WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5 declined review of a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a securities class action lawsuit challenging the materiality pleading standard for stating claims under federal securities law (United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 880 Pension Fund v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., et al., No. 14-1233, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 5 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion by U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., representing the federal government, to participate in upcoming oral arguments in a case addressing whether a plaintiff sufficiently alleged injury under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in a class complaint over a data aggregator's purported online publication of false information about him (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - An appellate ruling relieving a manufacturer of liability for a salvage worker's asbestos exposure does not bar a man's claim for exposure arising from disassembling a boiler, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Oct. 1 (Ernest G. Smith and Claudia Smith v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190299/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3473).
SEATTLE - A federal jury on Oct. 1 found for Ford Motor Co. on a couple's asbestos-related product liability and negligence claims (Gregory Cannard and Susan Cannard v. Ford Motor Co., No. 14-5588, W.D. Wash.).
VIENNA, Austria - The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on Oct. 6 announced that the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Madagascar have signed the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (Mauritius Convention on Transparency).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 2 answer filed in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) deny that they violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by denying requests from The Associated Press (AP) for documents related to investigations in which the government impersonated media organizations for the purpose of tracking down suspected criminals (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Oct. 2 issued an order to show cause asking why the liquidation of a health maintenance organization should not be terminated (In the Matter of Cigna Healthcare of New York, Inc., No. 452836/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A July 2014 decision by the Baltimore County Circuit Court to let stand a judicial arbitration panel's reallocation of a nonparticipating manufacturer (NPM) "adjustment" among six states deemed not diligent in enforcing escrow statutes under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) of nationwide tobacco litigation was error, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled Oct. 2 (State of Maryland v. Philip Morris Inc., et al., No. 1256, Md. Spec. App.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After finding that a lender could not remove an ejectment-related action as a counterdefendant, an Alabama federal judge on Oct. 5 remanded the case to an Alabama state court (LLP Mortgage Ltd. v. Dorosco Scarber, et al., No. 15-cv-01380, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135374).
NEW YORK - Efforts by a senior trademark user to enjoin the use of "GoBank" by a junior user failed Oct. 5, when a New York federal judge found that five of eight confusion factors favor the junior user (Flushing Bank v. Green Dot Corporation, et al., No. 13-9120, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135368).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A man convicted of rape and abuse of a minor was wrongly denied discovery of certain items from his trial and of subsequent rape cases involving the same victim, a Kansas Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 2, reversing in part a trial court's discovery orders and remanding for some in camera review by the lower court (State of Kansas v. Lamar Willis, No. 110.954, Kansas App.; 2015 Kan. App. LEXIS 65).
MIAMI - A jury in Florida on Oct. 2 awarded a smoker's widow $1 million in compensatory damages and found that two tobacco companies were also liable for punitive damages in connection with the smoking-related illnesses that included lung cancer. The punitive damages phase of the trial is continuing (Gertrude Marchese v. Philip Morris, et al., No. 2013-cv-002849, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud. Cir.).
CHICAGO - Because a number of medical providers alleging that an insurer wrongfully reduced payments on health claims are not beneficiaries to an insurance contract, they are not entitled to allege claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 1 in reversing a district court's ruling in favor of the medical providers (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association et al. v. Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan Inc., Nos. 14-2322, 14-3174 & 15-1274, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17269).
CINCINNATI - The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) agricultural exemption includes the growing and raising of worms, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 2 (John Barks, et al. v. Silver Bait, LLC, et al., No. 15-5175, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17310).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 5 orders list the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in several high-profile intellectual property cases, including a challenge by petitioner W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. to a holding by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the conveyance of an exclusive patent license need not be in writing (W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. v. Bard Peripheral Vascular Inc., No. 15-41, U.S. Sup.).
CONCORD, N.H. - A three-judge panel of the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Oct. 2 affirmed a jury's decision finding that Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay $236 million to clean up contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), but overturned the trial court judge's decision to place $195 million of the award in a trust (State of New Hampshire v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., Nos. 2013-0591, 2013-0668, N.H. Sup.; 2015 N.H. LEXIS 108).
DALLAS - A Texas state court jury on Oct. 5 returned a defense verdict in a Prosima pelvic mesh trial in favor of defendants Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson (Carol Cavness v. Teresa Kowalczyk, M.D., et al., No. DC-14-04220, Texas Dist., Dallas Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari by a pro se plaintiff who argued that experts in his Zicam injury lawsuit were improperly excluded (Michael D. Nelson v. Matrixx Initiatives, et al., No. 14-1389, U.S. Sup.).
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A health insurer was not the primary payer for an employee's medical claims because the plan at issue clearly stated that Medicare was the primary payer if an insured received Medicare benefits, a South Carolina federal judge said Sept. 30 (Jennifer Perkins v. US Airways Inc., et al., No. 14-2577, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132502).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel held Sept. 30 that there is no primary or excess fiduciary liability or directors and officers liability insurance coverage for an underlying lawsuit spawned by a federal investigation of insureds' Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) (Woody D. Bilyeu, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa, et al., No. 50,049-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 1868).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 2 ruled that the claim files and the deposition of a nonparty subcontractor's insurance adjuster are discoverable for the purpose of determining if a conflict of interests existed that required the appointment of independent counsel, granting a home builder's motions to compel in a construction defects declaratory judgment action (Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Co., et al. v. Centex Homes, No. 1:14-cv-00826, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134923).