MADISON, Wis. - A department store customer who brought a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint must arbitrate her individual claims as she is bound by the arbitration agreement attached to her store credit card, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled March 26 (Brittany Ineman, et al. v. Kohl's Corporation, No. 14-398, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38296).
LANSING, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on March 25 granted a reinsurer's motion to compel its reinsured to produce certain documents that the reinsured contended were privileged (Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company v. Westport Insurance Corporation, No. 14-cv-00151, W.D. Mich.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on March 24 ordered that discovery be completed no later than April 13 in a trade name dispute between an energy company and a hydraulic fracturing company that are competing in the same energy market. The energy company contends that the fracking company should be permanently enjoined from using the name and should be compelled to produce the leases it has with landowners (American Energy Corporation v. American Energy Partners, No. 13-00886, S.D. Ohio).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 23 declined review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming a federal jury award in a merger agreement lawsuit that sought determination whether Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires a corporation to update prior truthful statements (Stiefel Laboratories Inc., et al. v. Timothy Finnerty, No. 14-687, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse approval of Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s (PCC) plan of reorganization because it improperly relieves PCC's corporate parents and hundreds of affiliates of asbestos liability while establishing a trust controlled by plaintiffs' attorneys that will pay invalid claims "under a veil of secrecy," two insurers argue in a March 23 brief in their appeal of PCC's plan confirmation (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation [Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, et al. v. Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, et al.], No. 14-4329, 3rd Cir.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that lease agreements applied to the rental of bunk beds that allegedly contained bed bugs and black mold, a Florida federal judge on March 23 granted a rental corporation's motion to stay a case pending arbitration (Andre Teel, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., No. 3:14-cv-640-J-32, M.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA - A former shipping company employee's claims of race and gender discrimination fail because she failed to show that she and her male comparator performed substantially similar work, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 20, affirming the trial court's judgment (Cathalene Johnson v. Federal Express Corporation, No. 14-2886, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4558).
LOS ANGELES - A defendant in a lawsuit brought against multiple companies alleging soil and groundwater contamination on March 20 filed an amended third-party complaint in California federal court contending that it should be indemnified for any liability it may face in the original lawsuit because any contamination that exists has actually been caused by a group of landowners and business owners (Alcoa Inc., et al. v. APC Investment Company, et al. and Ferro Corporation v. PMC Inc., et al., No. 14-06456, C.D. Calif.).
SEATTLE - A trial court abused its discretion when it struck class allegations in a lawsuit that alleges that there was a design defect in Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 video game console that results in gouged game discs, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority ruled March 18 (Seth Baker, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 12-35946, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4317).
NEW YORK - The attorney representing a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador on March 19 filed a brief in federal appeals court in New York, arguing that the court should take judicial notice of documents currently being considered in parallel litigation (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A group of consumer plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., filed a motion for approval in Minnesota federal court on March 18, stating that they had reached a settlement in which the retailer agreed to pay $10 million to settle all of the consumers' claims against it (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 0:14-md-02522, D. Minn.).
LOS ANGELES - Two female managers employed by Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp. (BSNC) filed a class complaint in California federal court on March 13, accusing the medical device manufacturer of discriminating against its female employees through assignments, disparate pay and promotion and differential treatment (Denise Fretter, et al. v. Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation, No. 15-1988, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Pension funds' claims that Bank of New York Mellon breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in notes issued by Lehman Brothers Holding Co. through its securities lending program are not precluded by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (134 S.Ct. 2459 ), a federal judge in Illinois ruled March 16 (The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local No. 710 Pension Fund, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, et al., No. 13 C 1844, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31682).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The federal judge in Arkansas presiding over litigation filed by a class of residents who allege injuries related to easements for Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Pegasus Pipeline on March 17 dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs' implied duty arguments are "misplaced" and that controlling precedent favors the company (Rudy F. Webb, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 13CV232 BSM, E.D. Ark.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on March 17 dismissed three False Claims Act complaints against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Genentech Inc. for the alleged off-label marketing of the Xolair asthma inhaler (United States of America, et al., ex rel. Frank Garcia, et al., No. 06-10465, United States of America, et al., ex rel. Stephen Fauci v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 10-11728, and United States of America, et al., ex rel. Allison Kelly v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, et al., No. 12-10962, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23771).
NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on March 16 expanded the services of the special insurance counsel for asbestos personal injury creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Rapid-American Corp. to include insurance coverage litigation expected to be filed against the debtor's remaining excess insurers (In re: Rapid-American Corporation, No. 13-10687, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reverse an examiner's rejections of a power converter patent was vacated and remanded in part by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 (Vicor Corporation v. SynQor Inc., No. 14-1578, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4054).