7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Lawsuit Challenging Copayments

    CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed the dismissal of a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that six health insurance companies violated Wisconsin state law by requiring copayments for chiropractic care, saying that although the insurance companies were proper defendants, the practice of requiring chiropractic copayments is not a fiduciary act under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Cynthia Larson, et al. v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-1256, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15272).

    Maryland Federal Judge Preliminarily Approves HVAC Techs' Wage Settlement

    GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on July 22 granted preliminary approval to a $68,055.75 settlement that will end a complaint seeking unpaid overtime wages for a class of HVAC technicians (Christopher Edelen v. American Residential Services, LLC, et al., No. 11-2744, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102373).

    Federal Judge Consolidates 2 Class Actions Alleging Mold Defect In Washers

    NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 24 found that the consolidation of three class actions filed in relation to defects with front-loading washing machines would be inappropriate, but he ordered the consolidation of two cases, which both assert a common mold-related defect (Robert N. Durso, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, et al., Nos. 2:12-cv-5352, 2:12-cv-5412 and 2:12-cv-5440, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103403).

    Expert's 'Each Exposure' Testimony Not Novel, Maryland Top Court Says

    BALTIMORE - Expert testimony that each exposure to chrysotile asbestos increased a woman's risk of mesothelioma is not a novel scientific theory given the levels of exposure at issue, Maryland's top court held July 25 (Bernard Dixon, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 82 September Term 2012, Md. App.).

    N.J. Federal Judge Agrees Wage Claims Against Wal-Mart Are Time-Barred

    NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 23 granted a summary judgment motion by Wal-Mart Inc., finding that the individual wage claims of 11 employees, all that remained after a larger class complaint was dismissed, were time-barred (Victor Manuel Zavala, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 10-5301, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102449).

    California Federal Judge Partially Grants Arbitration In Drug Trade Secret Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 22 granted in part and denied in part a motion to compel arbitration in a class action lawsuit, alleging that a pharmacy benefit management company (PBM) and its related entities made unauthorized disclosures of customer information (Uptown Drug Company Inc. v. CVS Caremark Corp., et al., No. 12-6559, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102265).

    Garlock Loses Bid To Unseal Evidence Of Trust Claims, Asbestos Exposures

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on July 23 denied a request by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC to make public evidentiary documents that were filed under seal for Garlock's asbestos liability estimation trial, including evidence that Garlock says shows that some claimants lied about their exposures to asbestos products to boost their judgments or settlements against Garlock in the tort system (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

    Lead Plaintiffs Still Fail To Plead Scienter Against Auditors, Judge Rules

    NEW YORK - In an opinion made available on July 19, a federal judge in New York denied lead plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a second amended complaint in a securities class action, ruling that the amended complaint does not cure the deficiencies that led to dismissal of federal securities act claims against outside auditors in a prior ruling (In re Advanced Battery Technologies Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 11-2279, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102325).

    Production Company Moves For Reconsideration Of Order Dismissing Petition

    NEW YORK - A motion picture and video production company on July 23 moved in a New York federal court for reconsideration of an order that dismissed its petition to confirm an arbitration award that was issued in its favor and against a Japanese corporation in relation to a license dispute by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) (Multi-Format Inc. v. Panasonic Corp., No. 13-972, S.D. N.Y.).

    Judge: Discovery Update To Be Given To Special Deputy Receiver Of Insolvent Insurers

    ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on July 19 ordered defendants to provide a discovery status update to the special deputy receiver (SDR) of three insolvent insurers regarding their larger document collection (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101135).

    Parties In Wage-And-Hour Dispute Ordered To Show Why Suit Should Not Be Remanded

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on July 22 refused to rule on a motion seeking approval of a proposed settlement in a wage-and-hour class suit and instead ordered the parties to show why federal jurisdiction is proper or consent to the case being remanded to state court (Jesus Gutierrez, et al. v. Asset Management Specialists, Inc., et al., No. 13-149, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102339).

    Antitrust, Some ERISA Claims Dismissed From Wellpoint Reimbursement MDL

    LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on July 19 dismissed antitrust and other claims alleging that WellPoint Inc. and other companies conspired to use a flawed database to set the rates for which out-of-network medical services (ONS) are reimbursed (In re: WellPoint Inc. Out-Of-Network "UCR" Rates Litigation, MDL No. 2:09-ml-02074, C.D. Calif.).

    5th Circuit Denies Transocean's Motion To Stay Ruling Enforcing Subpoenas

    NEW ORLEANS - Transocean Deepwater Drilling Inc.'s motion to stay pending appeal of the enforcement of government subpoenas requiring the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to produce documents related to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)'s investigation of the explosion of the rig in April 2010 was denied by a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 23; it found that the company was unable to show a likelihood of success on its claims and that producing the requested documents would result in an irreparable injury (United States of America v. Transocean Deepwater Drilling Inc., No. 13-20243, 5th Cir.).

    Request For Sanctions Denied In Class Suit Alleging Bacteria-Laden Hot Tubs

    MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on July 23 denied a motion seeking sanctions against counsel representing a class of cruise passengers who allege bacteria-related injuries after soaking in hot tubs on Carnival Corp. ships (Tab Lankford, et al. v. Carnival Corp., d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., No. 12-24408, S.D. Fla.).

    2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal In Securities Class Action Lawsuit

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit filed by purchasers of 44 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) because the investors failed to plead a material misrepresentation, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 22 (In re ProShares Trust Securities Litigation, No. 12-3981, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14764).

    Judge Enjoins Pharmaceutical Company From Pursuing Arbitration In Switzerland

    CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 19 granted a Delaware company's request for permanent injunction and declaratory relief, finding that as a nonsignatory to a license agreement for the marketing and sale of a pharmaceutical in the United Kingdom, it was not required to arbitrate claims against a Netherlands entity before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) (Hospira Inc. v. Therabel Pharma N.V., No. 12-8544, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102196).

    3rd Circuit: Title Agency's Recording Fee Did Not Violate RESPA

    PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 18 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a title agency after finding that a recording fee it charged a couple when refinancing their loan did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) but reinstated the plaintiffs' claims that the agency violated state contract laws and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) (Arthur R. Tubbs, et al. v. North American Title Agency Inc., et al., No. 11-4510, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14722).

    Gas Station Operators Don't Support Sherman Act Claims, 4th Circuit Rules

    RICHMOND, Va. - Gas station operators failed to present sufficient evidence to defeat wholesale distributors' motion for summary judgment on the operators' monopolization and attempted monopolization claims, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 19 in an unpublished opinion (SSS Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Nov Petroleum Realty, LLC, et al., No. 12-2088, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14641).

    Dating Service Will Pay $900,000 To Settle Claims That It Refused To Hire Males

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Hallandale Beach, Fla., matchmaking services company has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a sex discrimination class suit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity announced July 22 (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. It's Just Lunch USA, LLC, No. 13-61518, S.D. Fla.).

    6th Circuit Affirms Class Certification In Moldy Washing Machine Action

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 affirmed an Ohio federal court decision to certify a liability class in relation to claims asserted by consumers who purchased washing machines that allegedly grow mold, finding that various prerequisites for class certification were met (In re: Whirlpool Corporation Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 10-4188, 6th Cir.; 13a0180p.06; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14519).

    6th Circuit Upholds Ruling Denying Motion To Reopen Foreclosure Suit

    CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 17 upheld a federal judge in Michigan's ruling refusing to reopen a woman's class action lawsuit challenging the foreclosure on her home, finding that consent orders entered into between two defendants and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in April 2011 did not affect the outcome of her case (Patricia Green, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., No. 12-2275, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14673).

    Court Affirms Denial Of Certification Of Nurses' Competition Law Class Claims

    SAN DIEGO - A trial court judge provided an appellate opinion as an alternative explanation for his ruling denying class certification of a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim but did not fail to address the claim, a state appeals court held July 17 (Juan Marcos Almaraz, et al. v. Sharp Healthcare, et al., No. D059648, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1).

    Shipping Companies Argue For Confirmation Of London Arbitration Award

    NEW YORK - Four foreign shipping companies on July 17 filed a memorandum in a New York federal court in support of their petition to confirm a London arbitration award that was issued in their favor and against an oil corporation in a charterparty dispute (Roxy Inc., et al. v. International Oil Overseas Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03625, S.D. N.Y.).

    10th Circuit Upholds Judgment On Insurers' Receiver's Successor Liability Claim

    DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 affirmed summary judgment to three companies regarding successor liability and fraudulent transfer claims filed by the receiver of two insolvent insurance companies concerning the sale of assets (State of Oklahoma, ex rel. John Doak, insurance commissioner as receiver for Imperial Casualty and Indemnity Co. v. Acrisure Business Outsourcing Services LLC, et al., Nos. 12-6179 & 12-6180, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14611).

    Magistrate Compels Arbitration Of Claims Related To Seaside Mexican Development

    MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on July 18 stayed a case filed by the purchaser of a unit in a condominium development in Mexico that was never built, finding that his claims were subject to an arbitration clause in the parties' underlying contract (Robert W. Felland v. Patrick Clifton, et al., No. 10-cv-664, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100197).