Lawsuit edition: Northwest ADA suit continues; also: Medtronic whistle-blowers allege ‘inducements’ to doctors, Mervyn’s sues Target, others for ‘stripping’ value

Northwest Airlines isn’t exempt from the Americans With Disabilities Act, a federal judge has ruled. According to the Detroit News, the airline argued that an ADA lawsuit against it should be dismissed because the act doesn’t apply to airport service. Five passengers are suing Northwest, accusing it of providing inadequate assistance that’s resulted in missed flights and damaged wheelchairs. The judge’s ruling Tuesday means the suit will continue.

A Medtronic treatment used in spinal surgery is under scrutiny
after dozens of reports of life-threatening complications associated with the product. The Wall Street Journal puts the story on today’s Page One, above the fold. The problems have been with “off-label” uses – those not approved by the FDA. Medtronic can’t legally promote those uses, but doctors who have “financial relationships” with the company have written favorably about them. Three former employees have filed whistle-blower lawsuits saying Medtronic paid “inducements” to doctors to use this product and others.

The Mervyn’s department store chain is suing Target  and three private-equity firms, alleging the former partners “stripped” the company of valuable real estate, nearly doubled its rent and doomed it to bankruptcy.  he department store, which was sold by Target in 2004, is in Chapter 11 and in the process of closing stores. A spokeswoman says Target “emphatically disagrees” with the claims in the lawsuit.

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