NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 15 refused to dismiss a group of investors' petition that sought a declaratory judgment that various commercial entities are the alter egos of the Republic of Zimbabwe, finding that discovery in the case has started and that the dismissal is not appropriate at the present time (Bernardus Henricus Funnekotter, et al. v. Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe, et al., No. 13-1917, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164496).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. on Nov. 15 moved to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states which alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, arguing that the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states have not suffered any injury-in-fact and, therefore, do not have constitutional standing (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$)).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 15 upheld a trial court's ruling in favor of the District of Columbia and a U.S. marshal accused of improperly strip searching all female detainees (Dianna Johnson, et al. v. Government of the District of Columbia, et al., No. 11-5115, D.C. Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23060).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 18 dismissed a class action suit accusing Bank of America Corp. of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme to collect kickbacks and referral fees from private mortgage insurers after finding that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the statute's one-year limitations period (Thomas J. Riddle, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 12-1740, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163526).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 15 denied for a second time class certification in a lawsuit filed by independent contractors (ICs) alleging breach of contract and other violations by FedEx National LTL Inc. (Britt Green Trucking, Inc., et al. v. FedEx National, LTL, Inc., No. 09-445, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4130).
TAMPA, Fla. - Efforts by a trademark defendant to exclude the testimony of a certified public accountant (CPA) were thwarted Nov. 19, when a Florida federal judge denied the request (Health and Sun Research Inc. v. Australian Gold LLC, No. 12-2319, M.D. Fla.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Highway Technologies Inc. (HTI) on Nov. 19 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for approval of a $2,022,060 settlement involving class claims brought under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) (In Re: Highway Technologies Inc., No. 13-11326, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Noting that a determination of whether an insurer acted in bad faith does not involve "delving into matters that are scientific in nature," a Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 15 granted the insurer's motion to preclude testimony of the plaintiff's bad faith expert in a dispute over underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage (Michael Scott v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 3:11-cv-01790, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162642).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 denied a petition for permission to appeal an Aug. 2 district court order denying class certification in the more than decade-long gender bias complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Betty Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 13-80184, 9th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A propane company owner was not qualified to opine on the standard of care owed to residents by a gas company, a First Division Georgia Court of Appeals panel affirmed Nov. 18 in a negligence case related to a mobile home gas explosion (Shan Eric Anderson, et al. v. Atlanta Gas Light Co., et al., Nos. JE-080, JE-081, Ga. App., 1st Div.; 2013 Ga. App. LEXIS 941).
SAN DIEGO - A judge in California on Nov. 15 granted final approval to a $74 million cash settlement between Bayer Corp. and Bayer AG (collectively, Bayer) and California purchasers of the antibiotic Cipro and third-party payers who reimbursed for California purchases of Cipro on claims that Bayer paid drug companies nearly $400 million to drop challenges to Bayer's Cipro patent and to refrain from selling generic versions of the drug (Cipro Cases I and II $(All Actions$), Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding Nos. 4154 and 4220, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
BOSTON - Pension funds represent the largest group of investors to seek opt-out settlements in securities class action lawsuits, while it's more likely that investors will bring opt-out actions stemming from larger class action settlements, according to a report released jointly by Cornerstone Research and the law firm of Latham & Watkins on Nov. 18.
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 16 dismissed a putative class action alleging that a merchant violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) by including a consumer's credit card expiration date in a receipt, agreeing with the merchant that it cannot be held liable under 15 U.S. Code Section 1681n for a willful violation of the act (Melissa Kivo v. Blumberg Excelsior Inc., et al., No. 13-4170, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163787).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A health insurance company's motion to dismiss a call center manager's wage-and-hour class complaint was denied Nov. 15 by a Pennsylvania federal judge (Jacqueline Rummel, et al. v. Highmark, Inc., No. 13-87, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162757).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Nov. 14 certified a damages class of end-payers that purchased or provided reimbursements for Nexium on the end-payers' antitrust and consumer protection claims contending that the manufacturer of the heartburn medication and generic drug manufacturers entered into reverse-payment agreements to keep generic versions of the medication out of the market, but the judge denied the end-payers' motion for certification of an injunctive class (In re Nexium $(Esomeprazole$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-02409, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162276, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162496).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 denied a petition for a panel rehearing filed by a discount retail chain facing a reinstated gender bias and equal pay class action (Luanna Scott, et al. v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. 22961).
NEW ORLEANS - A trial court correctly excluded testimony linking a painter's multiple myeloma to workplace exposure to benzene because the expert assumed facts substantially different from the undisputed record, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 15 (Craig Moore, et al. v. International Paint, LLC, No. 13-30281, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23113).
LONDON - An England and Wales justice on Nov. 18 found that various parts of interim third-party debt orders, which were issued in relation to a $8,716,477 arbitration award in favor of a petroleum corporation and against an Iraqi oil marketing company, should be set aside (Taurus Petroleum Limited v. State Oil Marketing Company of the Ministry of Oil, Republic of Iraq, No.  EWHC 3494 [Comm], England and Wales, Comm.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 15 ordered that a wage-and-hour class complaint must be decided by an arbitrator but left the matter of whether the claims would proceed on an individual or collective basis up to the arbitrator (Ryan Jackson v. Home Team Pest Defense, Inc., No. 13-916, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163068).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted final approval of a revised $4 million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing Kellogg Co. of making false advertising claims about its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal despite earlier concerns that the amount for class members had been reduced while attorney fees and expenses remained unchanged (Harry Dennis, et al. v. Kellogg Co., No. 09-1786, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163118).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 15 dismissed a class complaint filed by a retail store clerk who filed various wage-and-hour claims based on the employer's alleged failure to provide meal and rest breaks, finding that the lead plaintiff's failure to show that the lack of breaks was due to the employer not providing them (Patrick Bellinghausen v. Tractor Supply Company, et al., No. 13-2377, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163193).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 15 agreed to hear an appeal of a securities class action lawsuit seeking determination of whether the Supreme Court's ruling in Basic Inc. v. Levinson should be modified with regard to its presumption of reliance coming from the fraud-on-the-market theory (Halliburton Co., et al. v. Erica F. John Fund Inc., No. 13-317 U.S. Sup.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on Nov. 15 certified a class of plaintiffs alleging that a retail operator violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act's (EFTA) fee notice requirements (Lynn Harter v. Beach Oil Co. Inc., No. 10-0968, M.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162989).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 15 dismissed without prejudice a man's lawsuit challenging the foreclosure of his home after finding that his state law claims, including his cause of action brought under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, are preempted by the Home Owners Loan Act (HOLA) (Jason Deschaine v. IndyMac Mortgage Services, et al., No. 13-1991 WBS CKD, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163203).
DETROIT - The Michigan Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 revived a couple's workplace accident case, concluding that the trial court erred by imposing limits on their ability to conduct discovery (Naum Thomai, et al. v. MIBA Hydramechanica Corp., No. 310755, Mich. App.; 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1858).