Governmental Liability

News & Analysis as of

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

BB&K Police Bulletin: Taking Custody of Minor from School: Officers Entitled to Qualified Immunity from Claims of Unlawful Arrest...

Overview: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Sonora police officers were entitled to qualified immunity from claims alleging unlawful arrest and use of excessive force on an “out-of-control” juvenile. ...more

Sixth Circuit: Social Workers Entitled To Qualified Immunity Because Law Not Sufficiently Clear

As I learn more and more about the social work field as my (new) wife continues on her path to becoming a social worker, I realize that social workers often see life at its lowest points. Never was that more true than in this...more

E-mails May Save You From a Final Release, But Don’t Count On It

Construction contractors that have litigated delay claims probably know, all too well, that Government attorneys will exploit any opportunity to dismiss a claim on summary judgment, particularly when a release is involved. ...more

Public Employees Ruled Immune From Liability When Acting In Legislative Or Discretionary Capacity, Even If Fraud, Corruption, Or...

After landowners spent three years securing planning commission approval for a proposed senior living facility project, the city council rejected the project in the face of community opposition. The landowners sued, alleging...more

Weekly Law Resume - May 2, 2013: Torts – Public Entity – Qualified Immunity for Police Officers

A.D., et al. v. California Highway Patrol, et al. - United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (April 3, 2013) - The concept of qualified immunity involves shielding a police officer from a lawsuit where the...more

PK Law Attorneys Successfully Defend Charles County Board Against Multi-Million Dollar Wage and Hour Lawsuit

In a wage and hour class action suit that was filed in Maryland’s federal district court, bus drivers and bus assistants sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S. C. Section 201 et seq., for back-pay,...more

State Action Immunity Does Not Apply Without Clear State Policy

The United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., No. 11-1160, 568 U.S. __ (2013), makes clear that a state’s authorization to act in a manner with potentially anticompetitive...more

The Illinois Supreme Court 2012: The Year in Review

During 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court filed seventy-one written opinions, thirty-nine in civil cases. Although the total opinion output was down somewhat from recent years, this represents the Court's highest number of...more

Officers Can Be Held Liable For Preventing An Ambulance That Contained A Shooting Victim From Leaving The Scene And For...

The federal court of appeals recently rejected certain public officials’ attempt to avoid liability by claiming qualified immunity. In that case, the parents and children of a shooting victim sued a county and individual...more

Supreme Court Reins in State Action Immunity

Last week a unanimous Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated opinion in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., addressing the "State action" exemption from application of the federal antitrust laws for the first time...more

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