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Hospital Employees' Suit Under the Wiretap Act, Plus ERISA & Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on September 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Figueroa, 09-3333, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and one count of distribution of cocaine arising from charges for leading a multimillion-dollar drug conspiracy, and a 235-month sentence.  Because the evidence found during search of defendant's home was properly admitted, defendant's conviction is affirmed.  However, although the evidence was sufficient to establish the drug quantity and the original guidelines calculation, defendant's sentence is vacated and remanded as the district court's comments during the sentencing hearing were utterly out of bounds and there is no way of assessing how the improper observations affected the district court's final choice of a sentence.


Temme v. Bemis Co., Inc., 09-3374, involved retirees' suit under the Labor-Management Relations Act, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, claiming that the 2005 and 2007 changes to their medical plan breached the agreement negotiated by an employer and a labor organization.  In reversing the district court's holding that the Plant Closing Agreement included no promise of lifetime benefits to retirees in granting summary judgment to defendant, the court remanded the matter as the language in the Agreement regarding the eligibility of the retirees to a medical benefit, read in conjunction with the CBA, shows the parties intended for the retirees to enjoy a lifetime entitlement to medical benefits.  Thus, on remand, additional determinations need to be made with respect to the level of entitled benefits and whether defendant's 2005 and 2007 changes infringed on the retirees' vested rights.

McCann v. Iroquois Mem'l Hosp., 08-3420, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, in a hospital employees' suit against the hospital, its Board of Trustees, its Chief Executive Officer, and another employee, for violation of the Wiretap Act, claiming that the employee intentionally intercepted their conversation criticizing the hospital, and disclosed the contents of the recording to justify sanctioning the plaintiffs.  In vacating in part and remanding, the court held that, because the parties presented two different but plausible stories, an issue of fact remains, and as such, the claims against the employee and the hospital should not have been resolved on summary judgment.  However, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the claims against the CEO and the trustees as the evidence does not show that the CEO knew that the employee acted unlawfully and the only trustee who might have known did not use or disclose the recordings.

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