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August 2014 Archives

Disability Discrimination Claim Victory

Nacht Law filed a disability discrimination claim in Oakland County Circuit alleging disability discrimination committed by a private religious high school (Notre Dame Prep) for refusing to admit a learning disabled student. The school responded by filing a motion to dismiss, on two grounds: (1) claiming that they were exempt from the Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act on the basis of "ecclesiastical privilege," as well as (2) arguing that we could not show sufficient facts to support our claim. Judge Rudy Nichols issued a written opinion denying their motion on both grounds. The case will proceed to trial. The case is Winkler v. Marist Fathers of Detroit et al.

Victory in 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Nick Roumel and Ned Macey won a recent victory in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, representing the plaintiff in the case of Gholston vs. Wayne County Airport Authority, et al. Maurice Gholston, an employee of the airport McDonald's, was engaged in a good-faith dispute with his employer about his hours and eligibility for health insurance that escalated into a physical altercation with several airport police. Mr. Gholston alleges he was repeatedly chased, assaulted, and handcuffed, causing him to suffer several taser burns, a chipped tooth, and a serious wrist injury. After the district court judge, Avern Cohn, denied defendants' motion to dismiss on the basis of governmental immunity, defendants appealed. In a unanimous decision on July 28, 2014, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and returned the case to the district court for trial.

New Clarity for FCA Whistleblowers in Eastern District of Michigan

The scope of retaliation protection for whistleblowers alleging government fraud has always been a hard fought issue. The battle has only become more heated since the retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act were amended in 2009. Even though congress' clear intention was to expand the zone of protection for whistleblowers making good faith reports of government fraud, lawyers for the government contractors continue to argue for a narrow and cabined approach to the law. That approach leaves would-be whistleblowers in an uncertain limbo about whether to report suspected fraud or whether they can be fired for doing so.

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