LOS ANGELES - Pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens (135 S. Ct. 547, 551 ), a California federal judge on Jan. 22 ruled that when a defendant removes a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), "[t]he Court must accept these allegations as true unless 'contested by the plaintiff or questioned by the court'" (Carmen Roa, et al. v. TS Staffing Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-8424, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7442).
PHILADELPHIA - Reiterating her findings that the opinions of a plaintiffs' proffered causation expert in the Zoloft product liability multidistrict litigation were flawed and unsupported, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 23 denied their motion to reconsider her ruling excluding the expert's testimony (In Re: Zoloft [Sertraline Hydrochloride] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2342, No. 12-md-2342, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7664).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding a proposed damages expert's testimony on proposed royalty rates to be a "black box" that does not fully explain its conclusions, a California federal judge on Jan. 23 granted a motion to exclude by the defendants in a software patent lawsuit (Open Text S.A. v. Box Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-04910, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8783).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 26 granted an aircraft corporation's petition to confirm a $9,644,659 arbitration award issued under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), finding that no triable issue of fact exists (Cessna Finance Corp. v. Gulf Jet LLC, et al., No. 1:14-cv-2149, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8623).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Jan. 22 declined to certify a class of workers in the United States on H-1B visas who allege that they were forced to continue their labor in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and underpaid in violation of the Indiana Statutory Wage Law (Rituraj Singh Panwar, et al. v. Access Therapies, Inc., et al., RN Staff Inc. v. Rituraj Singh Panwar, et al., No. 12-619, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7584).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 reversed the dismissal of a due process claim in a class action Medicare payment dispute, saying the lower court erred in concluding that the plaintiffs lacked a property interest in being treated as "inpatients." The court affirmed the dismissal of a claim brought under the Medicare Act (Lee Barrows, et al. v. Sylvia Matthews Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 13-4179, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 986).
LOS ANGELES - In reversing a lower court's decision, a California appeals court on Jan. 21 held that a technician was not a hotel worker who traditionally would have been paid a gratuity for providing services and, therefore, was not among the class of hotel workers entitled to be paid service charges collected by the employer; therefore, the defendant did not violate the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by not paying the service charges to the employee (Audio Visual Services Group Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, et al., No. B256266, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 50).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Jan. 22 partially granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing two pension plans and the administrators and trustees of improperly withholding and miscalculating benefits (Wayne Bryant v. Arizona Pipe Trades Pension Trust Fund, et al., No. 13-1563, D. Ariz.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7291).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Computer manufacturer Acer America Corp. and a media buying firm mostly saw their motions to exclude expert testimony denied on Jan. 22, with a California federal judge finding their respective damages and advertising experts qualified and their testimony relevant to the contractual claims at issue in the lawsuit (Prime Media Group LLC v. Acer America Corp., No. 5:12-cv-05020, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7515).
OMAHA, Neb. - A technology firm may supplement evidence of its damages and patent validity experts in light of the firm's settlement and licensing agreement with one of the original defendants, a Nebraska federal judge ruled Jan. 23 in four related suits over two wireless network authorization patents (Prism Technologies LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., et al., Nos. 8:12-cv-00123, 8:12-cv-00124, 8:12-cv-00125 and 8:12-cv-00126, D. Neb.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8062).
COLUMBUS, Ohio. - Ohio residents who are suing E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. for personal injury and wrongful death in connection with a spill of perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C-8) on Jan. 22 moved in Ohio federal court for an order to compel the company to "immediately produce" documents that the district court has already ordered DuPont to provide in discovery (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
BOSTON - The presence of a few uninjured members in a class does not prevent certification, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21, affirming the certification of the class of indirect purchasers of Nexium in a pay-for-delay lawsuit over the heartburn drug (In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, Astrazeneca AB, et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund, et al., Nos. 14-1521 & 14-1522, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 968).
SAN FRANCISCO - Granting in part a gang member's motion to exclude the testimony of a police gang expert, a California federal judge on Jan. 20 found the expert qualified to testify about certain elements of gang organizations under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ), but not about particulars of gang members' alleged crimes (United States of America v. David Andrew Martinez, et al., No. 3:13-cv-00794, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6303).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 21 found no abuse of discretion in a trial court's decision to not hold a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786 ) over the admissibility of expert testimony regarding cell-site data in an armed robbery case, finding that a hearing was unnecessary in light of admission of the expert's testimony in a similar case (United States of America v. Daniel Rodriguez, et al., No. 13-15110, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 840).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 21 concluded that Pennsylvania law governs the scope of any duty to defend that a professional liability insurer owed to its insured for an underlying lawsuit that resulted in a $1.65 million settlement against the insured (FLS US Holdings Inc., et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No. 13-2511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6544).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by New Jersey residents seeking $10 million in punitive damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Jan. 20 ruled that the plaintiffs' attorney who released publicly a document obtained in discovery will not be sanctioned (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Finding that the plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. had "not cured the enumerated defects" identified in a previous ruling, a New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 20 again granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, this time without leave to amend (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2443, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6205).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL players concussion multidistrict litigation on Jan. 20 to compel the players to turn over a full list of health care professionals and to sign a medical records authorization form provided by the league (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on Jan. 20 mostly denied motions by the City of Milwaukee and several detectives to exclude testimony of an expert on police practices, finding that it would be relevant and helpful related to charges by a man wrongly convicted of murder (William Damon Avery, et al. v. City of Milwaukee, et al., No. 2:11-cv-00408, E.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6108).
SINGAPORE - A Singapore high court judge on Jan. 20 granted an application filed by the government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) to have a dispute referred to the high court, finding that a bilateral investment treaty between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Singapore does not apply to an investment dispute filed by a Macau gaming company (The Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic v. Sanum Investments Ltd., No.  SGHC 15, Singapore High).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After rejecting the majority of a development program's request for provisional measures, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Jan. 21 ordered that the Independent State of Papua New Guinea refrain from interfering with the program's management for the remainder of the arbitration (PNG Sustainable Development Program v. Independent State of Papua New Guinea, No. ARB/13/33, ICSID).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Jan. 20 denied in part an insurer's motion to compel discovery, holding that documents pertaining to other companies its reinsurer dealt with are not discoverable (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Plaintiffs secured a nearly $1 million asbestos verdict through improper consolidation and the type of "every exposure" testimony rejected by Pennsylvania courts, Ford argues in a Jan. 20 brief to the state's top court (Richard Rost and Joyce Rost v. Ford Motor Co., No. 56 EAP 2014, Pa. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Jan. 20 officially constituted a tribunal to hear an arbitration dispute filed by Canadian resource and Swiss gas corporations against the Slovak Republic in relation to rights over a talc deposit (EuroGas Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. v. Slovak Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/14/14).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 16 agreed to transfer an individual wage suit to the federal court where a similar class complaint was filed based on the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' "first-to-file" rule (Jack Hagans v. Integrated Production Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-2965, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5584).