April 17, 2008
Vermont and Pennsylvania Enact Revised Article 1; Tennessee and Illinois Progress Toward Enactment
Governor Jim Douglas signed Vermont HB 563 into law on April 10. Governor Ed Rendell did likewise to Pennsylvania HB 1152 on April 16. Pennsylvania HB 1152, by its terms, takes effect on or about June 15, 2008. Vermont HB 563, along with Kansas SB 183 (enacted last year) and South Dakota SB 93 (enacted earlier this year), will take effect on July 1, 2008.
Vermont HB 563 and Pennsylvania HB 1152 both eschew uniform R1-301 (making it 0-for-32 for those scoring at home) and adopt the uniform R1-201(b)(20) good faith definition (that tally now stands at 23-to-9 in favor of the new unitary standard).
The Tennessee Senate and House have approved slightly different versions of Tennessee SB 3993. The Tennessee Senate is scheduled to vote next Monday (April 21) whether to accept the House's amended version.
The Illinois Senate has unanimously approved Illinois SB 2080, which now awaits a first reading in the Illinois House.
Massachusetts HB 4302 continues to idle.
The bills pending in Tennessee, Illinois, and Massachusetts all reject uniform R1-301. The Massachusetts bill adopts the uniform R1-201(b)(20) good faith definition, while the bills pending in Tennessee and Illinois retain the bifurcated good faith standard currently in effect by replacing the language of uniform R1-201(b)(20) with "honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned."
[Keith A. Rowley]
April 15, 2008
Class Action v. Southwest Airlines
The International Herald Tribune reports that four Southwest Airlines passengers are bringing a federal action alleging breach of contract and other causes of action relating to missed inspections of airplanes over a six-year period. According to plaintiffs' lawyer Lew Garrison, as reported in the Charleston Gazette, plaintiffs seek reimbursement for tickets on the ground that the airline "did not comply with government regulations and did not honor its contract with its customers." The suit also seeks punitive damages. Mr Garrison's co-counsel, Mr. Mackey added, "The airline lied to us. Ahhh, you shouldn't lie. Ahh, lying's bad mmkay?"
A Contractual Right to Single-Sex Education?
According to the Associated Press, the Virginia Supreme Court heard on Monday from Wyatt B. Durrette, Jr., attorney for women students admitted to the Randolph Macon Women's College (now known as Randolph College) who have alleged that the college's governing board breached a contract with them by admitting men. Mr. Durrette pointed to advertising materials and brochures that touted the school's single-sex approach to education.
The suit was dismissed by a trial court last year. The school argues that the case is now moot, as 60 men have already been admitted. The case raised some interesting issues not only of contract but of education. Mr. Durrette analogized his clients' situation to that of a person admitted to a dentistry school who learned only after enrollment that it was really a veterinary school. The school countered that since students do not commit to staying at one school for all four years, enrollment in any particular school is really at most a one-semester contract. Mr. Durrette countered that it is more like a lease with an option to renew.
In a related case, the Virginia Supreme Court also heard argument in a case involving college donors to Randolph College who do not want their charitable contributions expended on a co-educational institution. As is common in such cases, the move to co-education is driven by low enrollments. Randolph's board hoped opening the college's doors to men would increase enrollment. So far, according to the AP, it has not had that effect.
April 13, 2008
Trouble on the Treasure Coast
The Cyberknife Center of Florida's Treasure Coast is suing the St. Lucie Medical Center (SLMC) in a Marin County court for fraud and breach of contract. Cyberknife opened a multimillion dollar cancer center last summer but closed it in January when, according to the complaint as reported on here, SLMC failed to get approval for medicare billing. The suit alleges that, despite assurances that it had sought the necessary provider-based status before the cancer treatment center opened in June, SLMC did not apply for such status until after the treatment center opened. In January, still not having obtained the necessary status, SLMC determined that it had no choice but to close the center. It is not clear why SLMC was unable to obtain the necessary status for the treatment center, but as the above-referenced article suggests, confusion about effective ownership of the center may have been an issue.