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

Drug Conspiracy, Employment Contract and Premises Liability Matters

In US v. Birbragher, No. 08-4004, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy conviction and sentence, holding that 1) it was well settled that 18 U.S.C. section 841 applied to defendant, as the owner and operator of a company involved in an alleged conspiracy with doctors and pharmacists to distribute controlled substances outside the scope of their professional practice; 2) the Controlled Substances Act, as it existed when defendant engaged in the conduct alleged in the indictment, was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to defendant's ownership and operation of his company; and 3) the court enforced defendant's waiver of his right to appeal and declined to address the merits of his claim.

In US v. Kanner, No. 09-1260, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy conviction, on the grounds that 1) the indictment charged that physicians and pharmacists contracted by defendant's company acted in a manner inconsistent with the usual course of professional practice, and the Supreme Court's decision in Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006), did not affect this conclusion; and 2) the Controlled Substances Act, as applied to defendant, was not unconstitutionally vague.

Roberson v. AFC Enters., Inc., No. 09-2523, involved a personal injury action based on plaintiff's fall in defendant's parking lot.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment as a matter of law for defendant, holding that, because the Missouri Supreme Court held that the defendant's method of marketing was the more important factor in determining whether the defendant knew, or by using ordinary care should have known, of the dangerous condition, and plaintiff offered no evidence on this factor, plaintiff failed to satisfy this element of premises liability.

Binkley v. Entergy Ops., Inc., No. 09-2567, concerned an action for breach of contract and promissory estoppel against plaintiff's former employer.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that plaintiff did not meet his burden of showing that he suffered a detriment by not presenting his case to line management regarding his alleged falsification of time sheets.

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