WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several U.S. government entities that have been named as defendants in three lawsuits related to the uncovered surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) by a well-known political activist and his co-plaintiffs filed an answer to the first of those suits on Feb. 14, asserting that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia lacks jurisdiction due to the plaintiffs' lack of standing to sue (Larry Klayman, et al. v. Barrack Hussein Obama, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00851, 1:13-cv-00881 and 1:14-cv-00092, D. D.C.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - The owners of a Port Allen, La., acetylene facility sued in Louisiana state court met their diversity jurisdiction burden to remove lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage from a May 2012 explosion and fire to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, the presiding judge ruled Feb. 18 (Caryln Gordon, et al. v. Air Liquide-Big Three Inc., et al., No. 12-396, M.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19929; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19928).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 18 preliminarily approved a settlement that would allow CDS Client Services Inc. to exit a class action arising from allegedly improper debt-resolution activities in exchange for CDS's cooperation as the suit proceeds against Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC (Reece Harrison v. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC, et al., No. 12-2145, D. Minn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Citibank Inc. will pay up to $7.9 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently charged its debit card customers overdraft fees, according to a document filed Feb. 14 in a California federal court by the plaintiff in a putative class action (Ronald S. Arendas v. Citibank Inc., et al., No. 11-6462, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 14 rejected a request by a number of financial institutions to reconsider her ruling denying use of documents from an unrelated actions for discovery, motion practice and trial, ruling that the defendants had ample time to include the documents in discovery earlier in the action (Federal Housing Finance Agency v. HSBC North America Holdings Inc., et al., Nos. 11-6189, 11-6190, 11-6193, 11-6195, 11-6198, 11,6200, 11-6201, 11-6202, 11-6203, 11-6739 and 11-7010, S.D. N.Y.).
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Council on Feb. 15 announced that it has revised its organizational structure, which includes the establishment of an executive committee to serve as its principal body and the retirement of various members.
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of wage-and-hour citations by the state clears the way for a wage-and-hour class complaint to proceed in federal court in its entirety, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 13 (Margot Camp, et al. v. Jeffrey P. Alexander DDS, et al., No. 13-3386, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19131).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A trial court properly allowed a defense medical expert to testify that cortisone injections could have caused a shoulder injury alleged by the plaintiff to have been caused by a surgeon's negligence, a Kentucky Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 14 (Lisa Marie Borboa, et al. v. Casey R. Starsiak, et al., No. 2012-CA-001642-mr no. 2012-CA-001701-mr, Ky. App.; 2014 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 125).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on Feb. 14 found that a defendant company's destruction of the hard drive of a former marketing employee warranted the imposition of an adverse inference jury instruction and monetary sanctions (Jackson Family Wines Inc., et al. v. Diageo North America Inc., et al., No. 11-5639, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19420).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a motion by a clothing retailer to transfer a wage-and-hour class complaint to a different California federal court (Alexander Brown, et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., et al., No. 13-5205, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19414).
BOISE, Idaho - In a contentious 3-2 decision on Feb. 14, a majority of the Idaho Supreme Court clarified the law on experts' use of differential diagnosis while the dissent said it overturned established case law and set new rules solely so that the plaintiff in a medical negligence case could prevail (Judy Nield v. Pocatello Health Services, No. 38823-2011, 2014 Opinion No. 20, Idaho Sup.; 2014 Ida. LEXIS 49).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 13 dismissed a class action lawsuit related to the denial of health care benefits based on a plan's subrogation provisions, saying that some claims were preempted by federal law and that the plan administrator acted in accordance with plan terms in denying benefits (Joe Hollingshead v. Aetna Health Inc., No. 13-231, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18770).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a Korean automotive firm's request to compel arbitration in Singapore of a dispute over the alleged piracy of a half-shaft joint, finding that certain criteria for injunctive relief were not met (Nexteer Automotive Corp. v. Korea Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., No. 13-CV-15189, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18250).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 12 denied a motion for class certification filed in a suit accusing clothes dryer manufacturers of violating California consumer protection laws by marketing the dryers as having stainless steel drums and failing to disclose that the front portion of the drums were made of a material more susceptible to corrosion and chipping (Martin Murray v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., et al., No. 09-5744, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18082).
SAN FRANCISCO - Companies accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and plaintiffs should share the costs associated with retrieving, reviewing and copying timesheets and payroll documents from 2002 until 2009 that were requested by the plaintiffs, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled Feb. 14 (Jemar Thompson, et al. v. C&H Sugar Company Inc., No. 12-cv-00391 NC, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19125).
WORCESTER, Mass. - A federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 14 denied a plaintiff company's request for unredacted copies of four email chains that were shown to two deponents before their depositions, after finding that the communications did not refresh their memories (Accusoft Corporation v. Quest Diagnostics Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-40007-TSH, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18976).
CHICAGO - An attorney who was part of a large group of lawyers in multiple states representing landowners challenging the installation of fiber-optic cable on their properties without their consent is bound by a mediated final fee allocation even though he never signed it, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 14 (Brent Bauer, et al. v. Qwest Communications Company, LLC, et al., No. 12-3036, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2840).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 11 denied a motion to consolidate cases brought by the United States and state attorneys general and several merchants challenging American Express Co. and American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc.'s (collectively, American Express) "anti-steering" rules, which prevent U.S. merchants from providing consumers with incentives to use forms of payment that are less expensive to the merchant than American Express-branded payment cards (In re: American Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2221, United States of America, et al. v. American Express Co., et al., No. 10-4496, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17226).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals panel on Feb. 13 affirmed the denial of insureds' motion for a protective order against a condominium association regarding a letter allegedly concerning attorney-client-privileged information between the insureds and their insurer over coverage for construction defects claims (Condominiums at Stonebridge Owners' Association Inc. v. K&D Group Inc., et al., No. 100261, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 493).
NEW ORLEANS - The spouses of employees who are suing their employer over an incentive points program can't be included in the number of class members in order to decide jurisdiction, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (Sharon Stump, et al. v. Samuel Camp, et al., No. 13-6739, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18411).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 13 conditionally certified a collective wage and hour action filed by three Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) technical support workers seeking overtime wages (Eric Benedict, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Company, No. 13-119, N.D. Calif.).
TEXARKANA, Texas - A trial court should not have allowed a counselor to testify that a former jailer accused of shooting her 10th husband in the head four times and burning his body in his pickup truck showed characteristics similar to a personality disorder, a Sixth District Texas Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 12 (Sharon Anne Maxwell v. State of Texas, No. 06-12-00194-CR, Texas App., 6th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 1514).
NEW YORK - The bankrupt New York City Opera Inc. on Feb. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a motion by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors that seeks the authority to conduct an examination by compelling the production of documents related to proposals submitted by parties that may want to take control of the opera (In Re: New York City Opera Inc., No. 13-13240, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
BOSTON - On Feb. 12, the federal judge in Massachusetts overseeing the multidistrict litigation involving purchasers of Nexium's antitrust claims - that the manufacturer of the heartburn medication and generic drug manufacturers entered into reverse-payment agreements to keep generic versions of the medication out of the market - made rulings on pending summary judgment motions and continued the date the trial was to commence (In re Nexium [Esomeprazole] Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-02409, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17718).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 denied Apple Inc.'s motion to stay pending appeal the portion of a district court's order that imposed an external compliance monitor after the district court ruled that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books (United States of America v. Apple Inc., Nos. 13-3741, 14-60, 2nd Cir.; Texas, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-61, 2nd Cir.).