NEW YORK - A New York justice on Dec. 18 declined defendants' motion to renew, reargue or stay a ruling allowing punitive damages in New York City's asbestos litigation (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Dec. 19 ruled that a firearms functionality expert's testimony would be helpful to the jury in a trade dress infringement lawsuit, finding no case law or compelling reason to grant the plaintiffs' motion to exclude (Cybergun S.A., et al. v. JAG Precision Inc., No. 2:12-cv-00074, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176281).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 22 ruled that expert testimony under the "any exposure" causation theory for asbestos exposure was unsupported by case law and not sufficiently reliable to establish specific causation related to the plaintiff's injury and his negligence claims, granting in part several defendants' motions to exclude (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175983).
WORCESTER, Mass. - Granting in part motions by both parties in a patent infringement case pertaining to method patents for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a Massachusetts federal judge on Dec. 19 limited certain expert witness testimony related to lost profits, the patent application process and willful infringement (Abbott Biotechnology Ltd., et al. v. Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., No. 4:09-cv-40089, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175470).
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - An energy resource company on Dec. 19 announced that an English high court has refused to set aside an arbitration award that was issued in its favor by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration.
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products litigation on Dec. 18 ruled that, despite her reservations about a plaintiff expert's plume model, dismissal of the expert at this stage of the case was "premature" (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, Orange County Water District v. Unocal Corporation, No. 04-4968, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 17 granted class action status to a case accusing J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. of violating state law, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by failing to pay vacation benefits as required (Raymond Tschudy v. J.C. Penney Corporation Inc., No. 11-1011, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174382).
ROANOKE, Va. - Finding that multiple fact issues exist in a negligence lawsuit against the manufacturers of a pain medication analgesia pump, a Virginia federal judge on Dec. 19 declined to grant summary judgment to the defendants, while partly granting and partly denying their motions to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs' expert witnesses related to the adequacy of the pump's warnings and instructions (Deirdre Williamson Jain, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 7:13-cv-00551, W.D. Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175242).
PHILADELPHIA - A doctor may present his report and testimony as to the purported intoxication of the plaintiff in a police excessive force lawsuit, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Dec. 17, finding that the report met the criteria of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and denying the plaintiff's motion in limine to preclude (Hibah Muhammad v. Police Officer James Bolognone, No. 2:13-cv-06440, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173997).
SAN FRANCISCO - Symantec Corp. saw its motions to quash and for a protective order denied Dec. 19, with a California federal judge finding that the cyber-security firm had "not meaningfully disputed the relevance sought by the subpoena" in an underlying consumer class action against Target Corp. related to a 2013 data breach (In Re: Target Corporation Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:14-mc-80302, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel announced Dec. 19 that it has filed multiple consolidated complaints against McDonald's USA LLC and the company's franchisees, as joint employers, alleging violations of employees' rights.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Participants in two of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s 401(k) plans reached a provisional settlement on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing the plans to pay excessive administrative expenses, by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset and by mismanaging the plan's company stock funds (CSFs), a Dec. 16 notice issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois indicated (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 06-cv-701, S.D. Ill.).
LONDON - Imperial Tobacco Canada, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, will pay $575 million to settle asbestos-related litigation involving The Flintkote Co., the company announced Dec. 16 in a news release.
CHICAGO - A federal magistrate judge erred in striking the testimony of an accident reconstructionist in a product liability lawsuit over a purportedly defective ladder, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Dec. 17, finding that it was for the jury to decide whether the expert's causation theory was correct (Kurt Stuhlmacher, et al. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., et al., No. 14-2018, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23757).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 15 denied a motion for reconsideration filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that they have failed to show how two Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decisions would change the outcome in the instant action (In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173088).
CHICAGO - The federal judge overseeing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) concussion litigation on Dec. 17 rejected a $75 million settlement of the class action, expressing concerns about the adequacy of the fund and other details of the agreement (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, Master Docket No. 1:13-cv-09116, N.D. Ill.).
PHILADELPHIA - A medical expert opined that a woman's fatal disease arose from take-home exposures, but he never linked her specific exposures to the disease as required by the asbestos multidistrict litigation guidelines, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held in affirming dismissal of the case on Dec. 17 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [No. VI], Angie Smiddy, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., No. 13-4423, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23735).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A woman's request for a new trial fails because she made a tactical decision to forgo such relief after a defendant violated an evidence order, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 16 (Carol Holloway v. Sprinkmann Sons Corp. of Illinois, No. 4-13-1118, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Any evidence gleaned from deposing an asbestos trust representative would be cumulative of and more easily obtained through the trust's governing documents, a Rhode Island judge held Dec. 16 (Maureen Gallagher, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5269, Constance Podedworny, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5268, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174226).
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Department of Justice (DoJ) on Dec. 18 announced the establishment of an advisory committee, as a means of promoting Hong Kong as a leading center for international arbitration.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 15 denied requests filed by a gold mining company and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to correct alleged errors in a $740.3 million award issued in relation to the expropriation of a mining project (Gold Reserve Inc. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB[AF]/09/1, ICSID).
MIAMI - In a Dec. 15 ruling, a Florida federal judge denied a series of expert testimony challenges under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) in a copyright infringement lawsuit over a Spanish-language soap opera, finding that the parties' objections went to the weight of the experts' testimony and not to its admissibility (LaTele Television C.A. v. Telemundo Communications Group LLC, et al., No. 1:12-cv-22539, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172864).
BOSTON - A class of smokers who want Philip Morris USA Inc. to pay for low-dose computer tomography (LDCT) to detect early signs of smoking-related diseases has not produced sufficient evidence to prove that the company could have marketed a safer cigarette, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled Dec. 12 (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 1:06cv12234, D. Mass.).
LOS ANGELES - Two former employees filed a putative class complaint against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in California federal court Dec. 15, asserting that the entertainment giant was negligent in its cyber security, which led to the recent breach of Sony's computer network and the compromising of the personal identifying information (PII) of thousands of past and present employees (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - In the first day of deliberation after 10 days of oral arguments, a California federal jury on Dec. 16 found that firmware and software updates that Apple Inc. made to its iTunes and iPod products were "genuine product improvements" and, therefore, did not constitute efforts to monopolize the digital music market by precluding the play of music purchased from other digital retailers on Apple devices in violation of federal antitrust law (The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, No. 4:05-cv-00037, N.D. Calif.).