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Action by Murder Victim's Estate, and Criminal and Employment Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on August 30, 2010 8:02 PM

Watson v. CEVA Logistics U.S., Inc., No. 09-3322, involved African-American plaintiffs' action alleging racially hostile work environment claims under Title VII.  The court reversed summary judgment for defendants on the grounds that, contrary to the ruling below: 1) the alleged harassment was objectively severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment; and 2) plaintiffs came forth with sufficient evidence that defendant knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and effective remedial measures.

In First Nat'l Bank & Trust Co. v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., 09-2563, an action by the administrator of the estate of a murder victim, seeking the policy proceeds of a policy in the victim's name obtained by the perpetrator, the court affirmed judgment for plaintiff in part on the ground that, because the victim had an interest in the policy, payment to her estate was authorized due to the perpetrator's disqualification.  However, the court reversed in part where, absent its presence in the case, plaintiff was still required to establish the perpetrator's disqualification in order to recover other insurance policy proceeds.

In Sheriff v. Midwest Health Partners, P.C., No. 09-3367, an action against plaintiff's employers alleging hostile work environment and constructive discharge in violation of Title VII and gender discrimination in violation of state law, the court affirmed judgment for plaintiff where 1) the jury reasonably found from the evidence produced that plaintiff was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment that affected a term, condition, or privilege of her employment and for which defendant failed to take prompt and effective remedial action; and 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the jury's damage award was not excessive or against the weight of the evidence.

In US v. Johnson, No. 09-3450, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine, one count of money laundering, and two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms, holding that 1) because defendant voluntarily consented to the search, and because defendant was not entitled to a Miranda warning, there was no error in denying defendant's motion to suppress; 2) viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime of money laundering beyond a reasonable doubt; and 3) the district court did not clearly err in calculating that defendant was liable for more than fifteen kilograms of methamphetamine.

In US v. Selvy, No. 09-3200, the court affirmed defendant's convictions for conspiracy to distribute an unspecified quantity of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute a substance containing more than one kilogram of heroin, and money laundering, holding that 1) the record reflected that defendant failed to object to the government's sentencing arguments before the district court; 2) the provision of the plea agreement that defendant relied upon did not fairly support his position; and 3) the record reflected that the district court specifically reviewed the terms of the waiver contained in the plea agreement, and defendant acknowledged that he understood that he was waiving his right to appeal.

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