Monthly Archives: December 2012

Lorri Lomnitzer quoted in MSN news article on Facebook privacy hoax

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Lorri Lomnitzer

Lorri Lomnitzer

Arnstein & Lehr West Palm Beach Associate Lorri Lomnitzer was quoted in an article last week on MSN.com, titled “Facebook privacy hoax fools many.” The article discusses a recent, popular posting on Facebook that declares ownership and protection under copyright laws. However, in reality, the declaration is useless in protecting the user’s rights to photos and status updates. Ms. Lomnitzer comments that the use of a website that stores a user’s information, photos, and intellectual property is bound by their terms of service and privacy policy, so Facebook users cannot change their acceptance of these policies.

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Mark A. Spognardi quoted in Inside Counsel on 7th Circuit reversal of its own precedent on ADA requirement for reassignment of disabled employees

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Mark A. Spognardi

Mark Spognardi

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi was quoted in a November 28 article in Inside Counsel, titled “ADA requires reassignment as a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees.” The article discusses the 7th Circuit’s reversal of its own precedent on reassignment as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in its Sept. 7 ruling in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. United Airlines Inc. It found that the ADA requires that employers reassign an employee to a vacant position within the company for which she/he is qualified if the employee is no longer able to perform the job functions due to a disability, unless such an accommodation would prove an “undue hardship” to the employer. Mr. Spognardi comments that the employer has the burden to show that this reassignment constitutes an unreasonable accommodation or constitutes an undue hardship, and the court expects employers to engage in an interactive, good-faith process to explore what can be done to accommodate the person.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Prescription Drug Laws Create Challenges for Telehealth

While tremendous strides continue to be made in the growth and adoption of telehealth services, significant legal obstacles remain.  Among these obstacles are state drug prescribing laws.  In many states, physicians cannot lawfully prescribe drugs during a telehealth encounter, except in very limited circumstances.  For example, California requires that physicians perform a “physical exam” before prescribing drugs, and explicitly outlaws prescribing on “the internet” without a prior examination.  These restrictions vary from state to state, but many share certain characteristics, such as the following:

  1. In several states the law says that physicians cannot prescribe medication without first performing a “physical” examination (e.g. Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee and California).   This physical examination requirement is generally interpreted to mean that the physician must have an in-person encounter with the patient, but this is not necessarily the case everywhere. 
  2. Some states only limit telehealth prescribing to certain classes of drugs.  For example, Minnesota’s prescribing law requires that the physician complete an “in person examination” before prescribing controlled substances, muscle relaxants, and certain other classes of medication.  Louisiana has a similar restriction for certain controlled substances, but not other classes of drugs. 
  3. Many states now have prescribing laws that explicitly prohibit prescribing solely based on an internet questionnaire (e.g.  Louisiana and Mississippi) or internet consultation (e.g. Oregon).  
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Resurgent Mold Litigation In Sandy’s Wake

There is a significant risk that there will be a resurgence of mold claims and mold litigation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  Sandy left behind thousands of homes and offices in New York and New Jersey with flood-soaked flooring and sheet rock and water-damaged carpeting and personal belongings, which are all potential sources of mold if not removed and replaced.  In addition to potential mold exposure to property owners and lessees, there is the potential occupational risk to the thousands of workers in the construction trades who are working to repair damaged homes and offices.

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