Bank Of America To Pay $1.7B To Settle Mortgage- Backed Securities Claims

    NEW YORK - Bank of America Corp. (BoA) will pay nearly $1.7 billion to MBIA Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries to settle claims in New York State court that BoA misrepresented the investment quality of and risk associated with certain mortgage-backed securities (MBS) it sold to MBIA, according to press releases issued by both parties on May 6 (MBIA Insurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 602825-2008, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

    Slovak Bank, Shareholder File Arbitration Against Greece Over Debt Restructure

    NEW YORK - A bank and its shareholder on May 7 announced that they have filed an arbitration claim against Greece in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in relation to Greece's sovereign debt restructure.

    Illinois Judge Quashes Subpoena Sought By Google In Copyright Case

    CHICAGO - Efforts by a class of photographers and artists to compel a company that compiles television programming information to provide its data in a New York copyright action against Google Inc. were denied May 6 by an Illinois federal judge (American Society of Media Photographers, et al. v. Tribune Media Services LLC, No. 13-408, N.D. Ill.).

    Real Estate Sales Agents Conditionally Certified In Wage-And-Hour Suit

    PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on May 3 conditionally certified as a collective action a lawsuit filed by real estate agents alleging that they were denied minimum wage and overtime (Patricia Anderson, et al. v. Ziprealty, Inc., No. 12-332, D. Ariz.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63817).

    Judge: Motor Fuel Suits May Be Amended To Make Claims Consistent

    SAN FRANCISCO - Pretrial orders in lawsuits brought by three California plaintiff groups alleging unfair business practices stemming from the lack of temperature compensation in motor fuel pumps may be amended in the interest of efficiency and consistency, the judge presiding over consolidated federal litigation said in a May 6 opinion (In re Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1840, No. 2:07-md-1840 KHV; Lerner v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 2:07-cv-01216-GHK-FMO, C.D. Calif.; Rushing v. Alon USA, Inc., No. 4:06-cv-07621-PJH, N.D. Calif.; Wyatt v. B.P. America Corp., No. 3:07-cv-01754-BTM-JMA, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64222).

    Magistrate Judge Certifies Class Of Plant Workers Seeking Wages Under State Law

    NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on May 6 certified a class of food-processing plant employees suing for unpaid wages, overtime and spread of hours compensation under New York state law; the same judge conditionally certified a collective action for the plaintiffs' federal law claim in December 2009 (Kingborn Morris, et al. v. Alle Processing Corp., et al., No. 08-4874, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64534).

    Granting Discovery, Judge Takes 'Wait And See' Approach In File-Sharing Case

    CLEVELAND - Although an Ohio federal judge found it appropriate for a copyright holder to conduct limited discovery on the Internet service providers (ISPs) of Doe defendants in a file-sharing case, the judge cautioned the plaintiff against any abuse of such discovery, which she said could potentially lead to severance or sanctions (Voltage Pictures LLC v. Does 1-43, No. 1:13-cv-00465, N.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63764).

    Federal Judge Allows Expert Testimony In FDIC's Suit

    TAMPA, Fla. - In a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for a failed bank, alleged that a law firm committed malpractice and breached its fiduciary duty to the bank in relation to a real estate acquisition, a federal judge in Florida on May 1 denied the firm's motion to exclude as improper expert testimony by the FDIC's expert, in part because the defendants' arguments are moot (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg P.A., et al., No. 11-2831, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63709).

    5th Circuit Affirms Confirmation Of Award In Purchase Contract Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 3 affirmed a court's decision to confirm an arbitration award in a dispute over a contract for the purchase of mixed xylene (MX) but denied a cross-appeal in relation to an award of post-judgment interest (Tricon Energy Limited v. Vinmar International Limited, No. 12-20100, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9110).

    Justice Finds Chevron Has No Canadian Assets To Pay $18.2 Billion Ruling

    TORONTO - A Canadian judge on May 1 stayed an action filed by a group of Ecuadorian claimants in relation to alleged environmental exposures, finding that Chevron Corp. has no assets in Canada to satisfy an $18.2 billion judgment issued in their favor in Ecuador (Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, No. CV-12-9808-00CL, Ontario Super.).

    Residential Exclusion Bars Insurance Coverage For Defect Case, Judge Holds

    SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured or an additional insured for an underlying construction defect case, a California federal judge ruled April 30, finding that the total residential exclusion precludes coverage for residential projects (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. North Bay Waterproofing Inc., et al., No. 12-03339, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62493).

    Panel Affirms Grant Of Class Certification In Securities Lawsuit

    NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in granting class certification in a securities class action lawsuit because price impact evidence does not bear on the inquiry into whether common issues predominate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 30 (Erica John Fund, et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 12-1398, 5th Cir.).

    Federal Judge Denies Argentine Company's Request To Quash Subpoena

    SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 30 denied an Argentine entity's motion to quash a subpoena in relation to a businessman's application for judicial assistance, finding that certain factors weighed in favor of allowing the discovery (In re Application of Alfredo Carlos Pott for Judicial Assistance Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782 v. Icicle Seafoods Inc., No. 13-332, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62502).

    Verdict In Actos Bladder Cancer Trial Overturned After Plaintiff Expert Excluded

    LOS ANGELES - Five days after a jury returned a $6.5 million verdict, a California state court judge on May 1 granted defendant Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. a nonsuit in the first Actos bladder cancer trial after finding that the specific causation testimony by the plaintiff's sole expert was unreliable (Actos Product Liability Cases, No. JCCP4696, Jack Cooper, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., et al., No. CGC-12-518535, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

    Indiana Appeals Panel Affirms In Part Judgment In Dursban Injury Lawsuit

    INDIANAPOLIS - In a unanimous opinion issued April 30, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel affirmed in part a trial court order granting The Dow Chemical Co. summary judgment on failure-to-warn claims in a Dursban-brand termiticide personal injury lawsuit; the panel affirmed denial of summary judgment for the applicator (John Gresser et uxor v. The Dow Chemical Co. Inc., No. 79-A-02-1111, Ind. App.; 2013 Ind. App. LEXIS 204).

    Federal Judge Confirms Swiss Arbitration Award In Licensing Agreement Dispute

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 1 confirmed an arbitration award that was issued in favor of a Swiss corporation in a dispute over a licensing agreement with two U.S. entities, finding that none of the defenses under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards applied (Marker Volkl $(International$) GMBH v. Epic Sports International Inc., et al., No. 12-8729, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62412).

    New York Federal Judge Refuses To Reconsider TCPA Suit Due To State Law

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 1 declined to reconsider dismissal of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint, finding that state law bars the action from proceeding in the federal court (Todd C. Bank, et al. v. Independence Energy Group LLC, et al., No. 12-1369, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62423).

    Court: Bankrupt Company Must Find Someone Who Can Verify Responses

    LOS ANGELES - A judge must rule on a response to a request for admissions as unverified unless a bankrupt and dissolved asbestos defendant appoints someone with the power to decide whether its attorney may verify the response and thus waive attorney-client privilege, a California appeals panel held April 30 (Mary Melendrez, et al. v. Superior Court of State of California, County of Los Angeles, Special Electric Co. Inc., No. B243320, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 343).

    HSBC To Settle Overtime Class Claims For $15.6M

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 30 granted preliminary approval of a $15,625,000 overtime settlement for HSBC Bank USA N.A., HSBC USA Inc. and HSBC North America Holdings Inc. (together, HSBC) personal bankers, branch relationship bankers, premier relationship managers, small business specialists and business banking specialists (Sharon Yuzary, et al. v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., et al., No. 12-3693, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3693).

    KeyBank Settles Relationship Managers' Overtime Claims For $4.9M

    NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on April 29 granted final approval of a $4.9 million overtime settlement for KeyBank N.A. employees throughout the country (Eric Beckman, et al. v. KeyBank, N.A., No. 12-7836, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60894).

    Remand Of Drug Expiration Class Action Stayed Pending Appeal To 8th Circuit

    ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on April 29 stayed her remand of a drug expiration date class action pending an expedited appeal by three drug manufacturer defendants (Daniel Raskas v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 12-2174, Marjie Levy v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 12-2266, Leslie Yoffie v. Bayer Healthcare, LLC, No. 12-2307, E.D. Mo., E. Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60531).

    Magistrate Declines To Phase, Limit Discovery In Underinsured Motorist Case

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Noting the existence of a standing scheduling discovery deadline order and an insurer's failure to previously file an objection to it, a California federal magistrate judge on April 25 denied the insurer's motion for a protective order related to materials sought by policyholders related to breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Scott Dunton, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-00303, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59625).

    New York Federal Judge Certifies Tennis Umpires Seeking Additional Wages

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 25 certified a class of tennis umpires who claim that they were improperly misclassified as independent contractors while working the U.S. Open and are owed additional wages (Steven Meyer, et al. v. United States Tennis Association, No. 11-6268, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60091).

    Judge: Plaintiffs In Bard Vena Cava Filter Class Action Belong In Federal Court

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 26 said that state plaintiffs who filed a state court medical monitoring class action against C.R. Bard Inc. for allegedly defective inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have suffered an injury-in-fact and that the federal court has jurisdiction (Goldie Brown, et al. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., No. 12-5324, E.D. Pa.).

    California Federal Magistrate Judge Approves $200,000 Unpaid Wage Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on April 26 granted final approval of a $200,000 settlement for a class of assistant store managers seeking compensation for overtime and missed breaks, as well as up to $335,000 to be paid by the employer for attorney fees and costs (Ryan Greko v. Diesel U.S.A., Inc., No. 10-2576, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60114).