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Water Rights Dispute Between Missouri Public Entities, and Arbitration, Criminal and Employment Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on May 14, 2010 1:17 PM

Yon v. Principal Life Ins. Co., No. 08-3484, concerned an action alleging that plaintiff was wrongfully terminated in violation of Iowa public policy, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that there was no support in the record for plaintiff's allegation that he was subjected to an escalation of adverse actions in response to his complaints.

In US v. Stenger, No. 09-1330, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendants' convictions for bank robbery and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, holding that 1) defendant produced no objective evidence that the government acted with an improper or vindictive motive; 2) the other robberies as to which the government adduced evidence were sufficiently similar to the charged crime to establish an identity inference and support admission of the evidence for that purpose; 3) nothing in the record indicates that the government purposely withheld information about a witness in order to create an unfair advantage at trial; and 4) the evidence was sufficient to establish that defendant carried a real firearm.

Public Water Supply Dist. No. 3 v. City of Lebanon, No. 09-2006, concerned an action by a public water district against nearby City of Lebanon, Missouri, alleging that the city was illegally providing water and sewer services to customers within the district's boundaries.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant in part, on the grounds that 1) the city's continuing to provide service to customers it began serving before the district obtained a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not violate 7 U.S.C. section 1926(b); and 2) "the service provided or made available" in section 1926(b) was best interpreted to include only the type of service financed by the qualifying federal loan.  However, the court reversed in part, on the ground that the district court misapplied the "made service available" test by improperly focusing on the preferences of the potential recipient of the service.

Northport Health Servs. v. Rutherford, No. 09-2433, involved actions to compel arbitration of state law tort claims arising out of the treatment of defendants' decedents at nursing homes.  The court of appeals reversed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to vacate the district court's order compelling arbitration, holding that Vaden v. Discover Bank, 129 S. Ct. 1262 (2009), did not implicitly overrule the otherwise on-point decisions in Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Construction Corp., 460 U.S. 1 (1983), and Advance America Servicing of Arkansas v. McGinnis, 526 F.3d 1170 (8th Cir. 2008).

In US v. Davis-Bey, No. 09-2851, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's access device fraud sentence, holding that 1) the district court simply made no clearly erroneous factual determinations nor abused its discretion in an assessment of culpability; 2) any sentencing disparity was not "unwarranted" because defendant and his co-conspirator were not similarly situated defendants; and 3) the district court's comment was clearly and simply an explanation for why a within-range or shorter sentence would have been inadequate in this case.

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