COLUMBUS, Ohio - A southern Ohio water utility seeking declaratory judgment and indemnification from DuPont for perfluorooctanoic acid contamination of its water well field in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio failed to meet its burden for the imposition of sanctions for the conduct of an attorney for DuPont during a deposition in May, the presiding magistrate judge ruled Dec. 17 (Little Hocking Water Association Inc. v. DuPont, No. 09-1081, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176763).
ATLANTA - A unanimous 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed the issuance of an order compelling Chevron Corp. and one of its experts to produce some 1,200 documents to the Republic of Ecuador to permit the country to defend the $9 billion judgment against Chevron in the Lago Agrio litigation for personal injury and contamination damages entered in November by the highest court in Ecuador (Republic of Ecuador, et al. v. Dr. Robert E. Hinchee, No. 12-16216, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25102).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge declared a mistrial in an asbestos action after the jury reported Dec. 16 that it was deadlocked and that additional deliberation was unlikely to change the result (Joanne K. Lipson, et al. v. ON Marine Services Co. LLC, Ferro Engineering Division, No. 13-1747, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Dec. 17 announced that it has reached an agreement with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to settle a class action filed by tenants who claim that their apartments contain mold, resulting in a plan to resolve the widespread mold issues in its housing (Baez et al. v. New York City Housing Authority, No. 1:13-cv-08916, S.D. N.Y.).
PITTSBURGH - An employee's failure to show interested similarly situated parties at the early stage of litigation does not doom his motion for conditional certification in his wage-and-hour suit against his former employer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Dec. 16 (Michael Lucke v. PPG Industries, Inc., No. 13-966, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176293).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 18 affirmed a decision requiring an expert to produce certain documents for use in foreign proceedings, finding that the materials did not contain any core opinion work product of Chevron Corp.'s attorneys (Republic of Ecuador, et al. v. Chevron Corp., No. 12-16216, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25102).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A plaintiff's police practices expert can opine regarding standards and training at a jail in a civil rights action stemming from the beating of a mentally ill prison inmate by a jailer, a federal judge in Kansas held Dec. 16 (Ronell Richard v. Robert Hinshaw, et al., No. 09-1278-MLB, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176391).
PARIS - Attorneys representing Swedish investors and their companies on Dec. 16 announced that the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has issued a $245 million award in their favor in an investment treaty dispute against the Republic of Romania (Ioan Micula, et al. v. Romania, No. ARB/05/20, ICSID).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs in a putative class action suit against JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. on Dec. 17 moved in California federal court for approval of a $22 million settlement in which the lender agreed to resolve allegations over its purchasing of force-placed flood insurance policies for borrowers for amounts that exceeded those required by federal law (Shelly Clements, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-cv-02179-JCS, N.D. Calif.).
PARIS - Orco Property Group S.A. on Dec. 16 announced that it has resumed international arbitration proceedings against a department of the State of Croatia known as the Centre for Restructuring and Sales.
DENVER - Primary parties challenging a settlement in a class complaint alleging that ExxonMobil Oil Corp. breached thousands of oil and gas leases failed to timely object to an appeal-bond requirement and, thus, are bound by it, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 16 (Jimmie Hershey, et al. v. ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, No. 12-3309, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24888).
PITTSBURGH - The third-party defendant joined Sept. 6 in the chicken jerky dog treat litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania was granted a stay on Dec. 17, and the parties were compelled to submit the third-party claims to arbitration (In re Milo's Kitchen Dog Treats Consolidated Cases, No. 12-1011, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176581; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176484).
PARIS - The chairman of the Administrative Council for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Dec. 16 upheld a request by the Republic of Ecuador to disqualify an arbitrator appointed by a group of resource companies, finding that comments the arbitrator made about Ecuador's counsel showed a lack of impartiality (Burlington Resources Inc., et al. v. Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/08/5, ICSID).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 17 denied a motion to remand a class action lawsuit brought by borrowers claiming that their loan servicers lacked the authority to file foreclosure actions against them, finding that jurisdiction was established under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the aggregate damages sought by the proposed class exceeded $5 million (Lisa Johnson, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-cv-02323, N.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176656).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Dow Chemical Co. is not precluded by the doctrine of collateral estoppel from relitigating the issue of the existence of a conspiracy in antitrust actions by direct-action plaintiffs (DAPS) who opted out of the class action in polyether polyol price-fixing litigation that ended in a $1 billion judgment against Dow, a federal judge in Kansas ruled Dec. 16, in denying the DAPs' motion for partial summary judgment (In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation $(Polyether Polyol Case: Carpenter Co., et al. v. BASF SE, et al.$), MDL No. 1616, Nos. 04-MD-1616, 08-2617, D. Kan.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Dec. 13 granted final approval of settlements worth $163.5 million between purchasers and the market leaders in the production of titanium dioxide on the purchasers' claims that the manufacturers engaged in price fixing, with the last agreement being reached on the eve of trial (In re Titanium Dioxide Antitrust Litigation [All Actions], No. 10-0318, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176099, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176100).
NEW YORK - Indirect purchasers on Dec. 13 moved for preliminary approval of a $2.2 million settlement with Weisheng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. - two Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C - on the indirect purchasers' allegations that the defendants conspired to unlawfully fix prices of vitamin C to be exported to the United States and committed other unlawful practices designed to inflate the prices of vitamin C sold to the purchasers in the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(All Indirect Purchaser Actions$), Nos. 06-MD-1738, 06-988, 06-987, 06-149, E.D.N.Y.).
TULSA, Okla. - After determining that a company's claims against an Indian entity regarding allegedly defective repair clamps related to an underlying commercial agreement, an Oklahoma federal judge on Dec. 16 found that the dispute must be arbitrated and stayed the case (T.D. Williamson Inc. v. Associate Engineers, India, et al., No. 13-CV-0223, N.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175730).
CHICAGO - A full offer of settlement for the named plaintiffs for two claims in a complaint alleging various contract breaches and habitability issues at an Illinois apartment complex filed before a motion for class certification moots those claims, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 16 (Adrian Alani, et al. v. FC Harris Pavilion Apartments Limited Partnership, et al., No. 13-5959, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 175851).
WORCESTER, Mass. - An unaccepted offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 in a proposed class action does not moot the claim even if the offer is made before the plaintiff moves to certify the class, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Dec. 16 (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. ACT, Inc., No. 12-40088, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175907).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 12 ordered the federal judge in Arizona presiding over the multidistrict litigation court for claims challenging the formation and operation of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) to decide if an order dismissing a portion of a man's lawsuit is appealable (Dustin Rollins, et al. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., et al., No. 12-16261, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24703).
HELENA, Mont. - A split Montana Supreme Court on Dec. 13 upheld a state court's order defining the class in a suit challenging the denial of a preauthorization request for a medical procedure but reversed and remanded with respect to the court's certification of the plaintiffs' claim as to "$(w$)hether the State of Montana breached its contract" and remanded to allow the court to consider whether a question could be presented where individual questions would not predominate (Steve Sangwin, et al. v. State of Montana, et al., No. 12-0712, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 496).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 denied review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling vacating denial of class certification to retirement plans' participants on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset (Lockheed Martin Corp., et al. v. Anthony Abbott, et al., No. 13-447, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 13 granted final approval to the $7.25 billion class action settlement between approximately 12 million merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation $(All Cases$), No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.).
LONDON - An English appeals court on Dec. 12 affirmed a justice's decision to uphold an arbitration award issued in favor of the purchasers of wheat and a determination that the Russian government did not trigger a prohibition clause in relation to the contract (Bunge S.A. v. Nidera B.V., No. $(2013$) EWHC 84 $(Comm$), England and Wales High, Comm.).