WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on July 17 announced that it has created an arbitration task force to assist in improving securities arbitration for participants.
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a shareholder's amended securities class action complaint against a robotic surgical devices maker and certain of its executive officers because the shareholder failed to state a claim for relief or properly plead scienter (Police Retirement System of St. Louis v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., et al., No. 12-16430, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13530).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. has agreed to pay $400 million to 33 states and a certified class of consumers to settle claims that it conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, according to a motion for preliminary approval filed July 16 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-2293, S.D. N.Y. [State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-3394, S.D. N.Y.]).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on July 14 dismissed a shareholder's federal securities law claim against a company alleged to have misrepresented certain information as part of a merger deal, ruling that the shareholder's claim is time-barred (Eli Bensinger, et al. v. Denbury Resources Inc., No. 10-1917, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95494).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurer's electrical engineering expert provided admissible and competent testimony to create issues of material fact as to whether an insured's house fire was caused by her electricity supplier's negligence, a Pennsylvania federal judge found July 16, denying the supplier's motions for summary judgment and to exclude the expert's testimony (USAA Casualty Insurance Co. v. Metropolitan Edison Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-01178, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96522).
WICHITA, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on July 15 granted an energy firm's motion to compel international arbitration of a dispute relating to the construction of a biogas plant, finding that all of a biogas company's claims related to an underlying license agreement (Himark biogas Inc. v. Western Plains Energy LLC, No. 14-1070, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96454).
BATON ROUGE, La. - After finding that an insurance fund's coverage action directly related to an underlying arbitration clause and that a reinsurer did not waive its right to removal, a Louisiana federal judge on July 15 adopted a magistrate's judge's recommendation that remand be denied (Louisiana Commerce and Trade Association Self Insurers Fund v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London Subscribing to Contract, No. 13-700, M.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96605).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A purported trucking safety expert's testimony regarding a tractor-trailer accident comprises an "improper extrapolation" and "a recitation of the facts" without providing any true, admissible expert opinion, a Tennessee federal judge ruled July 14, granting a counterdefendant's motion to exclude the testimony in a negligence lawsuit (Omer Covic v. Mike Berk, et al., No. 2:11-cv-02571, W.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95012).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 15 partially granted a motion to dismiss wage claims in a class complaint filed by a health care aide, finding that the statute of limitations must be measured from the date the plaintiff filed her amended complaint because her original complaint did not give the employer fair notice of the claims she now makes (Markisha Gordon, et al. v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 13-7175, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95864).
MILWAUKEE - Asbestos plaintiffs' filing of briefs exceeding local length guidelines was an apparent attempt at helping a judge and do not demonstrate the type of "egregious" or "bad faith" conduct required to disregard them, a Wisconsin appeals court held July 15 (Estate of George Gregovich, et al. v. Auer Steel & Heating Supply, et al., Nos. 2013AP1234, 2013AP2741, Wis. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 554).
LOS ANGELES - In an unpublished July 15 opinion, a California appeals court affirmed a health insurance company's demurrer without leave to amend in a health care reimbursement suit, finding that there was no contractual agreement requiring the insurer to pay the provider its usual and customary rate (Orthopedic Specialists of Southern California v. California Public Employees' Retirement System, No. B248535, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4955).
NEW YORK - Evidence produced through a subpoena served on the Johns-Manville Trust seeking additional information in an asbestos case where the record contains no evidence of exposure from the company will be reviewed in camera, a New York justice held an opinion released July 15 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Patrick Carmody and Nora Carmody v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190060/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Grocery store chain Trader Joe's Co. will pay $3,375,000 and remove the terms "All Natural" and "100% Natural" from the labels of certain food products to settle class claims alleging that the terms are misleading and violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes under an agreement that received final approval July 11 from a federal judge (Tamar Davis Larsen, et al. v. Trader Joe's Company, No. 11-05188, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95538).
PARIS - The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on July 16 released caseload statistics for 2013, reporting 767 new requests for arbitration last year.
DENVER - In a July 14 opinion and order, a Colorado federal judge declined to approve collective action notice in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by a security guard who alleges that he and others were denied overtime pay; however, the judge in the same opinion granted the lead plaintiff's motion to dismiss a counterclaim filed by the employer (Steven L. Saarela, Jr., et al. v. Union Colony Protective Services, Inc., No. 13-1637, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95253).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on July 15 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling finding that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does not owe former workers waiting time penalties for delinquent overtime pay (Charde Evans v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 10-1224, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96003).
SAN FRANCISCO - A condominium owner can pursue class claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) based on violations of the state's Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act because she sufficiently alleges that a debt collection company hired by her homeowners association improperly attempted to collect fees from her and foreclose on her home in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal judge ruled July 11 in denying the company's motion to dismiss (Gena Hanson v. JQD, LLC, d/b/a Pro Solutions, No. 13-05377, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94742).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on July 11 granted final approval of a $4 million settlement ending an overtime class complaint filed by Fifth Third Bank mortgage loan officers (MLOs) (Dustin Swigart, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 11-88, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94450).
CINCINNATI - The sale of an Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. subsidiary less than three years after the takeover of Anheuser-Busch entitled the employees of the sold subsidiary to enhanced retirement benefits pursuant to unambiguous pension plan language despite those employees' retaining their jobs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11, reversing a trial court's rejection of the employees' request for the enhanced benefits (Rusby Adams, Jr., et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3149, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13146).
PHILADELPHIA - An electronics store chain's method for calculating overtime pay for its salaried employees complies with federal law but violates Pennsylvania state law, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 10 (David Verderame v. RadioShack Corporation, No. 13-2539, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93688).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on July 9 granted final approval of a class action settlement over wrongful reimbursements for out-of-network health care services (Cathleen McDonough v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 09-571, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93559).
NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs' "every exposure" testimony does not satisfy Daubert standards or comply with Louisiana's substantial factor test, a federal judge held July 14 (Tina Davidson, et al. v. Georgia Pacific LLC, et al., No. 12-1463, W.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1107).
TORONTO - An energy corporation on July 14 said it has notified the prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic that it seeks payment of a $118 million arbitration award that was recently issued in its favor in Russia.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 10 ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement was met and denied a motion requesting that he remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by employees of a family restaurant and fun center chain (Franchesca Ford, et al. v. CEC Entertainment, Inc., et al., No. 14-1420, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94059).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on July 10 granted in part and denied in part a motion for conditional certification in a class complaint filed by call center employees alleging various wage violations (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services LLC, et al., No. 12-1798, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94594).