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The December 16, 2013, decision issued by the United States Supreme Court inHeimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 134 S. Ct. 604 (2013), spread holiday cheer throughout the insurance industry. In Heimeshoff, the Court unanimously held that contractual limitations periods contained within employee benefit plans covered by ERISA are generally enforceable even when the contractual limitation period begins to run before a participant’s cause of action under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(b) has accrued. See Heimeshoff, 134 S. Ct. at 608.

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On June 18, 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) made a splash when it adopted a policy that recognizes obesity as a “disease.” AMA News Room, AMA Adopts New Policies on Second Day of Voting at Annual Meeting(June 18, 2013). Although the AMA is not vested with any lawmaking authority and may not have as much influence as it once did, it is still the largest physician organization in the United States. Scott Hensley, AMA Says It’s Time to Call Obesity a Disease, NPR (June 19, 2013). As such, the AMA and its policies still carry a lot of weight—no pun intended—in the medical field and beyond. Id. Seealso Nanci Hellmich, Medical Group Recognizes Obesity as a Disease, USA TODAY (June 19, 2013). At this time, it is not clear what effect this particular AMA decision will have, if any, but it may affect specific areas of the law. So what should litigators and employers, in particular, expect?

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Recently, a Colorado federal court considered a motion to dismiss in a medical device product liability action arising from a plaintiff’s allergic reaction to a cobalt and nickel knee replacement system. See Haffner v. Stryker Corp., et al, No. 14-CV-00186, 2014 WL 4821107 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2014) (unpublished).Observing that there appeared to be “few medical device tort cases in Colorado,” the court addressed the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s four causes of action: strict product liability, negligent product liability, the breach of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness, and the breach of an express warranty. 

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The Boehner Lawsuit Against Obama: an Explainer   - Wall Street Journal Law Blog 11/21/2014
Honda: Require Car Owners to Comply with Recalls  - Insurance Journal 11/21/2014
Only Six Percent of Cars Recalled for Airbags Repaired  - Claims Journal 11/21/2014
Google and Rockstar settle lawsuit over Nortel patents  - ComputerWorld.com 11/21/2014
Judge strikes down privilege argument in Paterno family lawsuit  - mcall.com 11/21/2014
Lawyer handcuffed at ATM sues police for alleged racial profiling  - ABA Journal 11/21/2014
Coriell Institute denies freezer foul-up alleged in lawsuit by Michael J. Fox Foundation  - Philadelphia Business Journal 11/21/2014
Farmers Fire at Oregon County for Banning Genetically Altered Crops  - Courthouse News 11/21/2014
House Republicans Sue Obama Over Health Law Implementation   - Bloomberg 11/21/2014
Aereo Seeks Bankruptcy After Losing Supreme Court Fight  - Bloomberg 11/21/2014
Google, Rockstar agree to settle patent litigation - filing  - Yahoo!Finance 11/21/2014
AT&T to pay California $52 mln in hazardous waste disposal settlement  - Reuters 11/21/2014
SEC turns up regulatory heat to prevent flash crashes  - Inside Counsel 11/21/2014
8 Million Cars Recalled for Air Bags; Only 6% Repaired: Bloomberg  - Insurance Journal 11/21/2014
PG&E fined $1 million for improper contacts with PUC officials  - Los Angeles Times 11/21/2014
 

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