N.J. Judge Finds State's Interests Favor Protection Of Unfiled Expert Transcripts

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey state court judge on May 14 ruled that unfiled transcripts from depositions of environmental experts for ExxonMobil Corp. should not be produced to a law firm, after finding that the state's interest in protecting the information outweighs the public's need for the information (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP v. New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Law, No. L-63-09, N.J. Super., Mercer Co.).

    Panel: Environmental Board Must Determine If Documents Contain Trade Secrets

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel on May 15 reversed an Environmental Hearing Board's decision requiring a gas gathering and processing company to produce documents to the Clean Air Council (CAC) after finding that the board should have first decided if the documents contained trade secrets and if the CAC showed a compelling need for the information (Mark West Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC v. Clean Air Council, et al., No. 1508 C.D. 2012, Pa. Cmwlth.).

    FTAIA Bars Antitrust Claims In USB Connector Case, New York Federal Judge Rules

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 14 dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction Sherman Act claims brought by a Chinese manufacturer of universal serial bus (USB) 3.0 connectors against other manufacturers that do not manufacture or directly sell any USB 3.0 connectors in the United States, ruling that the domestic injury exception to the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) was not applicable (Lotes Co., Ltd. v. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., No. 12 Civ. 7465, S.D. N.Y.).

    Judge Denies Sanctions Request Over Plaintiff's Missed Deposition

    GREEN BAY, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on May 14 denied a motion for sanctions against a former employee accusing a company of forcing him into retirement, after finding that counsel for the defense was told by the plaintiff's attorney that he would not be deposed until he received records about severance packages the company offered to other employees (John Dauska v. Green Bay Packaging Inc., et al., No. 12-C-925, E.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68375).

    Australian Court Finds Dispute Over Escrow Must Be Arbitrated

    PERTH, Australia - An Australian court on May 10 dismissed an appeal filed by several resource companies of a court's decision denying their request for an injunction requiring certain mining companies to pay $80 million into an escrow account, finding that the dispute over the payment had to be submitted to arbitration in Singapore pursuant to the terms of the parties' underlying agreements (Cape Lambert Resources Ltd. v. MCC Australia Sanjin Mining Pty Ltd., No. $(2013$) WASCA 66, Western Australia App.).

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss Suit For Failure To Comply With Discovery Order

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on May 14 refused to dismiss a plaintiff's civil rights and Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit after finding that his failure to comply with an April 12 order was an honest mistake that did not prejudice the defendants (Cecil Johnson v. Belvedere Gardens Condominium Association Inc., et al., No. 12-2118-SHM, W.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68314).

    Taxpayers Ordered To Prove Diversity Jurisdiction In Class Suit Against Preparers

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 14 gave the plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing a tax preparation company of committing errors that delayed more than 600,000 returns a second chance to demonstrate that diversity jurisdiction exists (Cameron Cox, et al. v. H&R Block, Inc., et al., No. 13-1101, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68177).

    Defense Motion To Intervene To Stop Document Discovery Denied In Lago Agrio Lawsuit

    NEW YORK - The judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by Chevron Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to prevent enforcement of an $18 billion personal injury and property damage judgment entered in a Lago Agrio, Ecuador, court issued an order May 14 denying a motion by the defendants to intervene to prevent enforcement of a subpoena duces tecum on a nonparty law firm; Chevron needs the documents, and the defendants have not produced them, according to the judge (Chevron Corp. v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

    Direct Purchasers Oppose Chinese Vitamin C Makers' Motion To Vacate Judgment

    NEW YORK - A direct purchaser class on May 10 opposed Chinese vitamin C manufacturers' renewed motions for judgment and motion to reduce by $22.5 million a $253.3 million damages award in favor of the class on its allegations that Chinese corporations participated in an illegal cartel to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C to the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(Animal Science Products, Inc., et al. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al.$), No. 06-md-1738, No. 05-cv-0453, E.D. N.Y.).

    Michigan Federal Judge Partially Certifies Class Suing Over Search And Seizures

    DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on May 14 partially certified a class of individuals and businesses subjected to search and/or seizure of their property by the Michigan Department of Treasury to satisfy an alleged tax debt who allege that their constitutional rights were violated because the searches and seizures occurred without a judicially authorized warrant (Adhid Miri, et al. v. Andy Dillon, et al., No. 11015248, E.D. Mich.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68211).

    Arkansas Federal Judge Grants Conditional Certification In Workers' Wage Suit

    HARRISON, Ark. - An Arkansas federal judge on May 13 granted conditional collective certification in a case filed by hourly employees of a vehicle customization company accused of owing its workers unpaid minimum and overtime wages (Donna Croft, et al. v. Protomotive, Inc., et al., No. 12-3102, W.D. Ark.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67699).

    Magistrate Judge Refuses To Dismiss Claim As Sanction For Lost X-rays

    LAS VEGAS - A federal magistrate judge in Nevada on May 10 refused to dismiss a man's claim that he suffered a cervical spine injury as a result of an automobile accident in July 2005 based on his loss of X-rays that allegedly showed that his condition had not improved, finding that the plaintiff can have another X-ray taken (Eric Holiday v. American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pa., d/b/a March USA Inc., No. 11-cv-02089-GMN-NJK, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66940).

    $45 Million Skechers Toning Shoe Settlement Granted Final Approval

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on May 13 granted final approval of a $45 million settlement to be paid by Skechers U.S.A. Inc. to end multidistrict litigation alleging that the company's "toning" footwear was falsely advertised to improve posture, promote weight loss, strengthen the back, improve blood circulation, promote sleep, reduce stress and burn calories (In Re: Skechers Toning Shoe Products Liability Litigation, No. 11-2308, W.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67441).

    Texas Panel Finds Business Valuation Expert Relied On Faulty Data, Reverses Award

    HOUSTON - A 14th District Texas Court of Appeals panel on May 9 reversed a $43.38 million award for breach of fiduciary duty, finding that the plaintiffs' expert damages opinion was based on unreliable data and should have been barred (Citrin Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Matthew Minnis, et al., No. 14-11-00644-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 5723).

    Judge Compels International Arbitration of Seaman's Claims Against Cruise Line

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 13 refused to remand a cruise line worker's injury-related claims to a state court, finding that he was required to arbitrate the dispute pursuant to the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) under the terms of his employment contract (German Yvan Segersbol v. Celebration Cruise Operator Inc., No. 13-60644, S.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67750).

    Magistrate Finds Requests For Other Insureds' Policy Information Not Relevant

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - Although an Ohio federal judge on May 9 found some of the plaintiffs' document requests from their homeowners insurer to be reasonable, she found no merit to their motion to compel production of the policies of other homeowners in their neighborhood to support their bad faith claim (William R. Wright, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 2:12-cv-00409, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66275).

    Magistrate Judge Limits Request For Deposition Witnesses From Government

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia on May 13 ruled that the federal government should produce a witness for a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) deposition in response to Lockheed Martin Corp.'s (LMC) request for information regarding the government's operation of Credit Cost Principle related to the company's lawsuit under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, but found that requests concerning five other topics were overbroad (Lockheed Martin Corporation v. United States of America, No. 08-1160, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 674399).

    Class Of Food Stamp Applicants Certified In Dispute Over Timely Processing

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on May 13 certified a class of Connecticut residents who applied for food stamps and whose applications were not timely processed as required under federal law (James Briggs, et al. v. Roderick Bremby, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services, No. 12-324, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67571).

    Magistrate Judge Finds Good Cause To Permit Discovery In Ohio File-Sharing Case

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A copyright holder has sufficiently established good cause sufficient to serve subpoenas on the Internet service providers (ISPs) of 36 Doe defendants suspected of participating in illegal downloading of a movie via the BitTorrent file transfer protocol, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled May 8 (Elf-Man LLC v. Does 1-36, No. 2:13-cv-00308, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66319).

    Judge Compels Arbitration Of Employment Dispute With Hong Kong Entity

    ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on May 10 refused to remand an employment-related suit filed by the former CEO of an outdoor equipment maker but compelled arbitration of the dispute after determining that his employer and others did not waive their right to arbitration and that a valid agreement existed (Steven D. Fleischli v. North Pole US LLC, et al., No. 4:12CV1618, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66850).

    California Appeals Court Affirms Hospital Has No Duty To Prevent Balance Billing

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court panel held in a May 9 unpublished opinion that a hospital has no duty to inform patients admitted to the emergency room that emergency room physicians do not accept a particular health care plan and to take action to prevent emergency room physicians from "balance billing" (Maria Leon, et al. v. Watsonville Hospital Corp., No. H037288, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3297).

    Wet Seal Seeks To Settle Managers' Race Bias Class Suit For $7.5 Million

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Wet Seal Inc. agreed in a May 8 settlement agreement to pay $7.5 million to end a class complaint alleging that it intentionally discriminates against black managers with respect to pay, promotion, job assignments, discipline, termination and other conditions of employment (Nicole Cogdell, et al. v. The Wet Seal, Inc., et al., No. 12-1138, C.D. Calif.).

    Federal Circuit Affirms Denial Of Injunction In Patent Infringement Action

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal appeals court on May 10 affirmed a trial court's decision that refused to grant a pharmaceutical company's request for an anti-suit injunction, finding that the issues in an international arbitration and a U.S. patent infringement action were not the same (Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GMBH v. Genentech Inc., et al., No. 2012-1454, Fed. Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9494).

    Fired Chicago Tenured Teachers' Due Process Claims Tossed By Illinois Federal Judge

    CHICAGO - Tenured Chicago teachers were not denied their constitutionally protected property interest in continued employment when they were dismissed without individualized determinations of their qualifications, certifications, experience and performance ratings, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 8 (Williette Price, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, et al., No. 11-4463, Cheryl Smith v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 11-4974, Barbara Ferkel, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, et al., No. 11-9322, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65417).

    3rd Circuit: Health Claims On Butter Substitute Packaging Violate No Law

    PHILADELPHIA - Claims of no trans fat, even though traces of trans fat exist, and cholesterol-reducing properties on the packaging of butter/margarine substitutes manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) don't violate any law, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 9 (Thomas Young, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 12-2475, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9422).