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EMPLOYMENT Black supervisor at VA was denied a promotion A black female employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who was denied a promotion settled her Title VII claim against the agency for $75,000 on March 25. Linda Harvey, a Grade 13 supervisor, sued the agency, alleging that she was denied the promotion because of race and gender discrimination, and in reprisal for an earlier claim of racial discrimination. She sought compensatory damages, including damages for back pay. The department denied any discrimination, alleging that the person selected was better qualified for the position. The department also argued that Harvey’s earlier complaint was made several years before the promotion decision, and was therefore too remote in time to be relevant to her claim of reprisal. Case/Court/Date: Linda Harvey v. Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs,No. 02-CV-142 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), March 25, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorney:Joel Bennett, Law Offices of Joel P. Bennett, Washington, D.C. Defense attorney:Beverly Russell, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Washington, D.C. HEALTH LAW Patients claimed they were given no appeal after being denied coverage A class of plaintiffs who claimed that they were not afforded an appeal after being denied coverage for eye therapy settled their suit on May 27 against two government agencies in exchange for procedural changes. In August 2002, individual Medicare beneficiaries and various groups for the elderly and disabled sued the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for failure to implement an appeals process for denying coverage of ocular photodynamic therapy with the drug Verteporfin. The plaintiffs asserted that prescribing Visudyne is the standard of care for age-related macular degeneration. The defendants, among other things, agreed to create a panel to examine the efficacy of Visudyne therapy. Case/Court/Date: Lois Jalbert, Robert Kennell, Barbara McAuliffe, Evelyn Kent, Stella Warren, Ameri-can Council of the Blind, Gray Panthers, American Association of People With Disabilities v. Tommy G. Thompson, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Thomas Scully, as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,No. 02-1535-36 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), May 27, 2003. Plaintiffs’ attorneys:Grant Bagley, Kathleen Behan, Shelby Hunt, and Gillian Wood, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C. Defense attorneys:Judith Haron and Elaine Lubin, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Robert McCallum Jr., Lawrence Meister, and Joshua Rabinovitz, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. PERSONAL INJURY Jeep was hit from behind and pushed into vehicle A driver who was rear-ended at an intersection in Rockville, Md., was awarded $40,000 by a Maryland jury on April 2. While driving his Jeep through the intersection, Clarence L. Newman, 44, was struck from behind by a Jeep driven by Julie A. Luetjen. Newman sued Luetjen for negligence. The Allstate Insurance Co. defended the suit and admitted liability. Newman claimed that he suffered a wrist sprain, a cervical sprain, and a lumbar disc herniation. Allstate argued that Newman’s lumbar disc was not herniated, and that he suffered from a pre-existing degenerative condition in his back. The jury agreed that Newman’s lumbar disc was not herniated, but found that the accident was the cause of his other alleged injuries. Case/Court/Date: Clarence L. Newman v. Julie A. Luetjen,No. 229443-V (Montgomery County Circuit Court, Md.), April 2, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorney:Thomas Doyle, Siegel & Doyle, Rockville, Md. Defense attorney:Joseph Lavin, staff counsel, Allstate Insurance Co., Greenbelt, Md. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Company claimed eBay infringed on three of its patents The Internet auction site eBay and its subsidiary, Half.com, were ordered by a Virginia jury on May 27 to pay $35 million to an inventor who alleged that the companies infringed on two of his patents. In 1998, Thomas Woolston secured a patent for his method of creating a marketplace for goods using a database to store images, descriptions, prices, and legally binding offers along with a payment-processing service. He later secured another patent for a process that uses search agents to find particular items by scanning multiple auction sites. In 2001, after Woolston’s company, MercExchange, of Great Falls, Va., could not come to an agreement on licensing, the company sued for patent infringement. The defendants argued that the patents were invalid. Case/Court/Date: MercExchange LLC v. eBay Inc. and Half.com Inc.,No. 2:01CV736 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, Va.), May 27, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Scott Robertson, Thomas Cawley, Jennifer Albert, Thomas Scott Jr., and David Young, Hunton & Williams, McLean, Va.; Emerson Vincent Briggs III and Brian Buroker, Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C.; Kenneth Reed Mayo and Gregory Stillman, Norfolk, Va. Defense attorneys:Jeffrey Graham Randall, Matthew James Brigham, Charles Patrick Ebertin, Michael Christopher Hendershot, Jeffrey Scott Karr, Cooley Godward, Palo Alto, Calif. Allan Soobert, Cooley Godward, Reston, Va. Robert McFarland and Steven Zahn, McGuire Woods, Norfolk, Va. Editor’s Note:These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers in the D.C. area and nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research call 1-800-832-1900. To submit a case, call (212) 313-9057, fax (212) 313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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