9th Circuit Affirms Award For Victim Of Picketing, But Not For Third Parties

SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 5 affirmed a damages award to be paid by a union to the company running the site where the union was improperly picketing but vacated the award of compensatory damages to several third parties, finding that the award was not necessary to enforce the injunction (Richard L. Ahearn, Regional Director of the Nineteenth Region of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board v. International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Locals 21 and 4, No. 11-35848, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 13652).

U.S., Other Amici File Briefs On Limitations Period In ERISA Benefits Denial Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A beneficiary's claim for wrongful denial of disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not accrue for limitations purposes until the plan's internal benefits resolution process has been exhausted, notwithstanding a plan provision providing that the limitations period commences before the plan has resolved the claim for benefits, the United States told the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 2 amicus brief (Julie Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-729, U.S. Sup.).

Federal Judge Grants Default Judgment To Receiver In Ponzi Scheme Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 3 granted a $40,000 default judgment in favor of the receiver of an estate established to recover funds stolen in a Ponzi scheme, finding that the receiver will be prejudiced if default judgment is denied, that the defendants do not have any meritorious defenses and that without an explanation from the defendants, their culpability is presumed (Kamian Schwartzman v. Rogue International Talent Group Inc., et al., No. 12-5255, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94076).

Cancellation Extinguishes Cause Of Action In Patent Case, Federal Circuit Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent that was declared invalid after re-examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cannot serve as the basis for a prior infringement judgment and damages award, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 2 (Fresenius USA Inc. v. Baxter International Inc., No. 12-1334, 1335, Fed. Cir.).

Delaware Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Patent Case On Jurisdiction Grounds

WILMINGTON, Del. - Efforts by Asus Computer International (ACI) to obtain dismissal of patent infringement allegations levied against it in Delaware federal court failed June 28 when a federal judge found that personal jurisdiction exists (Graphics Properties Holdings Inc. v. Asus Computer International, No. 12-210, D. Del.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91058.).

ICSID Suspends Proceeding On The Merits In Dispute With Hungary

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement on Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 26 released its decision suspending all proceedings on the merits of a dispute filed by a group of investors who seek damages in relation to their investment in FM-frequency radio broadcasting lines in Hungary, pending the outcome of a jurisdictional objection asserted by Hungary (Emmis International Holding, B.V., et al. v. Hungary, No ARB/12/2, ICSID).

Illinois Appeals Court Finds Indecipherable Asbestos Verdict Requires New Trial

CLEVELAND - Saying it would take an "absolute guess" to decipher a jury's intent in awarding an asbestos plaintiff no compensatory award but then imposing punitive damages of $700,000, an Illinois appeals court on June 26 remanded for a new trial on negligence claims (Larry Dunham and Mary Venturini Dunham v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 4-12-0608, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).

Shareholders Ask For Approval Of $7 Million Settlement Of Derivative Suit

LAS VEGAS - Shareholders suing a company's directors and officers for breach of fiduciary duty asked a Nevada federal court on June 24 to approve a $7 million settlement of the shareholders' derivative lawsuit (In re Rino International Corporation Derivative Litigation, No. 10-cv-02209, D. Nev.).

9th Circuit: Contractor May Collect Interest; Bankruptcy Estate Not Affected

SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 ruled that a subcontractor was entitled to post-petition interest on a judgment it was awarded against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) despite the fact that the DOE is a creditor in the bankruptcy of another contractor, finding that the award did not jeopardize the ability of creditors to collect on their claims against the bankruptcy estate (Ground Improvement Techniques Inc v. The Plan Committee $(In The Matter Of: Washington Group International Inc.$), No. 11-17447, Chapter 11, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 12772).

Supreme Court Denies Review In Divestiture Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 denied Polypore International Inc.'s petition seeking review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding a Federal Trade Commission ruling that Polypore's acquisition of Microporous Products would substantially lessen competition in three relevant North American markets for battery separators and that a complete divestiture, including a plant in Austria, was required to restore competition in those markets (Polypore International, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-1016, U.S. Sup.).

ICSID Issues Order On Discontinuance Of Arbitration With Ecuador

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) on June 19 released an order taking note of the discontinuance of an arbitration action filed by a corporation against the Republic of Ecuador (Corporation Quiport SA V. Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/09/23).

Judge Finds Panamanian Company Was Not Properly Served With Petition

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on June 18 granted a Panamanian corporation's motion to quash service of a petition to confirm an arbitration award, finding that a theatrical group failed to properly serve the petition under federal law (Latinamerican Theatrical Group LLC v. Swen International Holding, No. 13-1270, C.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86383).

Specialty Products Seeks Expedited Appeal Of Asbestos Liability Ruling

WILMINGTON, Del. - Specialty Products Holding Corp. and Bondex International Inc. on June 18 sought to appeal directly to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a Delaware federal bankruptcy court ruling setting their asbestos liabilities at $1.16 billion, saying "prompt guidance" from the appellate court is needed to resolve an issue at the heart of the debtors' bankruptcy case and important to the public (In re: Specialty Products Holding Corp., et al., No. 10-11780, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Canadian Court Finds Insurers Had No Duty To Cover Asbestos Claims

TORONTO - A Canadian appeals court on June 13 dismissed an appeal of a decision that found that Goodyear Canada Inc. had no insurance coverage available to it for asbestos-related personal injury claims filed against it in the United States after 1985, finding that the language in the disputed policies was not ambiguous (Goodyear Canada Inc. v. American International Companies $(American Home Assurance Company$), 2013 ONCA 395, Ontario App.).

D.C. Circuit Finds U.S. Trade Representative Properly Withheld Document

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 reversed a district court's ruling that the U.S. Trade Representative must release a document that was introduced during negotiations of a free-trade agreement with foreign nations, finding that the trade representative properly withheld the document as confidential (Center for International Environmental Law v. Office of the United States Trade Representative, et al., No. 12-5136, D.C. Cir.; 2013 U.S. Dist. App. LEXIS 11477).

Court To Hear Arguments On Partially Vacated $89.6M Asbestos Conspiracy Award

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - An Illinois appellate court on June 7 set July 16 for oral arguments in a case in which a judge vacated portions of an $89.6 million asbestos conspiracy jury verdict, according to court records (Charles Gillenwater v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 4-12-0958, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).

Federal Judge Confirms Award Issued Against Ecuador In Treaty Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that the Republic of Ecuador failed to prove any grounds for denying enforcement of an international arbitration award under the Convention on the Recognition on Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 6 granted Chevron Corp.'s petition to confirm the award (Chevron Corp., et al. v. Republic of Ecuador, No. 12-1247, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79535).

5th Circuit: Wren Alexander Owes $173M In Taxes It Inherited Prior To Bankruptcy

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed a lower court's decision that held that a debtor company was liable for $173 million IRS tax lien despite that fact that the lien was originally levied against the previous owner of a property the debtor purchased prior to bankruptcy (Wren Alexander Investments LLC v. Internal Revenue Service $(In Re: Wren Alexander Investments LLC$), No. 12-50376, Chapter 11, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11315).

3rd Circuit Vacates Award Of Attorneys' Fees In Environmental Cleanup Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 vacated and remanded a ruling awarding $3.1 million in attorney fees to plaintiffs' counsel in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) suit against Honeywell International Inc., formerly known as AlliedSignal Inc., and others over soil and groundwater polluted by chromium, finding that a district court judge did not sufficiently explain why he believed the number of hours claimed by counsel was correct (Interfaith Community Organization, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., formerly known as AlliedSignal Inc., et al., Nos. 11-3813, 11-3814, 3rd Cir.).

2nd Circuit Affirms Decision For TASER In Personal Injury Case

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 upheld summary judgment for the defendant in a product liability action, concluding that warnings regarding potential injuries contained in a release form were sufficient (Jeff Kandt v. TASER International Inc., No. 12-3041, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11143).

2nd Circuit Vacates Denial Of Petition To Confirm International Award

NEW YORK - After determining that a New York federal court did not initially decide whether a Brazilian entity and others agreed to arbitration disputes, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 vacated a ruling that denied a petition to confirm an international arbitration award in a dispute over a purchase and sale agreement (VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. v. Matlinpatterson Global Opportunities Partners II L.P., et al., No. 12-593, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11074).

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Dispute Over Lanham Act Standing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The question of which analytic framework applies when assessing prudential standing in Lanham Act false advertising cases will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted certiorari on June 3 in a longstanding dispute over toner cartridges (Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., No. 12-873, U.S. Sup.).

11th Circuit: NLRB Has Jurisdiction To Investigate Labor Charge

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 29 rejected an employer's claim that the National Labor Relations Board lacks jurisdiction to conduct a preliminary investigation of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the union representing the employer's cargo handlers (Amerijet International, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, et al., No. 12-14657, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10727).

Magistrate Compels Company To Provide Additional Testimony In Securities Suit

NEW YORK - A federal magistrate judge in New York on May 28 ruled that a lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit has properly shown that additional discovery is warranted from an oilfield service company because the additional evidence would be relevant to the action (In re Weatherford International Securities Litigation, No. 11-1646, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75090).

Federal Judge Grants Motion To Dismiss In Part Lawsuit Challenging PCB Removal Plan

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After concluding that he lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider injunctive relief in a polychlorinated biphenyl contamination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, a judge on May 28 dismissed in part the lawsuit filed by residents of Camillus, N.Y., seeking relief from a remediation plan that includes dumping contaminated materials in the town (Camillus Clean Air Coalition, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 13-365, N.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74307).