ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 17 dismissed a suit challenging the termination of a Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement without a pretermination hearing and other administrative review procedures, saying the termination was proper (Blossom South v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-6452, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176996).
PITTSBURGH - The third-party defendant joined Sept. 6 in the chicken jerky dog treat litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania was granted a stay on Dec. 17, and the parties were compelled to submit the third-party claims to arbitration (In re Milo's Kitchen Dog Treats Consolidated Cases, No. 12-1011, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176581; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176484).
PARIS - The chairman of the Administrative Council for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Dec. 16 upheld a request by the Republic of Ecuador to disqualify an arbitrator appointed by a group of resource companies, finding that comments the arbitrator made about Ecuador's counsel showed a lack of impartiality (Burlington Resources Inc., et al. v. Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/08/5, ICSID).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The reorganized version of bankrupt Filene's Basement LLC on Dec. 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware contending that the Bankruptcy Court should dismiss the $2,703,946.17 damages claim filed by the creditor landlord that contends it has been harmed by Filene's cancellation of its lease for one of its stores (In Re: Filene's Basement LLC, No. 11-13511, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - The United Auto Workers (UAW) and a group of people that have sued the city in a Michigan state court alleging that the city's Chapter 9 bankruptcy is unconstitutional on Dec. 17 filed a joint brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan contending that they should be permitted to appeal directly to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the Bankruptcy Court's ruling that the city is eligible to file for bankruptcy (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH - Noting that both parties in an underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits dispute "could have been somewhat more reasonable at the negotiation table," a Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 13 ruled that an insurer did not act in bad faith in its settlement offer, which was well below the insured's policy limits demand, in light of "an honest dispute" over the amount of his injuries that was attributable to the underlying auto accident (Nicholas Schifino v. GEICO General Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:11-cv-01094, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174574).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law, which will take effect on Feb. 1, 2014, stands as is, a divided Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Dec. 16, rejecting a constitutional challenge brought by a member of the state Senate, a member of the state House of Representatives and the Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma and its president (The Honorable Harry E. Coates, et al. v. The Honorable Mary Fallin, et al., No. 112167, Okla. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 16 remanded a reimbursement dispute to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the state law claims (Bay Area Surgical Management v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2512, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176682).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 17 denied a motion to remand a class action lawsuit brought by borrowers claiming that their loan servicers lacked the authority to file foreclosure actions against them, finding that jurisdiction was established under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the aggregate damages sought by the proposed class exceeded $5 million (Lisa Johnson, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-cv-02323, N.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176656).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Dow Chemical Co. is not precluded by the doctrine of collateral estoppel from relitigating the issue of the existence of a conspiracy in antitrust actions by direct-action plaintiffs (DAPS) who opted out of the class action in polyether polyol price-fixing litigation that ended in a $1 billion judgment against Dow, a federal judge in Kansas ruled Dec. 16, in denying the DAPs' motion for partial summary judgment (In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation $(Polyether Polyol Case: Carpenter Co., et al. v. BASF SE, et al.$), MDL No. 1616, Nos. 04-MD-1616, 08-2617, D. Kan.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 upheld summary judgment for the defendant in a premises liability action, agreeing that the organizer of a charity walk was not responsible for the condition of a public park where a woman was injured (Paulette Billie, et al. v. Autism Speaks Inc., No. 12-4559, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24873).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Maryland federal judge properly found that "fleeting" uses of a "Flying B" logo in three NFL videos do not represent copyright infringement because the displays are "incidental" and qualify as a fair use, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 17 (Frederick E. Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership, No. 12-2543, 4th Cir.).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Dec. 17 denied reconsideration of a summary judgment ruling in favor of Branch Banking and Trust Co. (BB&T) in a suit arising from a $20 million loan, dismissing the defendants' argument about fair market value of a property secured by the loan, "newly discovered evidence" and a loss-sharing agreement (Branch Banking and Trust Company v. David M. Frank, et al., No. 11-1366, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176727).
ALBANY, N.Y. - Ruling on questions certified to it by a federal appeals court, a divided panel of New York's highest court on Dec. 17 said the failure to assert an existing injury dooms plaintiffs' claims for medical monitoring to detect smoking-induced cancer (Marcia L. Caronia, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., No. 227, N.Y. App.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Dec. 16 affirmed a determination by an insolvent insurer's liquidator of an environmental insurance claim as a priority level (b) as arising under a policy and the liquidator's assignment of that claim with a zero value on the basis that the policy did not cover the claim (Raybestos Products Co. v. Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 11 MAP 2012, Pa. Sup.; 2013 Pa. LEXIS 3015).
CINCINNATI - A unanimous Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 17 denied a petition by a coal mine operator to review an award of black lung benefits after concluding that an administrative law judge and the U.S. Department of Labor Benefits Review Board properly applied the 15-year exposure presumption to the miner's claim (Island Creek Kentucky Mining v. Roy P. Ramage Sr., et al., No. 12-3873, 6th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 17 affirmed an award of black lung benefits over the objections of the West Virginia Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Fund after concluding that the employer has the burden of overcoming a presumption of exposure if the miner works 15 or more years in a coal mine (Big Branch Resources Inc. v. John A. Ogle, et al., No. 13-3251, 6th Cir.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Dec. 13 granted final approval of settlements worth $163.5 million between purchasers and the market leaders in the production of titanium dioxide on the purchasers' claims that the manufacturers engaged in price fixing, with the last agreement being reached on the eve of trial (In re Titanium Dioxide Antitrust Litigation [All Actions], No. 10-0318, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176099, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176100).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over the National Football League concussion injury multidistrict litigation appointed a special master on Dec. 16 to assist in evaluating the financial aspects of a proposed $765 million settlement (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, No. 12-2323, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Dec. 16 struck down a law amending the state's Megan's Law and imposing a two-year statute of limitations on asbestos actions, saying the legislation violated the "single subject" rule; the court stayed its ruling for 90 days to allow the Pennsylvania General Assembly time to devise a remedy (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. James Howard Neiman Jr., No. 74 MAP 2011, Pa. Sup.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 17 warned that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs containing methylphenidate can cause priapism in males.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Trade Commission (ITC) did not err in finding no violation of the Tariff Act by the importation of products alleged to have infringed two "machine vision" patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 16 (Cognex Corporation et al. v. International Trade Commission et al., No. 11-1098, Fed. Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A joint venture violated the terms of both its primary and excess insurance policies by not obtaining the insurer's consent before settlement and, thus, cannot now claim reimbursement under the policies, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 16 (Perini/Tompkins Joint Venture v. ACE American Insurance Co., No. 12-2415, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24865).
SEATTLE - Material questions of fact remain as to whether there may be different causes, including construction defects, rain and water seepage, that resulted in some or all of an insured's damage, a Washington federal judge held Dec. 13, denying summary judgment to the insured and her insurer (Shelmina Babai v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 12-1518, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175336).
NEW YORK - Indirect purchasers on Dec. 13 moved for preliminary approval of a $2.2 million settlement with Weisheng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. - two Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C - on the indirect purchasers' allegations that the defendants conspired to unlawfully fix prices of vitamin C to be exported to the United States and committed other unlawful practices designed to inflate the prices of vitamin C sold to the purchasers in the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(All Indirect Purchaser Actions$), Nos. 06-MD-1738, 06-988, 06-987, 06-149, E.D.N.Y.).