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March 2012 - CDC Public Health Law News

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Director's Note

Hello Public Health Law People! Spring is around the corner and stands as a great time for renewal. In that spirit, we are working hard to enhance the Public Health Law News and our website to provide easy access to news and other public health law resources. To that end, we will soon be introducing a new section to the News that will feature legal resources and useful tools from across the country. As a preview of sorts, I would like to present a toolkit from our colleagues at the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN). NPLAN is one of the preeminent groups in the public health community providing technical assistance on obesity and nutrition issues. Schools often keep school facilities like gyms, fields, basketball courts, and playgrounds locked after hours because they’re concerned about security, liability, maintenance, and other costs. But cities and towns around the country are resolving these issues through joint use agreements – written contracts spelling out terms that allow public agencies and nonprofits to share the costs and responsibilities. Download Playing Smart, a nuts-and-bolts guide to opening school property to the public through well-crafted joint use agreements.

These resources are the types of tools we will feature, and I hope you find them and future installments useful and engaging. Happy March!

Matthew S. Penn, Director
Public Health Law Program

In this Edition


Report on Data Sharing with Tribal Epidemiology Centers. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) has released a report on Data Sharing with Tribal Epidemiology Centers. Identifiable health data are the lifeblood of public health surveillance and other activities. Their use is essential to effective public health activities and public health research. Public health authorities at all levels of government seek increasingly greater types and volume of personally identifiable health information, including through data exchanges between public health entities. Find the full report “Legal Issues Concerning Identifiable Health Data Sharing Between State/Local Public Health Authorities and Tribal Epidemiology Centers in Selected U.S. Jurisdictions [PDF - 475KB].”

Report on Dairy-Related Disease Outbreaks. On February 21, 2012, the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases published the study “Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws - United States, 1993-2006.” According to the study, the rate of outbreaks caused by unpasteurized milk and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk. Also, the report found the rate of outbreak was more than double that in states where sales of unpasteurized milk are legal, compared to states where such sales are prohibited.

MAHC Module Open for Public Comment: The Disinfection & Water Quality. CDC is working with public health and industry representatives across the United States to build the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), intended to provide science-based, best available standards related to aquatic safety and health to state, tribal, local, and territorial public health practitioners and their partners. The Disinfection & Water Quality module covers several issues including standards to address chlorine-tolerant microbes and secondary disinfection for increased-risk venues such as those designed primarily for diaper-aged children. Outbreak investigations have often determined that disinfectant levels and other water quality parameters are not maintained appropriately. The module is open for comment through April 27, 2012. Find more information about the MAHC and the module status.

Weight of the Nation Conference. May 7-9, 2012, the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity will host the Weight of the Nation™, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in obesity prevention and control through policy and environmental strategies, framed around five intervention settings: early care and education; states, tribes, and communities; medical care; schools; and workplaces. The conference will feature a number of public health law-related sessions, as well as a practitioner training on public health law and policy. Find more information about the Weight of the Nation™ conference and registration.

Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor Program in Health Law. The Boston University Health Law program, an interdisciplinary research and teaching effort at Boston University which includes the School of Law and the Department of Health Law, and Bioethics & Human Rights at the School of Public Health, is accepting applications for a full-time, two-year appointment in the School of Law as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Applicants must hold a JD or other similar degree in law. Applications are due March 21, 2012 and will be accepted on a rolling basis. All application materials should be emailed to Leanne Chaves at Find more information about the Visiting Assistant Professor Program in Health Law.

Job Openings: Visiting Attorney, Public Health Law Practice Positions. The Network for Public Health Law and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are inviting applications for five Visiting Attorney–Public Health Law Practice positions. This inspiring and challenging post-JD experience is designed to provide recipients with exceptional skills in practice-based public health law to advance their public health law careers. These are full-time, salaried, one-year appointments with benefits. The five recipients will be at one of five host sites across the country under the supervision of expert public health attorneys. Applications open March 8 and close May 1, 2012. Read more about this exciting Network for Public Health Law opportunity and application details.

Free Webinar Series (bioterrorism): Creating a Network of Workplace Points of Dispensing. The Heartland Centers for Public Health & Community Capacity Development are inviting the public to view their free archived webinar series session "Creating a Network of Workplace Points of Dispensing,” held August 31, 2011. In early 2011, the St. Louis County Department of Health engaged to expand the number of residents covered by Workplace Points of Dispensing (also known as Closed PODs) to be activated in case of a bioterrorism attack. With funding from a Public Health Emergency Response grant, the organization created the Bio-Defense Network and put together a small team of public health, emergency planning, and business continuity professionals to focus on the effort. The campaign was an undisputed success. Find more information and access the archived webinar series session.

Top Stories

Kentucky: More Kentucky counties may get federal aid after tornadoes devastated region
Courier-Journal   (03/08/2012)   James R. Carroll

Tornadoes ravaged Kentucky and several other states on March 3, 2012, leaving trails of destruction and grief. On March 6, 2012, President Barack Obama issued a federal disaster declaration for seven Kentucky counties: Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Menifee, Morgan and Pendleton. The disaster declaration was issued in response to a disaster declaration request from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, which was sent pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (Stafford Act).

In Kentucky, the tornadoes claimed 23 lives and left more than 300 injured. The disaster declaration will make grants for temporary housing and home repairs, loans to cover uninsured losses, and other federal disaster relief assistance available to individuals who were harmed by the storms.

As Kentucky’s losses continue to be tallied, the disaster declaration may be extended to other counties. Kentucky Representative Hal Rogers, who heads the House Appropriates Committee, indicated that the disaster declaration should be extended to other counties which “remain in dire need of both individual assistance and public assistance because the devastation has torn up the roads, schools, court houses beyond recognition . . . While my people are resilient- and they are- they are clearly in need and are overwhelmed.”

Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was hopeful as he discussed the addition of other counties. “As soon as we can say there’s damage warranting it, the federal coordinating officer, working with the state coordinating officer, will be able to start adding those counties on. And we expect that to be a rapid process of not weeks, but literally within a day or so as we get the information to support it.”

[Editor’s Note: Public health law often plays a key role in emergency relief and response after natural disasters as recognized in the Stafford Act. Read Governor Beshear’s disaster declaration request [PDF - 218KB] and find more information about the disaster declaration request or federal disaster declaration.]

Georgia: Drug Court: Saving money, saving lives
Atlanta Journal Constitution   (03/04/2012)   Bill Rankin and Carrie Teegardin

Georgia has 101 accountability courts and Gov. Nathan Deal is proposing to raise the state budget for accountability courts to $10 million, five times the previous budget amount. Accountability courts usually offer specialized programming as an alternative to jail sentencing. Most offenders elect to enter the drug court program to avoid prison. Charges are dismissed against offenders who graduate from the drug court’s programs. 

Nationally, there are more than 2,500 drug courts. The first was established in Florida in 1989. Lower recidivism rates and lower costs are associated with drug courts. In 2010, the state performed an audit finding that, while 29 percent of state prison inmates with substance-abuse problems committed another crime within two years of release from prison, only 7 percent of drug court graduates committed another crime. Also, while the state spends an estimated $51 per day, per prison bed, drug courts only cost about $20 per day to operate, a difference the state audit estimated to save the state $14 million in 2009 alone. 

Chief Judge Jeffrey Bagley of Georgia’s Forsyth County Superior Court has seen over 175 defendants graduate from his drug court. Chief Judge Bagley said of the program’s participants, “[m]ost of them say it is the most difficult thing they have ever had to do in their lives.” Drug court programs teach offenders to be responsible for their actions, independent and good citizens of the community. “All of these things are conservative principles. We do not want them to be a drain on the government,” Chief Judge Bagley said. 

Judge Jason Deal, a Superior Court Judge, presides over accountability courts in two Georgia counties, Hall and Dawson. “This is not hug-a-thug. This is about encouraging positive behavior and discouraging negative behavior. Those who get it, those who buy into what we’re doing, they’re changed people when they complete drug court,” said Judge Deal. 

Some still have concerns about the drug courts, though. “I’ve always been worried of the aspect of a judge sitting in a courtroom patting people on the head and giving them trinkets and gifts because they went a week without using methamphetamine or cocaine. Drug court is more suited for a counselor than a judge. I have a problem with that,” said Floyd County, Georgia Chief Superior Court Judge Walter Matthews. 

Chief Judge Bagley responded to such concerns, saying “That’s their belief. That’s their opinion. I do give [defendants] incentives, but I keep the boundary there between judge and defendant. I’m dealing with them in a different way, but I don’t believe that boundary is breached.” 

Even in the face of criticism, drug court success stories abound and many drug court graduates credit the drug court for their success. “It taught me ownership. It taught me, you know, I did this and I have to own it. It taught me honesty- how to be honest with myself and not sugarcoat things. This is who I am,” said Chuck Geter, a former Marine, Desert Storm veteran, and graduate of Forsyth County, Georgia’s drug court. 

[Editor’s Note: Drug courts offer services to a broad range of criminal defendants with substance abuse issues. Not all defendants in all drug courts are charged with drug-related crimes. For instance, a defendant could be arrested on burglary charges, but if the burglary was perpetrated in order to feed the defendant’s substance addiction, then that defendant may be offered services through the drug court, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Drug courts application varies from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction.]

National: BP settlement still leaves most complex claims unresolved
Boise Weekly   (03/05/2012)   Abrahm Lustgarten

On Friday, March 2, 2012 BP announced a tentative deal to pay $7.8 billion in compensation to Gulf Coast residents harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The proposed settlement does not address other claims against the company pursuant to state law and the federal Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act, which could ultimately require BP to pay an additional $21 billion. 

Friday’s announcement represents the company’s estimates for meeting current outstanding claims. Since the estimate does not include a cap on payment, the final amount could be much greater. The settlement will be drawn from a $20 billion fund which, at President Obama’s request, was earmarked by BP to cover disaster victims’ claims. 

During the 2011 disaster, eleven men died in the initial explosion and more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled in to the Gulf. As tar balls continue to wash upon Gulf beaches and the long term effects of the oil spill remain unknown, many feel the settlement is unfair to victims because a portion of the settlement will pay attorneys’ fees. Anthony Buzbee is a Houston attorney for 12,000 plaintiffs against BP, but was not included in the settlement negotiations. “How does that advance the ball at all? The lawyers on that committee wanted to settle because it means huge fees,” said Buzbee. 

Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, issued a statement on March 2, 2012 defending BP and the settlement, “From the beginning, BP stepped up to meet our obligations to the communities in the Gulf Coast region, and we’ve worked hard to deliver on that commitment for nearly two years. The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.”

National: Judge blocks graphic images on cigarette packages
Yahoo   (02/29/2012)   Michael Felberbaum 

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, Richard Leon, ruled the federal mandate requiring graphic images on cigarette packages violates the First Amendment’s free speech protections. 

The suit maintained that the warnings were not mere factual information, but anti-smoking advocacy more prominent than the manufacture’s branding. The suit was brought by some of the nation’s largest tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. 

The Food and Drug Administration defended the requirements saying that the interest in public health and conveying the dangers of smoking outweighed the companies’ free speech rights. 

The required graphic images included a sewn-up corpse of a smoker and photos of diseased lungs. 

Leon’s ruling was critical of the images, saying the graphic images “were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase consumer awareness of smoking risks; rather, they were crafted to evoke a strong emotional response calculated to provoke the viewer to quit or never start smoking.” 

The opinion is already being appealed. While the U.S. Department of Justice and Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on the ruling, on February 29 the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement strongly supporting the graphic labels

[Editor’s note: See the graphic warnings and read the memorandum opinion.]

National: Vets feel abandoned after secret drug experiments
CNN   (03/01/2012)   David S. Martin

Military researchers at Edgewood Arsenal, in Maryland, used human subjects to test a range of chemicals, including lethal nerve gasses, such as VX and sarin, and incapacitating agents like BZ. The tests were conducted, sometimes on U.S. soldiers, from 1955 to 1975. 

Many of the soldiers who participated in the experiments have severe illnesses, which they believe are directly related to chemicals they were exposed to at Edgewood. Many of the veterans do not even know to what chemicals they were exposed, though, because the chemicals were referred to as “agent one or agent two,” said one Edgewood veteran, Tim Josephs. 

While many of the veterans who have applied for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) have received benefits associated with their deployments to Asia and associated exposure to Agent Orange, they are not receiving benefits for their exposure at Edgewood. 

Gordon Erspamer is the lead attorney in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Edgewood veterans against the VA. The suit seeks to require the VA to locate all Edgewood veterans and provide them with medical benefits and details regarding their chemical exposure. 

Erspamer says the government has reached very few of the 7,000 Edgewood veterans and has largely denied their benefits claims. “The whole thing stinks, and if the American people knew about it, they would not tolerate it. This kind of behavior toward our veterans would not be allowed to happen,” said Erspamer. 

A Department of Defense Statement said the Department “has made it a priority to identify all service members exposed to chemical and biological substances...and the VA has contacted and offered free medical evaluations to thousands of veterans.” 

While the Edgewood research program initially sought ways to defend against a Soviet Union chemical or biological attack, the research eventually included offensive chemical weapons as well. President Nixon ended offensive chemical weapons research in 1969.

Briefly Noted

Arizona: Law proposes that K-9 dogs biting on command not subject to quarantine
Bill would remove quarantine law for police dogs
East Valley Tribune   (02/12/2012)   Mike Sakal

California: Mandated prevention efforts lead to slower rise in student obesity
Obesity prevention efforts in schools yields some success
California Watch   (03/05/2012)   Joanna Lin

Connecticut: Mixed martial arts supporters seek laws, sanctions, medical access
Connecticut legislature taking up bill to regulate mixed martial arts
New Haven Register   (03/05/2012)   Jordan Fenster

Illinois: Nursing home advocates disagree about increased direct-care requirements
Illinois nursing homes at odds over RN requirements
State Journal Register   (03/03/2012)   Dean Olsen

Iowa: Settlement in case of permanently brain damaged foster child
Iowa settles suit over boy’s foster care injuries
Quad-City Times   (03/03/2012)

New Jersey: Critics refuse to swallow state’s proposed fluoride legislation
In New Jersey, a battle over fluoridation bill, and the facts
New York Times   (03/02/2012)   Kate Zernike

Texas: Nurse accused of killing 5 patients charged with capital murder
Texas nurse’s bleach injection deaths trial begins
Statesman   (03/05/2012)   Michael Graczyk

Wyoming: Bill would increase max. jail sentence for repeat DUI
Wyoming Senate approves bill toughening DUI penalties for repeat offenders
Republic   (02/02/2012)

National: Health plans required to have six-page summary form in clear language
New rules for health plans require clear summaries of benefits
Los Angeles Times   (02/10/2012)   Noam N. Levey

National: Critics say proposed safety standards don’t hold water
Proposed water safety standards criticized
WGAL   (02/10/2012)   David Martin

National: After Senate vote, amended contraception plan stands
Senate rejects step targeting coverage of contraception
New York Times   (03/01/2012)   Robert Pear

National: Lead found in hundreds of lipstick shades, debate becomes more heated
400 shades of lipstick found to contain lead, FDA say
Washington Post   (02/14/2012)   Dina ElBoghdady

Feature Profile in Public Health Law

Stephanie Nilva

Title: Executive Director

Organization: Day One

Education: BA from Hamilton College and law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, which presented her with two awards for nonprofit service.

CDC Public Health Law News: What was your route to public health law?

Nilva: In high school and college I took classes in Constitutional Law, which introduces students to the most interesting cases – the ones addressing civil rights, gender discrimination, etc. From then on, I always thought law school would be interesting, but I couldn’t picture myself as a lawyer. Neither of my parents had graduate degrees; in fact, my mother didn’t complete college until she was in her 60s. Once I graduated from college and had a few years of work behind me, I formulated a career path that included nonprofit work, and I could see that a law degree could take me where I wanted to go, which was somewhere I could make a difference.

CDC Public Health Law News: What specifically drew you to specialize in domestic violence abuse prevention and response?

Nilva: Once I was in law school, I took advantage of being in New York City and interned at several nonprofit organizations during the academic year and the summers. I volunteered at the ACLU, NOW Legal Defense Fund (now Legal Momentum), and was awarded a spot in my school’s legal services clinic. I got exposed to several different areas of law, and during my third year I partnered with Legal Services for New York (LSNY) to apply and was granted a fellowship conducting domestic violence work. The LSNY office was responsible for specific neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and the project was to assist victims in the Orthodox Jewish community. Looking back from my current position, I now see the destructive theme of isolation that almost all survivors of relationship abuse experience, whether it stems from boundaries of a religious community or age, language, geography, disability, immigration status and more. There are so many hurdles for survivors to overcome in seeking help to end a violent partnership, and I find the work reducing those hurdles to be intensely rewarding.

CDC Public Health Law News: Before working at Day One, you practiced in family and matrimonial law. How has your prior experience been an asset to your work with Day One?

Nilva: Earlier in my career, I was an attorney representing adults in various family and matrimonial law cases, and it was the type of work that really brought me face to face with survivors of domestic violence. As I helped them with their cases, I got to know my clients pretty well, learned their histories and how the abuse escalated to the point that led them to my office. By the time I sat down with them they had often experienced years and years of violence. Today, working with youth at Day One, we have the opportunity to stop abuse before it even starts, to do prevention instead of only helping them pick up the pieces afterward. This doesn’t minimize the importance of direct services, but the prevention adds an essential component as well. Having worked with adults – witnessing how these relationships progress and where they can end – fuels my passion to make a difference in the lives of youth.

CDC Public Health Law News: What kind of services or programming does Day One provide?

Nilva: Day One combines prevention and intervention services that are specifically tailored to the needs of young people. Our community education program goes to schools and other youth settings, including foster care and juvenile detention facilities, in all five boroughs of New York City to teach a variety of workshops about healthy relationships and dating abuse. Our direct services provide legal advice and representation, individual and group counseling, and case management for young people who have experienced abuse. We also have a group called the Youth Voices Network, which brings together survivors of dating abuse to support each other and raise awareness as advocates by speaking about their experiences to schools, government officials, and media.

CDC Public Health Law News: Please describe a typical workday.

Nilva: I seem to do a lot of writing and talking. As the executive director, one of my main responsibilities is to build relationships with people — funders, journalists, legislators, nonprofit leaders, corporate executives and others. This means a lot of outreach to introduce Day One through grant writing, public speaking, writing opinion pieces about the latest dating abuse headline, or emailing back and forth with a potential partner organization to figure out how our work can align and better serve our populations.

CDC Public Health Law News:What projects are you currently most excited about?

Nilva: I am excited that Day One has become well known for its expertise in the area of technological abuse and rapid response systems. Our new communications tools are bringing information to youth in a format that is most comfortable and familiar to them. Young people can ask a professional questions, both anonymously and confidentially, about the safety of their relationships through text message, instant messaging, and email.

CDC Public Health Law News: In January 2012, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation naming February 2012 National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Do you think this issue is gaining more attention? If so, why?

Nilva: I think that among young people, the news of Chris Brown and Rihanna collaborating and possibly rekindling their romance brought as much or more attention to the issue in recent weeks than President Obama’s proclamation. Of course, having our nation’s leaders focus on dating violence carries significant weight. Vice-President Joe Biden’s campaign, 1is2many, to end sexual violence on school campuses also did a lot to bring focus to the issue. It had a social media component and an app contest, which are aspects that reach young people in their space and appeal to them using the media they prefer, via the Internet, smart phone, etc. So I definitely think that there is more awareness about teen dating violence compared to ten, even five, years ago, but we still have a lot of work to do.

[Editor’s Note: In 2009, R&B singer Chris Brown pled guilty to felony assault of Rihanna, another R&B singer who was his girlfriend at the time. In February 2012, the singers announced they would be collaborating on a song together.]

CDC Public Health Law News: It seems as though individuals and the public at large are often uncomfortable discussing domestic violence. Do you think that is true, and if it is, why people might be even less inclined to discuss teen dating violence?

Nilva: Domestic violence has always been cloaked in misplaced shame and the unfortunate tendency of survivors to blame themselves – largely because the community often blames them as well – so it’s not surprising the people are reluctant to discuss it. Turning to the subject of teen dating violence, you have even more barriers to discussion, one of the biggest being that young people are not taken seriously and their relationships and feelings are often dismissed. It is as if adults have forgotten how intense the feelings of a first relationship can be. Given the unsurprising distrust young people have of adults, and the practice of adults of minimizing the potential risk or seriousness of teen relationships, it shouldn’t be a surprise that young people fail to disclose abusive partnerships. But the more everyone talks about the issue, the more likely it is that survivors will recognize unhealthy behaviors, come forward for help, and find safety.

CDC Public Health Law News: Do you think instances of teen dating violence are increasing?

Nilva: Referring back to Chris Brown and Rihanna, these high profile cases really allow people to think about dating violence and bring it into conversations, thus raising awareness. So certainly reporting is increasing given this new awareness about the issue, but I think it is difficult to speak to whether violence is increasing as a matter of course, because there are so many factors that could affect this. What we do know is that building awareness of dating violence, its warning signs, and what a healthy relationship looks like can do wonders to prevent violence from ever happening.

CDC Public Health Law News: In December 2011, the New York State Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence, Division of Criminal Justice Services, released “Expanded Access to Family Court in New York State: A Report on the First Three Years of Implementation of Chapter 326 [PDF - 1.51MB].” In a nutshell, what is Chapter 326 and why is it important?

Nilva: Chapter 326 is the law that passed in 2008 to allow domestic violence victims access to civil orders of protection (OPs) if they are in an “intimate relationship.” Prior to this, the law only provided for civil OPs to be granted in Family Court to victims who were “family or household members,” which included couples connected by blood, marriage, or having a child in common. Thus, dating couples, unmarried couples who lived together, and same sex couples could not access this important tool for safety without utilizing the far more challenging criminal justice system. This barrier was particularly challenging for youth, as young people aged 16 to 24 experience higher rates of domestic violence than any other age group.

Day One was part of the coalition that helped get this legislation passed, and we consider it a true victory for increased justice and protection, especially for youth. But no matter how critical a tool this is, the report shows that young people are still not using this protective resource because they simply don’t know about the option. Day One is working with other organizations to raise awareness that this legal protection is available.

CDC Public Health Law News: If you were not working in public health law, what would you likely be doing?

Nilva: I do have an alternate fantasy life in which I became an urban planner. It’s not something I ever studied, but I grew up in New York City, and whether I am here or elsewhere I am fascinated by architecture, public art, and the use of civic spaces. In addition, I have a continued interest in how issues like crime and poverty affect communities.

CDC Public Health Law News: Describe any personal information, hobbies, or interests you care to share.

Nilva: I enjoy traveling, and my biggest challenge is going away long enough or far enough that I can feel as if I don’t need to check my work email. Within the last five years I have taken some truly rejuvenating vacations, to South Africa, Thailand, and Costa Rica. I always love to come home to New York City though. It may not be the perfect place for everyone, but for me it’s the center of the world.

CDC Public Health Law News: What are your favorite books and what have you read lately?

Nilva: I have Jane Jacobs’ “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” on my bedside table, and I’m reading it slowly. Mostly I enjoy contemporary fiction these days, and I read The New Yorker cover to cover. I was once in a classics book club that I loved. It gave me the opportunity to read some things that I’d never gotten to in high school – for instance “The Brothers Karamazov” – and revisit some other masterpieces. Probably my all-time favorite book was “Ulysses” by James Joyce, though I benefited from reading it in a guided course over a full semester in college.

Court Opinions

Connecticut: Landlords of illegal massage parlor subject to legal action
Sgritta v. Commissioner of Public Health
Appellate Court of Connecticut
Case No. AC 32963
Decided February 21, 2012
Opinion by Judge Douglas S. Lavine

Nebraska: Liquor Control Commission overreach in flavored malt tax case
Project Extra Mile v. Nebraska Liquor Control Comm.
Supreme Court of Nebraska
Case No. S-11-157
Filed March 2, 2012
Opinion by Justice William Connolly

New York: Petition to vacate Fuel Oil Rules denied and dismissed
Matter of County Oil Co. Inc. v. New York City Dept. of Envtl. Protection
Supreme Court, Queens County, New York
Case No. 21750/2011
Decided February 6, 2012
Slip Opinion by Judge Marguerite A. Grays

Tennessee: TPPA Police ticket fixing case summary judgment overturned
Williams v. City of Burns, Tennessee
Court of Appeals of Tennessee, at Nashville
Case No. M210-02428-COA-R3-CV
Decided February 15, 2012
Opinion by Judge Andy D. Bennett

Federal: “Occupy” protestors denied restraining order against city
Davidovich v. City of San Diego
United States District Court, Southern District of California
Case No. 11cv2675 WQH-NLS
Decided February 10, 2012
Opinion by Judge William Q. Hayes

Federal: In green tea case, FDA’s disclaimer does not advance gov’t interest
Fleminger, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
Civil Action No. 3:10cv855 (VLB)
Decided February 23, 2012
Opinion by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant

Federal: Defendant granted MSJ in inmate’s hair cutting case
Delgado v. Ballard
United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, Charleston
Civil Action No. 2:09-1252
Decided February 10, 2012
Opinion by John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

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.

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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 Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Lindsay Culp, J.D., M.P.H., Editor; Abigail Ferrell, J.D., M.P.A., Writer.


News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 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 DHHS. 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 DHHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS. 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 DHHS. 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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