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Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and California law, alleging that the city, the police department, and individual officers violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to be safeguarded from injury and his state law right to medical care while in custody. Plaintiff tried to commit suicide while he was a pretrial detainee and now suffers permanent and severe brain damage. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of qualified immunity on the section 1983 claims as to Officer Andrew Brice, because it was not clearly established at the time that a reasonable officer would perceive a substantial risk that plaintiff would imminently attempt suicide. The panel held that it lacked jurisdiction to review the denial of summary judgment on the section 1983 claims as to the municipal defendants, because the pendent Monell claim was not inextricably intertwined with a properly reviewable collateral appeal, as the panel's resolution of Officer Brice's appeal from the denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity did not "necessarily" resolve plaintiff's Monell claim. Finally, the panel affirmed the district court's denial of summary judgment on the state law claims, because a reasonable jury could conclude that Officer Brice had reason to know that plaintiff had a serious medical condition and required immediate medical care and he failed timely to summon such care. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Horton v. City of Santa Maria" on Justia Law

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After inmates were exposed to a heightened risk of getting Valley Fever, they filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against state officials for money damages, alleging that exposing them to a heightened risk of getting Valley Fever was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. African-American inmates also brought a challenge under the Equal Protection Clause, claiming that African-American inmates were particularly likely to get Valley Fever and suffer serious consequences. The Ninth Circuit held that several of the defendants could not be sued at all because they were not personally involved in any alleged violations. The panel also held that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity against claims that they were deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and also entitled to qualified immunity against claims that they racially discriminated against African-American inmates. In this case, it would not have been "obvious" to any reasonable official that they had to segregate prisoners by race or do more than the federal Receiver told them to do. Accordingly, the panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. View "Hines v. Youseff" on Justia Law

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In 7 U.S.C. 13(a)(4), a provision within the Commodity Exchange Act, "willfully" must have the traditional meaning ascribed to the term in the context of criminal prohibitions against fraud: intentionally undertaking an act that one knows to be wrongful. This appeal arose from a civil enforcement action brought by the Commission against defendant, the co-founder of the Paron investment firm. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Commission and, after applying the correct meaning of "willfully," held that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to whether defendant acted willfully when he made three separate false statements to the National Futures Association (NFA) during its investigation of Paron. The panel also held that the district court properly awarded restitution. However, the court vacated in part the district court's order issuing a permanent injunction against defendant and remanded for further explanation as to certain parts of the permanent injunction. View "U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Crombie" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging that a United States agency caused the death of plaintiff's father while plaintiff was a minor. The panel held that the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Wong, 135 S. Ct. 1625 (2015), did not suggest, let alone hold, that minority tolling applied to the FTCA. The panel also held that minority tolling was a separate statutory matter from equitable tolling of FTCA. In this case, plaintiff's father died in a car accident on an Arizona highway just before plaintiff's tenth birthday. Plaintiff was fifteen years old when his mother filed an administrative claim and sixteen years old at the time she filed the lawsuit. The panel held that plaintiff's claims were time-barred. View "Booth v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The en banc court reversed and remanded the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction in an action challenging the City and County's Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warning Ordinance. The Ordinance requires health warnings on advertisements for certain sugar-sweetened beverages. The en banc court relied on the Supreme Court's decision in National Institute of Family & Life Advocates v. Becerra, 138 S. Ct. 2361 (2018), and held that plaintiffs will likely succeed on the merits of their claim that the Ordinance was an unjustified or unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that might offend the First Amendment by chilling protected commercial speech. The en banc court also held that the remaining injunction factors weighed in plaintiffs' favor. Therefore, the district court abused its discretion in denying the motion for a preliminary injunction. View "American Beverage Assoc. v. City and County of San Francisco" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment for BNSF in an action brought by a former employee under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). The district court instructed the jury that BNSF could not be liable if it terminated the employee due to an "honest belief" that he violated the company's safety rules. The panel held that the "honest belief" jury instruction was inconsistent with the FRSA's clear statutory mandate and the panel's prior caselaw. The panel held that, although the FRSA's prohibition on discriminating against an employee ultimately requires a showing of the employer's discriminatory or retaliatory intent, FRSA plaintiffs satisfied that burden by proving that their protected activity was a contributing factor to the adverse employment decision. Therefore, there was no requirement, at either the prima facie stage or the substantive stage, that a plaintiff make any additional showing of discriminatory intent. View "Frost v. BNSF Railway Co." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for federal defendants in an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) action challenging the Functional Standard regarding the sharing of terrorism-related information. The panel held that the Functional Standard constituted final agency action because it has legal and practical effects. However, it was not a legislative rule because it requires significant analyst discretion, and thus the Functional Standard was exempt from the notice and comment requirement. Furthermore, the Functional Standard was not arbitrary and capricious because the Information Sharing Environment's (ISE) 2015 explanation distinguishing Part 23 information and suspicious activity reports (SARs) is consistent with the ISE's objectives. View "Gill v. DOJ" on Justia Law

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A prospective employer violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act's (FCRA) standalone document requirement by including extraneous information relating to various state disclosure requirements in that disclosure. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants in a putative class action under the FCRA, alleging that defendants failed to make a proper FCRA disclosure and failed to make a proper disclosure under California's Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA). The panel held that the district court erred by concluding that the standalone document requirements of FCRA and ICRAA were satisfied in this case, and that defendants' disclosure satisfied the FCRA and ICRAA requirements for conspicuousness but not for clarity. View "Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision vacating an arbitration award to Aspic, in an action seeking to resolve how much money ECC owed Aspic after ECC terminated for convenience two subcontracts it had awarded to Aspic. The panel held that the arbitrator exceeded his authority and failed to draw the essence of the award from the subcontracts. In this case, the arbitrator did not base his conclusion upon Aspic and ECC's actual past procedures, but upon his rationalization that to enforce the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clauses on Aspic would be unjust. The panel held that the award disregarded specific provisions of the plain text in an effort to prevent what the arbitrator deemed an unfair result, and therefore such an award was irrational. View "Aspic Engineering and Construction Co. v. ECC Centcom Constructors LLC" on Justia Law

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A notice to appear that does not specify the time and date of an alien's initial removal hearing vests an immigration judge with jurisdiction over the removal proceedings, so long as a notice of hearing specifying this information is later sent to the alien in a timely manner. The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner relief from removal. In this case, because the charging document satisfied the regulatory requirements, the panel held that the IJ had jurisdiction over the removal proceedings. The panel also noted that petitioner had actual notice of the hearings through multiple follow-up notices that provided the date and time of each hearing. View "Karingithi v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law