Williams v FedEx Corporate Services and Aetna Life insurance Company

Williams appealed summary judgment to FedEx on his Americans with Disabilities claim and for Aetna on his ERISA claim. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It held that Williams did not present evidence of a hostile work environment or a causal connection between the anxiety disorders he claimed was disabling and FedEx’s actions against him and thus his actual disability claim failed. It held Williams failed to prove that FedEx did not have a good faith belief that Williams had a substance abuse issue and thus there is no evidence that Williams was placed in the drug abuse protocol for pretextual reasons and thus his “regarded as” claim failed It held that the district court erred in not evaluating Williams’’ claim that FedEx unlawfully required disclosure of prescription drug use and thus reversed and remand for analysis of this claim and rejected FedEx’s counterarguments noting there was no belief that Williams abused illegal drugs, the record does not support a conclusion that Williams voluntarily entered the program as he was not allowed to return to work without entering the protocol and the record crates a genuine factual dispute as to whether FedEx controlled how the testing under eth Protocol was done. It left to the district court the issue of whether there was a legitimate business reason for the imposition of the protocol as that court failed to consider it at summary judgment. It affirmed as to Aetna as Williams self-reported withdrawal symptoms of a prescription narcotic and the plan documents required reporting chemical dependency to FedEx and thus Aetna’s actions were not arbitrary or capricious. It finally denied Williams motion to seal as he made no effort to identify which of the numerous documents in the record contained confidential information and thus should be sealed.

United States v Thomas

Tomas appealed two robbery convictions and the denial of his motion to sever one count. The panel affirmed. It held the evidence that Thomas aggressively pushed an employee (which means the push was done forcibly) and the push was capable of causing physical pain or injury was sufficient to sustain a robbery conviction. It held that to the extent circuit precedent requires a reliability assessment before an in court eyewitness identification, this is no longer viable as intervening United States Supreme Court precedent makes clear there is no requirement for such a determination absent evidence of improper law enforcement conduct and Thomas did not submit any evidence of such misconduct, was able to cross examine the witness, call an expert on eyewitness testimony and the jury was charged to consider the circumstances surrounding the identification. It finally held there was no error in denying the severance motion as all the robberies involved entry and immediate demand for money accompanied by force or threats of force, all involved stores near the same intersection and the fact that one count was based on a palm print and the others on eyewitness testimony favored denial as the jury was more likely to keep the counts spate.