DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Quashing a trial court's order compelling a homeowners insurance provider to produce part of its claim file in a sinkhole coverage dispute, a Florida appellate panel on July 3 held that the general rule in Florida is that insurers' claim files are protected by the work product privilege, regardless of whether a particular claim is resolved or results in litigation (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Thomas Marascuillo, et al., No. 5D13-4218, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 10242).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 2 overturned a federal judge in Illinois' ruling denying certification for a class of consumers from eight states who claim that organic asphalt roofing shingles made by Iko Manufacturing Inc. did not meet industry standards, after finding that the class's theories of damages matched their theory of liability (In the matter of: Iko Roofing Shingle Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-1532, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12684).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Supreme Court on July 3 found that a lower court erred when it delayed adjudication of an insurer's duty to defend Expedia Inc. against numerous underlying lawsuits alleging that Expedia failed to collect the right amount of local occupancy taxes from its customers, remanding for the lower court to decide the insurer's duty to defend and to stay discovery until a factual determination can be made as to which parts of discovery are potentially prejudicial to Expedia in the underlying litigation (Expedia Inc., et al. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 88673-3, Wash. Sup.; 2014 Wash. LEXIS 483).
SAN DIEGO - In response to joint statements for determination of discovery disputes in an insurance bad faith case, a California federal magistrate on July 1 found that the plaintiffs improperly provided incomplete responses to their insurer's discovery requests without identifying the portions of the requests to which they objected (Fay Avenue Properties LLC, et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 3:11-cv-02389, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89614).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A professor's differential diagnosis testimony failed to show that a plaintiff's osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) was caused by a bisphosphonate produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., an Alabama federal judge ruled July 2, granting Novartis' motion to exclude the testimony and, as a result, granting summary judgment to the pharmaceutical firm on the negligence claims against it (Deborah Garrison v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., No. 2:11-cv-00589, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90050).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 30 denied a bid by eBay Inc. to dismiss a consumer's class action claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes that the online auction company's unfair and deceptive business practices caused sellers to lose time remaining on their prepaid listing periods and to lose money in fees paid to relist items, finding that the consumer adequately alleged that members of the public are likely to be deceived by eBay's practices (Luis Rosado v. eBay Inc., No. 12-04005, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89863).
TORONTO - Stans Energy Corp. on July 2 announced that a Russian arbitration court has awarded it $118 million in an investment treaty dispute with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
NEW ORLEANS - After finding that an international arbitration agreement existed between various oil and drilling entities and a Norway company, a federal appeals court on July 2 reversed a decision denying a motion to compel arbitration and remanded the case for review of whether the action should be stayed (Rasheed Al Rushaid, et al. v. National Oilwell Varco Inc., et al., No.13-20159, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12569).
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled July 1 that forum selection clauses are not violative of Louisiana public policy, reversing a lower court's finding that overruled a consulting firm's exception of improper venue in a dispute over the firm's evaluation of underlying hurricane damage (Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. of Louisiana, et al., No. 2013-CC-1977, La. Sup.; 2014 La. LEXIS 1568).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Early termination fees (ETFs) that Adobe Systems Inc. charges customers who cancel their subscriptions to the company's Creative Cloud software package constitute unlawful penalties under California law and are unlawful and unfair under the state's unfair competition law (UCL), a former Creative Cloud subscriber says in a class action complaint filed June 27 in federal court (Scotty Mahlum v. Adobe Systems Incorporated, No. 14-2988, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on July 1 granted certiorari, vacated judgments and remanded two stock-drop cases arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, one each to the Second and Fifth Circuits U.S. Court of Appeals, in light of the high court's recent presumption-of-prudence ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (Randy Kopp v. Scott W. Klein, et al., No. 13-578, U.S. Sup.; Alex E. Rinehart, et al. v. John F. Akers, et al., No. 13-830, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 held that the public disclosure of "substantially the same claims" brought by a relator against a power company precluded his False Claims Act (FCA) claims, affirming a lower court's dismissal of those claims and finding no abuse of discretion in the trial court's discovery rulings (United States ex. rel. James Kraxberger v. Kansas City Power and Light Co., No. 13-2759, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12224).
JAKARTA, Indonesia - A copper and gold and mine on July 1 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the government of Indonesia, seeking relief from certain export restrictions.
CHICAGO - An Illinois man filed a class complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on June 30 against P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., an Asian restaurant chain, alleging the company's security failures caused approximately 7 million credit cards used by customers to be compromised (Lucas Kosner, et al. v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc., No. 14-4923, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 denied without comment a petition for certiorari by Google Inc. that sought review of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that Google's capturing of personal data via Wi-Fi signal interception might run afoul of the federal Wiretap Act (Google Inc. v. Benjamin Joffe, et al., No. 13-1181, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4619).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - In response to joint requests by the Republic of Denmark and the European Union, a tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration on June 30 stayed an arbitration for 60 days in relation to a dispute over a shared stock of herring and the interpretation of law (The Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands v. The European Union, PCA).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 26 sent a class complaint that accuses a company that runs background checks of improperly including adverse information that is more than seven years old back to state court, finding that the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction (Christopher Greco v. Selection Management Systems, Inc. dba Selection.com, No. 14-1174, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87977).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 27 denied certification to a class of consumers suing the makers of Skinnygirl Margarita for failing to live up to its claims of being an "all natural," low-calorie, premixed alcoholic beverage (Maureen Stewart, et al. v. Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., et al., No. 11-5149, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87487).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 affirmed a trial court judge's denial of a motion to quash a discovery subpoena served on an investment firm in an underlying legal malpractice suit, holding that the attorney-client privilege argument did not extend to non-attorneys (Richard G. Vento, et al. v. Handler, Thayer & Duggan LLC, et al., No. 12-3899, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12106).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on June 27 denied certification of a class of people who allegedly received "robocalls" from DISH Network LLC, finding that the lead plaintiff's amended class definition was overbroad and failed to address concerns already raised by the judge (Seth Warnick, et al. v. DISH Network LLC, No. 12-1952, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87818).
CINCINNATI - A beverage company's damages expert has "specialized knowledge, experience, training, and education" to be useful in the damages phase of a dispute over a bottling contract dispute, an Ohio federal judge ruled June 26, denying a motion to exclude (Dominion Liquid Technologies LLC v. GT Beverage Co. LLC, et al., No. 1:11-cv-00444, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87075).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 granted certiorari, vacated judgment and remanded a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in a case arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act light of the high court's recent presumption of prudence ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (Amgen Inc., et al. v. Steve Harris, et al., No. 13-888, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A class of in-home care providers, classified as "partial public employees," who do not wish to join or support a union cannot be required to pay an agency fee, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 (Pamela Harris, et al. v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., No. 11-681, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4504).
MILWAUKEE - Federal multidistrict litigation discovery deadlines govern an asbestos case, and a defendant "must stop" its repeated attempts at reopening them or face sanctions, a Wisconsin federal judge held June 25 (Margaret L. Wondrash, et al. v. CBS Corp., No. 94-216, E.D. Wis.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 let stand a ruling by California's highest court that Congress has not barred a state unfair competition law (UCL) consumer class action against Bank of America N.A. predicated on a violation of the federal Truth in Savings Act (TISA) (Bank of America, N.A. v. Harold C. Rose, et al., No. 13-662, U.S. Sup.).