NEW ORLEANS - The National Labor Relations Board filed a petition on March 13 in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing or rehearing en banc of a December panel decision allowing employers to condition employment on signing an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver (D.R. Horton, Incorporated v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-60031, 5th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 ordered a wage-and-hour lawsuit brought under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) to be sent back to state court after determining that a federal court could not exercise jurisdiction over the case under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Joseph Baumann, et al. v. Chase Investment Services Corp., et al., No. 12-55644, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4777).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Merely demonstrating asbestos exposure does not entitled a colon cancer claimant to the presumption of causation under the state's workers' compensation statutes, a Pennsylvania court held March 13 (Diana Moretti and John Moretti, dec'd v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Kimberly Clark Corp., No. 1452 C.D. 2013, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2014 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 167).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A woman's proposed class action claims against two washing-machine manufacturers under the California unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) fail because she did not plead the claims with the heightened particularity required for fraud allegations, a federal judge held March 11 in dismissing the claims, though with leave to amend (Laury Smith v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., et al., (No. 13-4361, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31577).
NEWARK, N.J. - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 heard oral arguments over whether a judge properly dismissed plaintiffs' class claims involving the alleged withholding of evidence that a company's talc contained asbestos (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 13-1089, 3rd Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania judge presiding over consolidated lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage claims against the operator of a coal-fired electricity plant in western Pennsylvania entered orders March 13 excluding the expert testimony of a geologist and an environmental scientist designated by the plaintiffs to identify the fly ash on their properties; the opinions would not help the trier of fact because they are unable to determine when the fly ash was deposited on the plaintiffs' properties, according to the judge (David Patrick, et al v. FirstEnergy Generation Corp., et al., No. 08-1025, W.D. Pa.; Robert Price, et al. v. FirstEnergy Generation Corp., No 08-1030, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32338; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32340).
BALTIMORE - A copyright holder may commence expedited discovery to reveal the identity of a Doe defendant accused of illegally downloading 22 of its movies, a Maryland federal judge ruled March 11, while imposing several conditions and limitations on a subpoena to be issued to the Doe's Internet service provider (ISP) (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:14-cv-00238, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31502).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Pradaxa defendant Boehringer Ingelheim was ordered March 13 to pay rent and expenses for plaintiffs for depositions conducted in Amsterdam after the Illinois multidistrict litigation judge found that the company acted in bad faith by failing to preserve discovery documents or by allowing them to be destroyed (In Re: Pradaxa [Dabigatran Etexilate] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2385, No. 3:12-md-0285, S.D. Ill.).
Fast food workers in California, Michigan and New York filed multiple class complaints on March 12 and 13 in federal and state courts accusing McDonald's Corp. of stealing workers' wages in various ways, including forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards and not paying them overtime (Tasha Beard, et al. v. McDonald's Corporation, et al., No. 14-1664, E.D. N.Y.; Jason Hughes, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. RG14717085, Calif. Super., Alameda Co..; Montel Pullen, et al. v. McDonald's Corporation, et al., No. 14-11081, E.D. Mich.; Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. RG14717081, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.; Maria Sanchez, et al. v. McDonald's Restaurants of California, Inc., et al., No. BC499888, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.; Shamia Wilson, et al. v. McDonald's Corporation, et al., No. 14-11082, E.D. Mich.; Stephanie Ochoa v. McDonald's Corp., No. RG14717102, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Determining that an accused cybersquatter and trademark infringer acted willfully in its use of marks and an Internet domain that were confusingly similar to those used by CrossFit Inc., due to the defendant's failure to respond, a New Jersey federal judge on March 11 granted CrossFit's motion for default judgment (CrossFit Inc. v. 2XR Fit Systems LLC, et al., No. 2:13-cv-01108, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31661).
LONDON - An English justice on March 14 refused to enforce a $152,195,171 arbitration award issued in favor of a Hong Kong entity against a Nigerian petroleum corporation, finding that the enforceability of the award must be decided in Nigeria (IPCO [Nigeria] Limited v. Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., No.  EWHC 576 [Comm], England and Wales High, Comm. Co.).
DETROIT - A group of creditors on March 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan objecting to the bankrupt City of Detroit's plan to secure $120 million in new financing without seeking Bankruptcy Court approval (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt aircraft company Hawker Beechcraft on March 11 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York supporting its motion to modify excess pension claims and estimate unliquidated excess pension claims (In Re: Hawker Beechcraft Inc., No. 12-11873, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded to a district court a suit in which a relator alleges that various student loan corporations defrauded the U.S. Department of Education and violated the False Claims Act (United States ex rel. Jon H. Oberg v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, et al., No. 12-2513, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4725).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A licensed insurance broker with a controlling interest in a company that served as a managing agent to an insurer did not have a fiduciary duty to the insurer, a California federal judge ruled March 11, denying summary judgment to the insurer on its breach of fiduciary duty claim (Universal Casualty Co. v. Fred C. Godinez III, et al., No. 11-00934, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32184).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt oil and gas company Green Field Energy Services Inc. (GFES) on March 11 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware contending that its asset sale order protects all confidential information related to federal laws that may be involved with selling its equipment to third parties (In Re: Green Field Energy Services Inc., No. 13-12783, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify insureds against an underlying construction defect lawsuit because they failed to give timely notice of the lawsuit, an Alabama federal judge held March 13 (Pennsylvania Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Watts Builders LLC, et al., No. 12-994, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32392).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals court panel on March 11 reversed a lower court decision in an asbestos-related reinsurance dispute and remanded the question of timeliness of certain claims to the lower court (In re ROM Reinsurance Management Company, Inc., et al. v. Continental Insurance Company, Inc., as successor to Harbor Insurance Company, No. 11809, 654480/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1509).