Governmental Liability

News & Analysis as of

The public is tired of governmental mismanagement

Let the elections begin - Ontario is deep in municipal election campaigns across the province. One issue without question within Ontario governments is the need to address an increasingly aged and inadequate public...more

Plaintiff Who Pursued Frivolous Suit Against a City Ordered to Pay Attorneys' Fees and Costs

A published appellate opinion last week followed successful arguments by Best Best & Krieger attorneys that an approximate $105,000 award of attorneys’ fees and costs under Code of Civil Procedure section 1038 applies to a...more

North Carolina Dental Board Urges Reversal of FTC’s “Radical” Stance on State Action Immunity

North Carolina’s State Board of Dental Examiners has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) “radical departure” from decades of established precedent that offers state actors immunity...more

The Woodward Case: Guidance to Trustees on Their Duties Under the Massachusetts Prudent Investor Act

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that, with few exceptions, trustees have a duty to invest with inflation in mind. While not required to follow an investment advisor’s guidance, they can’t ignore the...more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

Ministry of Labour sued for hiring allegedly incompetent inspector

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is facing a negligence suit by the lone survivor of the Christmas Eve, 2009 scaffold collapse that resulted in Metron Construction being fined $750,000.00 for safety violations....more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Order To Stay Put While Conducting Background Check Is A Seizure Under Fourth Amendment

The Command Can Implicate Municipal Liability - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that, when a police officer orders a suspect to “stay put,” that command constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Federal Agencies Can Be Sued for Public Nuisance, But Affirms Dismissal of Claim

On July 14, 2014, the Seventh Circuit decided Michigan et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers et al. (Wood, C.J., writing for a unanimous panel). While the court ultimately affirmed dismissal of the underlying action, the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Public Construction Bond Act

Our reports on the oral arguments from the May term of the Illinois Supreme Court continue with Lake County Grading Company, LLC v. The Village of Antioch. Lake County – which comes to the Court from the Second District –...more

Counties Beware – Your Governmental Status Does Not Protect You from Liability for a HIPAA Breach

As a county government, you may think that you have the protection of sovereign immunity and protection from other governments penalizing you. Your status does not protect you. The Department of Health and Human Services...more

Health Law Blog: County Government Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations

A small county in Washington has agreed to pay $215,000 to settle allegations that it violated HIPAA by failing to secure electronic protected health information. Skagit County maintained protected health information (“PHI”)...more

HHS Settlement: Reminder That HIPAA Applies To Local Governments Big And Small

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) recently announced that it had reached an agreement with Skagit County, Washington to settle potential HIPAA violations involving the County...more

February 2014: Life Sciences Litigation Update

Can the FDA Be Held Liable in a Private Lawsuit for Failure to Prevent Recent Drug Shortages? In Carik et al. v. United States Dep’t of Health & Human Servs. et al., CV 12-272, __ F. Supp. 2d __, 2013 WL 6189313 (D.D.C. Nov....more

United States of America v. DHL Express (USA), Inc.

Decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit regarding false claims against the government by carrier DHL (02/05/2014).

In this significant decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit regarding false claims against the government by carrier DHL, the Second Circuit ruled that the 180-day transportation statute, cited in the earlier...more

Silence Is Not So Golden

As illustrated in the recent decision issued by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Bell/Heery, a Joint Venture v. United States, No. 2013-5002, 2014 WL 43892 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 7, 2014), a contractor must carefully...more

No Immunity for School Counselor Who Disclosed Report on Suspected Child Abuse to Unauthorized Person

A mother sued a school counselor and a school district after the counselor gave a copy of a suspected child abuse report (“SCAR”) which indicated the mother abused their children, to the noncustodial father. A trial court...more

Public Officials, Financial Disclosure And A New Era Of Liability

The Securities and Exchange Commission is making it clear: Government leaders who issue misleading financial information are putting themselves at risk. Several recent actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrowly Construes Exemption from Prevailing Wage Act

In its sixth and final unanimous civil decision of the morning, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted a narrow construction of the exemption for public utilities provided under the Prevailing Wage Act. Reversing a decision of...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Says: We Don't Fear The Turtle

You've no doubt heard about the University of Maryland's withdrawal from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University's unwillingness to pay the $50 million withdrawal fee required by the Constitution of the...more

Widow Granted Leave to File Late Claim Against Public Entity Because Delay Was Reasonable and Excusable

A widow filed a notice of claim and application for leave to file a late claim with a public entity one year after a traffic accident that killed her husband. The court of appeals held that the widow’s failure to discover a...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Securities Fraud Lawsuit Brought by Purchasers of Municipal Bonds

A district court granted summary judgment in favor of a city in an action by purchasers of municipal bonds who alleged federal and state securities claims against the city. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...more

IP Update, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2013

Patents/Preliminary Injunction: Preliminary Injunction Ordered Based on Appellate Claim Construction Aria Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. - Addressing a preliminary injunction filed by a defendant in a...more

District Court rejects supervisor liability for state employee’s motor vehicle record data breach

In a recent decision, the Federal District Court of Minnesota found that state agencies were not liable in a data breach class action suit involving a rogue employee’s unauthorized viewing of personal information in drivers...more

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