KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A discovery request by a copyright owner for information relating to communications between a defendant and various nonparty corporations can proceed, a Kansas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 28 (Joseph R. Tomelleri v. Zazzle Inc., No. 13-2576, D. Kan.).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 27 reversed a district court order authorizing payments to lower-priority creditors in the Dow Corning silicone breast implant bankruptcy settlement, saying objectors have a right to be heard and a right to question an assessor's financial data (In Re: Settlement Facility Dow Corning Trust, Dow Corning Corporation, et al. v. Claimants' Advisory Committee, et al., No. 14-1090, 6th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - There is a triable issue as to whether a plan participant complied with the governing plan documents' requirements for changing beneficiary designation, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 28, reversing summary judgment in an interpleader case seeking a determination as to the proper beneficiary of proceeds under two employee benefit plans (Lawrence M. Becker, as fiduciary of the Xerox Corporation Savings Plan and Xerox Corporation Retirement Income Guarantee Plan and Carmen Stephanie Mays-Williams v. Asa Williams Jr., as personal representative of the Estate of Asa Willie Williams, No. 13-35069, 9th Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A trial court did not err when it allowed a jury to twice modify its verdict in a lawsuit brought by a worker who claimed that she was terminated following her whistle-blowing, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 26 (Andrea Gail Jones v. SouthPeak Interactive Corporation of Delaware, et al., Nos. 13-2399 and 14-1765, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1114).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Jan. 27 issued its first order in a dispute between a Canadian mining corporation and the Republic of Peru, establishing the procedural timeline and rules that will govern the case (Bear Creek Mining Corp. v. Republic of Peru, No. ARB/14/21, ICSID).
MINNEAPOLIS - Acting on remand from the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Minnesota federal judge on Jan. 27 again rejected a request by three prevailing corporate defendants for an award of attorney fees and expenses in a patent and Lanham Act dispute (Aviva Sports Inc. v. Fingerhut Direct Marketing Inc., et al., No. 09-1091, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9108).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a federal judge's ruling that a pollution exclusion precluded coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals (Visteon Corporation, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, No. 14-2725, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1064).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 26 granted an aircraft corporation's petition to confirm a $9,644,659 arbitration award issued under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), finding that no triable issue of fact exists (Cessna Finance Corp. v. Gulf Jet LLC, et al., No. 1:14-cv-2149, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8623).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The liability of a corporation that offers membership in a plan providing concierge medical care for negligence on the part of an affiliated doctor was the topic of opening statements Jan. 22 in a suit by the widower of a plan member who alleged that blood clot in her leg went undiagnosed for almost a month, causing her to undergo an above-the-knee amputation (Robert Beber, et al. v. MDVIP Inc., et al., No. 50-2009-CA-034380, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).
HOUSTON - A trade secret and copyright plaintiff failed to persuade a Texas federal judge on Jan. 22 to revisit her March 2014 take-nothing judgment (Ultraflo Corporation v. Pelican Tank Parts Inc., et al., No. 09-782, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6975).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 reversed a defense verdict and judgment in a shoulder pain pump case and remanded after finding that the plaintiffs' negligence per se claims were not preempted by federal law, as the trial court held (Christina McClellan v. I-Flow Corporation, et al., Nos. 11-35109 and 11-35134, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1062).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 21 ruled that a hydraulic fracturing joint venture failed to present evidence that an oil company with which it had a contract was liable for negligence and damages connected to alleged contamination of horizontal hydraulic fracturing wells (Texokan Operating Inc., et al. v. Hess Corporation, No. 13-02866, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An order dismissing one case alleging manipulation of the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) that had been consolidated with others in a multidistrict litigation triggered the plaintiffs' right to appeal under Title 28 U.S. Code Section 1291, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Jan. 21 (Ellen Gelboim and Linda Zacher, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., No. 13-1174, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Jan. 20 officially constituted a tribunal to hear an arbitration dispute filed by Canadian resource and Swiss gas corporations against the Slovak Republic in relation to rights over a talc deposit (EuroGas Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. v. Slovak Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/14/14).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 16 entered his order partially granting a storage company's motion to dismiss claims asserted against it in relation to mold growth on coffee products that were kept in its warehouse, finding that a pallet company plausibly alleged the elements of an equitable indemnity claim (Starbucks Corporation v. Amcor Packaging Distribution, et al., No. 2:13-1754, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5746).
MINNEAPOLIS - In a Jan. 15 answer filed in Minnesota federal court, Target Corp. denied negligence claims brought against it by financial institution (FI) plaintiffs in a consolidated class action related to the 2013 breach of the retail giant's computer system (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 14-2522, D. Minn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 20 denied a request to review a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming the dismissal of a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who argued that the appeals court erred in finding that a settlement agreement the parties entered into with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency barred the claim (Hobart Corporation, et al. v. Waste Management of Ohio Inc., No. 14-575, U.S. Sup.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal magistrate judge on Jan. 14 recommended that a court grant summary judgment in an Aredia jaw injury case, saying the plaintiff presented no evidence that the drug was not of a merchantable quality under Alabama law (Charles Collins v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 08-438, M.D. Ala., Northern Div.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on Jan. 13 granted a motion asking Comcast Corp. to produce discovery materials in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class suit; however, the magistrate judge stayed production pending a ruling by the district court on Comcast's motion for summary judgment (Nicholas Martin, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, No. 12-6421, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3881).
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 filed a second reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 in his appeal of a fraud judgment against him, arguing that it is Chevron's burden to show it has standing to seek its requested relief for the alleged fraud and that the attorney does not have the burden to establish mootness (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).