HARRISBURG, Pa. - A divided Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on April 15 overturned summary judgment for farmers accused of creating an odor nuisance by the application of treated sewage as fertilizer on cropland; the court affirmed dismissal of a negligence claim for failing to plead a duty the farmers owe to their neighbors (Ralph Gilbert, et al. v. Synargo Central, et al., No. 119 MDA 2013, Pa. Super.; 2014 Pa. Super. LEXIS 167).
CHICAGO - A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on April 14 ruled that a majority of documents sought through subpoenas issued from defendants in a legal malpractice case to an attorney and firm that formerly represented the plaintiff are privileged, even though the communications at issue involve a deceased client (Cynthia A. D'Andre v. Theodore J. Priester, et al., No. 13 C 4117, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50880).
DALLAS - Coinlab Inc., a creditor in the Chapter 15 bankruptcy of bitcoin exchange operator MtGox Co. Ltd., on April 15 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas opposing a motion filed by the company seeking to delay the deposition of MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles, arguing that the debtor has failed to show why a continuance is warranted, particularly in light of the fact that MtGox is "already well aware of issues concerning" federal agencies regarding homeland security and financial crimes (In Re: MtGox Co. Ltd.,. No. 14-31229, Chapter 15, N.D. Texas Bkcy.).
DETROIT - A magistrate judge's rulings in the upcoming trial of claims brought by the widow of a Ford Motor Co. mechanic who died of leukemia were upheld April 15 by a Michigan federal judge (Judith A. Hendrian v. Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., No. 08-14371, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on April 15 entered into a stipulation with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York under which Kodak would pay the insurer $3,917,710.62 for unpaid insurance premium balances (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Alleging that the governmental defendants in lawsuits related to the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) have made "material misrepresentations and material omissions of fact" in opposing the claims against them in federal court, a well-known political activist and his co-plaintiffs on April 14 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for an order to show cause why the defendants should not be sanctioned for these misrepresentations (Larry Klayman, et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama, et al., Nos. 1:13-cv-00851, 1:13-cv-00881 and 1:14-cv-00092, D. D.C.).
MARSHALL, Texas - A patent dispute over digital rights management (DRM) and digital content distribution will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a federal judge ruled April 15 (ContentGuard Holdings Inc. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 14-61, E.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51676).
BATON ROUGE, La. - One of the personal injury lawsuits consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana with class actions against the owners and operators of a chemical refinery that exploded in March 2012 was remanded April 14 on the recommendation of the magistrate judge, who concluded that the removing defendants failed to satisfy the amount-in-controversy burden for federal jurisdiction (William Harden v. Westlake Vinyls Co., et al., No. 13-268, M.D. La.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company for American Airlines Inc., on April 14 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that a former pilot's $5 million claim against the estate should not be permitted because it was not timely filed and because he has failed to satisfy the burden that allows for late claims (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 revived a woman's personal injury claims brought against a movie theater, concluding that there was enough evidence regarding the defendant's actual notice of a dangerous condition in its bathroom to allow the case to proceed (Eileen Sheil v. Regal Entertainment Group, No. 13-2626, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6980).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey federal judge did not err in granting several generic drug makers a summary judgment of patent invalidity, according to an April 14 ruling by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Apotex Inc., No. 13-1128; Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., No. 13-1161; Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Watson Laboratories Inc., No. 13-1162; Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., No. 13-1163; Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Mylan Inc., No. 13-1164, Fed. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 affirmed a $201,210.51 verdict for the plaintiff in a premises liability action, concluding that a new trial was not appropriate (Charles Max McLendon v. Big Lots Stores Inc., et al., No. 13- 20338, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7004).
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge's award of $933,795.56 in attorney fees and costs in a Lanham Act dispute between competitors was not erroneous, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 15 (eMove Inc. v. SMD Software Inc. et al., No. 12-17487, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A widow successfully rebutted any prima facie showing by Union Carbide Corp. that its asbestos-containing phenolic resin product could not have led to a man's injuries, a New York appellate court held April 15 (In re New York City Asbestos Litigation Alice Kestenbaum, etc. v. Durez Corp., Union Carbide Corp., No. 12223, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
BOSTON - Massachusetts' emergency ban on the prescribing of the opioid drug Zohydro ER is preempted by federal law, a federal judge ruled April 15 in granting manufacturer Zogenix Inc.'s motion for a preliminary injunction (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 14-689, D. Mass.).
NEW ORLEANS - Dismissal of an investor lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission was proper, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 14, because the investors' claims fall under the discretionary function exception of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) (Reuel Anderson, et al. v. United States of America, No. 13-30897, 5th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 held that there is no directors and officers (D&O) liability coverage for underlying allegations that an insured violated California Military and Veterans Code Section 394 and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act when it fired an employee (Forest Meadows Owners Assoc. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 12-16073, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6993).
NEW ORLEANS - A unanimous Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed in an April 14 order the remand of consolidated class actions against the owners and operators of a chemical refinery that exploded in March 2012 and resulted in a shelter-in-place order; the trial court concluded that the removing defendants have not shown federal jurisdiction by a preponderance of evidence (Blake Perritt, et al. v. Westlake Vinyls Co., et al., No. 14-30145, 5th Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 14 denied a renewed motion to certify two classes in a reimbursement lawsuit filed against a health care insurer, a database company and the database's parent company (Darlery Franco v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 07-6039, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51138).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 granted a motion to amend the class definition and partially granted a summary judgment motion both filed by current and former student-athletes who have accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association of misappropriating their names, images and likenesses in violation of their statutory and common-law rights of publicity and of violating federal antitrust law by conspiring with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to restrain competition in the market for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses in game footage (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50693).
BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11 vacated a remand order issued by a bankruptcy appellate panel and ruled that an insurance company that served as a lender for a hotel construction project was entitled to post-petition interest from the date the debtor sold the hotel at a rate of 14.5 percent (The Prudential Insurance of America v. SW Boston Hotel Venture LLC, et al. $(In Re: SW Boston Hotel Venture LLC$), No. 12-9008, Chapter 11, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6768).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 ordered that a worker who filed a wage-and-hour class complaint against his former employer must submit to arbitration of his individual claims pursuant to his employment agreement terms (Manuel Castro v. Cintas Corporation No. 3, a Nevada Corporation, No. 13-5330, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50695).
NEW ORLEANS - There are factual disputes as to the existence, transmission, receipt and sufficiency of a fourth proof of loss seeking additional coverage for Hurricane Isaac damage, a Louisiana federal judge ruled April 14, denying a motion for summary judgment filed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit (Ivory Burks v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 13-6490 SECTION "E", E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51220).