But For Causation

News & Analysis as of

District Court Permits Survey Evidence to Support Lost Profits Damage Theory

The defendants', Roland DGA Corporation and Roland DG Corporation (collectively "Roland"), filed a motion for summary judgment against plaintiff, Gerber Scientific International, Inc. ("Gerber") regarding Gerber's claims for...more

D. Mass. (!) Refuses to Certify Celexa/Lexapro RICO Class Action

Is there a more misused statute than RICO? Or one that more convincingly shows the weakness of the textualist position, which wads up any evidence of legislative intent and tosses it into the trash bin? RICO was clearly...more

Is There A Difference Between Firing Because of Age vs. Salary?

Up on Fortune magazine’s column “Practically Speaking” is the following question: Frank has been with us for more than 20 years. He works in the warehouse and has done a good job for us. I like him. But, to be honest,...more

Still Cookin’ In California Court: Bakery Employer Survives EEOC Motion For Summary Judgment

In what has become an oft-used recipe in the EEOC cookbook of Title VII retaliation litigation, the government has once again utilized the strategy of taking an employer’s deposition and thereafter moving for summary...more

Finding coverage for “additional insured,” Third Circuit cautions that “insurer cannot bury its head in the sand”

Executive Summary - Using the “four corners” rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided in Ramara, Inc. v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 15-1003 (3d Cir. Feb. 17, 2016), that an insurer owed a garage...more

Scalia’s Employment Law Legacy: More Complicated Than You Think

About a decade ago, I had the good fortune to sit at a table with Justice Antonin Scalia over a long lunch. He was a distinguished speaker for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and, as a former...more

EEOC’s Updated Retaliation Enforcement Guidance Seeks to Expand the Reach of its Anti-Retaliation Laws

Effectively responding to employee discrimination complaints by current employees without running afoul of federal and state anti-retaliation laws presents a slippery slope for all employers. In fact, retaliation complaints...more

EEOC Proposes Expansive Enforcement Guidance for Retaliation Claims

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued proposed enforcement guidance regarding retaliation claims. According to the EEOC, the revised guidance is necessary in light of...more

Federal Judge Leaves Yahoo’s 'Human Intervention' Argument in the Hands of Jury

On December 14, 2015, a federal judge in the Southern District of California concluded that a jury should decide whether Yahoo is liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227, for “welcome...more

Causation In Federal Remedial Rights And Alternative Pleading

Several recent Supreme Court decisions have upended causation standards in the statutory alphabet soup of federal remedial rights. It is now clear that “but for” causation governs discrimination claims under the Age...more

Charney v. American Apparel, Inc., C.A. No. 11098-CB (Del. Ch. Sept. 11, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that Dov Charney (“Charney”), the former CEO of American Apparel, Inc. (the “Company”), was not entitled to advancement of litigation fees and expenses under either the Company’s...more

Heedless Heeding Presumptions – How New York Law Became a Morass

Ever since this blog started, we’ve made plain that we have no use for the so-called “heeding presumption.” This presumption posits that, because under Restatement §402A, comment j, a defendant providing an adequate warning...more

Business Litigation Report - September 2015

Alleging Fraud in a Financial Crisis: The Second Circuit Articulates a Less Stringent Pleading Standard for Loss Causation: Loss causation has emerged as a central obstacle to post-financial-crisis fraud cases. The loss...more

KBR And Maintaining Privilege Throughout Investigations

Last month, for the second time, the D.C. Circuit in In re Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., No. 14-5319, slip op. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), granted a writ of mandamus sought by KBR and vacated a series of district court orders...more

D.C. Circuit Reinforces Attorney-Client Privilege Applicable to Internal Investigations

On August 11, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia issued a decision of importance to all companies that seek to maintain privilege with respect to internal investigations. The D.C....more

Curing Cat’s-Paw

In a Title VII retaliation claim, a plaintiff has to prove protected conduct was the “but-for” cause of the materially adverse action. Can a plaintiff prove “but-for” causation relying on the supposed retaliatory animus of...more

Whither The Injury Standard?

Given the long history of the material injury standard and the numerous determinations made over the years using the standard in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, one might expect that the nature of the...more

Seventh Circuit: Neiman Marcus Data Breach Victims Have Standing To Bring Class Action

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided on July 20, 2015, that individuals whose credit card information was exposed to hackers in the 2013 Neiman Marcus data breach have standing to sue the luxury department store in a...more

EEOC Encouraged to Address Social Media and “But-for” Causation in Revising Guidance on Retaliation

At a meeting of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, convened to address the explosive growth of retaliation charges last week, witnesses made a variety of recommendations, including that the agency revise its...more

Retaliation in the Fourth Circuit: Recent Decision Creates New Challenges for Employers

In May 2015, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over federal courts in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) issued an opinion with negative consequences for employers...more

The Fourth Circuit Asks What For, Answers with But For: The Determination that a Landmark United States Supreme Court Decision...

In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States held that plaintiffs claiming retaliation under Title VII must prove that “but for” the retaliation they would not have been discharged. University of Texas Southwestern Medical...more

SuperVision Today - May 2015

In This Issue: - Notes from the Chair and Executive Editor - The Fourth Circuit Asks What For, Answers with But For: The Determination that a Landmark United States Supreme Court Decision Does Not Change Employment...more

Fourth Circuit Adopts Lower Burden for Plaintiffs to Survive Summary Judgment on Retaliation Claims

In its 2013 Nassar decision, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that plaintiffs who allege workplace retaliation under Title VII and related statutes must demonstrate that the retaliatory animus is a “but for” cause of the...more

Employment Retaliation Claims – Still Alive and Well (and Potentially Dangerous)

Federal law and most state laws protect employees who complain about discrimination and harassment from retaliatory adverse employment actions (such as demotion or termination). Because retaliation claims can succeed even...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Age Discrimination Claim Despite Manager's Comments About Need to Retire

In order for a plaintiff to prove age discrimination, he/she must show that age is a “but for” reason for the termination or other employment action. In other words, but for the plaintiff’s age, the termination decision would...more

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