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 from the prior 3 months in public health law and policy. These cases are organized below by name, issuing court, date of issuance, along with a brief synopsis, 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.
Colpitts v. W.B. Mason Co., Inc., (Rhode Island Supreme Court, May 29, 2020): The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the termination of a driver who refused drug testing because he uses medical cannabis. Read the abstract here.
In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation (U.S. Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit, April 15, 2020): The Sixth Circuit held an opioid multidistrict litigation (MDL) trial court abused its discretion by allowing counties to amend their complaints 19 months after a judicial deadline. Read the abstract here.
Slis v. State of Michigan (Court of Appeals of Michigan, May 21, 2020): A Michigan state appellate court upheld an injunction against an emergency ban on the sale of flavored vape products. Read the abstract here.
Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson (Missouri Court of Appeals – Eastern District, June 23, 2020): A Missouri appellate court upheld a judgment for persons claiming injuries caused by talc powder products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. Read the abstract here.
Dillard v. Hoyt (U.S. Court of Appeals – Eighth Circuit, June 15, 2020): The Eight Circuit held that informational privacy is not a clearly established constitutional right and defendants, civil employees, were entitled to qualified immunity. Read the abstract here.
City of San Francisco v. Exxon Mobile Corporation (Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District of Texas – Fort Worth, June 18, 2020): A Texas appellate court ruled that Exxon Mobile could not engage in pre-trial discovery in a potential Texas-based lawsuit alleging California climate-change suits were brought in bad faith. Read the abstract here.
National Family Farm Coalition v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit, June 3, 2020): The Ninth Circuit vacated EPA’s conditional registration of the weed-killer, dicamba, for use in soybean and cotton crops. Read the abstract here.
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Mnuchin (U.S. District Court – District of Columbia, June 15, 2020): A D.C. federal court ordered the Treasury Department to distribute the remainder of COVID-19 relief funds to Indian tribes according to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read the abstract here.
Bayley’s Campground Inc. v. Mills (U.S. District Court – Maine, May 29, 2020): A federal court in Maine denied a request for injunctive relief brought by a group of businesses and out-of-state individuals seeking to provide and/or access Maine lodging and campground facilities. Read the abstract here.
Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown (Oregon Supreme Court, June 12, 2020): The Oregon Supreme Court held the trial court committed fundamental legal error in preliminarily blocking Governor Brown’s COVID-19 executive orders (EOs) promoting public health and safety. Read the abstract here.
JTPH is a collaboration of the Network’s Western and Eastern Region Offices edited by April Shaw, JD, PhD, Staff Attorney, at the Western Region Office. Additional contributors include: James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, Kathi Hoke, JD, Leila Barraza, JD, MPH, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, Mathew R. Swinburne, JD, Megan Griest, MPP, Michelle Notrica, Pharm.D., J.D., MPH, and Emily Carey.
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.