May 2017 in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
August 3, 2017
Each month, Nexsen Pruet attorney Marc Manos, a member of the SC Bar Torts and Insurance Practice Section Council, sheds light on a few recent cases from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, focused in the area of Torts & Insurance.
Below are noted cases from May 2017:
Davis v. Walmart Stores East, L.P.
May 1, 2017: The Court affirmed in part and reversed in part dismissal of Section 1983 claim based upon plaintiff’s attempt to fill an Adderall prescription at a Walmart pharmacy and subsequent arrest. The Court affirmed dismissal of all counts except one for negligence per se in allegedly violating a Virginia statute and regulation by revealing information in Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Plan to law enforcement. Plaintiff’s prescription was later found to be valid.
Woodson v. Allstate Ins. Co.
May 3, 2017: The Court reversed judgment for plaintiff holding that federal law completely preempts all state law for any policy of insurance issued under the Federal Flood Insurance Act. The strict federal one-year statute of limitation barred the claim.
Woods v. City of Greensboro
May 5, 2017: Court reversed dismissal of complaint for discrimination in city’s lending program. Plaintiff pled that the city gave loans to white owned businesses similar to plaintiff’s black owned business but would not make the same loan to plaintiff’s business. These allegations stated a claim for discrimination in public loan program.
Grayson O Co. v. Agadair Internat’l, LLC
May 5, 2017: The Court affirmed summary judgment for defendant in trademark/unfair competition case. The mark “F450” for hair products is suggestive of well-known threshold for temperature damage to hair and, therefore, a weak mark. Further, defendant’s style, placement and use of “450” was significantly different from plaintiff’s “F450” making the marks dissimilar. Thus, there was no likelihood of confusion.
Dillon v. BMO Harris Bank, N.A.
May 10, 2017: Tribal pay day lender’s choice of law provisions applied only tribal law and specifically excluded all state and federal law. As a result, the contract’s arbitration provision prospectively waived all federal statutory rights. The Court affirmed holding that arbitration provision that prospectively waives federal statutory rights cannot be enforced.
Dreher v. Experian Info. Solutions, LLC
May 11, 2017: The Court reversed $11,747,500 class action judgment based on listing defunct credit card company instead of its servicer as the source of credit information under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Court found class representative plaintiffs failed to plead concrete, ascertainable harm stemming from incomplete or inaccurate reported information. As a result, the named plaintiffs did not have Article III standing and the case should be dismissed.
Arora v. James, No. 15-2265
May 12, 2017: District court held plaintiffs’ amendment to add medical malpractice claims futile as it was not supported by expert affidavit. The Court reversed. Under South Carolina law, a claim against a hospital for non-medical, administrative, ministerial or routine care sounds in ordinary negligence. Failure to provide security fell under ordinary negligence even though plaintiff pled it as medical malpractice. Therefore, amendment was not futile and should have been allowed.
US. v. Triple Canopy, Inc.
May 16, 2017: After remand from the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court held government states a claim under the False Claims Act when it alleges a contractor submitted a claim for payment while knowingly concealing a failure to meet a material contractual requirement, even though that requirement is not specifically identified as a condition of payment. Contractor gives an implied certification of compliance with material terms by submitting payment request.
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