CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: The Circuit Split Continues When It Comes to Standing in Cybersecurity Litigation

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert in Recent Case in Which The D.C. Circuit Concluded That “Risk of Future Harm” Is Sufficient to Prove Standing

Federal Circuit Courts will remain split on what constitutes a “concrete injury” sufficient to establish standing in cybersecurity litigation after the Supreme Court recently denied certification of an appeal from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Attias v. CareFirst, Inc. On August 1, 2017, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit issued a unanimous decision stating that the risk of future harm is sufficient to establish Article III standing in data breach cases. This decision serves as the latest ruling in a continued split among circuit courts across the nation.  The District Court’s holding is now final, as the U.S. Supreme Court denied certification on February 20, 2018. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: The Medical Studies Act: What Happens in Peer Review Does Not Always Stay in Peer Review

Medical professionals often face a difficult balancing act when it comes to peer review.  Hindsight is truly 20/20, and it is important for medical professionals to peer review patient and resident care to improve future treatment. However, when inadequate care is provided and a patient or resident is injured, medical professionals face the specter of litigation. How do medical professionals balance between improving future care and protecting themselves from litigation? To help balance these important interests, Illinois has passed both the Medical Studies Act, 735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (2004), and the Long-Term Care Peer Review and Quality Assessment and Assurance Protection Act, 745 ILCS 55/4 et. seq. (2014) (the “Quality Assessment Act”). While the line between communications protected during peer review and those that are discoverable in litigation is not perfectly clear despite these Acts, there are certain guidelines that peer-review committees can follow to ensure the greatest possibility of protection under the Acts. More »

PA PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Superior Court of Pennsylvania Case Serves As Reminder To Communicate With Experts

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In Rutyna v. Schweers, Plaintiffs instituted a legal malpractice action against William Schweers, the attorney who represented them in a medical malpractice action brought against a doctor and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian. The underlying action ensued after Mr. Rutyna underwent a laminectomy that was complicated by a dural tear, a condition that occurs when a surgical instrument nicks the thin covering of the spinal cord. Significantly, the trial court dismissed the Rutynas’ medical malpractice action after they failed to file a Certificate of Merit as required by the Pennsylvania Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act. More »

PA EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: Is More Money Coming To PA Employees? A Proposal By Governor Wolf Seeks To Expand Overtime Compensation For PA Employees

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently announced a proposal to expand overtime pay to an estimated 460,000 Pennsylvania employees. To that end, Governor Wolf requested the Department of Labor & Industry to prepare a plan to modernize Pennsylvania’s overtime rules, which have not been updated in more than 40 years. The first step in updating the rules is to increase the salary threshold to determine overtime eligibility for employees. Presently, the threshold for eligibility is set at the federal level of $455.00 per week, or $23,660.00 annually.  That level would increase to $610.00 per week ($31,720.00 annually) on January 1, 2020. The level would increase again to $39,832.00 on January 1, 2021 and to $47,892.00 in 2022.  Thereafter, the salary threshold will automatically increase every three years.  More »

NJ EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: Timing is Everything-Recent Amendments Strengthen New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act

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In a move that will provide additional protections to job seekers in New Jersey, outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently approved amendments to New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act “OTCA." More »

NJ EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: An Amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination “NJLAD” Provides Protection And Accommodations for Nursing Mothers

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed legislation that amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination "NJLAD" to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for breastfeeding. In that regard, an employer may not refuse to hire, discharge or require an employee to retire as a result of the employee’s breastfeeding. Further, the amendment prohibits employers from discriminating against any breastfeeding employee in regards to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. More »

PRODUCT LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Pennsylvania Federal Court Finds Amazon Not Liable for Third-Party Vendor’s Product

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On December 21, 2017, the Pennsylvania Federal Court in Oberdorf v. Amazon, No. 4:16-CV-01127, (M.D. Pa. 2017) addressed whether Amazon, under Pennsylvania’s products liability law, should be considered the “seller” of a defective dog leash which allegedly partially blinded Plaintiff Heather Oberdorf.   More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: The FDA and the Digital Age: FDA Releases Guidances on the Proposed Limits of its Regulation of Digital Health Technologies

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In an effort to encourage innovation and bring efficiency and modernization to regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance documents that define the types of software functions that the FDA will not regulate. These documents come in response to the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) which was legislation that removed certain low-risk health software from the jurisdiction of the FDA. These guidance documents represent clarity from the FDA regarding the applicability of FDA regulations to digital health technologies. To be clear, the FDA’s policy structure in this subject area is a work in progress. More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: FDA Issues Proposed Enforcement Policy Regarding Homeopathic Drugs

Marking a potentially dramatic new direction, on December 18, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a press release and Draft Guidance announcing a new proposed enforcement policy regarding homeopathic drugs.  If finalized, the new enforcement policy would change the existing compliance policy focusing on labeling requirements which has been in effect for about 30 years.  The changes come about a year after the FDA found homeopathic teething products containing belladonna did not accurately state the actual amount of belladonna in the products and after some teething products were allegedly linked to reported injuries and deaths in children. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Third-Party Litigation Financing Can Drive Up Case Settlement Value

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A recent data study by researcher, Jean Xiao, JD/Ph. D, at Vanderbilt University Law School revealed the effects of the growing Consumer Litigation Finance industry on medical negligence cases. According to the study, the direct availability of litigation funding from investors to plaintiffs resulted in higher malpractice payments and extended the amount of time it took cases to settle. More »

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