SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on April 10 ordered a defendant company to produce copies of an incident report, an event information system (EIS) report and statements taken by three witnesses to a plaintiff's accident after finding that the information was not protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine (Thomas Hooke v. Foss Maritime Company, No. 13-cv-00994-JCS, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50741).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals court on April 10 reversed a summary judgment decision in favor of the defendant in a health insurance subrogation case, saying that the contract at issue was ambiguous and that the defendant did not show that its interpretation of the policy was the only reasonable interpretation (Philip Laboy, et al. v. Grange Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 100116, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 1460).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed a lower court judgment on April 9 and said the lower court should not have interjected itself into a reinsurance arbitration dispute (Savers Property and Casualty Insurance Company, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburg, PA, Nos. 13-2288 and 13-2289, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6488).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A South Dakota payday lender will pay $967,740 to the U.S. Treasury to settle the Federal Trade Commission's charges that it used unfair and deceptive tactics to collect on payday loans and forced debt-burdened consumers to travel to South Dakota and appear before a tribal court that did not have jurisdiction over their cases, the FTC announced April 11 (Federal Trade Commission v. Payday Financial LLC, et al., No. 11-3017, D. S.D.).
PHILADELPHIA - An Arkansas man who was convicted of identity theft and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) saw his judgment overturned in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11, with a panel finding that New Jersey had been the improper venue for his trial (United States of America v. Andrew Auernheimer, No. 13-1816, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6671).
CINCINNATI - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a beneficiary's claim for accidental death benefits or in awarding a statutory penalty for the plan's failure to timely provide a copy of the policy upon written request because, under the "clear-notice" standard, the plan administrator knew or should have known which documents were being requested, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 9 (Nicole Cultrona v. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 13-3558, 13-3585, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6486).
NEW YORK - A company's potential liability for an engine block maker it sold five years after purchasing it remains a triable fact, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Robert Bruce Burawa and Deborah Ann Burawa v. Acker Drill Co., et al., No. 190272/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - A corporate witness's unsubstantiated testimony that the company's "Asbestos Fiber Filler" never actually contained asbestos falls short of entitling it to judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Stanley Friedman & Phyllis Friedman v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190187/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on April 11 reversed an arbitrator's decision to award attorney and arbitration fees to the plaintiffs in a construction defects dispute (Guardian Builders LLC v. Randy Uselton, et al., No. 1121534, Ala. Sup.; 2014 Ala. LEXIS 540).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Northwestern University on April 9 asked the National Labor Relations Board to review a March 26 decision by the Chicago regional director finding that the university's football players who receive scholarships to play football at the university are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are entitled to vote on whether to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) for collective bargaining purposes (Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association [CAPA], No. 13-RC-121359, NLRB).
NEW YORK - Failure to elicit testimony regarding when a man allegedly suffered exposure to asbestos from joint compound does not warrant granting judgment to raw asbestos fiber supplier Union Carbide Corp., a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Ruth Vantosh and Harold Vantosh v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190439/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A consumer's revised allegations that he relied on a juicemaker's false and misleading "No Sugar Added" statement when deciding what 100 percent apple juice product to buy and that he will buy less of the product in the future due to the misrepresentation are sufficient for his claims to proceed under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes, a federal judge held April 8 (Mohammed Rahman v. Mott's LLP, No. 13-3482, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49169).
BEAUMONT, Texas - Because a Web host was merely a provider of "interactive computer service[s]" and not responsible for the content on two accused "revenge porn" websites, a Texas appeals panel on April 10 deemed GoDaddy.com LLC immune from obscenity and emotional distress claims against it under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (GoDaddy.com LLC v. Hollie Toups, et al., No. 09013099285-CV, Texas App., N.D.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 3891).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on April 7 denied motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded their federal securities law claims at this point in the litigation (Silverstrand Investments, et al. v. AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 10-10470, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48231).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on April 9 found that a class action complaint seeking more than $168 million in damages against a mortgage broker insured is covered under a professional liability insurance policy, reversing and remanding a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Jerilynn Gidney and Michael Goldberg v. Axis Surplus Insurance Co., No. 3D12-1250, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 5231).
NEW YORK - Deposition testimony from another asbestos case is admissible for summary judgment purposes, even if the plaintiff failed to timely designate the material as expert testimony, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 8 (Eileen C. Skelton, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 103009/08, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - Rejecting challenges to causation, liability apportionment and award offsets under Kansas law, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 10 affirmed a $3.8 million award against Cleaver Brooks Inc. (Kelly McCormick, et al. v. Cleaver Brooks Company Inc., No. 13-704, 2nd Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Consumers have standing to pursue California unfair competition law (UCL) class action claims alleging that a global consumer goods company misrepresented that its "naturals" line of hair care products contained no artificial ingredients because they adequately pleaded economic injury and reliance on the company's representations, a federal judge held April 9 (Alba Morales and Lanie Cohen v. Unilever United States, Inc., No. 13-2213, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49336).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Finding that a lower court applied the wrong standard for determining whether a homeowners insurer was owed attorney fees in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, a Florida appeals panel on April 9 reversed and remanded for the lower court to grant the insurer the right to attorney fees and decide the amount to be awarded (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Magdiel Perez, No. 4D12-1412, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 5153).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Pennsylvania federal judge erroneously deemed a defendant's infringement of a radiation treatment beam patent willful, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 10 (University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education v. Varian Medical Systems Inc., No. 12-1575, Fed. Cir.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal jury on April 9 found that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. did not negligently fail to warn a plaintiff's doctor about the risks of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) from the company's bisphosphonate drugs Aredia and Zometa (Ruth Dopson-Troutt, et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 8:06-1708, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div.).
MIAMI - A New York-based engineering company filed a complaint in a Florida state court on April 8, contending that it was not paid for construction design services after contractors botched building part of a museum (ARUP USA Inc. v. Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami Dade County Inc., No. 2014-9218-CA, Fla. Cir., Miami Dade Co.).