WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 denied petitions seeking review of two cases arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that involved jurisdictional issues.
CAMDEN, N.J. - A judge in related orders issued Oct. 4 dismissed in part the claims against railroad defendants accused of releasing vinyl chloride in a November 2012 train derailment in Paulsboro, N.J.; the claims are consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
HOUSTON - A trial court correctly found that a damages expert's valuation of an energy company was unreliable and should not have been heard by a jury considering a partnership dispute, but the court erred in granting the defendants judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on the $1.98 million verdict because there was some evidence of damages, a First District Texas Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 3 (Javier A. Vega v. Fulcrum Energy, et al., No. 01-12-00134-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 12323).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The "fraud or concealment" exception to the six-year statute of limitations set forth in Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413 did not apply to toll claims that pension and welfare plans' trustees breached their fiduciary duties by failing to monitor the plan managers, a federal judge in New York ruled Oct. 2 (Douglas A. Janese, et al. v. Santo S. Scrufari, et al., No. 09-cv-593, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142888).
NEW YORK - A trial court did not err in excluding expert testimony that low-level lead exposure caused a child's neuropsychological impairments, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 1, finding that the 30 articles he cited did not support his causation theory (John Szewczuk and Jennifer Friend v. Stellar 117 Garth, LLC, No. 12-3897-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19984).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Oct. 3 granted in part and denied in part an excess insurer's motions for protective orders and to quash depositions in a coverage dispute arising from the death of two of the insured's employees during the course and scope of their employment (Cactus Drilling Company LLC v. National Union Fire Insurance, et al., No. CIV-12-00191-M, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142995).
NEW YORK - In an order made available on Oct. 4, and without providing further detail, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a federal judge in New York's dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit for failure to plead scienter (Forsta AP Fonden, et al. v. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., et al., No. 13-0511, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20195).
NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead any material misrepresentation or scienter in making their federal securities act claims against SAIC Inc. and certain of its current and former officers and directors, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 30 (In re SAIC Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-1353, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142606).
NEW YORK - After finding that it lacked jurisdiction over a dispute and that no agreement to arbitrate a dispute existed, a New York federal judge on Oct. 2 granted an energy company's motion to dismiss a petition to compel arbitration in India (Mridul K. Pathak, et al. v. Molopo Energy Ltd., No. 13-2812, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142724).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Oct. 1 conditionally certified a class of workers seeking unpaid overtime from their employer, a prepaid mobile phone retailer (Brittany Will, et al. v. Sohail "Nick" Panjwani, d/b/a Unlimited Mobile, et al., No. 13-1055, S.D. Ind.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141454).
OMAHA, Neb. - On Oct. 2, one day after expanding the definition of the class in a "donning and doffing" suit filed by Tyson Foods Inc. employees and denying Tyson's motion to decertify the class, a Nebraska federal judge entered a $3,307,191.20 judgment against the meat processor (Jose A. Gomez, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 08-21, D. Neb.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142586).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A plaintiff seeking to represent a class in a putative class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against the owner of a steel mill and coke ovens for soil and groundwater contamination was granted leave Sept. 30 to amend a state law claim for injunctive relief; a defense motion to dismiss the second amended class action complaint was otherwise denied (Louise Moore, et al. v. Walter Coke Inc., No. 11-1391, N.D. Ala.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140984).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Sept. 30 denied a California man's motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing a dietary supplement company of making false and misleading statements about its product (Andrew Nilon, et al. v. Natural-Immunogenics Corp., et al., No. 12-930, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141728).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Sept. 30 declined to dismiss a personal injury class action brought against a hair product manufacturer, concluding that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts indicating that the defendants misled consumers into thinking the product was safe (Terri Naiser, et al. v. Unilever United States Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-00395, W.D. Ky.).
OMAHA, Neb. - A Nebraska federal judge on Oct. 1 expanded the definition of the class in a "donning and doffing" suit filed by Tyson Foods Inc. employees and denied Tyson's motion to decertify the class (Jose A. Gomez, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 08-21, D. Neb.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141750).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Lockheed Martin Corp. was granted no-evidence summary judgment Sept. 30 against New Jersey parents alleging that their children sustained chlorinated-solvent exposure injuries and their residential property lost value because of groundwater contamination in their Moorestown, N.J., neighborhood; the plaintiffs were granted 30 days to supplement the summary judgment record with respect to the property damage claim only (Michael Leese, et al. v. Lockheed Martin, No. 115091, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140566).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A committee for the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes on Oct. 1 released its decision refusing to lift the stay of enforcement of a $1,769,625,000 award issued in favor of two companies in a dispute over an oil exploration and exploitation contract with the Republic of Ecuador, finding no evidence of anything that would prohibit the companies from eventually enforcing the award (Occidental Petroleum Corp., et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/06/11, ICSID).
DETROIT - A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on Sept 27 ruled that Ford Motor Co., which is seeking to recover response costs incurred during environmental remediation at a site it formerly owned, cannot claim that documents allegedly created to prevent litigation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) are protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine (Ford Motor Company, et al. v. Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, No. 08-CV-13503, E.D. Mich.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138693).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Class certification was denied Sept. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in a medical-monitoring class action alleging exposure to fugitive metals and chemicals from a silicon metals refinery in Alloy, W.Va.; two experts retained by the plaintiffs to offer opinions with respect to the determination of class membership are inadmissible, according to the presiding judge (James Coleman, et al. v. Union Carbide, et al., No. 11-366, S.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140613).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 agreed to hear the appeal of a case regarding whether a state may, under federal law, require personal care providers pay fees to a union to represent their interests to the state (Pamela Harris, et al. v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., No. 11-681, U.S. Sup.; 2013 U.S. LEXIS 5135).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court on Sept. 26 reinstated the state's revocation of a woman's driver's license for drunken driving, finding that a circuit court wrongly disregarded horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) testimony because the state trooper failed to present evidence of its general acceptance (Steven O. Dale v. Donna L. McCormick, No. 12-0153, W.Va. Sup.; 2013 W. Va. LEXIS 960).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 26 granted a motion for conditional certification of a class of restaurant and banquet facility workers who allege that their employers took the tip credit too far and denied them the full wages to which they are entitled (Erik Johnson, et al. v. Pinstripes, Inc., et al., No. 12-1018, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138253).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 30 held that some searches conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for documents in response to the Utah attorney general's request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were inadequate and ordered the agency to conduct new searches or prove that the searches were adequate (Mark L. Shurtleff v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 10-2030, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140433).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 26 denied class certification of claims that United Healthcare, as the claims administrator for thousands of health insurance plans, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by using a method for estimating what Medicare would have paid for services that resulted in underpayment for insureds under the plans' coordination-of-benefits provisions (Mark Lipstein, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 11-1185, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138045).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on Sept. 30 granted in part and dismissed in part a putative class action alleging that Republic Bank & Trust Co. improperly handled electronic debt transactions and overdraft fees (Brenda Webb v. Republic Bank & Trust Co., No. 11-0423, W.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140135).