PHILADELPHIA - Wyeth on Aug. 30 failed in its bid to stop two plaintiffs from pursuing claims that their use of the company's former Pondimin and Redux diet drugs caused them to develop primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) (In Re: Diet Drugs [Phentermine/Fenfluramine/Dexfenfluramine] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1203, No. 2:99-20593, Valarie Farmer v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., Jamie D. Cheek v. Wyeth, et al., No. 11-20001, E.D. Pa.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A class of hourly production employees at a meat-processing plant did not perform any compensable work for which they were not compensated, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 4, upholding a trial court ruling (Dimas Lopez, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc. No. 11-2344, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18564).
BOSTON - The limitations period for filing a legal claim provided in a disability plan bars a participant's claim for reinstatement of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 30, finding that there was no basis for tolling the plan's limitations period (Luis Arturo Santaliz-Rios v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 11-1279, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18446).
NEW ORLEANS - Missouri plaintiffs seeking to recover the costs of Vioxx prescriptions have reached a settlement with Merck & Co. Inc. of their class action, according to a Sept. 1 motion filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, No. 12-30560, 5th Cir.). View related prior history, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 23991.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - A woman's evidence of a conspiracy involving her employer and companies manufacturing asbestos-containing products falls short of the "clear and convincing" standard, a divided Illinois court held Aug. 31 in reversing a $17.87 million verdict (Jayne Menssen v. Pneumo Abex Corp., et al., Jayne Menssen v. Honeywell International Inc.. Nos. 4-10-0804, 4-10-0921, Ill. App., 4th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - In a proposed brief filed Aug. 31 in response to BP PLC's motion for final approval of a $7.8 billion settlement for economic and property damages caused by the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. government asks that the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana reserve making any decisions on liability or natural resource damages until a trial scheduled for January (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, No. 10-md-2179, E.D. La.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115463.
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 4 declined to dismiss a count in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq. putative class action, finding that the plaintiff properly stated a claim that the debt the defendants attempted to collect was barred by an Illinois statute of limitations (Jerold S. Rawson v. Source Receivables Management LLC, et al., No. 11-08972, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125205).
GREEN BAY, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on Aug. 30 refused to award summary judgment to companies seeking to avoid dredging portions of the Lower Fox River to remediate polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination after finding that although some data underlying studies supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to require the companies to perform such remediation was missing, it was not fatal to the agency's decision (United States of America, et al. v. NCR Corporation, et al., No. 10-C-910, E.D. Wis.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123461).
HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Aug. 31 declined to remand a dispute over the rescission of a health care insurance policy to state court, saying the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempted several of the claims (Robert Poffenbarger, et al. V. Hawaii Management Alliance Association, et al., No. 12-172, D. Hawaii; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124416).
PHILADELPHIA - A man's monocular vision does not limit any major life activity and therefore is not a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq., a Pennsylvania federal judge held Sept. 4 in granting a retailer summary judgment on the man's employment discrimination claim (Manuel Mota v. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership, No. 11-4298, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125079).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - Claims by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a state agency that waste water emissions from three West Virginia companies violated state law are not preempted by the Clean Water Act (CWA), a federal judge in West Virginia ruled Sept. 4 when granting the plaintiffs' motion to remand and denying without prejudice the companies' motion to dismiss (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Consol Energy Inc., et al., No. 11CV161, N.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124763).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge in an unpublished decision on Aug. 30 granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a health insurance reimbursement dispute, saying that the plaintiff did not meet the definition of a facility entitled to reimbursement for facility fees under the defendant's policies (Pain & Surgery Ambulatory Center v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., No. 11-5209, D. N.J.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124589).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Aug. 31 denied an excess insurer's motion to vacate a decision finding that a partial settlement in an underlying construction defect case triggered the insurer's duty to defend (Chartis Specialty Insurance Co. v. Queen Anne HS LLC, No. 11-335, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124602).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Sept. 5 approved American's proposal to reject the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) it has with its pilots, after determining that its furlough and codesharing plan complied with federal bankruptcy law (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
DENVER - A plaintiff's toxicologist can testify that connection of a water filtration system to a home's sewer line caused a man to develop Crohn's disease and his son to contract hepatitis A, a federal judge in Colorado held Aug. 31 (Nick and Roxanne Cattaneo v. Aquakleen Products, No. 10-cv-02852-RBJ-MJW, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124063).
PORTLAND, Maine - There is a possibility of coverage under a comprehensive general liability insurance policy for damage allegedly caused by an insured's faulty workmanship, a Maine federal judge ruled Aug. 30, finding that the insurer has a duty to defend (Boothbay Harbor Shipyard LLC v. North American Specialty Insurance Co., No. 12-005, D. Maine; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123525).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 30 upheld a trial court's decision to confirm an arbitrator's ruling in a construction defects case involving issues with a newly constructed home, concluding that the plaintiffs' arguments "do not meet their burden to show that the arbitrator exercised bad faith or failed to exercise honest judgment" ((Juan Villarreal, et al. v. Albert J. Hanks, No. 13-11-00700-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7357).
DETROIT - An insurance agency's agents satisfied their duty to ensure that an insurance contract properly addressed an insured's needs, on the basis of the information that was provided, a Michigan appeals panel ruled Aug. 30, affirming summary disposition on a negligence claim against the agency (Holly Deremo, et al. v. TWC & Associates Inc. d/b/a Winter Insurance, No. 305810, Mich. App.; 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 1698).
TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Court of Appeals on Aug. 31 affirmed summary judgment for a municipality named as the defendant in a workplace injury action, agreeing that the condition of a water pipe should have been obvious to an experienced water line worker (Kevin G. Didde v. City of Chapman, No. 106,090, Kan. App.; 2012 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 732).
NEW YORK - New York choice of law principles apply to a trustee's claims against auditing firm Grant Thornton LLP in a securities lawsuit because "New York has great interests in this action than Bermuda," a federal judge in New York ruled Aug. 30 in affirming a special master's report and recommendation (In re Refco Securities Litigation, No. 07 MDL 1902; [Marc S. Kirschner, at Trustee of the Refco Private Actions Trust, v. Phillip R. Bennett, et al., No. 08-8165;] S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124456).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A dying man's decision to spend his final weeks in Virginia does not preclude his membership in a class of Florida smokers for the purpose of tolling the statute of limitations, the Fifth District Florida Court of Appeal said Aug. 31, reversing dismissal of his estate representative's wrongful death claim (Annie R. Bishop v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. No. 5D11-2004, Fla. App., 5th Dist; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14624).
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay 36 states and the District of Columbia $181 million to settle allegations that it marketed its atypical antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega for off-label uses, according to Aug. 30 announcements by the parties.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A deeply divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 31 that although all the claimed steps of a method must be performed in order to find induced patent infringement, it is not necessary to prove that all steps were committed by a single entity (Akamai Technologies Inc. and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology v. Limelight Networks Inc., Nos. 09-1372, 1380, 1417; McKesson Technologies Inc. v. Epic Systems Corp., No. 10-1291, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Citibank NA on Aug. 31 settled a class action suit alleging that it wrongfully suspended or decreased the value of home equity lines of credit (HELOC), according to a document filed by the plaintiffs in a California federal court (In re: Citibank HELOC Reduction Litigation, No. 09-00350, N.D. Calif.).
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TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Supreme Court on Aug. 31 upheld a jury verdict in favor of BP Corporation North America Inc. in a class action lawsuit brought by a city claiming that the company and its subsidiaries were strictly liable for groundwater contamination stemming from the operation of an oil refinery and reversed the trial court judge's decision to award post-trial judgment to the city on its strict liability claim (City of Neodesha, Kansas v. BP Corporation North America Inc., et al., No. 1-101,183, Kan. Sup.).