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Supreme Court Roundup

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that 401(k) participants can sue their pension plans for stock market losses, but barred the survivors of man who died, allegedly from a defective Medtronic heart stent, from suing Medtronic, because the stent was federally approved. Click headlinefor links to theSupreme Court rulingsreleasedWednesday.

The Supreme Court voted 8-1 in Riegel v Medtronic to make it more difficult for consumers to sue manufacturers of federally approved medical devices.

It ruled in LaRue v DeWolff that individual participants in 401(k) plans can sue to recover losses under a pension protection law. Jake LaRue claimed administrators of his plan cost him $150,000 by refusing to follow his instructions to switch to safer investments.

It ruled in Danforth v Minnesota that a convicted child abuser gets a new trial because the state did not allow Danforth to confront his accuser, in accord with a Supreme Court ruling that came after Danforth was convicted.

It unanimously invalidated part of a Maine law that bars Internet tobacco sales to minors, as the issue is controlled by federal transportation law. See Rowe v New Hampshire Motor Transport Association.

It ruled that in Preston v Ferrer that the star of the TV show "Judge Alex" - former Florida Circuit Court Judge Alex Ferrer - must submit to arbitration of a fee dispute with an attorney who claims 12 percent of Ferrer's earnings. Ferrer claimed the lawyer, Arnold Preston, is not a licensed talent agent, as California law requires.

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