MADISON, Wis. - The transfer of asbestos fibers from a workplace to a car or home does not negate the exclusivity provision of the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act, a federal judge held Aug. 22, granting dismissals in six cases (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 14-286, W.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117062).
PITTSBURGH - The filed-rate doctrine precludes the antitrust claims of individual and some small-group purchasers of health insurance against insurer Highmark Inc. and health care provider University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), but the filed-rate doctrine may not be applicable to claims of small-group purchasers that asserted a measure of damages based on unregulated rates, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Aug. 21 in granting in part the purchasers' motion for leave to file a third amended complaint (Royal Mile Company, Inc., et al. v. UPMC, et al. No. 2:10-cv-01609, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116224).
SAN FRANCISCO - National cleaning products company Hillyard Inc. will pay $750,000 to settle class claims that it violated California labor laws and unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to reimburse sales representatives for work-related expenses in a deal that received preliminary approval from a federal magistrate judge on Aug. 22 on the third try (Lawrence Daniel Christensen, et al. v. Hillyard, Inc., No. 13-4389, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117499).
BALTIMORE - Although a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 21 declined to permit an employment discrimination plaintiff to add disputed claims to his complaint, the judge agreed to narrow the scope of third-party subpoenas served on the plaintiff's subsequent employers and to grant a protective order to cover material unrelated to the present case (Unray Peters Sr. v. Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, No. 1:13-cv-03114, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).
CHICAGO - A class dispute over high-interest loans may proceed in federal court because the arbitral mechanism in the loan agreements is illusory and, in the alternative, the matter does not fall under tribal jurisdiction, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 22, reversing a trial court's rejection of the lawsuit (Deborah Jackson, et al. v. Payday Financial, LLC, et al., No. 12-2617, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16257).
NEW DELHI - A Indian steel company on Aug. 24 announced that it has been awarded more than $22.5 million by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration in a dispute with Bolivan state-owned entity in relation to an investment in iron ore.
SAN FRANCISCO - One company out of two that filed delinquent opt-out notices in a settlement between direct purchasers of cathode ray tube (CRT) products and two manufacturers was successful in convincing a California federal judge on Aug. 20 to find that its negligence was excusable (In Re: Cathode Ray Tube [CRT] Antitrust Litigation, No. 03-5944; Sharp Electronics Corp., et al. v. Hitachi, Ltd., et al., No. 13-1173, Dell Inc., et al. v. Hitachi, Ltd., et al., No. 13-2171, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 21 dismissed the amended complaint of a group of more than 65,000 Nigerian residents who alleged that Chevron Corp. was liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to state specific injuries (Foster Ogola v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 upheld a trial court's denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law filed by Tyson Foods Inc. in a donning and doffing dispute and denied Tyson's request to reduce the nearly $3.4 million attorney fee award (Adelina Garcia, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., et al., No. 12-3346, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15917).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A man convicted of federal firearms violations saw a motion to vacate his sentence denied Aug. 20, with a Minnesota federal judge finding no merit to the man's arguments that his counsel committed errors related to expert witnesses and the failure to call for a Daubert hearing (United States of America v. Mandel McDonald Benson, No. 0:10-cr-00269, D. Minn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115571).
PHILADELPHIA - The testimony of a plaintiff's expert witness in an uninsured motorist (UM) case was properly limited at trial as unhelpful to the jury and not based on specialized knowledge, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Aug. 19, denying the plaintiff's motion for a new trial (John P. Senese v. Liberty Mutual Inc., No. 2:13-cv-05139, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114889).
LOS ANGELES - Blue Cross of California misrepresented which providers its plans covered while transferring subscribers into limited-access Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) "skinny networks" consisting of the cheapest medical services providers in an effort to save money, an Aug. 19 class action alleges (Jonathan Brown, et al. v. Blue Cross of California, dba Anthem Blue Cross and DOES 1 through 100 inclusive, No. BC554949, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google Inc. was awarded sanctions by a California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 19 after it was discovered that the plaintiff firm in a patent lawsuit suit against it failed to timely adopt and enforce a companywide email retention system when litigation was reasonably foreseeable (PersonalWeb Technologies LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-01317, N.D. Calif.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents seeking damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Aug. 20 denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and granted the defendants' motion to seal some documents that were submitted in opposition to the motion for class certification (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal magistrate judge on Aug. 18 denied a motion by the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund (PCF) to compel a medical malpractice insurer to supplement its response to a discovery request in a dispute over coverage for hundreds of medical liability lawsuits against a doctor insured (The Medical Assurance Company Inc. v. Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., et al., No. 4:06-CV-00117-JD-APR, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114707).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Aug. 18 granted final approval of a $62.5 million settlement on shareholder claims that Wells Fargo N.A. failed to ensure that certain funds that were part of a securities-lending program were not high-risk and long-term investments in violation of several common-law and Minnesota statutes (The City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement System v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 10-4372, D. Minn.).
NEW YORK - A Dubai management company and Delaware resort corporation on Aug. 14 filed a notice of removal pursuant to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, seeking to remove a hotel owner's case to appoint an arbitrator to a New York federal court (Hamilton Properties Limited v. FHR Gulf Management FZ LLC, et al., No. 14-6507, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A group of plaintiffs alleging securities fraud by a Chinese television advertising firm have met the class certification requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, a New York federal judge found Aug. 15, granting a motion to certify the proposed class and denying a defendant's motion to strike the testimony of the plaintiffs' proffered market efficiency expert (Daniel McIntire, et al. v. China MediaExpress Holdings Inc., et al.; In Re China MediaExpress Holdings Inc. Shareholder Litigation, No. 1:11-cv-00804, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113446).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 14 narrowed the claims and definition of the class in a complaint filed by 11 current and former employees of a pharmaceutical company who allege gender discrimination (Megan Barrett, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-5224, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113289).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 15 denied class certification in a suit over a low-down-payment mortgage program, finding that the named plaintiff was an insufficient class representative and that individualized issues predominate (Margaret Galas, et al. v. The Lending Company, Inc., et al., No. 12-1265, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113644).
WALTHAM, Mass. - A defense and security company on Aug. 18 announced that it has been awarded $309 million by an international arbitration tribunal in a dispute over an eBorders program.
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not warranted because the lead plaintiff in the action has properly pleaded scienter, a federal judge in California ruled in an opinion made available on Aug. 15 (Scott Bruce v. Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., et al., No. 12-4061, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111706).
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on Aug. 13 refused to dismiss a shareholder class action lawsuit against a therapeutic biomaterials developer and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action had properly pleaded all elements of his federal securities law claims (Spencer Abrams v. MiMedx Group Inc., et al., No. 13-3074, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111858).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana appeals court on Aug. 13 decertified a class action lawsuit challenging a hospital's practice of billing insured patients involved in motor vehicle accidents when a third party is liable for the accident, saying that more courts must have experience with the Health Care Consumer Billing and Disclosure Protection and Act before a class could be certified (Prentiss Baker, et al. v. PHC-Minden L.P. d/b/a Minden Medical Center, No. 49,122-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 1955).