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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Wells Fargo in an action alleging that the bank violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in terminating plaintiff's employment. The court held that the district court identified exactly the two policies that plaintiff challenged. The court also held that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination under the ADEA where plaintiff was disqualified for the job he held due to a prior conviction for fraud and he failed to present statistical evidence of any kind that the two challenged policies created a disparate impact among Wells Fargo employees older than 40. View "Eggers v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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After child abuse investigators removed seven minor children from plaintiffs' home, plaintiffs brought a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against DHS and others. On appeal, a civilian investigator for the Crimes Against Children Division appealed the district court's denial of her motion to dismiss based on qualified immunity. The Eighth Circuit affirmed and held that the facts plausibly alleged that the investigator could be liable if the children were removed from their parents' home without reasonable suspicion of child abuse. Furthermore, it was clearly established at the time the investigator acted that reasonable suspicion was required to remove the children from their home and their parents' custody. View "Stanley v. Finnegan" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in an action alleging that FCA violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) by making deceptive representations about the safety of certain Jeep vehicles. Plaintiff also appealed the denial of his motion to remand to state court. The Eighth Circuit held that it had jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) where the amount in controversy jurisdictional limit was satisfied after taking into consideration the sum of damages and the amount of potential attorneys' fees. The court held that plaintiff's claim under the MMPA failed where his purchase had no relationship with the alleged misrepresentation regarding the vehicles' safety. In this case, there was no evidence suggesting that either the seller or the buyer was aware of the misrepresentation, nor was the intermediary seller an unwitting conduit for passing on the substance of the misrepresentation. View "Faltermeier v. FCA US LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed Defendants Farah, Daud, and Omar's convictions and sentences for several federal offenses related to their participation in a conspiracy to join the foreign terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The court held that the record demonstrated that the district court conducted a sufficient inquiry into Farah's concerns about his attorney; the district court did not improperly instruct the jury as to conspiracy to commit murder and any error was harmless where there was overwhelming evidence that all three defendants understood they would engage in killing if they reached Syria; the district court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury on the affirmative defenses of combatant immunity and defense of others; the district court did not procedurally err by failing to consider the need to avoid disparities between their sentences and those of their coconspirators who entered guilty pleas; and defendants' sentences were not substantively reasonable where the district court varied below a properly calculated guidelines range. View "United States v. Farah" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims against ConAgra in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act. Plaintiffs alleged that they were entitled to compensation for time spent donning and doffing their protective equipment. The court held that plaintiffs' claims under the FLSA failed where ConAgra did not create a custom or practice under the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement for employees not to be compensated for donning and doffing their protective equipment. Rather, ConAgra continued a custom or practice that was in effect under the 2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Furthermore, the union and its employees have not objected to this practice. After reviewing Gerber Prods. Co. v. Hewitt, 492 S.W. 3d 856 (Ark. 2016), Act 914, and the codified text of the Act, the court predicted that if this issue were before the Arkansas Supreme Court today, it would not follow Gerber but would instead apply the terms of the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement. Finally, the court held that plaintiffs' claim for "tool time" was correctly viewed as de minimis. View "Lyons v. Conagra Foods Packaged Foods LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for St. Luke's in an action brought by a former employee, alleging discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The court held that plaintiff failed to show that St. Luke's reason for his termination was pretext for unlawful discrimination. In this case, St. Luke's terminated plaintiff for his disclosure of confidential information in violation of hospital policies. The court also held that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies on that claim, and he could not pursue it in federal court. View "Lindeman v. Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's revocation of defendant's term of supervised release, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that he violated his conditions of release by possessing ammunition as a felon. In this case, given the evidence of defendant's dominion over the bedroom and the presence of his personal effects in the drawer, the district court did not clearly err in finding that he constructively possessed the ammunition and committed a federal crime. View "United States v. Patton" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment confirming an arbitrator's award of attorney's fees and expenses to Beumer. The court held that the arbitrator acted within the scope of his authority and did not violate the arbitration agreement's provision when he determined that attorneys' fees were "costs" and not "loss" under Missouri law. Therefore, these costs were not subject to the limitation of liability. The court held that ProEnergy failed to demonstrate grounds to vacate the arbitration award under 9 U.S.C. 10, and denied Beumer's motion for sanctions. View "Beumer Corp. v. ProEnergy Services, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's decision upholding the Social Security Commission's denial of plaintiff's applications for child insurance benefits and supplemental security income. The court held that the ALJ did not elicit a reasonable explanation to resolve an apparent conflict between testimony from the vocational expert and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) when it determined that plaintiff's limitations did not prevent him from performing certain jobs in the national economy. In this case, the conflict was in regard to the DOT's listing related to the level of reasoning required for the job of hospital or industrial cleaner. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Stanton v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits

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After Gary Wenzel was shot and killed by a police officer, Wenzel's family filed suit against the officer, alleging a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for excessive force. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of summary judgment based on the officer's claim of qualified immunity. The court held that, given the officer's knowledge of Wenzel's reputation of being aggressive and violent towards law enforcement officers, it was reasonable for the officer to believe that Wenzel posed an immediate threat of serious physical harm to him, notwithstanding the fact that the officer could see that Wenzel's hands were empty and the later-discovered fact that Wenzel was unarmed. In this case, a reasonable officer on the scene would have viewed Wenzel's indisputably aggressive approach as a precursor to a physical altercation, and the officer was required to make a split-second decision in an unpredictable and dangerous circumstance. View "Wenzel v. Storm" on Justia Law