Decided - The FindLaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog

May 2014 Archives

$650 M Settlement Reached in Pradaxa Blood Thinner Suit

The makers of blood thinner Pradaxa have agreed to pay a $650 million to settle U.S. lawsuits involving the drug.

The agreement, announced yesterday by German drug-maker Boehringer Ingelheim and reported by The New York Times comes after 4,000 lawsuits claiming the company failed to properly warn patients that the drug could lead to serious or fatal side effects were filed in state and federal courts.

The company continues to maintain that they've done nothing wrong. So why settle now?

Supreme Court Strikes Strict IQ Cutoff for Death Penalty

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Florida law which allowed executions for those with IQ above 70 was unconstitutional.

Freddie Lee Hall, 68, was set to be executed in Florida, despite having a 71 IQ. The High Court determined in a 5-4 decision that Florida's law held too fast to 70 IQ as a cutoff and must consider the imprecision of the test, reports USA Today.

How did the Court come to this split IQ decision?

BP Wants Supreme Court Review of Oil Spill Settlement

After losing their appeal of a ruling regarding the terms of a multi-billion dollar settlement for injuries caused by 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP will seek U.S. Supreme Court review in the case.

"BP will seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court of the Fifth Circuit decisions relating to the compensation of claims for losses with no apparent connection to the Deepwater Horizon spill," said the company in a statement reported by CNN. "In addition, BP will ask the Fifth Circuit not to issue its mandate until the Supreme Court has considered the matter."

What is it about the settlement that has BP trying to take this case all the way to the top, and what does it want the Supreme Court to do about it?

U.S. Supreme Court Sends Taser-Death Lawsuit Back to 5th Cir.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to take another look at a case involving a Louisiana man who died after police stunned him with a Taser at least eight times while handcuffed.

The wrongful death case, Thomas v. Nugent, was brought on behalf of the young son of the man killed in the incident, Baron Pikes. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, finding it wasn't clear that Officer Scott Nugent had violated Pikes' constitutional rights; as The Associated Press reports, the court explained that an officer is typically granted immunity from lawsuits unless the officer violates such rights, and those rights must be clearly established at the time of the incident.

What exactly happened to Pikes? And what did the 5th Circuit do wrong, according to the Supreme Court?

Idaho's Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down; Gov. Vows to Appeal

Idaho's gay marriage ban was struck down Tuesday by a federal judge who declined to put her ruling on hold pending an appeal.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale struck down the Gem State's same-sex marriage ban in a case entitled Latta v. Otter. And in a surprising twist, Judge Dale chose not to delay her decision while the state appeals, reports The Associated Press.

How does this Idaho gay marriage decision differ from other federal cases?

Vibram FiveFingers Shoe Settlement: $3.75M, Banner Ads Required

Vibram, maker of those funky FiveFingers running shoes, has reached a settlement in a suit over the shoes' supposed health benefits.

The shoe manufacturer has agreed to shell out $3.75 million in settlement funds to be distributed to eligible class action members. According to Runner's World, the average class member will receive between $20 to $50 per pair.

What was the issue with the FiveFingers shoes, and how is this settlement going to fix the problem?

Prayers at Town Meetings Are Constitutional, Supreme Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld opening prayers at town meetings Monday, ruling that even consistent sectarian prayers did not violate the First Amendment.

In a 5-4 decision in Greece v. Galloway, the High Court affirmed the town of Greece, New York's practice of offering a prayer before opening town board meetings, despite the fact that the vast majority of these prayers were distinctly Christian. Two Greece residents sued over the practice, The New York Times reports.

Prayers at town meetings are permitted under the Constitution, the Court ruled. But why?