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Utica and Clearwater appealed from the district court's summary judgment orders regarding Clearwater's obligations to Utica under five facultative reinsurance policies. The Second Circuit held that Clearwater's liability was expense-supplemental because its obligations under the reinsurance contracts followed Utica's expense-supplemental obligations under the umbrella policies. The court vacated and remanded for the district court to determine whether this obligation encompasses certain expenses. The court vacated and remanded the cross-appeal because Utica failed to demonstrate its entitlement to a judgment that Clearwater was bound to indemnify Utica according to Utica's settlement with its insured. View "Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's 288 month sentence after he pleaded guilty for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute, and to import into the United States, five or more kilograms of cocaine. The court held principally that the district court did not err in applying the enhancement under USSG 2D1.1(b)(15)(C) to calculate defendant's Guidelines score, properly determining that defendant's drug‐related activity outside the United States constituted direct involvement in the importation of a controlled substance. In this case, the government presented sufficient evidence to show that defendant participated directly in transporting hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from South America through Honduras for Mexican drug cartels to smuggle into the United States. View "United States v. Lobo" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Just Energy on plaintiffs' minimum wage and overtime claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law. The Second Circuit held that there was no genuine issue of fact to dispute that plaintiffs were outside salesmen—that is, to dispute that they were regularly employed away from Just Energy's office and that their primary duty was to make sales as well as to obtain orders or contracts for services. The court rejected plaintiffs' argument that the outside salesman exemption may not be applied because of the fact that Just Energy retained discretion to reject commitment contracts that plaintiffs secured from their door‐to‐door customers, and that the outside salesman exemption may not be applied because of the overall degree of supervision that Just Energy exercised over plaintiffs' activities. The court also held that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion when it declined to find that Just Energy should be collaterally estopped from invoking the outside salesman exemption in this case. View "Flood v. Just Energy Marketing Corp." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment that Interstate breached its contractual duty to indemnify the Archdiocese under certain excess insurance policies. The Archdiocese appealed from an amended judgment that Interstate's breach did not violate the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA). At issue were two contract provisions invoked by Interstate to deny coverage for sexual abuse by priests: the exclusion for assault and battery, and the coverage grant for occurrences that unintentionally and unexpectedly result in personal injury. The court held that the Exclusion applied only to a person "acting within the scope of his duties," and that the assailant priests were not acting within the scope of their duties when they committed sexual assault of children. The court held that Interstate was bound to indemnify the Archdiocese for all sums it was obligated to pay arising out of any occurrences or happening during the period of insurance. The court also held that the Archdiocese failed to demonstrate a violation of CUIPA. View "Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Casualty Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to DLC in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), seeking overtime compensation for former DLC drivers. The court held that the FLSA's overtime requirement did not apply to DLC's drivers because DLC was engaged in the business of operating taxicabs. The court reasoned that a taxicab was (1) a chauffeured passenger vehicle; (2) available for hire by individual members of the general public; (3) that has no fixed schedule, fixed route, or fixed termini. In this case, there was no genuine dispute that DLC's vehicles met this description and thus DLC's drivers were employed by an employer engaged in the business of operating taxicabs. View "Munoz-Gonzalez v. D.L.C. Limousine Services" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his 108 month sentence for his role in a robbery and a firearms offense. The Second Circuit held that the two level enhancement for physically restraining a person during the robbery, pursuant to USSG 2B3.1(b)(4)(B), was not validly imposed. In this case, the undisputed facts, revealed by a surveillance videotape, showed that no one was "physically restrained" within the meaning of the applicable guideline during the robbery. Accordingly, the court remanded for recalculation of the sentencing range and for resentencing. View "United States v. St. Juste (Paul)" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant appealed his sentence of failure to register as a sex offender in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2250, arguing that the district court modified his sentence by including in the written judgment a duty to submit to polygraph testing that was not mentioned during pronouncement of sentence. The Second Circuit remanded for entry of an amended judgment, holding that the inclusion of a duty to submit to polygraph testing was, in this case, an impermissible modification of the spoken sentence, from which those words were omitted, because polygraph testing was burdensome to defendant and not a necessary or invariable component of sex‐offender treatment. View "United States v. Washington" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the Commissioner's decision adopting the Department of Appeals Board's (DAB) decision and imposition of an assessment and penalty for petitioner's failure to report work activity while receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Although the court agreed that petitioner's failure to report work activity was "material" and thus authorized the Commissioner to impose an assessment and penalty, the court held that the DAB lacked substantial evidence to support the amounts of the assessment and penalty it imposed. In this case, petitioner's earnings from work activity did not amount to "substantial gainful activity," he remained disabled while failing to report work activity, and the findings of fact on which the DAB relied established only that petitioner's work was "sporadic." Therefore, the court vacated the DAB's decision and remanded for further proceedings. View "Cappetta v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for two counts of production of child pornography and four counts of possession of child pornography. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant; the district court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of his prior conviction for Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree; and defendant's sentence of 360 months in prison and fifteen years of supervised release was substantively reasonable. View "United States v. Spoor" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's summary judgment in favor of the trustees of two union-affiliated employee benefit plans on her claims for relief pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's decision denying plaintiff's claim under section 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA against the Pension Fund for benefits due, and held that the Pension Fund trustees correctly denied plaintiff's request for an augmented survivor benefit following her husband's death. In regard to plaintiff's section 502(a)(3) claim for breach of fiduciary duty, the court rejected the district court's reasoning that a plan administrator cannot be held liable for unintentional misrepresentations made about the plan's operation by its non‐fiduciary, "ministerial" agent. The court nonetheless affirmed the district court's denial of relief under section 502(a)(3) because the Pension Plan's summary plan description (SPD) adequately described the eligibility requirements for the benefits in question and thereby satisfied the trustees' fiduciary duty to provide complete and accurate information to plan participants and beneficiaries. Therefore, the court affirmed as to Case No. 16‐3549‐cv. The court reversed and remanded as to Case No. 16‐977‐cv, holding that there was an open question of material fact concerning whether the Welfare Fund trustees breached their fiduciary duty to provide plan participants with complete and accurate information about their benefits. View "In re: DeRogatis" on Justia Law

Posted in: ERISA