NEW ORLEANS - A unanimous Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal panel issued an opinion Nov. 16 reversing summary judgment for the defendants in a fee dispute among attorneys who represented the plaintiffs in a naturally occurring radioactive material class action (Robert L. Manard III, et al. v. Falcon Law Firm, et al., No. 12-147, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2012 La. App. LEXIS 1497).
CHICAGO - An accused online file-sharer's motion to quash a discovery subpoena served on her Internet service provider (ISP) was denied Nov. 13 by an Illinois federal judge, who held that the information sought by a copyright holder was not privileged and was necessary to pursue copyright claims against her (AF Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:12-cv-04222, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162487).
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Defense summary judgment motions were granted in part Nov. 15 in the chlorinated solvent vapor intrusion personal injury litigation pending in the Broome County, N.Y., Sixth Judicial District Supreme Court; the presiding judge issued five orders addressing negligence, nuisance, trespass, medical monitoring and other chemical exposure (Thomas H. Ivory, et al. v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 12-768, N.Y. Sup., 6th Dist., Broome Co.).
DALLAS - A trial court properly allowed a forensic dentist to testify that a man could not be excluded as the source of multiple bite marks on his severely injured infant son, a Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 14 (David Cesar Coronado v. The State of Texas, No. 05-11-00605-CR, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 9405).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Nov. 13 denied without prejudice a motion for spoliation sanctions filed by plaintiffs claiming that they were wrongfully terminated based on their age and race, finding that they were unable to sufficiently demonstrate prejudice or establish bad faith (Raymond Anderson, et al. v. Otis Elevator Company, No. 11-10200, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161816).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas federal judge overseeing the Prempro multidistrict litigation on Nov. 13 denied without prejudice the plaintiffs' motion for an additional $400,000 from the common benefit fund because he found it excessive (In Re: Prempro Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1507, No. 4:03-1507, E.D. Ark., W. Div.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33702.
CINCINNATI - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Nov. 13 held that a revised privilege log submitted by defendant companies in a Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 7401, lawsuit was sufficient but ordered the companies to produce one category of documents after finding that they were not protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine (Glenn Graff, et al. v. Haverhill North Coke Company, et al., No. 09-cv-670, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162013).
CHICAGO - Three restaurant employees may proceed with their class complaint accusing their employer of paying them a "tipped" wage for time spent performing "untipped" duties, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 14, granting class certification on the claim of violations of Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) and authorizing notice of a collective action to potential class members regarding a claim filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 203, (Brianne Haschak, et al. v. Fox & Hound Restaurant Group, et al., No. 10-8023, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162476).
LONDON - An England and Wales justice on Nov. 14 dismissed an application filed by two claimants who asserted that a London tribunal lacked jurisdiction because certain prerequisites to filing arbitration were not met, finding that the conditions in the agreement were not clearly defined (Tang Chung Wah, et al. v. Grant Thornton International Limited, No.  EWHC 3198 [Ch], England and Wales High, Chanc.).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 13 affirmed a lower court's decision to deny a request by a group of companies to stay litigation pending the outcome of an international arbitration case, finding that claims asserted by children in relation to exposure to toxic substances at a mine are not referable to arbitration (Sr. Kate Reid, et al. v. Doe Run Resources Corp., et al., Nos., No. 12-1065 No. 12-1067 No. 12-1079 No. 12-1080 No. 12-1081 No. 12-1084 No. 12-1086 No. 12-1087 No. 12-1088 No. 12-1092 No. 12-1095, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23281).
CHICAGO - Relying on a recent decision in which a U.S. circuit court certified an identical class of claimants, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 13 overturned a decision that denied certification of a class of claimants who allege that certain front-loading automatic washers cause mold growth (Larry Butler, et al., individually and behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Sears Roebuck and Co., Nos. 11-8029, 12-8030, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23284).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 13 decertified a class of more than 400 workers employed at a railcar production facility seeking unpaid wages and overtime for time they allegedly spent working before and after their shifts and during breaks after determining that there were too many individualized issues and that a sufficient class or subclasses could not be formed (Chester Marshall, et al. v. Amsted Rail Company, Inc., No. 10-11, S.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161768).
SEATTLE - Three named plaintiffs who accuse a pizza chain and a marketing company of sending spam advertisements via text may represent a national class of individuals and a Washington subclass of individuals who received the texts, a Washington federal judge ruled Nov. 9 (Maria Agne, et al. v. Papa John's International, Inc., et al., No. 10-1139, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162088).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A defendant insurance company was ordered by a federal magistrate judge in Kansas on Nov. 13 to produce computer logs generated by its employees regarding their investigation of a bowling alley collapse in July 2011 as well as billing statements the company issued to its disclosed experts because the information is relevant to the plaintiffs' claims (Quality Time Inc., et al. v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, No. 12-cv-1008-JTM-GLR, D. Kan.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161703).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 9 dismissed a New York man's putative breach of contract class action against Yahoo! Inc. related to the alleged disclosure of private information, finding that the pro se plaintiff lacked standing to sue on behalf of a class (Albert Rudgayzer v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 5:12-ccv-01399, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161302).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Little Tucker Act doesn't waive the U.S. government's sovereign immunity when it comes to damages actions filed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1681 (FCRA), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Nov. 13 (United States of America v. James X. Bormes, No. 11-192, U.S. Sup.; 2012 U.S. LEXIS 8705).
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NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 9 affirmed a condemnation award of $208,000, rejecting as unreliable expert testimony that valued the land at more than $10 million (United States of America v. 25.202 Acres Of Land and Building Affixed to the Land Located in the Town Of Champlain, Clinton County, New York; et al., No. 11-4583-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23114).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania presiding over a bad faith insurance case on Nov. 8 held that Allstate Insurance Co. did not waive privilege over seven documents it inadvertently produced during discovery because of the small amount of documents involved in the disclosure and the company's prompt response after learning that it mistakenly produced the documents (Susan P. Smith v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 11-CV-165, W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160152).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on Nov. 9 denied a plaintiff's request to impose sanctions against an insurance company over its deletion of emails after finding that they were deleted more than a year before the company could have been aware of the possibility of litigation (Jason Lee Nieman v. Grange Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-cv-3404, C.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160753).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana presiding over a defamation lawsuit on Nov. 8 granted the parties' motion to conduct depositions and required that a defendant appear in person before the court because of his previous conduct and technical difficulties (Southern United States Trade Association v. Sumit Guddh, et al., No. 10-1669 Section L, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160380).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Nov. 9 approved the settlement of a dispute between shareholders and a computerized kiosk DVD rental company, finding that the settlement was fair and appropriate (In re Coinstar, Inc., Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 11-cv-00133, W.D. Wash.).
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 9 vacated a District Court's ruling in favor of a uniform supply company accused of gender discrimination by employees and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as the trial court's decision to grant the employer attorney fees and costs (Mirna E. Serrano, et al. v. Cintas Corporation, Nos. 10-2629/11-2057, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23132).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 denied review of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unpublished order ruling that fiduciaries of the JP Morgan Chase 401(k) Savings Plan did not breach their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by offering company stock as an investment option when the company had billions of dollars in undisclosed loss exposure to Enron Corp. (Isadore Fisher, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 12-298, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 9 approved more than $294 million in settlements with The Bears Stearns Cos. Inc. and certain of its former officers and directors, and the financial giant's former outside auditor, ruling that the settlements are procedurally and substantively fair (In re Bear Stearns Companies Inc. Securities, Derivative, and ERISA Litigation, MDL No. 08-md-1963, No. 08-2793, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 9 granted preliminary approval to the $7.25 billion class action settlement between merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards, despite objections by 10 of the 19 named plaintiffs and other merchants and trade associations (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation [All Cases], No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.).
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