The Network for Public Health Law monitors key court cases and relevant judicial trends in public health. The Network’s monthly reporter, Judicial Trends in Public Health (JTPH), highlights select published cases in public health law and policy from the prior three months. These cases are organized below by name, issuing court, date of issuance, along with a brief synopsis, and include link to the case abstract and hyperlink to the full decisions (when publicly available). For more information, including a topic digest of these and other cases, see below. Questions, comments, thoughts? Contact the Network for more information.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services, Inc. et al. v. Kauffman et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, November 23, 2020): In a split decision, the 5th Circuit concluded that Texas and Louisiana can cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, holding that patients do not have an unambiguous right to challenge a state determination that a provider is not “qualified.” Read the abstract here.
Harrisburg Area Community College v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, October 29, 2020): The court ruled that Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (1) does not require employers to make accommodations for medical marijuana patients and (2) is silent on the rights of college students to use medical marijuana. Read the abstract here.
Dix v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (Court of Appeals of California, 2nd District, October 26, 2020): The California Court of Appeals held that an electronic music festival operator that assumes responsibility to provide security and medical care owes a duty of reasonable care to festival attendees. Read the abstract here.
Scalia v. Wynnewood Refining Co., LLC (U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, October 27, 2020): A boiler at a refinery was held to be part of a “process” to which highly hazardous chemical process safety management regulations applied. Read the abstract here.
Davis, et al. v. Benson (Michigan Court of Claims, October 27, 2020): A Michigan judge temporarily halted a state directive banning the open carry of firearms at polling places on Election Day. Read the abstract here.
Association for Accessible Medicines v. James, et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, December 18, 2020). The 2nd Circuit refused to review its decision which left undisturbed the New York Opioid Stewardship Act (OSA), imposing $600 million in payments on several opioid distributers. Read the abstract here.
Parkes v. Hermann (Supreme Court of North Carolina, December 18, 2020): North Carolina’s highest court affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of Dr. James Hermann in a suit accusing him of failing to timely administer medication to a patient exhibiting signs of stroke; the patient ultimately suffered permanent injuries. Read the abstract here.
Krueger v. Wyeth, Inc. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, November 12, 2020): A California federal court granted a distribution of Class Settlement funds in a case alleging that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals violated California consumer protection laws via long-term, widespread marketing campaigns intended to misrepresent risks and benefits associated with the company’s hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs. Read the abstract here.
Hubbard, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical, et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, December 22, 2020): The 11th Circuit affirmed the denial of a claim that Bayer did not give adequate warning that its birth control pills could lead to stroke. Read the abstract here.
Southwest Organizing Project v. Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Control Board (New Mexico Court of Appeals, October 15, 2020): The court upheld the grant of an authority-to-construct permit for a gasoline plant pursuant to the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act, determining that the Board and the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD) did not have to consider whether there was a reasonable probability that granting the permit would cause injury to health or property. Read the abstract here.
Judicial Trends in Public Health 2020: Year in Review
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET | January 19, 2021
Join Network attorneys as they highlight pivotal, influential judicial decisions in 2020 on topics including emergency legal preparedness, religious freedoms, reproductive rights, food insecurity, health justice, and the future of the ACA. More than just a “year in review,” this webinar session will help you forecast judicial trends in public health law for 2021.
JTPH is a collaboration of the Network’s Western and Eastern Region Offices. Western Region contributors include: Jennifer Piatt, JD, James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, Claudia Reeves, and Emily Carey. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, Mathew R. Swinburne, JD, Brooke Torton, JD, and Megan Griest, MPP.
Legal information or guidance provided in this transmission or website does not constitute legal advice or representation. For legal advice, please consult specific legal counsel in your state.