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

May 2016 Archives

Lack of Typicality Kills Class Action Against General Mills

The Eighth Circuit reversed a federal district court's decision to certify a class of plaintiff homeowners against General Mills. According to the lawsuit, General Mills allowed pollutants to decrease the plaintiffs' property values. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the Eighth Circuit determined that their injury was too atypical. It's a major victory for General Mills to say the least.

And it seems to place limits on the earlier SCOTUS case of Tyson Foods Inc. v. Bouaphaeko in which the court based its certification on statistical evidence of commonality despite individualized injuries.

8th Circuit Clarifies When a Party Loses Arbitration Rights

The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit clarified just when a party loses its arbitration rights in a wrongful termination suit, deciding that rights of an employer were lost when it acted inconsistently with the rights of the opposing party.

State regulators didn't violate the First Amendment rights of a Nebraska financial adviser when they looked into his regulatory compliance, in part because of his participation in the Tea Party movement and public criticisms of President Barack Obama, the Eighth Circuit ruled today.

Robert Bennie, Jr., had been a vocal critic of the president's, calling him a communist and an "evil man" in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star. He'd also been playing loose with state disclosure requirements, regulators believed. So, when workers at the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance started asking questions about Bennie's work, they also touched on his "polarizing" political activities. But while those questions might have crossed a line, they weren't enough for a reasonable person to stop exercising their free speech rights, according to the Eighth Circuit.

8th Affirms Denial to Let Fraudster Represent Himself Pro Se

Calling all experienced motion practice attorneys out there: what does the following mean? "Affidavit of Truth Notice of Conditional Acceptance of Offer Upon Proof of Claim."

We've seen some awful motion captions before, but the above takes the cake. And because of ridiculous behavior by a litigant who wanted to represent himself pro se, the circuit court affirmed a lower court's decision that he should lose that privilege.

An employer did not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act when it rescinded an offer to an overweight candidate, the Eighth Circuit ruled last month. In doing so, the court rejected a claim that obesity is a disability and that the obese are protected against discrimination under the ADA -- as long as that obesity isn't linked to or caused by another medical condition.

Litigation over obesity is becoming more common as American's waistlines expand. But, with decisions like the Eighth Circuit's, those claiming anti-obese discrimination aren't likely to see much luck in federal courts.

Hacking Not a Foreseeable Consequence of Employee Negligence, 8th Cir. Rules

In hacking cases, employee negligence is not a primary cause for insurance payouts -- even when an employee's negligence plays an "essential role" in the hacking incident. That's according to a recent ruling by the Eighth Circuit.

No doubt the court's ruling will cause many criminal insurance policies to re-examine their policies and to redefine what is covered under "indirect loss."