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.
Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, May 5, 2021): The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a nationwide injunction preventing enforcement of the eviction moratorium because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its authority when issuing the moratorium designed to protect renters facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the abstract here.
B.W.C. v. Williams (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, March 5, 2021): Parents of public-school children, on behalf of their children, alleged Missouri’s religious exemption from mandatory vaccination form was unconstitutional and violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free exercise and equal protection, respectively.” Read the abstract here.
Preterm-Cleveland, et al. v. McCloud (Ohio Department of Health) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, April 13, 2021): The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to block implementation of an Ohio statute that makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if the doctor is aware that the pregnant person is seeking the abortion because the fetus has Down syndrome. Read the abstract here.
Slattery, et al. v. Cuomo (U.S. District Court, District of New York, March 31, 2021): The federal district court dismissed claims brought by the owner of several anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centers challenging a New York statute that prohibits employers from taking negative employment action against employees because of their reproductive health decisions, including using birth control or having an abortion. Read the abstract here.
Leigh-Pink v. Rio Properties (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, March 3, 2021): Plaintiffs sued the Rio hotel in Las Vegas for fraudulent concealment of material fact and for consumer fraud after it allegedly failed to warn the plaintiffs of a known legionella contamination on the premises. Read the abstract here.
Valentine v. Collier (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, March 26, 2021): Inmates at a Texas prison sued the senior warden and the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the 8th Amendment. Read the abstract here.
Hager v. M&K Construction (New Jersey Supreme Court, April 13, 2021): The court upheld a workers’ compensation court order requiring M&K Construction to reimburse plaintiff Vincent Hager for the ongoing costs of the medical marijuana Hager was authorized and recommended to use after sustaining a work-related injury while employed by M&K. Read the abstract here.
City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, Division 4, March 18, 2021): A police officer’s wife sued the City of Los Angeles for negligence and “a dangerous condition of public property” after her husband contracted typhus from “unsanitary conditions” at or around a police station and transmitted it to her. Read the abstract here.
BP P.L.C., et al. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore (U.S. Supreme Court, May 17, 2021): The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 4th Circuit in an environmental case, holding that the lower court should consider all reasons the defendants raised for seeking to have the case removed from state court to federal court. Read the abstract here.
State v. Riggin (Supreme Court of North Dakota, May 20, 2021): Riggin was charged with violating North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum’s executive order requiring the cessation of licensed cosmetologist operations within the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Read the abstract here.
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, Joshua Kalanick, and Nora Wells. 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.