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September 2012 - CDC Public Health Law News

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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In this Edition


Legal Tools

Top Stories

Briefly Noted

This Month's Feature: National Preparedness Month

Court Opinions

Quotation of the Month

  1. Judge Philip S. Straniere of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County. Willets Point Chiropractic PC. as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance; Richard Grosso, D.C. PC as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance.


  1. Next Steps in Health Reform Conference
    October 16, 2012
    9 am–3 pm
    American University's Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 603
    The conference will feature a lunchtime keynote on the broader implications of health reform and three in-depth panel discussions on the challenges and opportunities that implementation of health reform presents to states, health plans, and providers. The event is open to the public and will be particularly relevant to anyone practicing or interested in health law and policy. Registration is free but required.
    Find more information
    Register for the conference
    Registration Deadline: October 10

  2. Call for Nominations: Foundations of Health Law
    The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) and the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care seek nominations of foundational works of scholarship in health law, very broadly defined, to publish an edited volume in an academic press. The nomination must have been published in English before December 31, 2010 and must be accompanied by a brief (fewer than 300 words) description of the importance of the scholarly work.
    Send to: Ted Hutchinson, Executive Director, American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 765 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02445 (or email
    Find more information
    Submission Deadline: December 31, 2012

  3. Detailed agenda 2012 Public Health Law Conference: Practical Approaches to Critical Challenges
    The Network for Public Health Law is hosting the conference October 10–12, 2012 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will include several concurrent sessions focusing on different public health law topics, such as prevention and promotion at the community level, changes and challenges to public health legal infrastructure, challenges to public health authority, and others.
    Read the agenda [PDF - 363KB]
    Register for the conference

  4. Good Decision Making in Real Time: Practical Public Health Ethics for Public Health Professionals
    October 10, 2012
    8:00 am–12:00 pm
    Loews Hotel, Atlanta Georgia
    The free workshop will give public health professionals tools and practical examples to address common ethical challenges in public health practice. The workshop will introduce the basics of public health ethics and then engage participants in a discussion of case studies. The session will also explore the overlap between ethics and law. It is a precursor to the 2012 Public Health Law Conference
    Facilitated by Drue Barrett, PhD, Lead, Public Health Ethics Unit, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, CDC
    To register contact (space is limited)
    Find more information [PDF - 263KB]

  5. Newborn Screening Webinar
    Thursday, September 27, 2012
    1:00–2:00 pm
    The Network for Public Health Law, in partnership with several organizations, is hosting a free six-part webinar series on legal issues surrounding newborn screening. During a newborn screening, a few drops of blood are taken from a newborn's heel to test for harmful or potentially fatal disorders. State laws govern what disorders are tested for and how the data is stored, shared, and protected. The next webinar will take place on
    Registration not required
    Find more information and access the webinar

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Legal Tools

  1. The Public Health Law Program's Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse is a centralrepository for emergency preparedness-related legal reports, tools, and training. The Clearinghouse aids jurisdictions when considering updates and clarifications to their public health emergency legal preparedness activities.
  2. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CDC's Public Health Law Program developed toolkits to help public health officials understand and use legal authorities to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. The toolkits address needs state and local public health agencies identified regarding specific legal questions and uncertainties that were perceived barriers to effective planning and response to infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, intentional acts, and other emergency events. The toolkits are resources for education, training, and preparation for emergencies. They can be quick reference guides when responding to an emergency. Find more information and access the toolkits.
  3. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and CDC's Public Health Law Program have published "Public Health and the Law: An Emergency Preparedness Training Kit." The training kit is designed to prepare public health practitioners, their legal counsel, and other partners to understand and effectively address changes in the legal environment that result from an emergency. The kit includes a locally-customizable PowerPoint curriculum and exercise scenario, instructor's manual, training component summaries, and training videos. Find more information and purchase the training kit.
  4. CDC offers a wide variety of emergency preparedness resources, covering concerns from West Nile Virus to bioterrorism to natural disasters. In honor of National Preparedness Month, find more information about the emergency preparedness and response resources.

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Top Stories

  1. Massachusetts: Easton Board of Health approves regulation for mosquito-borne illness containment

    Easton Patch (09/05/2012) Patrick Maguire

    Easton, Massachusetts experienced a large number of mosquito pools infected with of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), despite a vigorous pesticide campaign. EEEV causes eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in humans when an infected mosquito bites a person. According to CDC, EEEV is a rare illness in humans. Most humans who are infected show no symptoms. Severe cases of EEE can cause an infected individual's brain to swell. These severe cases begin with the sudden onset of chills, high fever, headaches, and vomiting. EEE then progresses into disorientation, seizures, or coma.

    Due to the high number of infected ponds, the Easton Massachusetts Board of Health has passed a regulation empowering the Board of Health to limit outdoor activities during times of elevated risk for mosquito-borne illness. The proposed regulation, which was discussed at a public town hall meeting on September 4, 2012 and passed on September 5, 2012, allows the board to instate a curfew for public and private property. The regulation includes potential fines of up to $1,000 for those who violate the ban, after a first offense.

    The regulation was hotly contested and many residents expressed concerns that it is an overreach of the Board's authority. "I resent that you're taking away my right as an informed citizen to make decisions for myself or my family," said Meredith Keach, an Easton resident.

    Easton's Public Health Commissioner, John Auerbach, feels the regulation allowing such bans is needed because of the gravity of the issue. "Easton is actually the town in the state that has the highest risk of any community," said Auerbach.

    Jay Talerman, legal counsel for the town, said that passing the regulation was done in deference to the citizens, but may not have been necessary. "Other towns just used Mass General Laws, went forward and enacted a ban—that's it, they did it. Knowing the town and the educated people here, [we thought] they ought to be able to come here to speak their piece," Talerman said of the town hall meeting held before the regulation was passed.

    The Board does not have any immediate plans to enact a ban.

  2. National: More young adults have insurance after health care law, study says

    New York Times (09/10/2012) Sabrina Tavernise

    In 2011, the portion of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth from the previous year, according to recent data released by CDC. This number represents the largest annual decline since 1997, when CDC began tracking how many young adults have health insurance.

    The report, "The Census Bureau's Upcoming Report on Health Insurance Coverage in 2011: What to Watch for [PDF - 234KB]," (the Report) was written by Matthew Broaddus, a research analyst at the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities, which published the Report. The Report was based on data from CDC's National Health Interview Survey, which queried about 35,000 households. While the survey didn't ask how the newly insured obtained coverage, Broaddus said the increased coverage is probably caused by the provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that allows children to remain on parents' insurance until their 26th birthday, which took effect in September 2010.

    Experts from a variety of backgrounds and fields agree that the PPACA's dependent provision is the only plausible explanation for the insurance coverage increase. Joseph Antos, a health care policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, noted that young adults have faced some of the worst conditions created by the economic recession and should be less likely to be insured. Other than the increase in coverage, however "[n]othing else went well for this age group," Antos said.

    Before the dependents' provision, most young adults were forced off of their parents' insurance plan after high school or college graduation, usually at age 18 or 21. The Report was published in anticipation of the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, which will clarify changes in health insurance coverage. The Census Bureau's report will be based on the Current Population Survey and is considered more inclusive because it represents data from such a large sample, about 100,000 households.

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Briefly Noted

  1. California: Suit claims CA Department of Public Health 8 years late in limiting chemical
    California drinking water: Department of Public Health sued over ‘Erin Brockovich Chemical'
    Huffington Post (09/06/2012) Gosia Wozniacka
  2. Illinois: New law requires students to be vaccinated for pertussis
    Law requires new vaccine for Illinois students
    Rockford Register Star (08/13/2012)
  3. Louisiana: Statewide public health emergency in effect until Oct. 3
    Public health emergency in Louisiana, yes, but also more cleanup
    Los Angeles Times (09/04/2012) Michael Muskal
    [Editor's note: In additional to Louisiana's public health emergency declaration, Alabama [PDF - 119KB], Florida [PDF - 234KB], and Mississippi [PDF - 566KB] also declared public health emergencies in response to Hurricane Isaac, which struck the Gulf of Mexico in late August, 2012. A Presidential State of Emergency was also declared for both Louisiana and Mississippi.]
  4. New York: Sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces banned in NYC
    New York health board approves ban on large sodas
    CNN (09/13/2012) George Lerner
    [Editor's note: Find more information about the New York City's regulation limiting sugary beverages.]
  5. New York: Students no longer burned by school sunscreen rules
    State Ed Department agrees to change sunscreen rule in schools
    WGRZ (08/18/2012)
  6. Oregon: Largest US holdout approves adding fluoride to water by March 2014
    Portland approves adding fluoride to water
    Huffington Post (09/12/2012) Steven Dubois
  7. National: Court rules breast cancer genes may be patented
    Ruling could alter gene pool of US patent law
    New Legal Review (09/05/2012)
  8. National: Drug Enforcement Agency concerned about new drug, ‘molly'
    There's something (potentially dangerous) about molly
    CNN (08/16/2012) Marina Csomor
  9. National: Yosemite National Park and World Health Organization issue warnings
    Wider warning after 3rd Yosemite hantavirus death New York Times (09/08/2012) Marc Santora

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Court Opinions

  1. Connecticut: Failure to exhaust procedural remedies in suit to bury husband in yard
    Piquet v. Town of Chester et al [PDF - 119KB]
    Case No. SC 18723
    Supreme Court of Connecticut
    Filed Aug. 28, 2012
    Opinion by Justice Peter T. Zarella
  2. Missouri: Village's complaint superseded by federal law in railway flooding case
    Village of Big Lake, Missouri v. BNSF Railway Co.
    Case No. WD74613
    Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District
    Filed Aug. 28, 2012
    Opinion by Judge Roger M. Prokes
  3. New York: Duty to warn of third party components in asbestos case
    In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation Ronald Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton et al.
    Case No. 1090196/10
    Supreme Court, New York County
    Decided Aug. 20, 2012
    Opinion by Judge Joan A. Madden
  4. New York: Family Healthcare Decisions Act not a substitute for guardian appointment
    In the Matter of Restaino v. AG, an Alleged Incapacitated Person
    Case No. 30500-I-12
    Supreme Court, Nassau County
    Decided Aug. 29, 2012
    Opinion by Judge Arthur M. Diamond
  5. New York: Chiropractors to perform ‘manipulation under anesthesia' under state law
    Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance; Richard Grosso, D.C. PC as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance
    Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County
    Case No. 017113/11
    Decided Aug. 16, 2012
    Opinion by Judge Philip S. Straniere
  6. Federal: Towing case remanded for provision-by-provision safety review of law
    California Tow Truck Ass'n v. City and County of San Francisco [PDF - 156KB]
    Case Nos. 11-15040, 11-15041
    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    Filed Aug. 27, 2012 Opinion by Judge John Michael Seabright

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Quotation of the Month: Judge Philip S. Straniere of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County. Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance; Richard Grosso, D.C. PC as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance

"Your toe bone connected to your foot bone,
Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone,
Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone,
Your leg bone connected to your knee bone,
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected to your back bone,
Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone,
Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone,
Your neck bone connected to your head bone,
I hear the word of the Lord !"

Judge Philip S. Straniere quoting "One of the versions of ‘Dem Bones' also known as ‘Dry Bones' or ‘Dem Dry Bones' an often recorded folk song attributed to James Weldon Johnson." Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. v. Allstate , 2012 NY Slip Op 51614(U).

About Public Health Law News

The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

The News is published by the CDC Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.


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News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Web sites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

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