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Doctor Gets Stuck With Air Ambulance Bill

A ride in a private jet might be fun in some cases, but not if it's an air ambulance jet.

It was really not fun for a doctor who arranged a jet ambulance for his son to be transported across the country for continuing medical care. It was actually painful because the physician's insurance plan denied coverage.

In Springer v. Cleveland Clinic Employee Health Plan Total Care, it left the doctor holding the bag and a bill for $340,000.

Court Interprets Insurance Term: 'Illegal Use of Alcohol'

A day after the New Year's drinking ended, a federal appeals court ended a life insurance company's attempt to deny coverage to a drunk driver.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal did not condone the driver's behavior -- he partied, crashed and suffered severe injuries. But the appeals court also did not let the insurer escape the terms of its own policy.

"This matter is about whether a contract should mean what it says," wrote Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. in Heimer v. Companion Life Insurance Company.

Retiree Benefits Case Goes Back to Trial Court for the 3rd Time

After what can only be called a meandering journey of legal issues through the courts, the Sixth Circuit remanded a collective bargaining agreement case back to the district court, again to re-evaluate the law consistent with SCOTUS's newly greenlit "ordinary principles of contract law."

Chief Judge Cole was quick to point out that the case of Tackett v. M&G Polymers had seen the inside of his courtroom before, and readers of his opinion could almost hear the weariness through his pen. This would have been the third time his court would be faced with making a substantive decision as to applicable law in this most ostensibly basic of CBA disputes.

A nursing home patient's agreement to arbitrate "any and all disputes" against the facility doesn't prevent his estate from bringing a wrongful death suit after he died in the home's care, the Sixth Circuit ruled last Friday.

The court rejected arguments that the Federal Arbitration Act gave the nursing home the right to compel arbitration, finding that the FAA did not change Kentucky state law on wrongful death suits.

LexisNexis's Arbitration Clause is 'Adhesive' Yet Enforceable

The arbitration clause is "one-sided," "adhesive," "favors LexisNexis at every turn, and as a practical matter makes it practically unfeasible" to assert individual claims, as it requires arbitration to be brought in Dayton, Ohio, where LexisNexis is located. Oh, and it also requires the customer to split the tab and cover his own legal fees, regardless of the case outcome.

So why did the Sixth Circuit just enforce such an arguably (but not legally) unconscionable clause? Blame the Supreme Court.

Judge Kethledge Defies Physics, Counsels State Farm on Decorum

There are good reasons not to call an opponent's argument "ridiculous," which is what State Farm calls Barbara Bennett's principal argument here. The reasons include civility; the near-certainty that overstatement will only push the reader away (especially when, as here, the hyperbole begins on page one of the brief); and that, even where the record supports an extreme modifier, "the better practice is usually to lay out the facts and let the court reach its own conclusions."

But here the biggest reason is more simple: the argument that State Farm derides as ridiculous is instead correct.

A woman walks down the street. She is hit by a car, and flung onto the car's hood, where she sustains additional injuries. The car was insured by State Farm.

Court Sides with Cleveland Indians in Insurance Negligence Case

CSI dropped the ball. The insurance brokerage company knows it made a mistake, it admits it, and in all likelihood, it'll be held accountable for it. But the question is: will that accountability come via the tort of negligence or for breach of contract?

When National Pastime, a company that runs promotions for Major League Baseball teams, contacted CSI about a series of Kids Nights at the Cleveland Indians baseball park, they explicitly stated that an inflatable slide would be used. CSI instead procured a policy that didn't cover inflatables, and when the slide collapsed onto two nearby people (killing one), the team was left without coverage.

Breached Sign Sales Deal Brings Return of 1L Contracts

Advance Sign had deals with foodservice customers. Optec had electronic signs. Advance agreed to sell Optec signs exclusively and Optec agreed not to sell directly to Advance’s foodservice customers.

Simple enough, right?

After a pilot program with Sonic Restaurants showed increased sales, Optec negotiated directly with Sonic to sell signs, cutting Advance out of the deal. After lengthy negotiations, the parties agreed to a 12 percent commission on all sales resulting from the Advance-Optec relationship, including Sonic. Advance memorialized the terms in a letter, sent it to Optec, and received only minor non-substantive edits in response, which it corrected and sent back.

Optec never signed the letter, nor did they later uphold their end of the bargain.

Congo Refuses to Pay Bill, Wins on Sovereignty

The Sixth Circuit confirmed on Tuesday that countries like the Congo are generally immune from suit unless their commercial activities occur in or directly affect the U.S.

Triple A International, Inc. (no not the auto club, we checked) sued the Congo (formerly Zaire) for payment on military equipment Triple A had sold them in 1993.

Zaire (and now Congo) has refused to pay, and although this behavior is certainly not good for business, the Sixth Circuit confirmed that the Congo is immune from suit.

Shady Lawyer Beats Shady MD, JD in Contingency Fee Dispute

Jeannette Martello, M.D., J.D. is a very intelligent woman. After all, she possessed both an M.D. and a J.D. (from Boalt Hall, no less). Nonetheless, she was unable to clear the hurdle that was the bar exam, despite four tries in Kentucky and New York. She did, however, pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam before moving on to practice as a medical malpractice consultant.

As a consultant, she worked with Joshua Santana, Esq. on medical malpractice cases. After she referred a patient from her medical practice to Santana, the two came to an agreement, reduced to writing, that paid her a contingent percentage of the fee if the case was settled favorably.