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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

Showing 12 posts from July 2015.

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2015 Mid-Year Employment Law (A)musings

Employment law never ceases to amaze. In a short period of time, we came across several articles about claims and court determinations that seemed to stretch even the wildest imaginations. Each provides a cautionary tale: (Read More)

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Anthem-Cigna Mega Merger Likely Problematic for Providers

Anthem announced on July 24, 2015 that it would purchase Cigna, just three weeks after Aetna agreed to buy Human for $37 billion. The deal is valued at $54.2 billion, and would create the United States’ largest health insurer by membership, with a combined 53 million members. The merger will close sometime in 2016, pending regulatory approval. (Read more)

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California Court of Appeal Rules that Unruh Act Can Apply to Service Animals

On July 17, 2015, a California Court of Appeal confirmed that denying service to a patron with a service animal can give rise to claims under either the Unruh Act (California Civil Code §§51, 52) or the Disabled Person Act (“DPA”) (California Civil Code §§54-55.3); and that such claims need not be brought exclusively under the DPA. (Read more)

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California Judge Allows "Antioxidant Packed" Suit to Proceed

A federal judge in California has allowed plaintiffs to move forward with part of a proposed class action accusing Bai Brands of making misleading statements about beverages that touted high levels of health-boosting antioxidants.  (Read more)

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Hospitality Businesses Should Consider “Play and Pay” for the ACA

When working within the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are generally two options discussed. The “Pay” option, in which an employer with over 100 full-time employees now and over 50 in 2016 pays the fines associated with failing to offer ACA compliant group health insurance to all full-time employees, and the “Play” option, whereby an employer offers ACA compliant insurance that meets the requirements for minimum value coverage and affordability (employee contribution of no more than 9.5% of annual income) to full-time employees. (Read more)

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Is Your Cocktail Lounge Taking Steps To Avoid Allergy Risks?

A rising percentage of Americans suffer from food-related allergies, and while efforts to warn of potential food allergies has become commonplace in restaurants, the issue gets surprisingly little attention in bars or lounges. Libations and/or their garnishes often contain some of the most common triggering ingredients. Milk, tree nuts, peanuts, egg and wheat are among the most common allergies in the U.S., and frequently find their way into beer and cocktails. Milk is an ingredient in a number of drinks, including the popular white Russian. Almonds are present in amaretto, wheat is often found in beer, and hazelnuts are an ingredient of Frangelico. (Read more)

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FDA Extends Menu Labeling Regulation to December, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced plans to push the effective date for its new federal menu labeling regulations to December 1, 2016.The FDA has extended the date (most recently, December 1, 2015) in order to further clarify the requirements. The regulations will apply to restaurants and other eateries with 20 or more locations, which will be required to post caloric information on standard menu items. Additional nutritional information must be available upon request by a customer or guest. The FDA is currently preparing further guidelines to help restaurant owners understand how best to be in compliance with the new law.  (Read more)

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Your 2015 Mid-Year Employer-Employee Report Card

Half-way through 2015, are you accomplishing everything you set out to do with employer-employee relations? Here’s a reminder about the items that have been identified as key to effective personnel management. (Read More)

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Is Your Insurance Brokerage Treating Commission Payable Statements as Trade Secrets?

In the modern insurance world, maintaining trade secrets is imperative for commercial success. Misappropriation of trade secrets will often lead to costly and protracted litigation, and can even irreparably harm a business. Securing trade secrets is one of the most important things an insurance brokerage can do to protect its business model and ensure continued prosperity. (Read more)

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Trademark Owners Sue Amazon for Showing Competing Products

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled, in a published opinion,  that Amazon will have to go to trial in a trademark lawsuit for what many have alleged are confusing search results. In Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com, Multi Time Machine (MTM) sued Amazon over “key word advertising” that leads to “MTM Special Ops” watches being listed on Amazon.com. Currently, were Amazon users to search for the particular MTM watch, Amazon will display a list of watches made by competitors and sold through Amazon; the search words remain above the list of watches. The Ninth Circuit found that, despite the fact that users probably knew that they weren’t buying an MTM watch, the list of results may cause confusion. The Ninth Circuit’s finding enables MTM to go forward with its lawsuit. Further, U.S. Circuit Court Judge, Carlos Bea, wrote that a jury could possibly infer that a competitor had acquired MTM.  (Read more)