Results6 August 2015

Tenth Circuit Enters Judgment in Favor of Defendants

Cody R. Rogers (Las Cruces) and Luke A. Salganek (Santa Fe) recently obtained a judgment from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico’s grant of seventeen motions for summary judgment in favor of New Mexico State University (“NMSU”) and its employees.  The case, which was originally filed in 2008, involved numerous allegations of racial discrimination and retaliation by NMSU and its employees following the non-renewal of the employment contracts of two professors who submitted duplicate travel reimbursement requests.  The four plaintiffs, each of whom was either a current or former NMSU employee or student, alleged that they were subject to racial discrimination in the Department of Health and Social Services at NMSU, and that they were retaliated against when they opposed discrimination.  Following two (2) years of discovery and four (4) years of briefing on dispositive motions, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico ultimately concluded that there was no factual basis for the plaintiffs’ claims, and entered seventeen orders dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims under Title VI, Title VII, Section 1981, Section 1983 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments in their entirety.  Plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the District Court erred in dismissing their claims.  Mr. Salganek and Ms. Rogers briefed the appeal on behalf of the Defendants, arguing that the District Court was correct in its rulings and that the plaintiffs had waived numerous arguments through their deficient briefing.  The Tenth Circuit agreed, affirming all of the District Court’s orders and entering judgment in favor of the defendants.


Results5 August 2015

Summary Judgment Win in State District Court in Santa Fe

Stephen Waller and Todd Schwarz prevailed on summary judgment in a coverage declaratory judgment action in State District Court in Santa Fe on August 5, 2015.  Waller and Schwarz convinced the Court that an injured employee lacks standing to make direct claims against her employer’s Commercial General Liability Policy for personal injuries allegedly arising from her employer’s negligent and reckless failure to provide a safe workplace.    



Results8 July 2015

Summary Judgment on Behalf of an Electric Utility

Todd Schwarz won summary judgment in New Mexico State Court on behalf of an electric utility.  The Court ruled that an electric utility does not have a duty to enter a building that is under construction to ensure that it is “clear” before energizing it.  The utility has the right to rely on the electrical contractor in charge.


Results19 June 2015

Favorable Appellate Decision from the NM Court of Appeals

Cody R. Rogers (Las Cruces) recently received a favorable appellate decision from the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which affirmed a directed verdict entered in favor of the firm’s physician client in a medical negligence matter.  The case, which involved alleged negligent misdiagnosis of gallbladder disease, an alleged unnecessary surgery, and an alleged surgical injury to the patient, was tried in early 2013 by Matthew S. Rappaport (Albuquerque) and Lawrence R. White (formerly Las Cruces).  Following the presentation of evidence by the Plaintiff at trial, the district court granted a directed verdict in favor of Defendant, ruling that Plaintiff had failed to present sufficient expert testimony as to breach of the standard of care and causation.  Plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Appeals originally proposed summary reversal of the district court’s decision.  Ms. Rogers submitted briefing requesting that the Court of Appeals instead place the matter on the general calendar so that it could consider the full record, and this request was granted.  Ms. Rogers wrote the appellate brief on behalf of Defendant, with assistance from Luke A. Salganek (Santa Fe).  On June 19, 2015, the Court of Appeals concluded that the district court was correct in determining that Plaintiff had failed to present necessary expert testimony regarding breach of the standard of care and causation, and affirmed the directed verdict in favor of Defendant.