U.S. Eighth Circuit

U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

8th Cir. Refuses to Vacate Denial of Disability Benefits to Low IQ Woman

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the findings of the a lower district court: a woman with a tested IQ of only 57.

In the opinion of the court, Karen Ash did not qualify for social security benefits because she was still able to live a relatively average life, thus allowing the district court to affirm the ruling "substantially on the record."

Gaming Company on the Hook for $5M to NIGC, 8th Cir. Rules

The Eighth Circuit backed up a lower court decision in finding that Bettor Racing, Inc. had operated its business in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and that it was rightfully ordered to pay up $5 million in fines.

If only they'd agree to an earlier offer to make this go away for for $4.5 million ...

White Officer Sues Alleging Racism and Wins

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed all lower court rulings in favor of a white officer who sued on theories of racial discrimination.

The officer successfully showed (or the police academy failed to disprove) that a reasonable theory existed as to why he was passed over for promotion in favor of a non-white candidate.

Deputy Gets Qualified Immunity in Denial of Medical Treatment Case

A deputy's decision to cart an arrestee to the county jail instead of the hospital following major hand injuries was validated by the Eighth Circuit. The deputy will enjoy qualified immunity for his actions. The plaintiff sued under theories of violations of his constitutional rights.

Apparently, under the circumstances, a "layman" like the officer himself would not have been obviously alerted of the serious need for prompt medical treatment.

Caregivers who provide companionship services to disabled patients living in the caregiver's home are not entitled to overtime pay, the Eighth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. The case arose after workers for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arkansas sued, arguing that keeping patients in the workers' homes "requires additional worktime that should be compensated as overtime."

The Eighth Circuit disagreed, finding that such work constituted providing companionship services in a "private home" and was thus exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

FMLA Plaintiff Fails to Convince 8th Cir. of a Violation

The Eighth Circuit's Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling against Hasenwinkel, a registered nurse who sued her former employer on claimed violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

In affirming the lower court's decision, the circuit court found that not only did Hasenwinkel's employer comply with federal law, but that it gave her three times more time than was required under the FMLA.

When the Harris News Agency applied for a federal license to sell guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives denied their application on the grounds that the company's officers had willfully allowed a felon to possess firearms by letting him work as a gunsmith.

But, simply allowing a felon to work with guns isn't reason enough to deny the license, the Eighth Circuit ruled on Tuesday.

Can an Orthodontist Practice Basic Dentistry? Arkansas Must Decide

The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has remanded an orthodontist's case back to the lower federal court, which can now hear the pressing legal issue of whether or not he, as a licensed dentist, can practice as a dentist.

The case will potentially shed some light on the somewhat perplexing law that limits one of the state's professional licenses.

Home Health Providers Can Form Unions, 8th Circuit Rules

The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declined to overturn a lower district court's ruling that several thousand home care workers who assist the elderly and disabled had the right to form a union.

The decision is most likely going to add to already tense relations between home care workers and fully recognized employees who work for the public, the latter of whom arguing that the change will force some to pay union dues for a union they have no desire to join.

In 2009, Dr. Douglas Weiher, a Wisconsin dentist, started to look for a new insurance disability policy. He found it in Northwestern Mutual, but the company made him promise to cancel one of his two previous insurance policies when he signed up. A few years later, Weiher became fully disabled and sought to collect on his policies.

But, it turns out, he had never canceled the earlier policy as promised. That caused Northwestern to rescind his disability insurance, arguing that Weiher's broken promise to cancel an earlier policy was a misrepresentation. Not so, the Eighth Circuit ruled on Tuesday, finding that Northwestern hadn't shown that Weiher's over-insurance increase its risk at the time of the loss.