LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    College Athletes Antitrust Claims Against NCAA Survive, Federal Judge Rules

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Former and current student athletes may continue with their claim that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violated 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, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 25 in denying the NCAA's motion to dismiss (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153730).

    Australian Justice Finds Landlord Complied With Asbestos Cleanup Orders

    SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian justice on Oct. 28 dismissed an action filed by a tenant who alleged that asbestos at a rental property put him and his family in danger, finding that his landlord had complied with previous court orders requiring him to remediate the site (El-Saeidy v NSW Land & Housing Corporation, $(No $) $(2013$) NSWSC 1554, New South Wales Sup.).

    Missouri Panel Reverses Decision For Defendants In Medical Malpractice Case

    ST. LOUIS - The Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals on Oct. 29 overturned summary judgment for two defendants in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the plaintiffs presented expert testimony establishing a violation of the standard of care (Kathy Wacker, et al. v. St. Francis Medical Center, et al., No. ED99789, Mo. App., Eastern Dist.; 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 1267).

    Expedited Discovery Allowed In Hacking, Identity Theft Case

    SEATTLE - Two plaintiffs who allege a seven-year campaign of online harassment and identity theft by an unknown individual have sufficiently established that expedited discovery is warranted and necessary to pursue their claims against the Doe defendant, a Washington federal judge found Oct. 28, granting their ex parte motion (Ariel Chavan, et al. v. John Doe, No. 2:13-cv-01823, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154497).

    Judge: Insureds Fail To Show Insurer's Direct Liability To Insurance Broker's Theft

    MADISON, Wis. - Insureds failed to establish a basis against insurers for direct or derivative liability with regard to an insurance broker's alleged embezzlement, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Oct. 25; however, the judge found that the insureds do state a viable cause of action with respect to the broker's acts of fraud accomplished under the guise of apparent agency authority (Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Company Inc., et al. v. Manson Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 12-00879, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153391).

    New Jersey Judge Denies Dismissal of Trademark Claims Without Prejudice

    TRENTON, N.J. - Efforts by a trademark infringement and counterfeiting defendant to enforce an arbitration clause were unsuccessful Oct. 28, when a New Jersey federal judge found that it remains unclear whether the parties had a "meeting of the minds" on the terms of the relevant agreement (Tracy Hughes v. Patricia Lawrence Kolaras, No. 13-57, D. N.J.).

    San Bernardino Says Unions' 9th Circuit Appeal Is 'Legally Inappropriate'

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The bankrupt City of San Bernardino, Calif., on Oct. 28 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California opposing a motion by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) seeking certification of a direct appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the city's eligibility to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy (In Re: San Bernardino, Calif., No. 12-28006, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

    6 Chambers Of Commerce: Merger Of US Airways, American Airlines Should Be Allowed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six chambers of commerce on Oct. 29 moved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for permission to file amicus curiae briefs in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. related to the proposed merger of the two airlines. The chambers of commerce contend that their respective communities will benefit from the proposed merger (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

    9th Circuit: Ralphs Grocery's Arbitration Policy Is Unconscionable

    PASADENA, Calif. - A grocery store chain's arbitration policy is unconscionable under California contract law and that state law is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Zenia Chavarria, et al. v. Ralphs Grocery Company, No. 11-56673, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21959).

    3rd Circuit Upholds Decision For Government In Personal Injury Action

    PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 29 affirmed a defense verdict in a workplace accident case brought against the federal government, finding no error with the trial court's decision regarding the proximate cause of a man's injuries suffered on a military base (Frank Summers, et al. v. The United States of America, No. 12-3961, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22025).

    2nd Circuit Upholds Defendants' Summary Judgment Award In Contamination Suit

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York did not err in awarding summary judgment to BP Products North America Inc. and an environmental assessment firm over alleged contamination at a plaintiff's property, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 29, finding that the plaintiff's appeal regarding its claim against BP lacked merit and that the plaintiff failed to establish any privity between itself and the environmental assessment firm (Ridge Seneca Plaza LLC v. BP Products North America Inc., et al., No. 12-4754, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21999).

    Unsolicited Communications Policy Exclusion Bars Coverage, 6th Circuit Affirms

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 30 held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured under a policy's "unsolicited communications exclusion," further finding that the insured had adequate notice of the exclusion (MDC Acquisition Co., n/k/a WBC Group LLC, et al. v. Traveler's Property Casualty Company of America, No. 12-4340, 6th Cir.).

    ObTape MDL Judge Denies New Trial For Mentor's Remark About Withdrawal

    COLUMBUS, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge overseeing the Mentor ObTape multidistrict litigation on Oct. 28 denied the plaintiff's motion for a new trial, saying the defendant's comment in closing arguments about a lack of Food and Drug Administration action was not improper (Irene Morey v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, No. 4:11-5065, M.D. Ga., Columbus Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153851).

    Rabobank To Pay $1 Billion To Settle Allegations That It Manipulated Libor

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dutch bank Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) has agreed to pay more than $1 billion in civil and criminal penalties to settle allegations that it manipulated the London InterBank Offered Rate (Libor), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Oct. 29.

    Florida Federal Jury Finds Former Smoker Did Not Meet Engle Class Standard

    MIAMI - A federal jury in Florida on Oct. 29 found for Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Group LLC and against the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 2001 (Ronnie L. Jacobson, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-23781, S.D. Fla.).

    Class Of MF Global Customers: Allegations Against Auditor Are Pleaded 'Sufficiently'

    NEW YORK - Customers who invested private funds with bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on Oct. 28 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that their class action complaint sufficiently alleges a negligence claim against MFGH's auditor, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PWC) (Joseph Deangelis, et al. v. Jon Corzine $(In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd. Investment Litigation$), No. 11-07866, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y.).

    Florida Appeals Panel Upholds Decision For Home Depot In Injury Case

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The First District Florida Court of Appeal on Oct. 25 affirmed summary judgment for a retailer in a premises liability action, agreeing that an allegedly dangerous condition in the store's parking lot was open and obvious (Charles Ramsey, et al. v. Home Depot USA Inc., No. 1D12-5781, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 17057).

    Judge: Stay, Bifurcation Not Merited In Professional Liability Coverage Dispute

    WHEELING, W.Va. - Despite the existence of a parallel proceeding in state court, a West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 25 declined to abstain or remand a real estate firm's declaratory and contractual claims against its insurer, finding no indication of "exceptional circumstances" to warrant such an action (Paull Associates Realty LLC v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 5:13-cv-00080, N.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153534).

    Judge Certifies Class In Securities Class Action Suit Over Misrepresentations

    LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Oct. 25 certified a class in a securities lawsuit, ruling that lead plaintiffs have met all statutory guidelines for class certification (In re China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 11-2768, C.D. Calif.).

    Federal Circuit: Denial Of Fee Award In Patent Case Was Proper

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in upholding a jury's determination that an intervertebral implant patent is invalid, nor in denying the prevailing defendant an award of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 29 (Synthes USA LLC v. Spinal Kinetics Inc., No. 13-1047, Fed. Cir.).

    Court Rejects Sophisticated Intermediary Defense, Affirms $14.5M Punitive Award

    LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Oct. 29 affirmed a jury's finding holding John Crane Inc. 70 percent liable for a man's mesothelioma, affirmed a $14.5 million punitive damages award against the company and rejected the argument that the Navy's status as a sophisticated intermediary prevented liability (William Pfeifer, et al. v. Aurora Pump Co., et al., No. B232315, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

    California Court Finds Employee Was Entitled To Fees Related To Mold Case

    LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Oct. 24 affirmed a decision that awarded fees, finding that a woman who claimed that she was exposed to mold while working for a school district was the prevailing party in the litigation and was entitled to the fees (Christina Garcia v. Governing Board of Bellflower Unified School District, No. B247320, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 853).

    DuPont Agrees To Resolve Clean Air Act Violations For $800,000

    PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont) on Oct. 28 agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty for Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at its facility in Washington, W.Va., to resolve a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a court filing in West Virginia federal court (United States of America, et al. v. E.I. du Pont Nemours and Co, No. 13-cv-27030, S.D. W. Va.).

    Judge Strikes Fraudulent Concealment Allegations Against Insurance Brokers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Oct. 25 struck a putative class plaintiff's allegations of fraudulent concealment against insurance brokers but refused to strike breach of contract and tortious interference claims (Andrea Cannon, on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-465, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153447).

    Judge Dismisses Class Action Alleging Scheme Involving Forced-Placed Insurance

    MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Oct. 25 dismissed a class action lawsuit alleging that mortgage lenders and insurers fraudulently force-placed hazard insurance policies (Colleen Decambaliza v. QBE Holdings Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-286-bbc, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153392).