SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Aug. 26 affirmed a trial court's ruling requiring a woman who pleaded no contest to falsifying paperwork to receive unemployment insurance benefits to be subject to warrantless searches and seizures as part of her probation, ruling that the searches would be routine and consist mostly of checking documents (People v. Jennifer Lorrayne Jeffries-Echols, No. C071470, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6011).
LOS ANGELES - A former transportation supervisor failed to show that all employees with that title had the same duties and that a class action is the superior method to adjudicate the employees' wage-and-hour claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 22 (Curtis Hamilton, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, Inc., No. 13-1848, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117607).
LOS ANGELES - The makers of the hangover prevention beverage NOHO cheated a former business partner out of more than $5 million in company shares, compensation and commissions by unlawfully canceling the partner's interest in the company, in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), according to a complaint filed Aug. 25 in federal court (Todd Blatt, et al. v. NOHO, Inc., et al., No. 14-6666, C.D. Calif.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A lawyers professional liability insurance policy's business enterprise exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, legal malpractice and vicarious liability against an attorney insured, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 25, granting the insurer's motion to dismiss the insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking $158,873.80 in underlying defense costs (Clarence K. Gomery, et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 1:13-cv-947, W.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117954).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 26 partially dismissed a third-party counterclaimant's claims for violation of the Texas Insurance Code and for insurance bad faith, ruling that dismissal is proper because the counterclaimant lacks standing to bring the claims as a third party (Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Charles M. Opheim, et al., No. 14-0752, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118595).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 reversed a lower court decision that removed a West Virginia site from the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and revived the efforts of environmental groups to prevent surface coal mining on that site by ruling that the groups had shown causation for actual injury (Sierra Club v. Sally Jewell, No. 12-5383, D.C. Cir.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals court on Aug. 22 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a condominium association's request for fees, finding that it was not the prevailing party in an action in which it alleged that condo owners installed tile that caused water leaks and damage (Beacon Place Condominium Association v. Raymond M. Lavelle, et al., No. 1-13-0503, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1821).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 26 granted an electronic corporation's motion to dismiss certain claims in a class action complaint filed by purchasers of allegedly defective washing machines but allowed claims for negligent misrepresentation and fraud to proceed (Robert N. Durso, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America Inc., No. 12-cv-5352, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118467).
CHICAGO - The medical expert witness proffered by the U.S. government in a mail and wire fraud case against a dermatologist is qualified and presents reliable evidence, an Illinois federal judge found Aug. 26, denying the dermatologist's motion to exclude under Daubert standards (United States of America v. Robert Kolbusz, No. 1:12-cv-00782, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118585).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - One in three government contracts related to the development and operation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) federal exchange exceeded the total estimated value of the entire contract by February 2014, according to an Aug. 26 report.
SANTA FE, N.M. - In a divided opinion, the New Mexico Supreme Court on Aug. 25 held that state law regulating the payment of pharmacists who dispense prescription drugs to Medicaid recipients applies only in the fee-for-services context and not in the managed care system (Starko Inc., et al. v. New Mexico Human Services Department, et al., Nos. 33,382, 33,383, 33,384, N.M. Sup.; 2014 N.M. LEXIS 302).
BATON ROUGE, La. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. on Aug. 26 reached a consent agreement in a suit the agency filed the same day that calls for Exxon to pay $1,437,120 for damages related to an oil spill that was caused by a ruptured pipeline the company operated in Louisiana (United States of America v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, No. 14-532, M.D. La.).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 affirmed the dismissal of a Medicare dispute, agreeing that the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement Act's bar on judicial review precluded jurisdiction (Key Medical Supply Inc. v. Sylvia Matthews Burwell, et al., No. 13-2084, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16284).
PHILADELPHIA - A party bringing a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act and seeking a preliminary injunction is not entitled to a presumption of irreparable harm and must instead demonstrate that such harm is likely, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 (Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 13-2290, 3rd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A Connecticut detective may proceed with his claims that denying his repeated requests to be assigned to a special unit that investigates homicides constituted race discrimination, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in its second consideration of the appeal by the detective (Frederick M. Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, et al., No. 13-111, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16490).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama employers owe a duty to prevent foreseeable injuries arising from take-home asbestos exposures, and the state would adopt the substantial factor causation standard, a federal judge held Aug. 26 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117917).
HELENA, Mont. - A federal judge in Montana on Aug. 26 awarded summary judgment to Atlantic Richfield Inc. after finding that American Smelting and Refining Co. LLC's claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for contribution toward the $99.2 million the plaintiff company spent toward remediation of a Superfund site in East Helena, Mont., was barred by the three-year statute of limitations (ASARCO LLC v. Atlantic Richfield, Inc., No. CV 12-53-H-DLC, D. Mont.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Closing arguments got under way Aug. 26 in Florida's 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker's March 2013 death was caused by smoking cigarettes (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A state court judge in the Florida 19th Judicial Circuit Court for Indian River County on Aug. 27 granted a mistrial after a jury returned an inconsistent verdict for the husband of a smoker who alleged that her lung cancer was caused by smoking (Robert Gore, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 08-10052, Fla. 19th Jud. Cir., Indian River Co.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 22 dismissed an insured's insurance bad faith lawsuit against her automobile insurer, ruling that the insured's claims are time-barred by the statute of limitations on such claims (Jenice Burkitt v. Metlife Auto & Home Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1294, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117618).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a "straightforward" application of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International (134 S. Ct. 2347 ), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed findings that two patents for a method of computer-aided bingo management are invalid (Planet Bingo LLC v. VKGS LLC, No. 13-1663, Fed. Cir.).
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A jury in the Florida 19th Judicial Circuit Court for Indian River County on Aug. 26 returned a partial verdict for the husband of a smoker who alleged that her lung cancer was caused by smoking but awarded no compensatory damages while finding that punitive damages are warranted (Robert Gore, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 08-10052, Fla. 19th Jud. Cir., Indian River Co.).
BOSTON - In issuing findings of fact and conclusions of law following a four-day bench trial, a Massachusetts federal judge on Aug. 21 dismissed the remaining claim in a health care reimbursement suit brought by two companies that provide radiological services against two insurance companies (Spinal Imaging Inc. v. Aetna Health Management, et al.; Radiology Diagnostics v. Aetna Health Management, et al., Nos. 09-11873, 12-11521, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118090).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana sentenced a psychiatrist to 86 months in prison and ordered him to pay $43.5 million in restitution for his role in a $258.5 million health care fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 25 (United States of America v. Zahid Imran, M.D., No. 12-cr-00073-BAJ-SCR-8, M.D. La.).
JACKSON, Miss. - A defendant's expert witness medical doctor does not need to specialize in every area in which he testifies, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Aug. 21, finding the doctor qualified to opine on what caused the death of a man injured in a highway accident and denying a Daubert challenge brought by the plaintiff (Billy Buckalew v. Schneider National Carriers Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-00189, S.D. Miss.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116627).