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Decisions In Duty to Defend, Immigration, and Retaliatory Discharge Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on July 16, 2010 4:44 PM

Medmarc Cas. Ins. Co. v. Avent Am. Inc., 09-3390, concerned a duty to defend case arising from an underlying class action suit filed against a company for using Bisphenol-A (BPA) in their products without informing consumers of risks associated with the potential leaching of BPA.  In affirming the district court's grant of insurance companies' motion for declaratory relief, the court held that the underlying suits are not covered by the policies because the claims are limited to economic damages due to the purchase of unusable products, and these damages are not "because of bodily injury" and the complaints do not allege any bodily injury occurred.

Li v. Holder, 09-3511, concerned a Chinese citizen's petition for review challenging the validity of the BIA's denial of her motion to reconsider its order denying her application for asylum.  In granting the petition, the court held that the denial vacated as the BIA overlooked critical facts such as Chinese officers using force to extract urine from the petitioner in enforcing China's one-child policy, jailing her until her family paid a fine equal to a third of her year's wages and feeding her tainted food in the jail, and the BIA unconvincingly denied having overlooked such facts.

Gacek v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 09-3131, concerned a former baggage handler's suit against an airline for retaliatory discharge in violation of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.  In affirming the grant of summary judgment for the airlin, the court held that no reasonable jury could find that the airline had fired plaintiff because its claims administrator had opened a file on an injury rather than because it believed that he had lied about having the flu and had disobeyed the doctor's orders to wear a splint on an injured finger and not lift anything with that hand.

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