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Sexual Harassment Claims Against Prison Co. Will Go Forward

A previously dismissed sexual harassment suit brought against a Florida-state correctional agency that contracts with the Department of Justice must be reinstated, said the Ninth Circuit. The case centers on the unprofessional and sexually explicit behaviors of male co-workers who were employees of Florida based Geo Group.

The Arizona Attorneys Office seemed happy by the Ninth Circuit's ruling. "This ruling allows our office to seek remedies for 25 women who were forced to accept sexual harassment by their male co-workers and supervisors as a requirement for their work at the Geo Group," said Mia Garcia, a spokesperson for the AZ Attorney General's Office.

Amgen ERISA Case Is Back Again to Haunt the 9th Circuit

It looks like Ninth Circuit Judge Kozinski was particularly prescient in his prediction. SCOTUS has handed down a reversal to the federal appeals court, thus starting another round of litigation of securities allegations against the pharma maker, Amgen.

Amgen has been through the Ninth Circuit for two rounds already on grounds that the company knew long ago that the company's stock was overvalued and yet continued to allegedly violate ERISA. An excellently written summary of Amgen's court troubles was summarized by FindLaw's Casey Sullivan.

If you signed into Facebook a few years ago, you were likely to see one of the social network's "Sponsored Stories," which repurposed user's names and images -- including children's likenesses -- for advertisements. "Sponsored Stories" led to a class action lawsuit against Facebook and a $20 million settlement.

Public interest groups sued, saying the settlement did little to nothing to protect consumer and children's rights. Indeed, they argue that the terms of the settlement are against California law. But even if it might, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday, that's not reason enough to reject the settlement.

'Tire-Eating' Ford Focus Case Revived by 9th Circuit

In a breach of warranty case affecting many Focus owners, the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court's ruling that plaintiffs who owned 'tire-eating' Ford Focus models from 2005-11 failed to show that the cars became unsalable within the duration of implied warranty.

Judge Donald Mallor twisted the knife further when he found that the language of the express warranty was ambiguous. He slapped Ford under the doctrine of contra proferentem.

9th Cir. Reverses Lower Court ADEA Age Discrimination Case

Last August, the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower district's summary judgment in favor of the Department of Homeland Security when a border patrol agent sued the branch of the agency alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, better known as ADEA.

In the lawsuit, government employee John France alleged that he had been passed over for promotion to Assistant Chief Patrol Agent with a pay scale of GS-15 because he was the oldest candidate who applied. The Department of Homeland Security demurred and the Appellate Court finally reversed, ruling that the facts did not support summary judgment.

In a class action lawsuit that's sure to get heart rates up, a Florida man has alleged that Fitbit's technology is a fraud. James Brickman claims that the company duped him and others out of their cash by making false claims that it could track their sleep.

Fitbit sells wearable tech devices that track a consumer's steps, calories burned, distance covered and other data. Those features have made it a widely popular accessory amongst fitness nerds. The company also advertises a sleep tracking feature, promising "quantified sleep" and "quality data." According to the class action, however, the product's sleep tracking function does not and cannot do what it claims.

The Ninth Circuit has reinstated a proposed class action against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Nutritionals over allegedly misleading health claims and the trans fat content of their Benecol butter substitute, once hailed as one of the first foods "designed to act like medicine."

Plaintiff Robert Reid contended that Benecol was improperly being marketed as a health food, particularly challenging the product label's statements that it contained "no trans fats" and touting the cholesterol-reducing powers of plant stanol esters. The unanimous decision overturned a district court's ruling that such claims were pre-empted.

Benecol, whose name is meant to evoke "good cholesterol," claims to contain no trans fats and reduce cholesterol through the inclusion of plant stanol esters. Much to Reid's chagrin, a serving of Benecol included up to half a gram of trans fats.

SCOTUS Asks: Do Cops Have ADA Duties to Crazed Knife Lady?

This is the weirdest application of the Americans with Disabilities Act I've ever seen. And with the Ninth Circuit's reputation, and the Supreme Court's decision to grant certiorari earlier this week, it may not be long for this world.

9 From the 9th: Trademark Tacking, Federal Tort Tolling, Church Signs

FindLaw's "SCOTUS Week" is coming to a close -- but wait, what's that? Overtime? Extra innings?

Exactly, and you have the Ninth Circuit to thank for the bonus coverage. Why? Because the Ninth Circuit has nine cases on the Supreme Court's docket so far -- one of which, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, has already been argued and blogged about on our In House blog.

What about the other eight? Here's Part 1 of our Ninth Circuit SCOTUS preview:

3 Questions After Model Mayhem's CDA Sec. 230 Immunity Denial

From 2006 to 2011, Emerson Callum and Lavont Flanders posed as talent scouts on ModelMayhem.com, a social network for aspiring models. The duo would lure women to Miami under false pretenses, then drug and sexually assault them on tape, marketing the videos as pornography. Both were eventually convicted and received life sentences.

In 2008, Internet Brands purchased ModelMayhem.com from its founders. Two years later, the company sued the founders for failing to disclose the potential for liability for civil suits due to the two rapists' actions. And yet, IB posted no warnings. In 2011, Jane Doe became another one of their victims.

She sued IB under California law, alleging a violation of the state's "duty to warn" (the Tarasoff duty). The district court dismissed the suit, holding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provided immunity for online service providers over content posted by third parties.

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit reversed, essentially holding that the CDA had nothing to do with Doe's claims whatsoever.