DISCLAIMER:  The following unofficial case summaries are prepared by the clerk's office
                        as a courtesy to the reader. They are not part of the opinion of the court.
153355P.pdf   08/03/2017  Michael D. Loos  v.  BNSF Railway Company
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:  15-3355
                          and No:  16-1123
   U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis   
[PUBLISHED] [Gruender, Author, with Wollman and Arnold, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Railway Employment and Safety. With respect to plaintiff's claim that defendant retaliated against him under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, the parties do not dispute that plaintiff engaged in a protected activity of which defendant was aware and that plaintiff suffered an adverse action; with respect to the final prong of a retaliation claim - that the protected activity was a contributing factor to plaintiff's discharge - the evidence does not raise a genuine dispute that retaliatory motive prompted by protected activity contributed to plaintiff's dismissal, and he has failed to make a prima facie case of retaliatory discharge under the Federal Railroad Safety Act; with respect to the defendant's cross-appeal that it was entitled to offset Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) taxes from plaintiff's Federal Employers Liability Act damages award, the RRTA is unambiguous and does not include damages for lost wages within the definition of compensation; as a result the regulations providing to the contrary receive no deference under Chevron because the agency must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress; the district court's denial of defendant's motion to offset the amount of RRTA tax is affirmed. 161846P.pdf 08/03/2017 Dakotas and Western Minnesota v. First Agency, Inc. U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 16-1846 and No: 16-3319 and No: 16-3375 U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota - Fargo
[PUBLISHED] [Loken, Author, with Colloton and Kelly, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Insurance. Where the injured party was covered by both his father's ERISA plan medical insurance and by a blanket policy covering accidental injuries issued to his college by defendant First Agency, the ERISA plan could bring an action under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA seeking an order enforcing the Coordination of Benefits in its ERISA plan and determining that First Agency's policy provides primary coverage for the medical expenses the injury party had already incurred; the ERISA plan's declaratory judgment action is an equitable claim seeking remedies typically available in equity and therefore available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA; the district court did not err in determining First Agency's coverage was primary; the district court erred in awarding the ERISA plan attorney fees as First Agency's position that ERISA should not govern this dispute was not obviously wrong and its argument that the ERISA plan was not entitled to declaratory judgment was virtually untested. Judge Colloton, concurring the judgment. 163515U.pdf 08/03/2017 United States v. Kevin Brown U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 16-3515 U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul
[UNPUBLISHED] [Per Curiam - Before Wollman, Arnold and Gruender, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law. The evidence was sufficient to prove that the drug-distribution conspiracy in which defendant participated involved more than 100 kilos of marijuana. 163681U.pdf 08/03/2017 Maria Lastor-Toj v. Loretta E. Lynch U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 16-3681 Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals
[UNPUBLISHED] [Per Curiam - Before Colloton, Murphy and Kelly, Circuit Judges] Petition for Review - Immigration. Substantial evidence supports the agency's determinations that petitioner did not suffer past persecution by persons whom the Guatemalan government was unwilling or unable to control and that she failed to prove a well-founded fear of future persecution in Guatemala.