PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Feb. 28 granted a Bermuda insurer's motion to compel arbitration of a coverage dispute in England, finding that two apartment complex owners failed to show that the arbitration provision was unconscionable (S. Development Company, dba Bell Tower Apartments, et al. v. Commercial Industrial Building Owners Alliance, et al., No. 13-00911, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26028).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Feb. 27 rejected a motion to reconsider certifying a class of employees suing Jenny Craig Inc. for federal and state wage violations after opining that the lead named plaintiff failed to successfully argue that there was new controlling law (Nashonna Coleman v. Jenny Craig, Inc., No. 11-1301, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26260).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 28 approved a $170,000 settlement of the overtime claims filed by firefighters against their employer (Kenneth Camp, et al. v. The City of Pelham, No. 10-1270, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25864).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 25 certified a class of shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the named shareholder has properly met all statutory requirements for class certification (In re Celera Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 10-2604, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - After finding that a seafood company had ample notice of a breach of contract action filed against it in England, a New York appeals court on Feb. 25 found that a default ruling issued in favor of an English seafood supplier was enforceable in New York (Landauer Limited v. Joe Monani Fish, No. 27, N.Y. App.).
AKRON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 25 found that U.S. Supreme Court precedent was correctly applied in a case against a woman accused of killing a child and denied her petition for writ of habeas corpus that was based on the allegedly wrongful admission of a the state pathologist's testimony using Play-Doh molds (Marsha Mills v. Ginine Trim, No. 5:11CV408, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23631).
CHICAGO - The widow of a machinist who died of mesothelioma has presented a triable issue regarding whether asbestos in Kent cigarette filters contributed to his development of mesothelioma, an Illinois federal judge ruled in a Feb. 26 opinion denying summary judgment to the cigarette and filter manufacturers (Marilyn F. Quirin v. Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al., No. 1:13-cv-02633, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24576).
MADRID, Spain - A Spanish oil company on Feb. 25 announced that it has agreed to accept a $5 billion settlement in relation to claims asserted in arbitration before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against the Republic of Argentina (Repsol, S.A., et al., v. Argentine Republic, ARB/12/38, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 25 released a decision finding that it has jurisdiction over the bilateral investment treaty claims submitted by an English mining company against the Republic of Indonesia (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26 ruled that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) does not preclude Latin American investors in Stanford Investment Bank (SIB) from bringing state law claims against SIB and SIB's insurance brokers and lawyers (Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-79, Willis of Colorado Inc. v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-86, Proskauer Rose LLP v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-88, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - Santander Consumer USA Inc. must produce its written policies regarding its imposition of online payment fees in a suit alleging that the bank improperly charged late fees for credit card and debit card payments, a federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts ruled Feb. 24, saying the policies are relevant to the complaint (Cara Powers v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., No. 12-11932, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22804).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 24 dismissed a class complaint by a father and daughter accusing a car-sharing service of various violations in connection with its predetermined damage fee policy (Michael Sigall, et al. v. Zipcar, Inc., et al., No. 13-4552, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22976).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 vacated the stay of proceedings in the trial court in two stop-and-frisk lawsuits and remanded them to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to allow the parties to pursue settlement negotiations (Jaenean Ligon, et al. v. City of New York, et al., David Floyd, et al. v. New York City Police Officer Rodriguez, et al., Nos. 13-3123, 13-3088 and 13-3461, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3327).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Feb. 24 dismissed warranty claims but let stand consumer protection claims in a class suit accusing an electronic toothbrush maker of knowingly selling faulty products (Amy Coe, et al. v. Philips Oral Healthcare Inc., No. 13-518, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22983).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Feb. 24 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York contending that the Bankruptcy Court should deny a motion by a class of former employees that claims that the firm violated federal law when it terminated their employment (Vittoria Conn v. Dewey & LeBoeuf [In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf], No. 12-12321, Adv. No. 12-01672, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 22 denied class certification to merchants who allege that Wells Fargo Bank NA and credit card payment processor First Data Merchant Services Corp. (FDMS) overcharged them for credit card processing fees, finding that the merchants do not meet certification requirements and dismissing the case (Spread Enterprises. Inc v. First Data Merchant Services Corporation, et al., No. 11-4743, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22307).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A unanimous Third Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division panel affirmed summary judgment in part Feb. 20 for International Business Machines Corp. in a trichloroethylene vapor intrusion lawsuit severed from a class action for a test trial; the panel affirmed that certain of the seven severed plaintiffs may pursue trespass, private nuisance and medical monitoring claims (Thomas H. Ivory, et al. v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 516276, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1200).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 granted a motion filed by two energy companies to seal a consulting firm's petition to confirm an international arbitration award, finding that a confidentiality agreement between the parties weighed in favor of sealing the petition and related documents (The Decapolis Group LLC v. Mangesh Energy Ltd., et al., No. 3:13-cv-1547, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23131).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Feb. 21 sent an overtime and minimum wage class complaint back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy was less than $75,000 (Peter Huston, et al. v. FLS Language Centres d/b/a FLS International, et al., No. 13-13158, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21960).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration, finding that an employee's injury-related negligence and other claims fell within the scope of an arbitration clause in his employment contract (Melvin Gualberto Medina Martinez v. Carnival Corp., a.k.a. Carnival Cruise Lines Inc., No. 12-15164, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3382).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 dismissed with prejudice a third amended complaint brought by plaintiffs claiming that misrepresentations made by loan servicers about the borrowers' ability to obtain loan modifications they did not qualify for resulted in the foreclosure of their homes, finding that the allegations did not include the required amount of specificity (Tom Casault v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., No. 11-10520, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - In an unpublished per curiam opinion, a panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 affirmed the dismissal of a class action complaint brought by a group of medical associations and medical providers against multiple health insurers for allegedly wrongfully reducing payments for out-of-network services provided to the insureds' members, agreeing that the claims were "released claims" barred by settlement agreements in a similar case (The American Medical Association, et al. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-10916, 11th Cir.; 1014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3088).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 21 dismissed a class complaint filed by prison employees who claimed they were denied full pay for mandatory meal breaks during which they were still "on call" (Sandra J. Babcock, et al. v. Butler County, et al., No. 12-394, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22170).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in a lawsuit over the validity of class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements and remanded the case to the Second District California Court of Appeal for further consideration in light of its ruling in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (570 U.S. __ ) (CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, et al. v. John Wade Fowler, et al., No. 13-439, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Seasonings applied on shells of sunflower seeds are meant to be consumed and therefore fall outside the exemption on nutrient disclosures for inedible portions of a product, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in reversing dismissal of a woman's California unfair competition law (UCL) action Feb. 20 (Aleta Lilly, et al. v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 12-55921, 9th Cir.).