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, recently-published cases in public health law and policy from the prior 3 months. Case abstracts are organized within 11 key topics (adapted from James G. Hodge, Jr., Public Health Law in a Nutshell, 4th ed. (2021)), including hyperlinks to the full decisions (where available). Contact the Network for more information, questions, or comments.
JTPH is a collaborative effort between the Western Region and Eastern Region Offices of the Network. Starting in March, 2022, each month’s publication will feature 5 cases per edition, rotating between Western Region cases (i.e., originating in states west of the Mississippi River) and Eastern Region cases (i.e., originating in states east of the Mississippi river). This March 2022 edition features Western Region cases.
Hayes v. University Health Shreveport, LLC (La. Sup. Ct., Jan. 7, 2022): The Supreme Court of Louisiana upheld a private health provider’s right to dismiss employees for failure to comply with its vaccination mandate. Read the abstract here.
Barton v. City of Valdez (Alaska Sup. Ct., Jan. 21, 2022): After falling from a cliffside tire swing in an undeveloped section of a city park, plaintiff Barton sued the City of Valdez, alleging that although the swing had not been built by the city, the city was negligent in failing to remove it. Read the abstract here.
Residents of Gordon Plaza v. Cantrell (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir., Feb. 1, 2022): Residents of Gordon Plaza, Louisiana, sued the city under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), claiming that the city did not disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals originating from a landfill under their homes and ignored its obligations to remedy chemical contamination. Read the abstract here.
Saldana v. Glenhaven Healthcare LLC (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir., Feb. 22, 2022): Relatives of Ricardo Saldana, a Glenhaven nursing home resident, sued the facility after Saldana died from COVID-19, alleging elder abuse, willful misconduct, negligence, and wrongful death. Read the abstract here.
Church v. Polis (U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Cir., Jan. 24, 2022): Several Colorado churches challenged state-level COVID-19-related restrictions and awards of federal pandemic funding, arguing that Colorado’s restrictions violated First Amendment free exercise of religion rights, that Colorado’s emergency disaster statute unconstitutionally infringed on religious freedoms by providing secular exemptions and not religious exemptions, and that federal aid awards violated federal statutes prohibiting religious discrimination. Read the abstract here.
JTPH is a collaboration of the Network’s Western and Eastern Region Offices led by Editor-in Chief, Jennifer Piatt, JD, Deputy Director, Western Region Office. Additional Western Region contributors include James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, Erica N. White, JD, Rebecca Freed, and Nora Wells. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD, Morgan Jones, JD, and Brianne Schell, JD, MA.
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.