If Methods Are Reliable, Jury, Not Judge, Approves Data Choice, 7th Circuit Says

CHICAGO - A plaintiff's expert who used a reliable and accepted methodology for calculating business interruption damages cannot be excluded because of his choice of data to input, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 16 (Manpower, Inc. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 12-2688, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20959).

3rd Circuit: Grocery Store Needed Union's Consent To Raise Wages

PHILADELPHIA - A grocery store chain violated its collective bargaining agreement when it gave wage increases and higher starting wages to certain employees in one of its Pennsylvania stores without first obtaining consent from the union, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 16 (Giant Eagle, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 23, No. 12-4588, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20917).

Judge: Discovery Needed To Determine If Delay Of UIM Claim Is Bad Faith

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Finding "potentially unacceptable delays" in an insurer's handling of its policyholders' underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 15 said it was "premature to dismiss" the insureds' bad faith claim and denied the insurer's motion to that end (Barry Shaffer, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-01837, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147875).

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Won't Review $10.5M Prempro Breast Cancer Verdict

PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 16 denied drug manufacturer Wyeth's petition to appeal a $10.5 million hormone replacement therapy verdict in favor of a breast cancer plaintiff (Connie J. Barton v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., Nos. 176 EAL 2012 and 177 EAL 2012, Pa. Sup., Eastern Dist.).

Avandia Refund Class Dismissed With Prejudice By MDL Judge

PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on Oct. 15 dismissed with prejudice a purported refund class action, saying that most claims are not allowed under New Jersey law and that the warranty claim is not supported by evidence (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, Richard V. D'Apuzzo, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 07-4963, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149057).

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Won't Transfer Copyright Case

PHILADELPHIA - Allegations that a textbook maker infringed a photography agency's copyrights will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a judge in that court ruled Oct. 16 (Jon Feingersh Photography Inc. v. Pearson Education Inc., No. 13-78, E.D. Pa.).

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Affirms Statute Of Repose Bars Workers' Comp Claim

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A unanimous Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Oct. 15 affirmed denial of workers' compensation survivor benefits to the widow of a Rohm & Haas Co. research scientist who died of brain cancer because the claim is barred by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act statute of repose (Kuo-Hom Hsu v. Rohm & Haas Co., No. 328 CD 2013, Pa. Cmwlth; 2013 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 758).

Topamax Birth Defect Trial Gets Under Way In Pennsylvania State Court

PHILADELPHIA - A trial in which a woman alleges that the epilepsy drug Topamax caused her daughter's birth defect began Oct. 15 in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court (April Czimmer, et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutica, No. 1105-03459, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Website, Traditional Contacts Convey Jurisdiction Over Helmet Maker, Judge Finds

SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 10 held that because the website of a helicopter helmet maker allowed for sales to Pennsylvania customers and specifically referenced the plaintiff's trademarks, there were sufficient contacts to establish jurisdiction over the defendant, denying a motion to dismiss (Gentex Corp. v. Ronald Abbott, et al., No. 3:12-cv-02549, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146662).

Consumer Sues Banks Over Participation In Illegal Payday Loan Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - A consumer sued three banks in Pennsylvania federal court on Oct. 14, alleging that the banks engaged in a payday lending scheme in states where such loans are illegal in violation of state and federal law (Patricia Booth v. BMO Harris Bank N.A., et al., No. 13-5968, E.D. Pa.).

Federal Judge Compels Arbitration In London In Patent Infringement Coverage Suit

PHILADELPHIA - An excess insurance policy binds the excess insurer and its insured to arbitrate a patent infringement coverage dispute in London pursuant to a condition in the insured's primary policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 11 (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., No. 13-3869, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147247).

Seismic Data, Well Logs Ruled Discoverable In Suit Against Natural Gas Well Company

SCRANTON, Pa. - Susquehanna County, Pa., residents seeking to recover in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for alleged contamination of their residential well water with hydraulic fracturing chemicals were granted access on Oct. 11 to seismic data and open hole logs from a natural gas extraction company defendant and a contractor for the defendant that is a nonparty in the litigation (Susan Berish, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Co., et al., No. 10-1981, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147318).

Pa. Top Court Declines 'Each And Every' Testimony Appeal In Asbestos Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 10 denied a petition for appeal challenging a lower court's admission of "each and every" exposure testimony in a welding rod case when other evidence of causation also exists (Michelle Wolfinger, administratrix of the estate of Robert Wolfinger v. 20th Century Glove Corp. of Texas, et al., No. 283 EAL 2013, Pa. Sup.).

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Denies Attorney Fees In Trademark Case

PHILADELPHIA - Despite prevailing on infringement and dilution claims surrounding the "Crab Fries" trademark, a plaintiff was denied an award of damages and attorney fees by a Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 9 (CPC Properties Inc. v. Dominic Inc., No. 12-4405, E.D. Pa.).

Judge Confirms Final Arbitration Award Regarding Former Captive Reinsurer

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania confirmed a final arbitration award in an arbitration between a corporation and its former captive reinsurer on Oct. 3 (Fencourt Reinsurance Company Ltd. v. ITT Industries Inc., No. 06-cv-04786, E.D. Pa.).

3rd Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Prisoner's Medical Malpractice Case

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 affirmed dismissal of a Pennsylvania inmate's medical negligence action, concluding that he failed to show that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs (Michael Bearam v. George C. Wigen, et al., No. 13-2167, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20400).

3rd Circuit Affirms Denial Of Pennsylvania Purchasing Agent's Race Bias Claims

PHILADELPHIA - A former Pennsylvania state purchasing agent failed to prove that he was the victim of racial discrimination when his probationary period was extended and he was ultimately terminated, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 2, upholding a trial court's rulings (Ed Collins v. Daniel Boyd, et al., No. 13-1739, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20111).

Improper Investigation Claim Sufficiently Supports Bad Faith Claim, Judge Finds

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A plaintiff in an uninsured motorist (UM) dispute sufficiently alleged that his insurer failed to properly investigate his claim prior to denying it, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Sept. 26, denying the insurer's motion to dismiss the insured's bad faith claim (Patrick D. Pauling v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-01348, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137950).

Judge: Lead Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Scienter In Securities Class Action Suit

BOISE, Idaho - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is necessary, a federal judge in Idaho ruled Sept. 26, because lead plaintiffs in the action have failed to plead scienter (Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Pension Plan v. Hecla Mining Co., et al., No. 12-0042, D. Idaho; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139869).

Pa. Topamax Judge Won't Exclude 2 Defense Generic Causation Experts For Now

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge overseeing state court cases involving Topamax on Sept. 26 denied for now motions by the plaintiffs to exclude two defense expert witnesses (In Re: Topamax Litigation, No. 110602131, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

GSK Citizenship Ruling Isn't Retroactive, Judge Says In Paxil Birth Defect Case

PHILADELPHIA - A recent federal appeals court ruling that GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a citizen of Delaware for purposes of diversity of citizenship cannot be retroactively applied to a Paxil birth defect case that was remanded to state court more than a year before the appellate court ruling, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 26 (Madison Powell, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 13-3693, E.D. Pa.).

Pittsburgh Corning Judge Wants Proof Predecessor Excluded Limited Partnerships

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 25 said he cannot reconsider his confirmation of the Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) reorganization plan until he learns when the issue of the exclusion of limited partnerships was first raised by another judge (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

Pennsylvania Top Court Reverses After Plaintiffs Concede Causation Standard

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Both parties in a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case challenging the causation standard in an asbestos action now agree that the plaintiffs lack evidence of regular and frequent exposure given the court's rejection of the "each and every" exposure theory, the court held Sept. 26 (Margaret Howard, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., Nos. 48 EAP 2012, 49 EAP 2012, 50 EAP 2012, Pa. Sup.).

Judge Dismisses Proposed Class's Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Claim

BALTIMORE - A proposed class's claim under Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) against a real estate settlement services company was dismissed by a federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 25 after holding that Maryland law applies to the claim because it is the location where the plaintiffs' alleged economic injury occurred when closing on a loan refinancing their mortgage (Lisa Garland, et al. v. ServiceLink L.P., et al., No. GLR-13-1472, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137143).

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Denies New Trial, Upholds $1.1 Billion Award

PITTSBURGH - A request for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a jury's $1.1 billion award for patent infringement was denied Sept. 23 by a Pennsylvania federal judge, who instead granted the prevailing plaintiff partial JMOL on the question of willfulness (Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., No. 09-290, W.D. Pa.).