PHILADELPHIA - Insufficient evidence exists to support the conclusion that a man suffered frequent, regular and proximate exposure to asbestos, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Dec. 3 in granting summary judgment to four companies (Jammie C. Tyndall, et al. v. Armstrong International Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 10-67428, E.D. Pa.).
CHICAGO - A mixed verdict in a copyright and trademark infringement case that "reflected a great deal of care and discernment" should stand, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 5 (Games Workshop Ltd. v. Chapterhouse Studios LLC, No. 10-8103, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - The class action plaintiffs that sued bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that the Bankruptcy Court should stay its decision approving the merger of American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. pending appeal (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.).
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Actos multidistrict litigation on Dec. 4 denied a motion by defendant Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. to exclude the plaintiff's punitive damages expert from the first bellwether trial, scheduled for Jan. 27 (In Re: Actos $(Pioglitazone$) Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 6:11-md-2299, Terrence Allen, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., et al., No. 12-64, W.D. La., Lafayette Div.).
DETROIT - The federal bankruptcy judge who had previously issued a verbal ruling that the City of Detroit is eligible to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy released a formal written opinion on Dec. 5, saying that while the concerns of objectors had merit, the evidence showed that the city negotiated in good faith before filing its petition (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an excess public entity insurer has a duty to defend its state parish government insured against damages it allegedly caused in condemning and demolishing properties deemed unsafe after Hurricane Katrina (Lexington Insurance Co. v. St. Bernard Parish Government, No. 13-30300, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Even assuming negligence on the part of 7 World Trade Co. L.P., Silverstein Development Corp., Silverstein Properties Inc., Tishman Construction Corp. and the Office of Irwin G. Cantor, any such negligence was not the cause-in-fact of the collapse of the Tower 7 of the World Trade Center in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a majority of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 4 (Aegis Insurance Services Inc., et al. v. 7 World Trade Co., et al., No. 11-4403-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24101).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 said it will review a patent case that resulted in a deeply divided decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that included six separate opinions and "additional reflections" on what constitutes patent-eligible subject matter in computer-implemented inventions (Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International and CLS Services Ltd., No. 13-298, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, La. - A Louisiana federal magistrate judge has granted summary judgment to claims stemming from a 2009 pipeline spill, saying in a Dec. 3 opinion that the plaintiffs had marshaled insufficient evidence for either personal injury or property damage claims (Cynthia Elliott Ayers, et al. v. ANR Pipeline Company, et al., No. 1:10-cv-00925, W.D. La.; Alexandria Div. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171142).
SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Court of Appeals on Dec. 4 remanded a construction defects dispute for a new trial on damages, concluding that the trial court gave incorrect instructions to the jury regarding a contractor's third-party breach of contract claims against a subcontractor (Montara Owners Association v. La Noue Development LLC, et al., No. A140771, Ore. App.; 2013 Ore. App. LEXIS 1432).
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 3 granted in part a request by two defendants to strike three sets of infringement contentions contained within an amended patent complaint (UltimatePointer LLC v. Nintendo Co. Ltd. et al, No. 11-496, E.D. Texas.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) extends over and preempts state law claims alleging exposure to asbestos-containing railcar brake shoes, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Dec. 4 (Alice Perry, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 95-01996, E.D. Pa.).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 partially affirmed and partially reversed a bankruptcy court's ruling, remanding it for further consideration regarding a creditor's claim that he has a valid judgment lien against a piece of real property that the debtor allegedly transferred fraudulently (Arthur Clark v. M. Stephen Peters $(In Re: Gary Lee Bryan$), No. 12-1485, Chapter 7, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24178).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Dec. 4 denied summary judgment to the defendant in a construction defects action, determining that the plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence to show that the defendant was aware that it was selling homes built with defective materials (Robert T. Blough, et al. v. Shea Homes Inc., No. 2:12-cv-01493, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171182).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Dec. 4 appointed a shareholder as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior officers, ruling that the shareholder has met all requirements to serve in the role (Jeff Small v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 13-955, D. D.C.; Tuan Hoang v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 13-1028, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170836).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado ruled Dec. 3 that the third-party administrator of the NFL Player Insurance Plan abused its discretion in denying claims for chiropractic treatment as being work-related without considering the medical provider's opinion (Nelson Vetanze v. NFL Player Insurance Plan, No. 1:11-cv-02734, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170312).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 3 denied the Securities and Exchange Commission's motion for partial summary judgment in a securities enforcement action against the sponsors of pooled investment funds, ruling that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the each of the SEC's claims that are part of the motion (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Frank Mazzola, et al., No. 12-1258, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170427).
PHILADELPHIA - According to its docket, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Dec. 3 denied a couple's petition challenging a defense verdict in an asbestos action involving "improper trial tactics" accusations, an alternate juror's vote and a vacated judgment (George Webber and Tina Webber v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 399 EAL 2013, Pa. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - The attorney representing bankrupt GGW Brands Inc., the producer of adult videos that carry the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Dec. 4 filed a notice that he was appealing the ruling issued by the bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California ordering him to disgorge the majority of a $20,000 retainer related to his work for GGW (In Re: GGW Brands Inc., No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
MIAMI - Luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. sufficiently established that a Brooklyn, N.Y., man operated two websites selling counterfeit goods and that he was subject to jurisdiction in Florida, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Dec. 2, denying the man's motion to vacate a default judgment against him for lack of jurisdiction (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Joseph Mosseri, No. 12-12501, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23932).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A distributor of imported cigarettes may not claim tax deductions for unpaid obligations to the national tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), a U.S. Tax Court judge ruled Dec. 4, and is liable for back taxes totaling more than $38 million for the years 2004 and 2006 (Vidal Suriel v. Commissioner of IRS, 141 T.C. No. 16, U.S. Tax).
SEATTLE - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a mining company and certain of its current and former executive officers has properly pleaded falsity and scienter in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Washington ruled Dec. 2 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re L&L Energy Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1423, W.D. Wash.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A New York federal judge denied a motor home maker's motion to preclude a purchaser's expert testimony in relation to her alleged mold exposure and injuries but found that her failure-to-warn claim should be dismissed (Karen L. Burnett v. Damon Corp., et. al., No. 5:10-CV-1336, N.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169367).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft Inc. on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a $2.2 billion claim filed by two employees of a subcontractor the company used to manufacture airplane parts, on grounds that they have not met their burden of proof (In Re: Hawker Beechcraft Inc., No. 12-11873, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).