BOSTON - A plaintiff expert who testified that Abbott Laboratories failed to adequately warn that its Humira biological arthritis drug has a risk of lymphoma is not qualified to do so, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Sept. 27 in granting summary judgment for the defendant (Maureen E. Calisi v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 11-10671, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139257).
ATLANTA - Fiduciaries of SunTrust Banks Inc.'s 401(k) plan did not breach their fiduciary duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining the plan's investment in company stock when the bank had exposure to subprime mortgage loan losses, a federal judge ruled Sept. 26 in granting the fiduciaries' motion to dismiss (In re: SunTrust Banks, Inc., ERISA Litigation, No. 1:08-cv-3384, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137954).
CHICAGO - Manufacturers and retailers accused in products liability class action complaints consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois of harming dogs that ate chicken jerky treats were granted in part motions to dismiss in an order entered Sept. 27 (Dennis Akins v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., No. 12-2871 $(consolidated$), N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139075).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. filed a joint brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sept. 29, arguing that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) "half-heartedly" asserts that factual assumptions related to previous airline mergers are "irrelevant"; however, the airlines contend that the DOJ's own complaint belies that assertion (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana presiding over the massive Chinese-manufactured defective drywall litigation issued an order on Sept. 27 extending the time for plaintiffs to file a claim form to participate in five class action settlements with manufacturers, builders, suppliers and installers of Chinese drywall and their various insurers, estimated to be in excess of $1 billion (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, No. 2:09md02047, E.D. La.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 27 upheld a trial court's decision to certify a meal break subclass in a class complaint against U.S. Security Associates Inc. (USSA) (Muhammed Abdullah, et al. v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc., No. 11-55653, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19793).
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Pelvic mesh defendant American Medical Systems Inc. (AMS) on Sept. 26 told a multidistrict litigation court that it needs to subpoena third parties because it needs to find out if doctors are being paid to remove the devices from plaintiffs so they can state in medical records that the mesh is defective or "bunched-up" and that tissue is eroded, all to support litigation claims (In Re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2325, No. 2:12-md-2325, S.D. W. Va.).
CINCINNATI - A divided en banc Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 24 that two Coca-Cola workers who were injured on the job and were denied workers' compensation failed to show that they could pursue claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act's civil remedy provision (Clifton E. Jackson, et al. v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., et al., No. 10-1453, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19495).
SINGAPORE - A Singapore high court judge on Sept. 24 denied a shipping company's request to set aside an arbitration award that was issued for the seller of two vessels in a purchase dispute, finding that the arbitrator was not biased in making his ruling (TMM Division Maritima SA de CV v Pacific Richfield Marine Pte Ltd, No.  SGHC 186, Singapore High).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 23 ordered a trustee to produce documents to the special deputy receiver (SDR) of three insolvent insurers regarding the trustee's banking and lending relationships with the insurers (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135483).
HOUSTON - Gold buyers may proceed with their class wage and hour suit but may represent only other buyers in a single county in Texas, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 24, denying a motion to dismiss and granting in part a motion for conditional certification (Alicia Rodriguez, et al. v. Gold & Silver Buyers, Inc., et al., No. 12-1831, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136332).
HONOLULU - A federal judge in Hawaii on Sept. 24 denied a proposed class's motion to remand a suit claiming that their mortgage loans were unlawfully assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., finding that the class's claim for lost use and treble damages will exceed the $5 million jurisdictional limit of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Karl P. Lizza, et al. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, No. 13-00190 HG-BMK, D. Hawaii; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136453).
BALTIMORE - A proposed class's claim under Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) against a real estate settlement services company was dismissed by a federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 25 after holding that Maryland law applies to the claim because it is the location where the plaintiffs' alleged economic injury occurred when closing on a loan refinancing their mortgage (Lisa Garland, et al. v. ServiceLink L.P., et al., No. GLR-13-1472, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137143).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Sept. 23 agreed to dismiss a retired Walmart Stores Inc. employee's gender bias suit, finding that she could not "piggyback" her untimely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint on an employee's complaint or rely on the tolling provided during the pendency of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (131 S. Ct. 2541 $(2011$)) (Mary Cooks v. Walmart Stores, Inc., No. 13-526, N.D. Ala.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135502).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 23 upheld the dismissal of a class complaint filed by former professional football players alleging that current players wrongfully negotiated benefits for retirees without the proper authority to do so (Carl Lee Eller, et al. v. National Football League Players Association, et al., No. 12-2487, 8th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19440).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Appeals on Sept. 24 affirmed a decision that a circuit court erred when it applied the improper test in determining whether an expert's methodologies and theories in relation to mold exposure and illness are generally accepted in the relevant scientific community, finding that his testimony must be excluded (Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co. v. Josephine Chesson, et al., No. 97, September Term 2012, Md. App.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A petition to coordinate Darvon/Darvocet/propoxyphene cases in California state court is not a request for a joint trial that triggers "joint trial" removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 24 in a 2-1 decision (Judith Romo, et al. v Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 13-56310, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19527).
CHICAGO - In an opinion made available on Sept. 23, a federal judge in Illinois denied motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action has properly pleaded his federal securities law claims (In re Groupon Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-2450, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135191).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 23 partially granted a vessel classification society's request for an anti-suit injunction to prohibit a shipping company from pursuing certain claims based on Greek statutes and international conventions on international shipping in a Greek court, ordering that the injunction remain in place until an arbitration panel issues an award on those allegations (Bailey Shipping Limited v. American Bureau of Shipping, et al., No. 12-5959, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135960).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Sept. 20 declined to dismiss a complaint alleging that a health insurer and companies hired to advertise its policies on television committed fraud and bad faith in their advertising practices, allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint and declined to grant class action status to the case (Harry R. Wiedenbeck, et al. v. Cinergy Health Inc., et al., No. 12-508, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134672).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 20 approved an amended notice plan regarding four settlements in the "hot fuels" multidistrict litigation after requesting additional information in July to determine whether plaintiffs can identify some class members with reasonable effort (In Re: Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation, No. 07-1840, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134660).
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on Sept. 19 ordered the modification of a $7.8 million judgment against Lexmark International Inc. in a class pay dispute, finding that the trial court erred in calculating the wages to include commissions rather than using the base rate of pay (Ron Molina v. Lexmark International, Inc., Nos. B227746, B233272, B234675, B237836, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6684).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Sept. 19 entered final approval of a $100 million settlement to resolve claims that Mortgage Investors Group Inc. (MIG) and Countrywide Home Loans Inc. violated California's unfair competition law when providing allegedly deceptive loan documents to borrowers who obtained adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans from the lenders (Jay Ralston, et al. v. Mortgage Investors Group Inc., et al., No. 08-cv-00536-JF, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134960).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on Sept. 19 granted in part and dismissed in part ING Banks fsb's motion to dismiss a putative class action alleging that it failed to honor a rate renew guarantee on its Orange Loans, finding, in part, that a borrower sufficiently pleaded that ING's marketing materials gave rise to the guarantee (Jeffery Gerbitz v. ING Bank fsb d/b/a ING Direct, No. 12-1670, D. Del.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134025).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - US Airways and American Airlines Inc., which are defendants in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) related to the proposed merger of the two airlines, on Sept. 20 moved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for an order compelling the DOJ to produce factual materials regarding the agency's prior approvals of other airline mergers (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).