Most Discrimination Claims Against Accounting Firm Survive Bid To Dismiss

    NEW YORK - Most class and individual claims filed by five women who allege that the global accounting firm they formerly worked for discriminates against female employees are sufficiently pleaded to survive a motion to dismiss, a New York federal judge held Feb. 7 (Donna Kassman, et al. v. KPMG LLP, No. 11-3743, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17491).

    Federal Judge Compels Arbitration Of Seaman's Injury-Related Claims

    MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of a case filed by an employee who claims he suffered injuries aboard a ship, finding that the arbitration clause in his employment contract was enforceable (Alexandre X. Miranda v. NCL $(Bahamas$) Ltd., No. 12-23790, S.D.Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17332).

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Remands Gas Royalty Dispute For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge on Feb. 8 granted remand to plaintiffs seeking declaratory judgment in a natural gas royalty dispute removed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, finding that the defendant failed to satisfy the amount in controversy requirement (Chieftain Royalty Co., et al. v. Apache Corp., No. 12-834, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17137).

    Mo. Federal Judge Denies Motion For Preservation Order In Donning, Doffing Suit

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Feb. 6 denied a motion by employees in a donning and doffing suit for preservation of evidence in the form of preventing the employer from making compensation policy changes without first providing 30 days notice (Jacob Ingersoll, et al. v. Farmland Foods, Inc., No. 10-6046, W.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15943).

    Magistrate Judge Says Expert Can Have Access To Confidential Records

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A federal magistrate judge in Kansas overseeing a patent infringement case on Feb. 8 held that a proposed expert for the plaintiff company can have access to documents that are protected from disclosure by a protective order because his previous work for a company affiliated with defendant Sprint Nextel Corp. does not disqualify him from being an expert (High Point Sarl v. Sprint Nextel Corporation, et al., No. 09-2269-CM/DJW, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17366).

    ERISA Plan Participants Seek Judge's Recusal In Reimbursement Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. - Health plan participants who are suing a health care insurer for using flawed data to calculate the reimbursement rate for out-of-network providers on Feb. 7 moved for the federal judge in New Jersey who is overseeing the action to recuse himself and vacate his decision denying class certification (Darlery Franco v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 07-6039, D. N.J.).

    Federal Judge: Employees' Class Suit Over Secondhand Smoke Belongs In State Court

    LAS VEGAS - A group of Las Vegas casino employees claiming they are harmed by the levels of secondhand smoke failed to prove that their complaint belongs in federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a Las Vegas federal judge ruled Feb. 6 (Kanie Kastroll, et al. v. Wynn Resorts, Ltd., No. 09-2034, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16778).

    Permanent Court Of Arbitration Finds Ecuador Violated Interim Awards

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Feb. 7 issued an award in a treaty dispute filed by Chevron Corp. and Texaco Petroleum Corp., finding that the Republic of Ecuador violated two previous awards issued by the tribunal when it failed to prevent the enforcement of a $19 billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron (Chevron Corporation, et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. 2009-23, PCA).

    ICSID Denies East Kutai's Request To Be Added As Party To BIT Arbitration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 6 released a decision that rejected an application filed by the Government of the Regency of East Kutai to be joined as a party to an arbitration filed by a mining company against the Republic of Indonesia, finding that the company's acceptance of arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty did not include third parties (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14).

    Class Action Over Diminished Value Reimbursement Dismissed For Lack Of Standing

    ATLANTA - Three putative class representatives saw their declaratory class action against an auto insurer dismissed Feb. 5 by a Georgia federal judge, who concluded that they were trying "to characterize their suit . . . as something other than direct action," which they did not have standing to assert as third parties (Annette Tiller, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03432, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15726).

    Federal Judge Issues Order Approving 5 Defective Drywall Settlements

    NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana presiding over the massive Chinese-manufactured defective drywall litigation issued an order on Feb. 7 approving five class action settlements with manufacturers, builders, suppliers and installers of Chinese drywall and their various insurers, estimated to be in excess of $1 billion (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, No. 2:09md02047, E.D. La.).

    English Justice Refuses To Set Aside Award Of Interest In Shipping Dispute

    LONDON - After finding that the purchaser of a vessel provided no basis for why it would be entitled to interest in an escrow account that was created pending the outcome of arbitration, an English justice on Feb. 5 refused to set aside a second decision that was made in the case and that awarded accrued interest to the seller of the ship (Cadogan Maritime Inc. v. Turner Shipping Inc., No. $(2013$) EWHC 138 $(Comm$), England and Wales High, Commercial).

    Michigan Federal Judge Dismisses As Untimely Antitrust Claims Related To Merger

    DETROIT - Claims that a producer of oxidates monopolized the domestic market for oxidates following its purchase of a competitor's product line in violation of federal and state antitrust laws were untimely filed, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Feb. 5, concluding that price increases were not "independent" "acts that were unrelated to the merger" (Z Technologies Corporation v. The Lubrizol Corporation, No. 12-12206, E.D. Mich.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15125).

    9th Circuit Affirms DNA Expert Admission, Sexual Abuse Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - A trial judge did not err in admitting expert DNA testimony implicating a man in the sexual abuse of an 8-year-old boy, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 5 (United States of America v. Tymond J. Preston, No 11-10511, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 2494).

    7th Circuit Affirms Decertification Of Employee Class In Wage-And-Hour Suit

    CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 4 affirmed the decertification ruling in a suit filed by installation technicians seeking unpaid wages and overtime; however, the appellate panel noted that an alternative - a complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor - was a viable option (Aaron L. Espenscheid, et al. v. DirectSat USA, LLC, et al., No. 12-1943, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 2409).

    Florida Court Finds Shareholder Lacked Authority To File Arbitration

    MIAMI - In a majority ruling, a Florida court on Feb. 6 reversed a trial court's decision that confirmed an arbitration award in favor of a shareholder and a Nicaraguan joint venture in a dispute over commission payments for the sale of wind turbines, finding that the shareholder did not have the authority to file arbitration proceedings (Suzlon Energy A/S etc. v. Ventus De Nicaragua S.A., No. 3D11-1087, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 1746).

    Celexa/Lexapro MDL Judge Denies Class Certification For Underage Patients

    BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Feb. 5 denied class certification of classes of underage patients who were allegedly prescribed the antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro for off-label uses in violation of state consumer protection laws (In Re: Celexa and Lexapro Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2067, No. 09-md-2067, D. Mass.).

    ERISA Doesn't Preempt State Law Mandating Attorney Fees, Split 8th Circuit Holds

    ST. LOUIS - A former employee who prevailed on a wage claim under the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law (IWPCL) was entitled to attorney fees under that statute, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Feb. 1, concluding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claim for fees (American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. Richard N. Hollander, No. 11-2719, 8th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 2261).

    California High Court Rules Apple May Ask For ITunes Users' Phone Numbers

    SAN FRANCISCO - In a deeply divided ruling, a California Supreme Court majority on Feb. 4 held that the state's credit card privacy laws do not prohibit online retailers from requiring customers to provide certain information, such as phone numbers, when making credit card payments (Apple Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, et al., No. S199384, Calif. Sup.; 2013 Cal. LEXIS 778).

    English Justice Remands Issue Of Causation In Shipping Dispute To Tribunal

    LONDON - An English justice on Feb. 1 remanded a shipping dispute to an arbitral tribunal on the issue of causation, finding that the tribunal consisted of three arbitrators, who were knowledgeable about shipping matters, and that the issue could best be determined by them (NYK Bulkship N.V. v. Cargill International S.A., No. $(2013$) EWHC 30 $(Comm$), England and Wales High, Commercial Co.).

    Reinsurance Information Must Be Disclosed, California Superior Court Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES - A California judge on Jan. 31 granted a motion to compel filed by insureds in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the insureds are entitled to discovery of reinsurance information (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al. v. Rockwell Automation, et al., No. BC327570, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

    Magistrate Judge Orders 2 Insolvent Insurers To Produce A Privilege Documents, Log

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Feb. 1 ordered two law firms that currently represent and previously represented two insolvent insurers in an attorney fees dispute to produce documents responsive to subpoenasduces tecum and produce a privilege log for those documents forwhich they are asserting aprivilege (James L. Wallis, et al. v. Centennial Insurance Co., et al., No. 08-2558, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14181).

    Judge Allows Accounting Firm To Conduct Limited Discovery In Coverage Dispute

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Jan. 31 refused to dismiss a professional liability insurer's lawsuit seeking rescission but denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment, finding that limited discovery on the insurer's underwriting guidelines and process for the policy is necessary before a summary judgment ruling (Continental Casualty Company v. Marshall Granger & Company LLP, No. 11-CV-3979 $(CS$), S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13541).

    Dismissal Of Claims Over Lunch Meat Fat Affirmed By 11th Circuit

    ATLANTA - Dismissal of a putative class action alleging that companies misleadingly labeled the fat content of their lunch meats was affirmed Feb. 1 by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said the trial court correctly found that the claims were preempted and failed to state a claim (Brad Kuenzig, et al. v. Hormel Foods Corp., et al., No. 12-11180, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22650).

    Country Singer Must Comply With Discovery Request, Tennessee Federal Judge Says

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A copyright infringement plaintiff seeking information on the amount of gross revenue received by country star Tim McGraw for his song "Everywhere" largely prevailed Feb. 1 (James Martinez v. Samuel Timothy McGraw, et al., No. 08-738, M.D. Tenn.).