LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Judge: Trustee In 38 Studios Bankruptcy Entitled To Limited Waiver Of Privilege

    WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of 38 Studios, the video game manufacturer operated by former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Curt Schilling and some business partners, on Jan. 23 granted a limited waiver of attorney-client and work product privileges (In Re: 38 Studios LLC, No. 12-11743, Chapter 7, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    Nurse Convicted Of Killing Patients With Bleach Loses Expert Challenge, Appeal

    SAN ANTONIO - A Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 22 affirmed a nurse's murder conviction for injecting bleach into at least 10 dialysis patients - killing five of them. The panel found, among other things, that the state's chemistry expert had a reliable and accepted scientific basis for his opinion (Kimberly Clark Saenz v. State of Texas, No. 04-12-00238-CR, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 591).

    Lithium Battery Direct, Indirect Purchasers' Price-Fixing Complaints Dismissed

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Jan. 21 dismissed consolidated amended class action complaints of both direct and indirect purchasers who alleged that 18 Japanese and Korean manufacturers of lithium ion battery cells and their American subsidiaries engaged in a multiyear, international price-fixing conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act (In re: Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation $(All Indirect and Direct Purchaser Actions$), No. 13-MD-2420, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7516).

    Wisconsin Panel Says Daubert Applies To Medical Malpractice Expert Testimony

    MADISON, Wis. - The statute encompassing the Daubert standard (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 [1993]) applies to standard-of-care testimony in medical malpractice cases, a Third District Wisconsin Court of Appeals panel held Jan. 22 (Tina Rupert v. James Standias, et al., No. 2013AP1705, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 55).

    Human Trafficking Expert Limited To General Testimony In Maryland Federal Case

    GREENBELT, Md. - A Cameroonian woman who alleges that her uncle's family forced her to come to the United States to be their unpaid domestic servant lost most of her human trafficking expert's testimony and had the majority of her claims dismissed on summary judgment on Jan. 21 by a Maryland federal judge (Corine Elat v. Carolina Raissa Emandop Ngoubene, et al., No. PWG-11-2931, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7505).

    Juror May Not Be Struck Based On Sexual Orientation; New Antitrust Trial Ordered

    SAN FRANCISCO - Equal protection prohibits peremptory strikes of potential jurors based on sexual orientation, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21 in remanding for a new trial a case in which a federal jury in California found that Abbott Laboratories did not violate antitrust laws by raising the price of its critical component of HIV drugs by 400 percent while keeping the price of its own boosted HIV drug unchanged (SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories, Nos. 11-17357, 11-17373, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1128).

    N.C. Panel Affirms Exclusion Of Defendant's Use-Of-Force Expert In Cousin's Murder

    RALEIGH, N.C. - A trial court properly found that a murder defendant's use-of-force expert testimony about the victim's threatening-behavior clues was unreliable and unhelpful, a North Carolina Court of Appeals panel held Jan. 21 (State of North Carolina v. Charles Anthony McGrady, No. COA13-330, N.C. App.; 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 55).

    Majority Of Class Suit Over Incorrect Criminal Background Check Survives Dismissal

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Jan. 17 largely rejected a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed by a California couple accusing a resident screening company of supplying an inaccurate consumer report to a prospective employer and landlord (Harold Meyer, et al. v. National Tenant Network, Inc., No. 13-3187, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6797).

    RSM Seeks International Arbitration Over $26 Million Cash Call

    LONDON - RSM Production Corp. on Jan. 21 announced that it has made an application to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for emergency measures to defend against an oil and gas entity's demand for a $26 million payment.

    Kentucky Federal Judge: 3rd Class Definition In Ford Engine Suit Still Fails

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Jan. 17 denied a third motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing Ford Motor Co. of continuing to install problematic engines even after recalling some vehicles installed with those engines (Kenneth E. Corder, Sr., et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 05-16, W.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).

    Magistrate Judge Denies Plaintiff's Motion To Compel, Allows 2nd Deposition

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A federal magistrate judge in Kansas on Jan. 21 denied an employment discrimination plaintiff's motion to compel a defendant company to conduct a more complete search for responsive documents but allowed for a second deposition of a corporate representative because pertinent documents were not produced until after the event occurred (Jeremy Didier v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 13-2046-JWL, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6909).

    U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear State's Parens Patriae Price-Fixing Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 declined to decide whether the citizenship of the individuals on whose behalf a state brought restitution claims in a price-fixing case satisfies the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) minimal diversity requirement for a "mass action" (AU Optronics Corporation, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 12-911, U.S. Sup.).

    9th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Credit Card Fees Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 21 affirmed a federal court's dismissal of a putative class action brought by credit cardholders alleging that banks violated the U.S. Constitution via their over-limit and late fees, finding that the substantive due process jurisprudence developed to limit punitive damages in the tort context does not apply to contractual penalties such as credit card penalty fees (In Re Late Fee and Over-Limit Fee Litigation $(Andrew T. Pinon, et al. v. Bank of America, NA, et al.$), No. 08-15218, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1091).

    Judge Adopts In Part, Modifies Recommendation Denying Spoliation Sanctions

    PEORIA, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on Jan. 17 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation to deny a plaintiff's motion for spoliation sanctions but modified the ruling to address the conduct of defense counsel during a deposition (Dorrene Sokn v. Fieldcrest Community Unit School District No. 6, et al., No. 10-cv-1122, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6109).

    Class Certification Vacated For Residents Near Refinery Leak

    CHICAGO - Certification of a class of southern Illinois residents who claim that the value of their properties was affected by an underground plume from the leak of benzene-contaminated petroleum products from a nearby refinery was vacated Jan. 17 by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said the trial judge should have explored the viability of plaintiffs' claims (ConocoPhillips Company, et al. v. Jeana Parko, et al., No. 13-8023, Shell Oil Company, et al. v. Jeana Parko, et al., No. 13-8024, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1018).

    U.S. High Court Hears Personal Care Providers' Union Fee Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The State of Illinois is wrongfully forcing thousands of home care providers to pay compulsory fees to unions to represent their interests to the state, the attorney representing the home care providers told the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 (Pamela Harris, et al. v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., No. 11-681, U.S. Sup.).

    Magistrate Judge: Privacy Interest Outweighs Plaintiff's Need For Personnel Files

    SAN DIEGO - A wrongful termination plaintiff's request for the personnel files of nine people who provided witness statements during a sexual harassment investigation was denied Jan. 17 by a federal magistrate judge in California, who ruled that the individuals' right to privacy outweighed the plaintiff's need for the information (Dan Grobee v. Corrections Corporation of America, No. 13cv1060-GPC, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6479).

    Convenience Store Cashier Denied Class Certification In Overtime Complaint

    ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 17 denied a motion for conditional certification in an overtime complaint filed by a former convenience store clerk after determining that the clerk failed to demonstrate that she was similarly situated to any other employee (Mary Meriwether, et al. v. Beverly Hills Liquor & Grocery Inc., et al., No. 13-651, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6233).

    Discovery Of Doe Website Operators Permitted In Rapper's Virtual Currency Case

    NEW YORK - Musician Kanye West can serve immediate discovery requests to learn the identities of the operators of websites offering virtual currency that he says infringe federal trademarks in his name, a New York federal judge ruled Jan. 17, granting the rapper's ex parte application to take immediate discovery (Kanye West, et al. v. 0daycoins.com, et al., No. 1:14-c-00250, S.D. N.Y.)

    Federal Judge Confirms International Award In Stock Exchange Dispute

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 17 confirmed a $102,160 arbitration award that was issued for a technology company by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), finding that the other party offered no opposition as to why confirmation should be denied (Max Great Technology Co., Ltd. v. Maxray Optical Technology Co. Ltd., No. 13 Civ. 6982, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6770).

    Tennessee Magistrate Won't Block Expert Witnesses In Trademark Case

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Competing challenges pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 $(1993$)) to two proposed expert witnesses in a dispute over the "Invisible Fence" trademark were rejected Jan. 17 by a Tennessee federal magistrate judge (Invisible Fence Inc. v. Fido's Fence Inc., No. 09-25, E.D. Tenn.).

    Rhode Island Judge Allows Replacement Naval Expert's Trial Testimony

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. - An asbestos plaintiff's quick disclosure of a replacement naval expert and the long time before trial warrants allowing the expert's trial testimony, a Rhode Island judge held Jan. 15 (Rosie K. Sweredoski, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 2011-1544, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2013 R.I. Super. LEXIS 196).

    Magistrate Judge Overrules Third Party's Privilege Claim Over Investigative File

    INDIANAPOLIS - A federal magistrate judge in Indiana on Jan. 17 overruled a third party's motion for a protective order over the contents of its investigation file after finding that the information was not subject to the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine (Telamon Corporation v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-00382-RLY-DML, S.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6583).

    Judge Refuses To Disqualify Monitor Or Grant Stay In E-Books Case; Apple Appeals

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Jan. 16 rejected Apple Inc.'s argument that the external compliance monitor the judge appointed after ruling that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books should be disqualified and denied Apple's motion requesting a stay of the appointment based on the monitor's disqualification (United States of America v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5795).

    Aluminum Producer Settles London Arbitration Over Shareholder Dispute

    HONG KONG - A global aluminum maker on Jan. 15 announced that it has settled London arbitration proceedings filed against it in relation to a dispute filed by a Russian entity over alleged breaches of shareholder agreements.