U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2018 Archives

$5M Sanctions Upheld for Counterfeit Headphones

A $5 million sanction by any measure is a stiff penalty.

But a $5 million discovery sanction is about as stiff as they get. The last time somebody abused a discovery that costly, it was when Rose threw the diamonds into the ocean in Titanic.

Mixed metaphors aside, this epic sanction could well sink the defendant in Klipsch Group, Inc. v. ePRO E-Commerce Limited. After all, that was pretty much the point.

In a case that's sure to open the eyes of many vegetarians, Buffalo Wild Wings has just succeeded in knocking out a potential class action claim stemming from some of their fried menu items. The lawsuit alleged that BWW's French fries, and other non-meat containing fried foods, aren't actually vegetarian because they're fried in beef fat rather than vegetable oil.

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the federal court found that the complaint failed to state a claim for relief due to not sufficiently alleging an injury. However, the district court seemed to rather strongly suggest that the plaintiff's allegations could be corrected (and Footnote 2 even explicitly details how).

Facebook IPO Litigation Dust Settles

When Facebook stumbled out of the gates at its initial public offering, early investors had to take a slow-but-steady approach to profitability.

A share was worth about $38 then; it trades for $189 today. That's a substantial return, but not what investors originally expected.

And that's why there is still ongoing litigation about that frenzied day in May 2012. But now it's between the insurance companies who split responsibility for an unprecedented settlement.

Curtis Hardaway's pro se appeal of the Federal District Court of Connecticut's sua sponte dismissal of his Title VII lawsuit against the Hartford Public Works Department was surprisingly successful in winning a reversal and remand.

The district court dismissed Hardaway's third amended complaint on a rather significant technicality: he failed to plead facts to show that he satisfied the exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement under Title VII. The Second Circuit reasoned that the district court could not dismiss the case sua sponte as the exhaustion requirement was not a jurisdictional requirement, but rather an affirmative defense.

Flu Shot Reminder Text Doesn't Violate TCPA

Daniel Latner got a text message that apparently offended him.

"It's flu season again," his health care provider texted. It invited him to come in for a flu shot.

Instead of getting a shot, he filed a lawsuit. In Latner v. Mount Sinai Health System, it seemed like no good deed goes unpunished.

Former Hedge Fund Exec Charged With Fraud in NY Federal Court

Michael Cohen, a former executive of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, made a bad loan and a worse decision afterwards.

According to an indictment in New York, he conspired to commit investment adviser fraud and other crimes when the borrower couldn't repay the loan. It was a personal loan that didn't directly involve Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, which had already settled charges it bribed African officials for business.

But for Cohen, a rising star in the company, it was a meteoric decline from the days when he made enough money to buy himself a 900-acre estate in London. The good news for him is, he still lives there.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reached a conclusion as surprising as the name of the food truck at the center of one of the more curious recent federal First Amendment appeals: Wandering Dago v. the State of New York.

The appellate court actually ruled in favor of the food truck with questionable (arguably offensive) branding, finding that the state's reason for excluding the food truck from a lunch program violated the First Amendment, despite the business's use of ethnic slurs in its branding and menu. The truck itself is a rolling ethnic slur, and uses other stereotypical pejorative terms for Italians for various menu items. However, the truck is seeking to reclaim these pejorative terms and believes using the words with a positive connotation is empowering rather than offensive.