Author Archives: Scott Michelman

Second Circuit: First Amendment access to judicial documents applies to civil complaints

The court of appeals this week affirmed a district court's decision to unseal a complaint even though the case settled within two weeks after it was filed. Of note, the Second Circuit held that the public is entitled to access civil complaints not just under the common law right of access but also under the […]

Working at a meat processing plant is really dangerous

We've previously discussed Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, the pending Supreme Court case regarding whether workers at an Iowa meat-processing plant can sue as a class over violations of wage-and-hour protections. For a bit of (unfortunately gruesome) context, check out this recent article from Buzzfeed, "America’s Biggest Meat Producer Averages One Amputation Per Month," about OSHA data […]

Court upholds NYC sodium warnings

As NPR reports this morning, a New York state trial court (misleadingly named the "New York State Supreme Court" apparently for historical reasons) upheld the City's requirement that restaurants label high sodium menu items. The story explains, "Mandated salt warnings on menus are intended to make New Yorkers more aware of the link between excessive […]

Public Citizen: Deny federal funding to schools forcing students into arbitration

by Julie A. Murray, guest blogger Today Public Citizen submitted a citizen petition to the Department of Education asking it to issue a rule that requires colleges to agree, as a condition on receipt of certain federal funding such as Stafford loans and Pell grants, not to include pre-dispute arbitration clauses in enrollment or other […]

Anthem data breach suit will proceed

This week, Judge Koh of the Northern District of California dismissed some claims but allowed others to go forward in a suit against health insurer Anthem over last year's data breach that put at risk the personal information — including names, social security numbers, income information, and more — of about 79 million customers. Reuters […]

A proposed insurance surcharge for people with a high body mass index (BMI)

NPR reports on a troubling proposal: penalizing insured individuals who don't maintain a low enough body mass index or BMI. New proposed regulations would permit employers to charge workers more for health insurance if they are overweight as measured by BMI. There are several problems here. For instance, experts explain that millions of healthy Americans […]

Delays on railroad safety

The Post reported last week: Three of the biggest freight railroads operating in the U.S. have told the government they won’t meet a 2018 deadline to start using safety technology intended to prevent accidents like the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia last May. Several other railroads are reporting the same. The technology […]

On the health of the unemployment system

From FiveThirtyEight, a fascinating look at the nation's unemployment system, here. Comparing the health of state unemployment systems now against their positions prior to the 2008 financial collapse, the article argues that these systems have not recovered adequately to meet the needs of the next recession. What will that mean? "[U]nderfunded unemployment systems can have […]