NEW YORK - Carolyn Fjord, who represents a class of plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Feb. 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that she should be permitted to file an amended complaint (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. [In Re: AMR Corporation], No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer adequately alleges that a computer manufacturer knew or should have known that its power supplies could not support high-performance components but continued to allow consumers to upgrade to such devices, a federal judge held Feb. 5 in allowing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A deaf rights organization's class action concerning captioning on the website of Cable Network News Inc. (CNN) "targets conduct in furtherance of [the network's] free speech rights and falls within the scope of" California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 5, reversing in part a lower court's judgment (Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness Inc., et al. v. Cable News Network Inc., No. 12-15807, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2215; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2219).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 said it agreed to an en banc rehearing of a panel ruling that a petition to coordinate Darvon/Darvocet/propoxyphene cases in California state court is not a request for a joint trial that triggers removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Judith Romo, et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 13-56310, Margalit Corber, et al. v. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 13-56306, 9th Cir.).
TORONTO - Stans Energy Corp. on Feb. 6 announced that the government of Kyrgyzstan has formed an interdepartmental working group to settle ongoing arbitration in Moscow.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The chairman of an administrative council for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 7 released a decision denying a request by the Argentine Republic to disqualify two arbitrators, finding that their decisions in a procedural order did not show a manifest lack of impartiality (Abaclat and others v. The Argentine Republic, No. ARB/07/05, ICSID).
CINCINNATI - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 4 awarded $1.32 million in fees, a portion of which is to paid by the sponsor of a cash-balance pension plan, in a class action in which retirees prevailed on their claims that the plan miscalculated their lump-sum payments by failing to apply a whipsaw calculation in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (William J. Schumacher v. AK Steel Corporation Retirement Accumulation Pension Plan, et al., No. 09-794, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13768).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 6 limited plaintiff and defense experts in a negligence case stemming from the strangulation death of a 3-year-old boy in the cord of vertical window blinds (Jose Padilla v. Hunter Douglas Window Coverings, No. 09 CV 1222, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14620).
NEW YORK - After Malaysian courts recently set aside a $56 million arbitration award issued in favor of two companies, a New York federal judge on Feb. 6 granted a request by the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic to vacate a previous judgment enforcing the award (Thai-Lao Lignite $(Thailand$) Co. Ltd., et al. v. Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, No. 10 Civ. 5256, S.D. N.Y; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15004).
DETROIT - Witnesses for Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. may testify about an internal benzene-content study of its 105 Solvent to the extent it explains actions they took, a U.S. magistrate judge in Michigan said in a Feb. 4 order regarding the upcoming trial of the widow of a Ford Motor Co. mechanic, but the study must survive Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579 $(1993$)) scrutiny if the company wants to draw any scientific conclusions from it (Judith A. Hendrian v. Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., No. 08-14371, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Feb. 3 allowed the trustee for affiliates of an insolvent insurer to have immediate access to the insurer's offices and records but limited the involvement of the insurer's founder in the retrieval of the documents (In re: The Agency LLC, No. 14-10118, In re: Insurance Designers of Maryland Inc., No. 14-10119, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A man may ask a corporate representative about an employer's prior memberships in organizations and associations and what it knew regarding asbestos up to the time it allegedly learned of the dangers, a West Virginia magistrate judge held Feb. 5 (Barbara E. Amick, and Eldon Amick v. Ohio Power Co., et al., No. 13-6593, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14087).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge did not err when dismissing a class action suit filed by a Minnesota county seeking to recover millions of dollars in taxes the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) allegedly failed to pay when transferring deeds on properties, a panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 5 after finding that the defendant agencies were exempt from paying the tax (Hennepin County, et al. v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., No. 13-1821, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2160).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The government of Belize on Feb. 5 filed its second notice of appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in relation to the confirmation of a London arbitration award and final judgment ordering it to pay a telecommunications company $22,484,961 in damages (Belize Social Development Limited v. Government of Belize, No. 09-2170, D.C. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The existence of five contracts handling fee disclosures differently, contested store signage and oral representations creates individualized issues and required denying class certification of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed Feb. 3 (Benjamin Berger, et al. v. Home Depot USA Inc., DBA The Home Depot, No. 11-55592, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2059).
NEW YORK - Following the mandates of a state law is not a defense when it comes to liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 4 (Elsa Gulino, et al. v. Board of Education of the New York City School District of the City of New York, No. 13-1001, 2nd Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. - Reversing the dismissal of a Virginia man's suit against an online data aggregator for lack of standing, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 4 held that a plaintiff can sue for willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) without having to establish actual harm (Thomas Robins v. Spokeo Inc., No. 11-56843, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2136).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Jan. 31 granted the plaintiffs' motion for a cy pres distribution of $31,680.47 in unclaimed funds remaining from the settlement of a class action case accusing an insurance company of overcharging copayments for medical treatment (Mary Forsyth, et al. v. Humana Inc., et al., No.90-249, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1324).
NEW YORK - The growing end of financial crisis-era litigation resulted in a continued drop in the overall number of new securities and business litigation filings in 2014 for the second year in a row, while the average settlement amount in such cases was the highest it's been in five years, according to a report issued Feb. 3 by insurance industry analyst Advisen Ltd.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Asbestos bankruptcy trust forms are discoverable for the limited purpose of impeaching claims against Crane Co., a Rhode Island judge held Jan. 30 in granting reconsideration (Rosie K. Sweredoski, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 2011-1544, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).
CINCINNATI - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Feb. 3 granted plaintiffs' request to vacate confidentiality over portions of the deposition testimony given by a defendant company's general manager, finding that the information does not qualify for protection under a protective order the parties entered into (Glenn Graff, et al. v. Haverhill North Coke Company, et al., No. 09-cv-670, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13180).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Jan. 31 ordered that the Plurinational State of Bolivia pay a U.K. company $28,927,582 in damages in an arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), finding that Boliva expropriated its investment in an electric company (Guaracachi America, Inc. and Rurelec PLC v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia, PCA Case No. 2011-17, PCA).
ERIE, Pa. - The lead plaintiffs in a putative class action against a provider of rent-to-own (RTO) laptop computers did not adequately identify ascertainable classes in their complaint alleging that the retailer used a program to spy on its customers, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 31, recommending that their motion to certify the class be denied (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a shareholder class action lawsuit against an oil company and others, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 3, agreeing substantially with the district court's findings (Samuel Sinay, etc. v. CNOOC Ltd., et al., No. 13-2240, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2010).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The federal judge in Tennessee overseeing multidistrict litigation involving claims that brand-name pharmaceutical company King Pharmaceuticals LLC and generic drug manufacturer Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. conspired to delay the entry of generic versions of Skelaxin into the market denied certification of an indirect purchaser class and an end-payer class on Jan. 30 (In re: Skelaxin $(Metaxalone$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:12-md-2343, E.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11467).