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Weekly Opinion Summaries
Health Care Cases

June 4, 2010 Weekly Health Care Newsletter
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Table of Contents


  • R.H. v. Plano Indep. Unified Sch. Dist.
  • Norman v. Union Pac. R.R. Co.
  • Moses v. Howard Univ. Hosp.
  • Brooks v. Dist. Hosp. Ptnrs., L.P.
  • Colantonio v. Shinseki
  • Wilkerson v. Shinseki
  • San Joaquin County Human Serv. Agency v. Marcus W.
  • Haemonetics Corp. v. Baxter Healthcare Corp.
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U.S. 5th Circuit, May 28, 2010
R.H. v. Plano Indep. Unified Sch. Dist., No. 09-40369
In plaintiff's appeal from the district court's denial of tuition reimbursement for private preschooling under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the order is affirmed where: 1) the school district discussed the potential harmful effects of plaintiff's placement in a special educational environment; 2) defendant considered whether plaintiff's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) could be satisfactorily implemented in a regular classroom; and 3) the lack of extended school year services was part and parcel of plaintiff's IEP, and he was thus required to give notice to defendant of his intent to reject the terms of his existing IEP. Read more...

U.S. 8th Circuit, June 01, 2010
Norman v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., No. 09-2651
In an action claiming that defendant terminated plaintiff based on race, gender, and a perceived disability, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where plaintiff's failure to submit a return-to-work release defeated her claim that her termination resulted from the designation of her disability as a mental illness. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, June 01, 2010
Moses v. Howard Univ. Hosp., No. 08-7087
In an action against a hospital claiming retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where, even after he had filed for bankruptcy, plaintiff continued to hold himself out before the district court as a valid plaintiff, a position "clearly inconsistent" with his pursuit of relief in bankruptcy. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, June 01, 2010
Brooks v. Dist. Hosp. Ptnrs., L.P., No. 09-7036
In a Title VII employment discrimination action, dismissal of the action is reversed where: 1) because plaintiffs' claims were separated under Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(b) and because the dismissal of appellants' claims constituted the adjudication of the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties in a multiple party case, the dismissal was eligible for Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) certification; and 2) plaintiffs properly invoked the single-filing exception to the administrative exhaustion requirement to join a preexisting lawsuit. Read more...

U.S. Fed. Circuit Court of Appeals, June 01, 2010
Colantonio v. Shinseki, No. 09-7067
Decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims finding that petitioner was not entitled to a free medical examination in connection with his claim for compensation for a service-connected disability is vacated and remanded to permit the Veterans Court to reconsider its harmless error analysis in light of the proper interpretation of 38 U.S.C. section 5103A(d)(2). Read more...

U.S. 10th Circuit, June 02, 2010
Wilkerson v. Shinseki, No. 09-8027
In an action claiming that plaintiff's reassignment discriminated against him based on his obesity and diabetes, and that age discrimination played a role in his reassignment in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff was not otherwise qualified to hold the position as required by the Rehabilitation Act; 2) defendant had a non-discriminatory reason for removing plaintiff that was not pretextual; and 3) plaintiff did not allege that the accessing of his health records was intentional misconduct, as required by the Privacy Act. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, June 02, 2010
San Joaquin County Human Serv. Agency v. Marcus W., No. C060965
Juvenile court's decision ordering a minor (a Jehova's Witness), who has sickle cell anemia, to undergo periodic blood transfusions to prevent him from suffering a third stroke and possibly death, is reversed as the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to issue the order against the minor's will and over the objection of his parents because the requirements of Welfare and Institutions Code section 369 were not met. Read more...

U.S. Fed. Circuit Court of Appeals, June 02, 2010
Haemonetics Corp. v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., No. 09-1557
In plaintiff's suit for infringement of a patent, which claims a compact blood centrifuge device for separating and collecting components in a liquid such as blood, judgment of the district court is reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded where: 1) district court's claim construction is reversed as "centrifugal unit" in claim 16 consistently means a vessel and a plurality of tubes, irrespective of its meaning in claim 1; and 2) district court's holding that claim 16 is not indefinite as a matter of law and the jury's finding that the patent was not invalid due to anticipation or obviousness is vacated because the district court erred in its construction of "centrifugal unit" and because the jury's verdict relied on the district court's incorrect claim construction. Read more...

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