Monday, November 24, 2014

Johnson v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.

Opinion issued
October 7, 2014

Link to Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion

Johnson, a security guard, filed an age discrimination claim against employer, Securitas Security Services (Securitas), after he was fired for leaving a shift early after he collided with a parked semi-trailer while driving a Securitas vehicle.  Previously, a Securitas manager had made age-related comments to and about Johnson, recommending retirement or a lessened workload.  The district court granted summary judgment for Securitas, concluding Johnson failed to submit sufficient evidence to raise questions of material fact on a necessary element of the prima facie case of age discrimination, and, alternatively, that there was failure to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding Securitas's reasons being merely pretext for age discrimination.  On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held there was sufficient evidence to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding the initial prima facie necessary element of the claim, but that there was not sufficient evidence submitted to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding Securitas's stated reasons for dismissal of Johnson being a pretext for age discrimination, thus affirming the district court's holding for summary judgment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

United States v. Ronnie Whisenton

Opinion issued
September 2, 2014

Link to Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion

In United States of America v. Ronnie Whisenton, the Eighth Circuit considered whether law enforcement impermissibly violated the Fourth Amendment when they gained consent to search Mr. Whisenton’s house after a warrantless entry.[i]  The Eighth Circuit affirmed the Eastern District of Missouri’s denial of Mr. Whisenton’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained during the search of his house.[ii]   His conviction and sentence of 60 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute marijuana was upheld.[iii]

Conway v. CitiMortgage, Inc.

Opinion issued
August 19, 2014

Link to the Supreme Court of Missouri Opinion

Davis Conway and Sheri Conway (collectively, Homeowners) challenged the Circuit County of St. Charles County’s dismissal of their homeowner’s suit under the Missouri Merchandising Practice Act (MMPA). The Homeowners, on appeal, argued that although Fannie Mae and CitiMortgage were not parties to the original loan transaction, they were still liable for misconduct that occurred in connection with the loan transaction. The Supreme Court of Missouri agreed with the homeowners and reversed the Circuit Court’s dismissal.   In so holding, the Court emphasized that the MMPA prohibits the use of certain deceptive practices if there is a relationship between the sale and the alleged unlawful action.  It further stated that the unlawful action may occur by any person at any time before, during or after the sale.