California Panel Affirms Decision For Defendant In Medical Negligence Case

LOS ANGELES - In a 2-1 decision, the Second District California Court of Appeal on May 14 upheld a defense judgment in favor of Los Angeles paramedics accused of medical negligence, agreeing that the plaintiff failed to present necessary expert testimony (Dong Jee v. City of Los Angeles Fire Department Emergency Medical Services, No. B234445, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3560).

Louisiana High Court: Driver Distraction May Have Caused Auto Accident

NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Supreme Court on May 8 overturned a judgment for the plaintiff in an auto accident action, disagreeing with the trial court's determination that the defendant was negligent in leaving a disabled vehicle on the side of a highway (Jeryd Zito v. Advanced Emergency Medical Services Inc., No. 2011-C-2382, La. Sup.; 2012 La. LEXIS 1314).

Judge Narrows Claims In Trade Secrets Suit Over Breathing Device

CONCORD, N.H. - Tort claims based on misappropriation of technical and customer information related to an emergency breathing apparatus are preempted under the New Hampshire Uniform Trade Secrets Act (NHUTSA), a New Hampshire federal judge said May 7, while claims stemming from commercial disparagement are not (Wilcox Industries Corp. v. Mark Hansen, Advanced Life Support Technologies Inc.,  Case No. 11-cv-551-PB, D. N.H.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63668).

Security Company That Works For White House, Other Agencies, Files For Bankruptcy

GREENBELT, Md. - A private company that provides security for the White House and other government agencies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 18 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, citing liabilities of more than $12.9 million and assets of only $7.36 million (In Re: TW & Company Inc., No. 12-17363, Chapter 11, D. Md. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the petition and emergency motion available within the full update.

Parties File Joint Motion To Certify Settlement Class In FEMA Trailer Litigation

NEW ORLEANS - The parties to the multidistrict Federal Emergency Management Agency formaldehyde trailer litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana filed a joint motion April 13 for certification of a settlement class and for preliminary approval of a global settlement of all remaining claims in the litigation; the amount of the settlement is confidential (In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation, No. 07-1873, MDL 1873, E.D. La.).  Subscribers may view the stipulation of settlement, joint brief in support, and proposed settlemet order and individual settlement sheets available within the full update.

United States Granted Judgment On Louisiana Claims In FEMA Trailer Litigation

NEW ORLEANS - Confirming the dismissal of the remaining claims brought by Louisiana plaintiffs in the multidistrict Federal Emergency Management Agency formaldehyde trailer litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt issued final judgment on April 11 for the United States in some 1,500 actions in the litigation docket (In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation, No. 07-1873, MDL 1873, E.D. La.).  Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.

Financial Crisis-Related Securities Suits Down In 2011, Report Shows

NEW YORK - The filing of financial crisis-related securities lawsuits continued to drop in 2011, while securities lawsuit filings regarding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) emerged as a growing area of litigation, according to an annual study issued by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on April 11.

FEMA Trailer Litigation Judge Finds No Jurisdiction Over Gross Negligence Claims

NEW ORLEANS - The gross negligence claims against the United States for failing to warn the Louisiana plaintiffs in the multidistrict Federal Emergency Management Agency formaldehyde trailer litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana were dismissed March 23 for lack of jurisdiction (In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation,  No. 07-1873, MDL 1873, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40558).

Getty Seeks Authority To Reject Unexpired Leases For Nearly 1,000 Properties

NEW YORK - Bankrupt Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) on March 21 filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking an order rejecting certain residential property leases to maximize the value of its bankruptcy estate (In Re: Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc., No. 11-15606, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

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California Appeals Panel: Plaintiffs Failed To Show Legal Malpractice Damages

LOS ANGELES - The Second District California Court of Appeal on March 20 affirmed summary judgment for an attorney accused of malpractice in representing the plaintiffs in a construction defects action, concluding that the plaintiffs failed to establish damages (Mary Gaskin, et al. v. Debra Wegman, No. B230252, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2121).

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Ohio Court Reverses Ruling Requiring Tenant To Repair Mold Damage

CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals court on March 22 reversed an order of specific performance that would require a tenant to return a bowling alley to an operable state, finding that requiring him to first remediate mold and water damage at the site would cause undue hardship and would be inequitable (Midamco v. Mark L. Sashko, et al.,  Nos. 96683 and 97180, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 1066).

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Company Hit With Share Of $21M Asbestos Verdict Settles, Drops Appeal

SAN FRANCISCO - A construction company liable in an asbestos case that resulted in a $21,273,421 verdict against it and another defendant in 2011 dismissed its appeal March 22 after the parties reached a settlement, according to the docket (John Casey and Patricia Casey v. Asbestos Defendants., et al., No. 275517, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

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1st Circuit Says Bankruptcy Attorney Not Entitled To 'Duplicative' Fees, Expenses

BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 ruled that a debtor couple's bankruptcy attorney was not entitled to the fees and expenses he requested because he sought to be paid for work that was "duplicative and unnecessary" (L. Jed Berliner v. Denise M. Pappalardo,  (In re: David Sullivan, et al.), No. 11-1830, Chapter 13, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5926).

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Illinois Village Sues Shell, Other Oil Companies Over Alleged Benzene Leaks

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - An Illinois village of 1,500 people has sued several oil refining companies in state court, saying in a March 20 complaint that the Wood River Oil Refinery has contaminated the village's land, air and water with benzene and other cancer-causing hydrocarbons (Village of Roxana v. Shell Oil Co., et al., No. 2012 L 357, Ill. Cir., Madison Co.).

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Georgia Appeals Panel: Plaintiff Had Knowledge Of Dangerous Condition

ATLANTA - A Georgia Court of Appeals panel on March 21 reversed a trial court decision denying summary judgment to the defendant in a premises liability action, noting that the plaintiff had knowledge of potentially dangerous steps that caused his injury (Johnny Benefield v. Michael Harold Vance,  No. A11A1817, Ga. App.; 2012 Ga. App. LEXIS 309).

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Judge: Workers' Comp Act Bars Insurance Code, Deceptive Trade Practices Claims

HOUSTON - Controlling precedent from the Texas Supreme Court led a Texas federal judge on March 20 to grant dismissal of an insured's claims that his insurer violated the state Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), finding that state law precluded such claims related to workers' compensation claims (Keen v. Wausau Business Insurance Co., et al., No. 4:11-cv-01415, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37354).

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Experts Limited In Challenge To Colorado's New Ballot Referendum Process

DENVER - Plaintiffs alleging that changes to Colorado's processes for ballot initiatives and referendums violate their First and 14th Amendment rights lost some expert testimony about the impact of the new law when a federal judge excluded portions of the experts' opinions as unreliable in three orders on March 21 (Independence Institute, et al. v. Scott Gessler, No 10-cv-00609-PAB-MEH, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38025).

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MF Global Creditor Wants To Pursue Claim Funds Transferred Inappropriately

NEW YORK - A creditor who had invested money with bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. moved March 20 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for leave to appeal to prosecute the debtor for inappropriately transferring futures accounts he had with the company before the bankruptcy filing (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

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Pa. Federal Judge Finds Fact Issues Exist, Summary Judgment Not Warranted

PHILADELPHIA - Because genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether excess insurers' policies preclude coverage for underlying asbestos claims, a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 21 denied the insurers' motions for summary judgment (General Refractories Co. v. First State Insurance Co.,et al., No. 04-3509, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38169).

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4th Circuit: North Carolina Lien Provision Violates Federal Medicaid Law

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 22 overturned a federal trial court decision regarding a state Medicaid lien placed on a lump-sum medical malpractice settlement, saying the North Carolina third-party liability statutes do not comply with federal Medicaid law as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services v. Ahlborn (547 U.S. 268 (2006)) (E.M.A., a minor, et al., v. Lanier M. Cansler, in his official capacity as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, No. 10-1865, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5996).

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Judge Dismisses Competition Law Claims In Case Alleging Payday Lending Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO - Consumers claiming that businesses used banking information obtained from payday loan applications to create unauthorized checks to pay for coupon services must amend their California unfair competition law (UCL) claims to allege where the conduct occurred, a federal judge held March 22. The consumers cannot, however, seek restitution from the banks on which the funds were drawn, the judge said (Amber Kristi Marsh and Stacie Evans, et al. v. Zaazoom Solutions LLC, et al., No. 11-5226, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37758).

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Pfizer Pays Oregon $3.34M To Settle Unlawful Trade Practice Probe For 2 Drugs

SALEM, Ore. - Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay $3.34 million to settle an investigation by Oregon into the company's promotion and marketing practices of its antibiotic Zyvox and its anticonvulsant drug Lyrica, the state Justice Department announced March 20 (In The Matter Of: Pfizer Inc., No. n/a, Ore. Cir., Marion Co.).

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Indirect Purchasers Have Article III Standing To Pursue State Antitrust Claims

PHILADELPHIA - Indirect purchasers have standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to sue producers of eggs for price fixing under the antitrust laws of Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota even though the indirect purchasers did not reside in or buy eggs in those states, the federal judge in Pennsylvania who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation ruled March 20 (In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation (In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2002, No. 08-md-02002, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37265).

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Federal Judge Grants FDIC's Motion To Strike Jury Demand In Receiver Suit

DETROIT - A federal judge on March 21 granted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion to strike the plaintiff's jury demand in a suit in which the former general counsel for a bank taken into receivership by the FDIC sued the FDIC in an attempt to recover attorney fees for work the firm did before the bank went into receivership (Commercial Law Corp., P.C. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.,  No. 10-13275, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38013).

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Federal Judge In North Carolina Limits Expert On FDA In Action Against Novartis

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An expert on the Food and Drug Administration is not qualified to testify about defendant Novartis Pharmaceuticals' Corp.'s conduct regarding approvals and post-approval of new drug applications or the drug maker's communication to health care providers of the risks of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a North Carolina federal judge hearing the Aredia and Zometa multidistrict litigation held March 21 ( Betty Lemons v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, No. 3:08-cv-00361, W.D. N.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38053).

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