Services
The Board petitioned for enforcement of its decision and order finding that Special Touch violated the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1) and (3), by failing to immediately reinstate striking workers, home health care aides, engaged in protected conduct. The court held that the aides' actions were unprotected because their uncorrected affirmative misrepresentations regarding their plans to strike in response to the pre-strike poll placed 48 of Special Touch's patients in foreseeable imminent danger; the 48 aides engaged in indefensible conduct that was not protected by the NLRA; and Special Touch's failure to immediately reinstate these employees did not violate Section 8(a)(1) or (3). Accordingly, the court denied the petition for enforcement. View "National Labor Relations Board v. Special Touch Home Care Services" on Justia Law
Cage v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec.
Cage, born in 1960, has an extensive medical history. She offered evidence of: bipolar disorder, depression, suicidal ideation, dizziness, blackouts, memory loss and chest pain. She has not worked since November 2003. Before then, she had worked as a retail cashier, hotel maid and home healthcare aide. Cage also has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. Her ongoing medical care has included treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism and her other conditions. An Administrative Law Judge of the Social Security Administration denied Cage’s application for Supplemental Security Income benefits, finding that although Cage met certain requirements for being “disabled” under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 301, she was ineligible for SSI because drug addiction or alcoholism was a contributing factor material to that determination. The district court affirmed. The Second Circuit affirmed. The ALJ properly imposed upon Cage the burden of proving that she would be disabled in the absence of drug addiction and alcoholism and the record supported the ALJ’s finding that she would not be disabled absent drug addiction and alcoholism. View "Cage v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec." on Justia Law
Shakhnes v. Eggleston
Applicants for and recipients of Medicaid home health Services claimed that the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the New York State Department of Health, violated their statutory right, enforceable under 42 U.S.C.1983, to an opportunity for Medicaid fair hearings. They claimed that this right, as construed by federal regulation, entitles them to “final administrative action” within 90 days of their fair hearing requests. The district court declared that “final administrative action” includes the holding of Medicaid fair hearings, the issuance of fair hearing decisions, and the implementation of any relief ordered in those decisions and permanently enjoined the state agencies to ensure that “final administrative action” implemented within 90 days of fair hearing requests. The Second Circuit affirmed in part, holding that the plaintiffs have a right to a Medicaid hearing and decision ordinarily within 90 days of their fair hearing requests, and that such right is enforceable under section 1983. The permanent injunction was, however, overbroad because “final administrative action” refers not to the implementation of relief ordered in fair hearing decisions, but to the holding of fair hearings and to the issuance of fair hearing decisions. View "Shakhnes v. Eggleston" on Justia Law
Krist v. Kolombos Rest. Inc.
Krist claimed that defendant, a New York City restaurant, discriminated against her on the basis of her disabilities in violation of of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12181-12189; New York State Executive Law 290-301; and New York City Administrative Code 8-101 to 8-703 by attempting to restrict her access and that of her service dog to the restaurant and by verbally harassing her on account of her disability and use of the service dog. The district court dismissed. The Second Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that the ADA imposes a code of civility and that the trial court erroneously imposed a requirement that plaintiff prove intentional discrimination. View "Krist v. Kolombos Rest. Inc." on Justia Law
Messier v. Bouchard Transp.
Plaintiff, a seaman, contracted lymphoma and sued his former employer, a tugboat operator, seeking maintenance and cure. The doctrine of maintenance and cure concerns the vessel owner’s obligation to provide food, lodging, and medical services to a seaman injured while serving the ship. Undisputed evidence established that the seaman had lymphoma during his maritime service, but the disease did not present any symptoms at all until after his service. The district court granted summary judgment for the tugboat operator. The Second Circuit reversed. Because the seaman’s illness indisputably occurred during his service, he is entitled to maintenance and cure regardless of when he began to show symptoms. View "Messier v. Bouchard Transp." on Justia Law
23-34 94th St. Grocery Corp. v. NY City Bd. of Health
In 2009, the Board of Health of the City of New York adopted a resolution requiring all tobacco retailers to display signs bearing graphic images showing certain adverse health effects of smoking. The district court held that the resolution is preempted by federal labeling laws. The Second Circuit affirmed, citing the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. 1331-41, a comprehensive program to deal with cigarette labeling and advertising, which includes a preemption provision, limiting the extent to which states may regulate the labeling, advertising, and promotion of cigarettes. View "23-34 94th St. Grocery Corp. v. NY City Bd. of Health" on Justia Law