Justia U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Military Law
McConnell v. Anixter, Inc.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Anixter on plaintiff's claim that the company violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), by discriminating and retaliating against him on the basis of his prior service in the military and exercise of rights protected under the statute. The court held that plaintiff failed to show a genuine dispute of material fact that his military status was a motivating factor in Anixter's decision to fire him. The court noted that most of Anixter's actions that plaintiff claimed violated USERRA were not independently actionable under the statute. The court held that the order for plaintiff to perform some manual labor did not exceed his disability restriction and was therefore not materially adverse; Anixter's denial of plaintiff's request for a service dog was not sufficiently adverse; and defendant's discharge from Anixter four days after requesting PTSD accommodation did not create sufficient evidence of a genuine dispute of material fact regarding Anixter's unlawful motivation to fire plaintiff. Rather, the undisputed evidence indicated that plaintiff's temperament played a part in Anixter's decision to fire him, which was consistent with the company's explanation that it fired him due to this disagreement. View "McConnell v. Anixter, Inc." on Justia Law
Newcombe v. United States
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the United States for negligent supervision and training. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered emotional and physical distress after the Veterans Administration (VA) sent him a letter erroneously stating that his corneal ulcerations were not service-connected. The court held that the Veterans' Judicial Review Act (VJRA) limits district courts' jurisdiction over suits involving a VA benefits determination. Therefore, the Board's determination that the February 2015 letter contained a "clear and unmistakable" error does not constitute an admission of negligence such that the district court would no longer need to review a benefits determination in deciding plaintiff's claim. Therefore, the action was properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. View "Newcombe v. United States" on Justia Law
Scudder v. Dolgencorp, LLC
The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's order granting summary judgment for Dollar General in an action brought by plaintiff, after returning from military service, alleging that the company denied him reemployment as required under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The court held that there was a genuine dispute of material fact as to plaintiff's resignation; a reasonable jury could find that plaintiff's application for the store manager position at the Bryant store was sufficient to give a reasonable employer adequate notice that he was a returning service member seeking reemployment; Dollar General was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff's USERRA claim because he was not obligated to seek reemployment through the leave coordinator; and judicial estoppel did not bar plaintiff's USERRA claim. View "Scudder v. Dolgencorp, LLC" on Justia Law
Mace v. Willis
Plaintiff filed suit against her former employer under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), alleging that the employer violated USERRA by failing to promptly reemploy her and the violation was willful. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's order granting relief to plaintiff under USERRA, holding that the district court did not clearly err by finding that the employer acted willfully and plaintiff was entitled to liquidated damages. View "Mace v. Willis" on Justia Law
Dorris v. TXD Services, LP
Plaintiff, a member of the National Guard, filed suit against TXD, alleging that TXD violated the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq., when it terminated him while he was deployed on active duty in Iraq. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of TXD. At issue was whether TXD violated its USERRA obligations to plaintiff while he was on leave by not including him on an asset list of TXD employees provided to Foxxe, which took over TXD's operations without interruption. The court reversed and remanded, concluding that the modified claim turned on one or more essential facts that the summary judgment record did not address. View "Dorris v. TXD Services, LP" on Justia Law
Jones v. United States
Plaintiff filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., alleging that the VA negligently withheld benefits. Determining that the court had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1291, the court concluded that resolving plaintiff's claim would require the district court to determine whether the VA acted negligently in the benefits determination. Therefore, the district court lacked jurisdiction under 38 U.S.C. 511(a) and the district court properly dismissed the case. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Jones v. United States" on Justia Law
Milhauser v. Minco Products, Inc.
After plaintiff's employment was terminated by Minco as part of a reduction in force, he brought this action under the Uniformed Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. The court concluded that the jury's finding that plaintiff's position of employment would have been terminated had he not left for military service was entirely consistent with USERRA's text and its implementing regulations. Plaintiff did not properly preserve his remaining contention. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Milhauser v. Minco Products, Inc." on Justia Law
Rademacher v. HBE Corp.
Plaintiff appealed from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant on his claims that defendant committed employment discrimination, in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. 4301, et seq. Plaintiff claimed that his military service was a motivating factor in defendant's decision to discharge him and that defendant terminated him without cause. The court held that plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find that defendant was hostile to his membership in the uniformed services; that the timing of plaintiff's termination failed to support his argument that his membership in the uniform services was a motivating factor in defendant's decision; and that defendant's reason for termination have not varied. Therefore, the court concluded that the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of defendant on this claim. The court also held that defendant's decision to discharge plaintiff was not arbitrary and there was no evidence to suggest that defendant tried to evade the statute and that plaintiff had notice that his conduct would constitute cause for discharge. Therefore, the court also affirmed summary judgment on this claim.