This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Brian M. Cogan held that, by requiring certain employer-plaintiffs affiliated with the Catholic Church to file exemption forms regarding insurance for contraceptive services and to submit the forms to their insurers or third-party administrators, the Affordable Care Act violated plaintiffs’ religious rights. Judge Arthur D. Spatt rejected age discrimination claims by a long-time company employee terminated at age 64. Judge Jack B. Weinstein held that the City of New York and three police offers could be liable under section 1983 for damages resulting from a federal prosecution based on the officers’ allegedly false testimony. And Judge Spatt, awarding attorney fees to defendants as sanctions where two plaintiffs in a class action case failed to appear for their depositions, reduced the amount requested by 40 percent.
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