Justia Construction Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Azar
Baltimore filed suit against the Government, alleging that HHS's Final Rule, prohibiting physicians and other providers in Title X programs from referring patients for an abortion, even if that is the patient's wish, violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Final Rule, instead, requires them to refer the patient for prenatal care. Furthermore, the Final Rule requires entities receiving Title X funds, but offering abortion-related services pursuant to another source of funds, to physically separate their abortion-related services from the Title X services. After the district court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the Government from implementing or enforcing the Final Rule because the Final Rule is likely not in accordance with law, the Government appealed. While the appeal of the preliminary injunction was pending and after discovery, the district court issued a permanent injunction on different grounds.The Fourth Circuit consolidated the appeals and a majority of the full court voted to hear both cases en banc. The court upheld the district court's grant of the permanent injunction on two grounds: first, the Final Rule was promulgated in an arbitrary and capricious manner because it failed to recognize and address the ethical concerns of literally every major medical organization in the country, and it arbitrarily estimated the cost of the physical separation of abortion services; and second, the Final Rule contravenes statutory provisions requiring nondirective counseling in Title X programs and prohibiting interference with physician/patient communications. Accordingly, because the court affirmed the permanent injunction in Case No. 20-1215, the appeal of the preliminary injunction in Case No. 19-1614 is moot and the court dismissed it. View "Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Azar" on Justia Law
US f/u/b of Modern Mosaic, Ltd v. Turner Construction Co.
Modern filed suit against Turner, alleging claims arising from a subcontract outlining Modern's role in the construction of an FBI facility. The Fourth Circuit held that the district court properly applied West Virginia's law and rejected all of Modern's claims based on the plain language of the contract. In this case, the district court granted Turner summary judgment on the field verification claim, and subsequently ruled in favor of Turner on the remaining claims.The court held that Modern and Turner were two sophisticated parties that entered into a detailed contract spelling out their rights and responsibilities in the construction of the FBI facility, and the provisions of that contract directly addressed the very issues raised in this appeal. Furthermore, the provisions of the contract compelled the result reached by the district court. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "US f/u/b of Modern Mosaic, Ltd v. Turner Construction Co." on Justia Law
Slay’s Restoration, LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co.
A subcontractor hired by a property owner's contractor to repair flood damage to the owner's property was not injured in its business or property by reason of a pattern of racketeering allegedly carried out by the property owner's insurance company and its independent consultants to reduce the amount paid on the property owner's insurance claims for reimbursement of the repair costs. In this case, the Fourth Circuit held that the property owner's subcontractor, Slay's Restoration, was not proximately caused by conduct of the insurance company, and Slay's Restoration therefore failed to state a plausible claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the insurance company and its consultants upon which relief could be granted. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of Slay's Restoration's complaint. View "Slay's Restoration, LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co." on Justia Law