CHICAGO - A federal judge on Feb. 24 awarded summary judgment to defendants in a lawsuit brought by a couple claiming that the lender, loan servicer and nominee to their mortgage loan violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA), after finding that the plaintiffs were unable to produce sufficient evidence to support their allegations (David Cocroft, et al. v. HSBC Bank USA N.A., et al., No. 10 C 3408, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22680).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding no error in a Delaware federal judge's claim construction, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 upheld a stipulation of noninfringement entered into by a patent plaintiff (Starhome GmbH v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 12-1694, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A manufacturer of prosthetic knees failed to demonstrate that its rival violated California's antitrust law by using its market power to manipulate insurance reimbursement for such knees because the manufacturer failed to prove that competition was adversely affected, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 24 in an unpublished opinion (DAW Industries, Inc. v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., No. 11-56858, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3406).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 22 denied class certification to merchants who allege that Wells Fargo Bank NA and credit card payment processor First Data Merchant Services Corp. (FDMS) overcharged them for credit card processing fees, finding that the merchants do not meet certification requirements and dismissing the case (Spread Enterprises. Inc v. First Data Merchant Services Corporation, et al., No. 11-4743, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22307).
CHICAGO - A divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 21 affirmed a decision denying the University of Notre Dame's motion for a preliminary injunction in its case challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (University of Notre Dame v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-3853, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3326).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 24 affirmed a federal judge in Louisiana's decisions to deny a motion to remand a lawsuit filed by a number of state parishes that brought claims under the Louisiana Wildlife Protection Statute against companies related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and upheld the ruling finding the plaintiffs' claims preempted by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) (In re: Deepwater Horizon, No. 12-30012, 5th Cir.).
LONDON - An England and Wales justice on Feb. 24 dismissed a contractor's appeal of a tribunal's decision that modified a health and safety inspector's improvement notice, finding that the tribunal did not err when it found that the contractor breached health and safety law when it failed to notify the property owner about the risks of asbestos (MWH UK Limited v. Victoria Susan Wise $(H.M. Inspector of Health & Safety$), No. $(2014$) EWHC 427 $(Admin$), England and Wales High, Admin.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient expert opinions to support his claims (Peter Allan Sr. v. Dr. David Paulson, et al., No. A13-1133, Minn. App.; 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 141).
LOS ANGELES - A homeowners insurer failed to comply with the notice requirements of the Right to Repair Act, depriving a builder of its right to inspect and repair a defect in a home, a California appeals panel ruled Feb. 21, ordering summary judgment in favor of the builder (KB Home Greater Los Angeles Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County and Allstate Insurance Co., No. B246769, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 167).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A unanimous Third Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division panel affirmed summary judgment in part Feb. 20 for International Business Machines Corp. in a trichloroethylene vapor intrusion lawsuit severed from a class action for a test trial; the panel affirmed that certain of the seven severed plaintiffs may pursue trespass, private nuisance and medical monitoring claims (Thomas H. Ivory, et al. v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 516276, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1200).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Endo Health Solutions Inc. and subsidiary Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. will pay $192.7 million in criminal and civil penalties for their off-label marketing of the drug Lidoderm, the U.S. Justice Department announced Feb. 21.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 heard oral arguments on whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds by regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources such as power plants (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1146, American Chemistry Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1248, Energy-Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1254, Southeastern Legal Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1268, Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1269, Chamber of Commerce v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1272, U.S. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A divided Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on Feb. 19 reversed a decision ordering the disclosure of the rates managed care organizations (MCOs) paid to subcontractors and the rates the subcontractors paid to the providers of Medicaid dental services (Dental Benefit Providers Inc., et al. v. James Eiseman Jr., et al., Nos. 945 C.D. 2013, 957 C.D. 2013, 958 C.D. 2013, Pa. Comm.; 2014 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 113).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 denied two petitions for writ of certiorari filed by Sears Roebuck and Co. and Whirlpool Corp. in relation to rulings that granted class certification for various purchasers of front-loading washing machines who allege that a defect causes mold growth (Sears Roebuck and Co. v. Larry Butler, et al., No. 13-430, U.S. Sup.; Whirlpool Corp. v. Gina Glazer, et al., No. 13-431, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - In reversing a lower court decision, a California appeals panel on Feb. 19 held that emergency room physicians alleged sufficient facts to reflect the existence of a claim for negligent delegation asserted against health maintenance organizations for allegedly knowing that their independent practice associations (IPAs) were unable to pay the physicians for providing statutorily required services (Centinela Freeman Emergency Medical Associates, et al. v. Health Net of California Inc., et al., No. B238867, Calif. App., 2nd. Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 158).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming that Arizona cannot bar state Medicaid patients from obtaining covered family planning services from health care providers who also perform elective abortions (Tom Betlach, et al. v. Planned Parenthood of Arizona Inc., No. 13-621, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in a lawsuit over the validity of class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements and remanded the case to the Second District California Court of Appeal for further consideration in light of its ruling in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (570 U.S. __ ) (CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, et al. v. John Wade Fowler, et al., No. 13-439, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - Though an expert used the seemingly generic term valves during his testimony, when that testimony is taken in full context, he clearly referenced Crane Co.'s products alone, a California appeals panel held Feb. 21 in an asbestos exposure case (Elaine M. Paulus, et al. v. Crane Co., No. B246505, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 dismissed with prejudice a third amended complaint brought by plaintiffs claiming that misrepresentations made by loan servicers about the borrowers' ability to obtain loan modifications they did not qualify for resulted in the foreclosure of their homes, finding that the allegations did not include the required amount of specificity (Tom Casault v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., No. 11-10520, C.D. Calif.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 19 partially dismissed a dispute related to the payment of health care benefits for the treatment of autism, dismissing claims for legal damages and breach of contract but leaving a claim for equitable remedies (Patrick C. Jarman v. Capital Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-932, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20464).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 declined to review an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed the dismissal of attempted monopolization claims brought by the losing bidder in a bankruptcy auction of a steel mill's assets against the successful bidder, based on a finding that there was high cross-elasticity of supply, which deters monopoly pricing (Gulf States Reorganization Group, Inc. v. Nucor Corporation, No. 13-717, U.S. Sup.; 2013 U.S. Briefs 717; 2013 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 5120).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 21 dismissed a class complaint filed by prison employees who claimed they were denied full pay for mandatory meal breaks during which they were still "on call" (Sandra J. Babcock, et al. v. Butler County, et al., No. 12-394, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22170).
ATLANTA - In an unpublished per curiam opinion, a panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 affirmed the dismissal of a class action complaint brought by a group of medical associations and medical providers against multiple health insurers for allegedly wrongfully reducing payments for out-of-network services provided to the insureds' members, agreeing that the claims were "released claims" barred by settlement agreements in a similar case (The American Medical Association, et al. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-10916, 11th Cir.; 1014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3088).