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Top 5 Cases From the Third Circuit May 2017

By Peter Clarke, JD | Last updated on

In May, the Third Circuit ruled on a False Claims Act suit against Genentech. Other major decisions involved asbestos litigation, a petition for IRS relief, and a First Amendment retaliation claim. For a quick review of the top cases from May 2017, we've put together a list from the FindLaw Opinion Summary Archive:

1. Jones v. SCO Silver Care Operations LLC

In an action brought by certified nursing assistants against their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and related New Jersey state wage and hour laws, the District Court denial of defendant's motion to dismiss or to stay pending arbitration is affirmed over defendant's claim that both overtime claims must first be submitted to arbitration to resolve disputed interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), including the definition of the wage differentials and policies concerning the meal breaks.

2. Oliver v. Roquet

In a First Amendment retaliation claim brought against a state employee charged with assessing the clinical progress of a civilly-committed sexually violent predator, the district court's denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity is reversed. Because the detainee has pleaded facts reflecting that the medical professional based her recommendation on the medically relevant collateral consequences of his protected activity, but has not sufficiently pleaded that the recommendation was based on the protected activity itself, the detainee has not alleged the necessary causation to state a prima facie case of retaliation.

3. Gerasimos Petratos v. Genentech Inc.

In a qui tam action under the False Claims Act involving a multi-billion dollar cancer drug, Avastin, which was developed by defendant, filed by the former head of healthcare data analytics for defendant, alleging that defendant suppressed data that caused doctors to certify incorrectly that Avastin was 'reasonable and necessary' for certain at-risk Medicare patients, the district court's dismissal of the suit for failure to state a claim is affirmed on alternate grounds where plaintiff failed to satisfy the False Claims Act's materiality requirement.

4. Rubel v. Commissioner Internal Revenue

In a petition challenging the IRS's final determinations denying her requests for relief for tax liability under the innocent spouse relief provisions of 26 U.S.C. section 6015, the United States Tax Court's dismissal of her petition for lack of jurisdiction is affirmed where: 1) petitioner failed to file her petition by the deadline set forth in 26 U.S.C. section 6015(e)(1)(A); and 2) the deadline is jurisdictional.

5. General Refractories Co v. First State Insurance Co.

In a dispute involving the rightful allocation of asbestos-related losses under thirty-year-old excess insurance policies, and to decide which of two companies, a historical manufacturer of asbestos-containing products and its insurer, will bear costs associated with a staggering number of asbestos claims, the district court's judgment that the policy is ambiguous is reversed where the phrase "arising out of" asbestos, when used in a Pennsylvania insurance exclusion, unambiguously requires "but for" causation.

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