5th Circuit Injury & Tort Law News - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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Tribal court jurisdiction can be tricky, but the Fifth Circuit seemed to simplify it in a case where a Native American minor was allegedly molested at a Dollar General.

Dolgencorp, which operates a Dollar General on a Choctaw Reservation in Mississippi, is being sued by a Choctaw minor who was employed in the store as part of a Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) training program. Unfortunately, while employed there, the minor alleges that the manager, a non-tribe member, molested him.

The Fifth Circuit found that the tribal courts do have jurisdiction over the minor's tort claim against Dolgencorp, but why?

A Texas law firm's SLAPP appeal has been denied by the Fifth Circuit, which found that the firm's ads were not protected under Texas' anti-SLAPP laws.

Anti-SLAPP jurisprudence is still evolving, and this was a new issue for the Fifth Circuit: whether law firm ads disparaging a Texas dentist could escape liability under the Lanham Act through an anti-SLAPP motion.

Here's why this ruling left the Texas firm no longer smiling:

BP received some bad news this week from the Fifth Circuit: It has to pay up according to the settlement agreement it signed to compensate the victims of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill.

We wouldn't hold our breath that this is BP's last word on the case, but for now it appears that the oil giant will have to shell out billions to affected and possibly affected Gulf-area businesses, Reuters reports.

What did the court say to finally shut the door on this epic BP case?

BP is still fighting with Gulf business owners over the billions businesses feel are owed under the Deepwater Horizon settlement, but the Fifth Circuit may have given BP a wakeup call with a small typo.

On Thursday night, in response to plaintiffs' motion to dismiss BP's request for an en banc rehearing of the settlement issues, the Court mistakenly issued this order -- granting the motion.

Another order quickly filed on Friday vacated the mistaken order, but how did the mix-up happen?

Yes, it's true. The Fifth Circuit finally decided that age old question: is a forklift a motor vehicle?

The court in Boyett v. Redland Ins. Co. needed to answer this ludicrous metaphysical question because an insurance company wanted to use Louisiana law to try to foreclose any chance of a truck driver receiving compensation from a forklift accident.

No dice insurers, a forklift is a motor vehicle.

BP is a company that cares about the "small people," but its representatives seemed somewhat put off by the Fifth Circuit's decision to uphold the details of the multi-billion dollar Gulf settlement.

This latest blow in what has been a long battle for BP affirmed that when you settle with the "small people" and their businesses, you end up having to pay the "small people" what you promised.

Does BP have a legal leg to stand on?

BP argued before the Fifth Circuit on Monday that the settlement of its private claims related to the Deepwater Horizon spill should be thrown out for allowing claims that are too attenuated.

According to The Times-Picayune, British Petroleum's (BP's) attorneys argued before a three-judge panel that the settlement rules approved by the district court violated Federal Rule 23 by allowing businesses to recover without proving losses were directly caused by the spill.

This isn't the first time that BP has come crying to the Fifth Circuit about the huge settlement amounts they will owe to Gulf-area businesses, but do they have a point this time?

The ACLU filed a police brutality suit on behalf of a disabled woman who was allegedly abused by border patrol agents and suffered a miscarriage a day after the incident.

According to The Texas Tribune, U.S. citizen Laura Mireles alleges that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer Riano physically and verbally abused her and "applied handcuffs with such force that the fire department had to be called in to remove them."

Are these shocking allegations part of a larger trend?

The Fifth Circuit denied a stay of execution for a Texas man sentenced to be executed on Wednesday, ignoring arguments about uncertainty with regard to the lethal injection drugs.

According to The Associated Press, Michael Yowell was set for execution on Wednesday for the murder of his mother and father in 1998, an execution that would be carried out with pentobarbital that was acquired from state compounding pharmacy.

Despite the plaintiffs' arguments that this pentobarbital could cause hypothetical issues, the Fifth Circuit stated that mere speculation is not enough to stop Yowell's execution.

The Supreme Court is primed to settle a Circuit split over the issue of child porn restitution, in a case where restitution was awarded to a victim who never even met the defendant.

Paroline v. United States is one in a long line of "Amy and Vicky" cases -- ones where restitution is sought from the child porn possessor and not the producer -- and will decide if the Fifth Circuit's approach to proximate cause is superior to other Circuits' views.

What is so different about the Fifth Circuit's ruling in Paroline's case?