T&D Utility Ownership of Generation
Verrill represented Emera in a lengthy case addressing the extent to which the Maine Restructuring Act prevents affiliates of a Maine T&D utility from acquiring ownership of generation facilities. In 2011, Emera sought approval of two acquisitions: (1) 25% ownership of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and (2) a joint venture with First Wind to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. We represented Emera in extensive litigation before the Maine PUC and Maine Supreme Judicial Court both before and after Emera closed the transactions. Verrill defended the approvals before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in two separate appeals of the Maine PUC approval orders.
T&D Utility Ownership Of Generation
We represented Emera in a lengthy case addressing the extent to which the Maine Restructuring Act prevents affiliates of a Maine T&D utility from acquiring ownership of generation facilities. In 2011, Emera sought approval of two acquisitions: (1) 25% ownership of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and (2) a joint venture with First Wind to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. Represented Emera in extensive litigation before the Maine PUC and Maine Supreme Judicial Court both before and after Emera closed the transactions.
Elections and Constitutional Law: Constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting
Verrill Dana represented the League of Women Voters in two proceedings before the Maine Supreme Court relating to the constitutionality of Maine’s voter-approved ranked choice voting law. The first proceeding, Opinion of the Justices, 2017 ME 100, was a rare “solemn occasion” in which the Supreme Court is asked to render an opinion where a proceeding has not been commenced but the issue is of special significance. In Opinion of the Justices, the Supreme Court held that ranked choice voting was unconstitutional under Maine’s constitution, but permitted ranked choice voting in primaries and federal elections to proceed. In Maine Senate v. Secretary of State, 2018 ME 52, the Supreme Court held that it could not decide the authority of the Secretary of State to implement ranked choice voting under a separation of powers theory.
Healthcare and Employment Law: Doctor’s Claims of Age Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate Mental Health Issues
Verrill Dana represented Penobscot Community Healthcare in an appeal to the Maine Supreme Court arising from an age discrimination complaint by one of its doctors. After the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of PCHC, the doctor complained that the trial court had failed to provide proper accommodations for his mental health issues in the context of the motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court rejected the doctor’s appeal, affirming summary judgment in favor of PCHC. The case is Gallagher v. Penobscot Community Healthcare, 2019 ME 88.
Healthcare and Tort Liability: Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Doctor’s Libel and Tortious Interference Claims
Verrill Dana successfully represented Northwestern Medical Center and Quorum Health Resources in an appeal the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Doctor Raymond Long alleged that Northwestern and Quorum had filed a false notice with the National Provider Review Database after Long had resigned from the hospital while under investigation. The District Court dismissed Long’s complaint against Northwestern and Quorum on the grounds that aspects of his complaint were barred by res judicata and that he invited the harm of which he complained. The Second Circuit affirmed on all grounds. The case is Long v. Quorum Health Resources, 590 Fed. Appx. 103 (2d Cir. 2015).
Healthcare: Discoverability of Confidential Health Records
Verrill Dana filed two amicus briefs on behalf of the Maine Hospital Association and Maine Medical Association regarding the scope of permissible discovery of third party medical records in medical malpractice cases. The issue is one of first impression for the Maine Supreme Court and has the potential to significantly impact the extent to which hospitals and doctors can be required to produce medical records relating to patients who are not the subject of the malpractice action. The cases are McCain v. Vanadia, 2018 ME 1174 (appeal dismissed as unreviewable), and Kennelly v. Mid Coast Hosp., CUM-18-445 (pending).
Age Discrimination Case in the Health Care Industry
Verrill Dana's Litigation Team successfully represented a healthcare institution in an age discrimination case brought by a former doctor. The case wound its way from Federal Court, to Maine Superior Court to the Maine Supreme Court. The doctor argued that the reasons for his termination were pretextual and that he had been defamed during proceedings that resulted in his termination. The Federal Court dismissed the doctor's federal claims and the Superior Court granted summary judgment on the doctor's state law claims. The Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment, rejecting the plaintiff's novel procedural arguments.