Eighth Amendment

News & Analysis as of

Reflections on the Twentieth Anniversary of BMW v. Gore

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in BMW of North America. Inc. v. Gore, the first time the Court had ever held that a punitive damages award was unconstitutionally excessive under the Due...more

FCA Penalties Slated to Nearly Double This Year

A little known federal agency, the Railroad Retirement Board (“Board”), which administers retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for railroad workers, published an interim final rule on May 2, 2016...more

Mandatory FCA Per Claim Penalties Dramatically Increased from $11,000 to $21,563

The penalties are potentially astronomical for entities with FCA exposure. In addition to treble damages, the False Claims Act (FCA) provides for mandatory penalties for each false claim submitted “of not less than...more

Supreme Court Update: Montgomery V. Louisiana (14-280), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission V. Electric Power Supply Association...

The decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (14-280) was a biggie, and not just because it retroactively applied the Court's 2012 holding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth...more

Supreme Court Update: Kansas V. Carr (14-449) And Order List

Wiggin and Dana just opened a shiny new office Washington, D.C., but it seems our arrival has been eclipsed by that of another force of nature in the nation's capital. Perhaps anxious to skip town before it's buried, the...more

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in four cases today: Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, No. 14-857: Respondent Jose Gomez received Navy recruitment text messages without his consent. He filed a nationwide...more

Supreme Court Update: Hurst v. Florida (14-7505), Bruce v. Samuels (14-844) And Order List

...and Happy New Year! Judging by the votes in its first two decisions of (calendar year) 2016—an 8-1 decision striking down Florida's capital sentencing regime and 9-0 decision addressing filing fees under the Prison...more

A Case to Watch: Highway Contractor Appeals $663M False Claims Act Judgment

On August 31, 2015, highway contractors Trinity Industries, Inc. and Trinity Highway Products, LLC (collectively, Trinity) appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit a $663,360,750 final judgment entered...more

Judicial Internet Research: Does the First SCOTUS Decision of OT 2015 Bode Ill for Dr. Posner?

Regular readers of our blog likely are familiar with the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Rowe v. Gibson, No. 14-3316 (Aug. 19, 2015), and the considerable controversy that Judge Richard Posner created regarding the...more

A Case to Watch: Highway Contractor Appeals $663M False Claims Act Judgment

On August 31, 2015, highway contractors Trinity Industries, Inc. and Trinity Highway Products, LLC (collectively, Trinity) appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit a $663,360,750 final judgment entered...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

The Difficulty Of Challenging FCA Fine As Excessive

Last month, in U.S. ex rel. Drakeford v. Tuomey, No. 13-2219, (4th Cir. July 2, 2015), the Fourth Circuit affirmed a False Claims Act verdict against a nonprofit hospital in Sumter, South Carolina. In an area of the law where...more

Supreme Court Update: Glossip V. Gross (15-7955) And Order List

We're back with our final Update of OT14, covering Glossip v. Gross (15-7955), a doubly divisive death-penalty case, and providing a roundup of the Court's orders over the last few weeks. (Did you think we'd forgotten about...more

Lawsuit by U.S. Presidential Candidate Challenges the Constitutionality of FATCA

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., along with six current and former U.S. citizens living abroad, filed a lawsuit, July 14, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio challenging the constitutionality of the Foreign...more

Circuit Court Affirms $237.5 Million Judgment Against Tuomey

On July 2, 2015, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a $237,454,195 judgment against Tuomey Health Care System (Tuomey) for violations of the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), which liability arose from violations of the Stark law....more

Tuomey Judgment Upheld in Novel Stark Law and False Claims Act Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld the judgment against Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. (Tuomey), in a qui tam False Claims Act case predicated on Stark Law violations. The district court in the...more

Supreme Court Update: Mcfadden V. United States (14-378), Ohio V. Clark (13-1352), Brumfield V. Cain (13-1433) And Davis V. Ayala...

We're back with Part II of our last-Thursday round-up, just in time for another decision dump from One First Street. Last week, the Court handed down decisions in Los Angeles v. Patel (13-1175), Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises...more

Supreme Court Update: Omnicare, Inc. V. Laborers Industry Pension Fund (13-435), B&B Hardware V. Hargis Industries (13-352) And...

The Court began its March sitting this week (just in time for April), and issued decisions and two new cert grants. In this Update, we'll discuss Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers Industry Pension Fund (13-435), on issuer liability...more

The Third Circuit Distinguishes Between Types of Class Actions for Purposes of Its Ascertainability Analysis

Action Item: Shelton is the latest in a recent line of cases from the Third Circuit demonstrating that application of the ascertainability requirement in class action litigation continues to evolve. ...more

Will the Zwerner FBAR Fine Pass Constitutional Muster?

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

Dust In The Wind – A "Silent Epidemic" Rises In The Southwest

Statisticians call it a correlation when two sets of data are strongly linked. Last Friday, the governor of California declared a state of emergency arising from the persistent drought that resulted in 2013 being the driest...more

Fourth Circuit Oral Argument Considers Questions Concerning Constitutionally Problematic FCA Fines

The Fourth Circuit recently heard oral argument in United States ex rel. Bunk v. Gosselin World Wide Moving (12-1369). During oral argument, the panel explored, among other issues, how to calculate fines under the FCA when...more

Counties in California Can Learn a Few Lessons from State on Inmate Health Care - BB&K Health Care Attorney Shares Tips on...

Inmates in the Riverside County jails served a federal class-action lawsuit last month, claiming the county is subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment by depriving them of basic medical and mental health care. A...more

Weekly Law Resume - March 21, 2013: Ninth Circuit Holds that Jurisdiction Exists as to Homeless Individuals’ Eighth Amendment...

Bell, et al. v. City of Boise, et al. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit March 7, 2013 Plaintiffs in this case are seven individuals who either are or have been homeless in Boise. They have all...more

False Press Release Leads To Exclusion From Federal Programs

Dr. Harkonen was the CEO of InterMune, Inc, a pharmaceutical company that developed, marketed and sold drugs for lung and liver diseases, including Actimmune. In 2002, the FDA had approved Actimmune to treat only two...more

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