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.
Apartment Assoc. of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, Inc., v. The City of Pittsburgh (Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, Oct. 21, 2021): The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down a Pittsburgh ordinance that attempted to add source-of-income discrimination to an existing city law that prohibits housing discrimination based on race, familial status, or disability. Read the abstract here.
Fraihat v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, Oct. 20, 2021): Defendants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), appealed the lower court’s ruling in favor of plaintiffs, five detainees in immigration detention facilities, who brought a class action lawsuit. Read the abstract here.
Does v. Mills (U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, October 19, 2021): The 1st Circuit refused to temporarily halt enforcement of a Maine law requiring that all workers in healthcare facilities get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read the abstract here.
Geerlings v. Tredyffrin/Easttown School District (U.S. District Court, E.D. Pa., Sept. 27, 2021): A federal district court refused to prohibit enforcement of an order requiring that children wear masks in schools, with no religious exception. Read the abstract here.
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. Bostwick (Supreme Court of Arizona, Sept. 1, 2021): After a lower court declined to dismiss a southern Arizona hospital’s allegation that drug manufacturers, distributors, and marketers, including CVS Pharmacy, had engaged in a “conspiracy” to “promote the use of opioids,” CVS Pharmacy appealed. Read the abstract here.
In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Products Liability Litigation v. 3M Company (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Aug. 16, 2021): Plaintiffs, a group of patients who had undergone orthopedic-implant surgeries utilizing defendant’s manufactured surgical device, argued the device introduced joint infection-causing bacteria during their surgeries. Read the abstract here.
Where Do We Go Berkeley v. California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) (U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal., Sept. 27, 2021): Plaintiffs, 11 people experiencing homelessness and an advocacy group protecting the interests of those experiencing homelessness, argued that the Caltrans organization violated their due process rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act by trying to evict them from their current outdoor encampments to carry out a construction project. Read the abstract here.
Melendez v. City of New York (U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, Oct. 28, 2021): The 2nd Circuit upheld a New York City law prohibiting landlords from “threatening” tenants based on COVID-19 status, finding the law did not violate landlords’ Free Speech or Due Process rights. Read the abstract here.
Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas (U.S. District Court, D.C., September 16, 2021): A federal district court granted a group of asylum-seeking families’ motions for preliminary injunction, preventing deportation of the asylees, and allowing the families’ cases to proceed as a class action against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Read the abstract here.
Wise v. Governor Jay Inslee (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wash., Oct. 25, 2021): Plaintiffs, employees of “multiple state agencies, a local government entity, and a healthcare provider,” sought to block Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation that all “educators, healthcare workers, and state employees and contractors” receive the COVID-19 vaccine, subject to several exemptions, or else face preclusion from the workplace. 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, Rebecca Freed, and Nora Wells. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD, Morgan Jones-Axtell, JD, and Brianne Schell, JD.
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