Justia U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc.
Syngenta, producer of a genetically-modified corn seed, filed suit against Bunge, an agricultural produce storage and transport company, alleging breach of an obligation under the United States Warehouse Act (USWA), 7 U.S.C. 241-256; breach of a duty to third party beneficiaries of a licensing agreement between Bunge and the federal government; and false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125. The court concluded that the text of the USWA and the structure of the Act do not implicitly authorize a private cause of action for violations of a warehouse operator's fair treatment obligations; Syngenta is not a third-party beneficiary of the License Agreement and the district court did not err in dismissing this claim on the pleadings; and the court found it was necessary to remand the Lanham Act claim, in light of Lexmark Int'l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., for the district court to determine in the first instance whether Syngenta has standing to bring the claim under the zone-of-interests test and proximate causality requirements. Accordingly, the court affirmed the dismissal of the USWA and third-party beneficiary claims, and vacated the grant of summary judgment to Bunge on the Lanham Act claim and remanded for further proceedings. View "Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc." on Justia Law
Dowell v. Lincoln County, Missouri, et al.
Plaintiff filed suit against the County and others under 42 U.S.C. 1983, after he was investigated and prosecuted for rape and murder. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court erred in granting defendants summary judgment. The court concluded that officers did not violate plaintiff's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination where plaintiff failed to introduce sufficient evidence to raise a question of material fact as to whether the officers' conduct overbore plaintiff's will; the district court did not err by granting defendants summary judgment on plaintiff's Sixth Amendment claim where plaintiff failed to allege a violation of the right to counsel as no statements made by him without counsel present were introduced at trial; and the district court did not err by granting summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim where Detective Bartlett's second probable cause statement would still have established probable cause if the omitted facts at issue had been included. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Dowell v. Lincoln County, Missouri, et al." on Justia Law
Adkisson, et al. v. Blytheville Sch. Dist. #5
Plaintiffs, parents of minor children who reside in the District, filed suit challenging a resolution to exempt the District from the Public School Choice Act of 2013, Ark. Code Ann. 6-18-1901 et seq. Plaintiffs alleged that the District violated their constitutional rights when it resolved, for the 2013-2014 school year, to opt-out of the Act. The district court denied a preliminary injunction and plaintiffs appealed. The court held that the appeal was moot where the time period in which the requested relief would have been effective has expired and the controversy was not capable of repetition, yet evading review. View "Adkisson, et al. v. Blytheville Sch. Dist. #5" on Justia Law
Anderson, Jr. v. United States
Petitioner, convicted of a drug offense, appealed the district court's dismissal of his motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255. Plaintiff alleged that his counsel was ineffective in failing to move to suppress evidence and to seek a hearing based on alleged false statements by a police officer in a search warrant. Plaintiff contended that counsel should have moved for a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, alleging that an officer stated falsely in his affidavit that petitioner's trash cans were located at the curb. The court concluded that counsel reasonably could have concluded that petitioner's allegations were insufficient to make the "substantial preliminary showing" that would trigger a Franks hearing. Accordingly, the court concluded that the district court did not err in dismissing petitioner's section 2255 motion without a hearing because even accepting his allegations as true, counsel's performance did not fall below an objective standard of reasonableness. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Anderson, Jr. v. United States" on Justia Law
Walls v. Tadman, et al.
Plaintiff filed suit against prison officials after he was attacked three times by fellow inmates over the course of about a year and a half. Plaintiff claimed that the officials violated his Eighth Amendment right against the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment when they failed to protect him from those attacks. The court concluded that officials offered plaintiff protective custody, which he declined; when officials placed him in protective custody anyway, plaintiff asked to be returned to the general population; and plaintiff repeatedly denied the existence of any potential problems. Plaintiff failed to even show negligence, much less deliberate indifference on the part of the officials. Therefore, plaintiff has not demonstrated that prison officials responded unreasonably and, therefore, that the officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Walls v. Tadman, et al." on Justia Law
United States v. Deering, Sr.
Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty without a plea agreement to various drug and firearms offenses. The court concluded that the district court did not commit procedural error in applying a U.S.S.G. 5K1.1 departure, based on defendant's substantial assistance; there was no plain error when the government asked the district court to depart from the top of the advisory guidelines range and the government did not breach the cooperation agreement; and defendant's sentence was not substantively unreasonable where the district court carefully reviewed the sentencing record and carefully explained the sentence imposed. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Deering, Sr." on Justia Law
Silva v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., et al.
Plaintiff filed suit against his deceased son's employer and the insurer, MetLife, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq, after plaintiff was denied benefits of the son's life insurance policy. The court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff's section 1132(a)(1)(B) claim where there were outstanding questions of material fact regarding whether MetLife abused its discretion when it denied benefits because the plan did not define evidence of insurability; reversed the denial of plaintiff's motion to add a claim under section 1132(a)(3); and remanded to the district court so that plaintiff has a full opportunity to litigate both his ERISA claims. View "Silva v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., et al." on Justia Law
Whitman v. Colvin
Plaintiff appealed the denial of disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 401-434. The court agreed with the district court that the ALJ properly articulated his reasons for granting little weight to plaintiff's physician's opinions, and for finding the physician's opinions to be inconsistent with the record as a whole; that the ALJ properly considered plaintiff's medical records, observations of treating physicians, and plaintiff's own description of his limitations in making the residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment for plaintiff; and that the ALJ made a proper RFC determination based on a fully and fairly developed record. The court also concluded that substantial evidence exists in the record to support the ALJ's adverse credibility finding, and the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing to remand for reconsideration under 42 U.S.C. 405(g). Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Whitman v. Colvin" on Justia Law
Nebraska Machinery Co. v. Cargotec Solutions, LLC
Cargotec appealed the district court's conclusion that Cargotec's contract with NMC did not contain arbitration and indemnification provisions. As a preliminary matter, the court concluded that whether the arbitration clause became part of the parties' agreement remains a question "presumptively committed to judicial determination." On the merits, the court concluded that the district court erred in failing to order a trial to resolve material factual disputes concerning whether the parties agreed to arbitration and indemnification. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for the district court to hold a non-jury trial, making findings of fact, and apply the appropriate U.C.C. provisions in light of those facts. View "Nebraska Machinery Co. v. Cargotec Solutions, LLC" on Justia Law
Goswell-Renner v. Holder, Jr.
Petitioner, a citizen of Gambia, petitioned for review of the BIA's dismissal of her appeal from an IJ's order that she be removed from the United States. The court concluded that there was substantial evidence to support the IJ's finding that petitioner gave false testimony - that she was not married - for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit - adjustment of status based on being an unmarried daughter over the age of twenty-one. The court further concluded that petitioner did not present a claim of direct persecution to the BIA and the BIA did not violate her due process rights by construing her appeal to raise only a derivative claim for withholding of removal. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Goswell-Renner v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law