PITTSBURGH - Proponents of the Chapter 11 reorganization plan of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) on June 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania objecting to a motion filed by two insurance companies that seek a case management order (CMO) to conduct discovery into the feasibility of the proposed Chapter 11 reorganization plan (In Re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, Chapter 11, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - Price-fixing claims by a purchaser and manufacturer of carbon fiber against a supplier and competitor are time-barred based on the date the evidence demonstrated that the plaintiff had knowledge of the conspiracy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 1, citing evidence that the plaintiff was aware of industrywide anti-competitive practices, that the plaintiff had been subpoenaed in a government investigation and that the plaintiff stated in a Form 10-K form that it was a subject of an antitrust investigation (Hexcel Corporation v. Ineos Polymers, Inc., No. 10-56765, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11071).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on June 5 reversed a trial court's confirmation of an arbitration award issued by an International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) panel in a dispute over shares in various limited partnerships, finding that when the trial court dismissed a defendant from the case, it improperly modified the panel's award (Martin D. White v. Vern Siemens, No. 05-10-01433, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 4432).
SEATTLE - In separate opinions issued June 1, a Washington federal judge granted the plaintiffs summary judgment and certified one class action in a suit in which a health insurer is accused of denying mental health benefits to a child (Z.D., et al. v. Group Health Cooperative, et al., No. 11-1119, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76503).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal magistrate judge on June 1 issued a protective order preventing U-Haul International Inc. from communicating with named class members in an action filed against U-Haul by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racial harassment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. U-Haul International, Inc., et al., No. 2:11-cv-02844, W.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76689).
NEW YORK - Google Inc. was defeated on two fronts on May 31 when a New York federal judge not only denied its motion to dismiss copyright infringement claims, but also granted the plaintiff's request for class certification (The Authors Guild et al. v. Google Inc., Nos. 05-8136; 10-2977, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 1 found that it lacked jurisdiction over claims asserted by a mining company and its subsidiaries against the Republic of El Salvador under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) but found that ICSID has jurisdiction to hear the company's claims asserted under investment law and that those claims can now proceed to the merits phase of the arbitration (Pac Rim Cayman LLC v. The Republic of El Salvador, No. ARB/09/12, ICSID). Subscribers may view the decision on jurisdiction available within the full update.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 1 denied a Korean corporation's motion for preliminary injunction to restrain a walnut distributor from proceeding with an arbitration case against it in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), finding that the terms and conditions reached between the parties provided that the issue of arbitrability would be decided by an arbitrator and that the corporation failed to show that it would likely succeed on the merits (Shany Co. Ltd. v. Crain Walnut Shelling Inc., No. S-11-1112, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76561).
DETROIT - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) is not entitled to information related to pre-complaint investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, a federal judge in Michigan ruled May 30 in an action filed by the DOJ and the State of Michigan that sought to enjoin BCBS from including "most favored nation" (MFN) clauses in its contracts with hospitals in Michigan (United States of America and the State of Michigan v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 10-14155, E.D. Mich.). View prior history, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89849.
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on May 30 conditionally certified a class of Mexican restaurant workers who allege that they were not paid minimum or overtime wages, finding that requiring the employer to post a notice of the suit does not constitute compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Edgar A. Tapia Barajas, et al. v. Marco Antonio Acosta, et al., No. 11-3862, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74716).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on May 31 granted a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of putative class action claims asserted by employees who allege that they were not paid wages, finding that the jurisdictional requirements for compelling arbitration under the United Nations Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards were met (Kenneth Downer, et al. v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 11-21948, S.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75233).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Stored Communications Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C.S. § 2701, does not apply to a juror's Facebook postings, a California appeals panel majority ruled May 31, also finding that the juror failed to establish any expectation of privacy for those posts under either the Fourth or Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Juror Number One v. The Superior Court of Sacramento Co., et al., No. C067309, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 642).
ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 30 reversed and remanded a case and ruled that the bankruptcy court in which a debtor filed its petition has jurisdiction over whether a claim against the estate was discharged (Alderwoods Group Inc., et al. v. Reyvis Garcia, et al., No. 10-14726, Chapter 11, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10891).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut granted in part a group of reinsurers' request for discovery on May 29 and ordered an insurer to provide all documentation evaluated and/or relied upon in reaching the decision to treat certain asbestos personal injury settlements as a single occurrence under certain reinsurance agreements (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-cv-0107, D. Conn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Sellers who alleged unlawful tying by eBay Corp. in the market for online payment systems for use in online auctions may continue with their federal antitrust claims, a federal judge in California ruled May 29 in an unpublished ruling denying eBay's motion to dismiss the tying claims in the sellers' second amended class action complaint ( Charlotte Smith, et al. v. eBay Corporation, et al., No. C 10-03825, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74121).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Washington federal judge on May 25 advised the law firm of Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd and two of its attorneys that they would face sanctions for intentional misleading and inaccurate claims for various "Expenses" and "Disbursements" claimed in connection with a class suit filed against an educational travel company (Plumbers Union Local No. 12 Pension Fund, et al. v. Ambassadors Group, Inc., et al., No. 09-214, E.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73297).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on May 29 certified a collective action consisting of servers, waiters and waitresses - excluding "expediters" - employed by a steak restaurant who allege that they were denied overtime, forced to participate in an improperly maintained "tip pool" and required to use tips to pay for broken glass and people who walked out without paying their bills (Sharon Flowers, et al. v. MGTI, LLC a/k/a Mo's Steakhouse, et al., No. 11-1235, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73900).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 29 refused to hear an appeal of a class complaint seeking $6.6 billion in damages from the Islamic Republic of Iran for the November 1979 seizure of more than 50 people from the American Embassy who were then held as hostages for 400 days (David M. Roeder, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., No. 11-730, U.S. Sup.; 2012 U.S. LEXIS 3985).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The parties in a class suit that accuses Facebook Inc. of using the names and photos of users in advertising on the social networking site without the users' express permission filed a joint status report May 27 indicating that a settlement has been reached (Angel Fraley, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., et al., No. 11-1726, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the joint report available within the full update.
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on May 29 found that the removal of a seaman's injury-related claims to a federal court was proper because various ship owners that were named as defendants in the case showed that removal was proper because one of them is a foreign agency or instrumentality of the People's Republic of China (Changxing Yu v. Dalian International Maritime Services Co., Ltd., et al., No. 12-0701, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73672).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 29 in a divided ruling denied rehearing en banc of its Feb. 1 opinion affirming its prior holding that a mandatory class action waiver clause in American Express Co.'s (AmEx) standardized service contract violated the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (In re: American Express Merchants' Litigation (Italian Colors Restaurant, et al. v. American Express Travel Related Services Company, et al.), No. 06-1871-cv, 2nd Cir.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on May 24 declined to reconsider his ruling that registered nurses (RNs) failed to produce evidence of an agreement among eight Detroit-area hospitals to fix the compensation of RNs sufficient to defeat the hospitals' motions for summary judgment on the RNs' conspiracy claims but held that the RNs did produce sufficient evidence to establish anticompetitive effects resulting from the exchange of compensation-related information among the hospitals in violation of federal antitrust law (Pat Cason-Merenda, et al. v. Detroit Medical Center, et al., No. 06-15601, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72593).
LOS ANGELES - An insurer's stated practice of providing only partial coverage for auto repairs obtained at an "unapproved repair facility" do not violate state law, a California appeals panel ruled May 24, affirming a lower court's dismissal of a putative class action for breach of contract and bad faith based on the practice (Eric E. Ortega v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B228889, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 621).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 denied a motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing a motorcycle manufacturer of faulty engines and lifted a stay on the defendants' motion for summary judgment (Phillip Johnson, et al. v. Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, LLC, et al., No. 10-2443, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72048).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Finding that a copyright infringement plaintiff had amply "demonstrated its need for expedited discovery" of the identifying information of a John Doe defendant in an online file-sharing case, a California federal magistrate judge on May 24 granted an ex parte discovery motion to serve the Doe's Internet service provider (ISP) per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 (AF Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 2:12-cv-01075, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72783).