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US Supreme Court: Daimler Personal Jurisdiction Constraints Constant Despite Type of Claim or Business Sued

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

In an 8-1 decision penned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the US Supreme Court yesterday held that the Daimler due process analysis for determining general jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant “does not vary with the type of claim asserted or business enterprise sued.”  BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, et al., — S. Ct. –, 2017 WL 2322834 (2017).  In so holding, the Court reversed the Montana Supreme Court’s exercise of general jurisdiction over defendant BNSF Railway in two Montana state court Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) cases. The Court first rejected the Montana Supreme Court’s reliance on FELA statute 45

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Illinois Supreme Court tightens the reins on school district cases in Barr v. Cunningham

Author

Joshua N. Severit

The Illinois Supreme Court recently affirmed a Cook County trial court’s directed verdict for a school district and its employee in connection with an injury sustained by a student during physical education class. In Barr v. Cunningham, 2017 IL 120751, a high-school student filed suit against his physical education instructor and Township High School District 211 for injuries sustained when an errant ball struck his eye during a game of P.E. floor hockey. The student alleged that his instructor’s conduct was willful and wanton by failing to require all students to wear protective eyewear while playing floor hockey. The trial

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7th and 8th Circuits split on removal requirements of Federal Question cases involving multiple defendants

Author

Justin A. Reinhardt

Civil defendants in state court have the option to remove a case to federal court, and one basis for removal is when the case presents a “federal question.”  Federal question cases arise under the Constitution or laws of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441 (2011). But when there are multiple defendants in a case and removal is based solely on a federal question, “all defendants” must “join in or consent to the removal of the action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446 (b)(2)(A) (2011) (emphasis added). This is known as the “unanimity requirement.” The US Court of Appeals for the

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Illinois Court’s Groundbreaking Decision Extends Title VII Protections to LGBT Community

Author

Stephanie A. Black

On Tuesday, a federal court in Illinois ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.[1] In an 8-3 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first appellate court in the nation to extend protections of workplace discrimination to the LGBT community. The court ruled in favor of plaintiff Kimberly Hively, who claimed she was fired from her position as a part-time instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana, because she is a lesbian. Hively’s sexual orientation became an issue in 2009,

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Student Sues Columbia University For Failure to Promptly and Thoroughly Investigate Reports Of On-Campus Rape

Author

Stephanie A. Black

A Columbia University student recently filed suit in federal court alleging the school failed to properly investigate two separate instances of sexual assault that occurred on the Ivy League campus in 2015.[1] Amelia Roskin-Frazee,[2] currently a sophomore, alleges in her complaint that Columbia violated Title IX and its own policies and procedures for cases involving sexual misconduct by failing to “promptly and equitably” investigate her claims of sexual assault. Under Title IX and its accompanying guidance documents, once a school knows, or reasonably should know, about sexual harassment or an allegation of harassment, it must promptly investigate the claim in

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Uber Hires Third-Party Investigation Team Amid Claims of Sexual Harassment

Author

Stephanie A. Black

On-demand driver app, Uber, recently hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an impartial, third-party investigation into a prior employee’s claims of sexual harassment.[1]  Holder and Tammy Albarran, partners at law firm Covington & Burling, were hired to investigate former Uber site reliability engineer, Susan Fowler’s, claims that her manager propositioned her for sex via the company’s chat program.[2] After reporting the alleged harassment, Fowler asserts that she was told by Uber HR and upper management that it was the “high performing” manager’s first offense, and offered a team transfer.  Upon transfer, she met other female engineers who

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Defense Verdict in St. Louis City Talc Trial

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

A St. Louis City jury has today returned the jurisdiction’s first defense verdict in a talcum powder trial.  The verdict for Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America follows three major talc trials over the past year which awarded plaintiffs a combined total of $197 million. In Swann v. Johnson & Johnson, St. Louis City No. 1422-CC09326-01, Plaintiff Nora Daniels alleged her 2013 ovarian cancer was caused by daily use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder for over 38 years.  However, the jury found in favor of the defendants on counts of negligence, product liability failure to warn and misrepresentation

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Missouri Supreme Court holds compliance with foreign business registration statute does not imply consent to General Jurisdiction

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

The Missouri Supreme Court has issued an opinion clarifying whether a foreign business consents to general jurisdiction by registering to do business in the state.  In holding that foreign business registration does not imply jurisdictional consent, the February 28th State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. The Hon. Colleen Dolan, 2017 WL 770977, opinion joins a growing number of courts strictly following the US Supreme Court’s Daimler paradigm test in determining whether a defendant is “at home” in a state. Norfolk stems from a St. Louis County personal injury FELA action filed by plaintiff Russell Parker, an Indiana resident,

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Madison County Jury Issues Defense Verdict in Asbestos Trial

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

A Madison County jury continued a streak of defense verdicts for asbestos defendants yesterday in finding for defendant, Hennessy Industries, in the Stanley Urban matter.  Mr. Urban, a living mesothelioma plaintiff represented by the Shrader Law Firm, was a shop teacher who alleged he inhaled asbestos fibers from his work with the defendant’s brake grinders.  Plaintiffs alleged that Hennessy Industries knew that asbestos was dangerous, sold brake grinders in every state and failed to warn of the dangers before and after sale.  Plaintiffs are Michigan residents and all of Mr. Urban’s alleged exposures occurred in the state of Michigan. Mr.

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University settles Title IX suit for $1.15 million amid allegations of failed investigation

Author

Stephanie A. Black

The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), recently settled a Title IX lawsuit for $1.15 million stemming from allegations that a former student was raped by a professor in 2015, and that the university had knowledge of previous instances of sexual harassment involving the same professor but failed to investigate the prior claims. While the university maintains it followed proper protocol, the settlement, thought to be one of the largest for a Title IX case, may tell a different story. There is no indication that the university employed a third-party investigation team to implement the Title IX investigation surrounding the

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  • Editor

  • CANDICE C. KUSMER

    Candice Kusmer enjoys working with several of Kurowski Shultz’s major clients, oversees the firm’s asbestos docket in Central Illinois and handles high-level matters in Madison County. An accomplished writer, she has a passion for writing and leads the firm’s Appellate Practice.

  • Contributors

  • LINDSAY A. DIBLER

    Mr. Dibler has been with Kurowski Shultz since 2002 and is responsible for the firm's substantial St. Louis City and Cook County (Chicago) asbestos dockets. He is one of few defense counsel who have taken verdicts in the challenging defense environment of St. Louis City.

  • STEPHANIE A. BLACK

    Stephanie A. Black, a Madison County native, joined Kurowski Shultz LLC in 2014. Her practice area consists primarily of toxic tort and personal injury defense.

  • JUSTIN A. REINHARDT

    Justin Reinhardt joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2015. He concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation and toxic tort defense. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. He is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

  • KYLER H. STEVENS

    Kyler Stevens has been with Kurowski Shultz since October 2012 and has focused his practice on complex civil litigation, protecting the interests of large and small businesses alike. Mr. Stevens is also active in the defense of schools and municipal corporations in various civil matters.

  • Alexander J. Baker

    Alexander J. Baker joined Kurowski Shultz in 2012. His practice area concentrates on complex civil litigation including the defense of toxic tort and personal injury lawsuits. Mr. Baker also recently tried to verdict a Southern District of Illinois pro bono case regarding First Amendment rights and violations of the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the US Constitution. He is an active member of the St. Clair County and the Illinois State Bar Association.

  • John P. Fritz

    John P. Fritz, Senior Associate, joined Kurowski Shultz LLC in April 2012. Mr. Fritz's work involves litigation asbestos, silica and other toxic tort cases. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois.

  • Joshua N. Severit

    Joshua N. Severit, joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2016. Mr. Severit specializes in toxic tort and personal injury. He is a member of the Illinois State and Madison County Bar Associations and is licensed to practice law in Illinois.