LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Dec. 20 announced that a Scottish health board was fined by a sheriff court for a safety failing that led to workers being exposed to asbestos over seven years.
BOISE, Idaho - A plaintiff's "conclusory" allegations that a defendant provided source code to third parties is insufficient to sustain an allegation of contributory copyright infringement, an Idaho federal judge ruled Dec. 17 (Asset Vision LLC, et al. v. Brad Hall & Associates Inc., et al., No. 13-288, D. Idaho).
TULSA, Okla. - Excess insurers do not have a duty to "drop down" in place of an insolvent primary insurer and defend or indemnify an insured in an underlying asbestos lawsuit, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled Dec. 19 (Canal Insurance Co. v. Montello Inc., et al., No. 10-411, N.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178118).
LOS ANGELES - The attorney representing bankrupt GGW Brands Inc., the producer of adult videos that carry the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Dec. 18 filed a statement of issues on appeal regarding a ruling issued by the bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California ordering him to disgorge the majority of a $20,000 retainer related to his work for GGW (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Court of Appeals on Dec. 18 upheld dismissal of a homeowner's complaint for water damage to his property, ruling that the state Construction Contractors Board was correct to rule that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim for relief for negligent or improper home inspection work (Duncan Hettle v. Construction Contractors Board, No. A142840, Ore. App.; 2013 Ore. App. LEXIS 1491).
NEW YORK - The class plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Dec. 19 filed a designation of appeal contending that evidence presented in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was not considered (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - Even though an Illinois federal judge ultimately found that an insurer owed a duty to defend Kmart Corp. in a personal injury suit that involved an employee of an outside company that operated the retailer's footwear section, the judge on Dec. 18 held that because the coverage was "fairly debatable," the insurer's denial of defense was not in bad faith (Kmart Corp. v. Footstar Inc., et al., No. 1:09-cv-03607, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177763).
CHICAGO - A revenue-sharing agreement (RSA) between an insurer and an insurance broker is ambiguous, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 19, finding that the insurer was entitled to a rebate it earned during the period of the 2009 reinsurance placements (Homeowners Choice Inc. v. Aon Benfield Inc., No. 13-1846, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25194).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 partially vacated the rejection of a former Texas county employee's suit over her termination and remanded, ordering the district court to decide whether it should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff's appeal of her grievance denied by the Nueces County Civil Service Commission (Maria Angela Vasquez v. Nueces County, Texas, No. 13-40453, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25220).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 19 ruled that although a law firm's request for attorney fees in a securities class action lawsuit against Citigroup Inc. and others was too high, the firm is still entitled to 16 percent of the overall settlement amount (In re Citigroup Inc. Bond Litigation, No. 08-9522, S.D. N.Y.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (BII) will face sanctions, possibly including adverse inference and the loss of certain affirmative defenses, after the Pradaxa maker said it cannot produce the complete files of a former high-level scientist involved in the development of the blood thinner, the judge presiding over a multidistrict litigation said in a Dec. 18 order (In Re: Pradaxa $(Dabigatran Etexilate$) Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2385, No. 2:13-md-2385, S.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177597).
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Actos multidistrict litigation on Dec. 19 said that a plaintiff in the first bellwether trial can present expert testimony that use of the type 2 diabetes drug can cause bladder cancer within one year of use (In Re: Actos $(Pioglitazone$) Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 6:11-md-2299, Terrence Allen, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., et al., No. 12-64, W.D. La., Lafayette Div.).
NEW YORK - A hotel and movie theater operator on Dec. 19 moved for the preliminary approval of a settlement of a putative class action in a New York federal court alleging that American Express Co.'s merchant discount fee violates antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act (The Marcus Corp. v. American Express Co., et al., No. 04-5432, S.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A southern Ohio water utility seeking declaratory judgment and indemnification from DuPont for perfluorooctanoic acid contamination of its water well field in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio failed to meet its burden for the imposition of sanctions for the conduct of an attorney for DuPont during a deposition in May, the presiding magistrate judge ruled Dec. 17 (Little Hocking Water Association Inc. v. DuPont, No. 09-1081, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176763).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Allegations of infringement and false designation of origin levied in connection with the "IntelliJet" trademark were rejected Dec. 19 by an Ohio federal judge, who found that the plaintiff failed to use its mark in commerce (NetJet Inc. v. IntelliJet Group LLC, No. 12-59, S.D. Ohio.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) on Dec. 19 approved a stipulation between OSG and a group of creditors, including Citi Group Financial Products Inc., under which the claims would be permitted against the bankruptcy estate for a total of $47,499,900 (In Re: Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., No. 12-20000, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy, will pay a $3.2 million civil penalty for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and spend $6.5 million to restore sites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State of West Virginia contend were damaged when the company unlawfully moved dredged material as part of its natural gas extraction activities, some of which involve hydraulic fracturing, according to a complaint and consent decree filed Dec. 19 in West Virginia federal court (United States of America, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, No. 13-cv-00170-FPS, N.D. W.Va.).
LOS ANGELES - Under California's "shine the light" (STL) privacy law, consumers must actually try to request the required disclosures before an injury exists; a company's failure to provide contact information alone does not suffice, a state appeals court held Dec. 19 in affirming dismissal of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Boorstein v. CBS Interactive Inc., No. B247472, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Dec. 18 selected the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois as the proper venue to consolidate two actions involving former college athletes who claim that they suffer from long-term health problems due to concussion injuries (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL-2492, JPMDL).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada state court jury on Dec. 16 found that Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. did not defectively design its Actos diabetes drug or fail to warn a plaintiff about the risk of bladder cancer (Allen K. Alsabagh v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., et al., No. A-12-665708-C, Nev. Dist., Clark Co.).
ATLANTA - A unanimous 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed the issuance of an order compelling Chevron Corp. and one of its experts to produce some 1,200 documents to the Republic of Ecuador to permit the country to defend the $9 billion judgment against Chevron in the Lago Agrio litigation for personal injury and contamination damages entered in November by the highest court in Ecuador (Republic of Ecuador, et al. v. Dr. Robert E. Hinchee, No. 12-16216, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25102).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Dec. 17 denied class certification of an insured's lawsuit regarding claims that exclusions for "water seepage" and "wear and tear" are ambiguous and that her claim for water damage was wrongly denied (Wanda Bunch v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-1238, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177057).
NEW YORK - A man's testimony that he recalled a defendant from conversations with unidentified co-workers goes to the weight of his evidence, and its admissibility can be determined by the trial judge, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 18 (Anthony M. Bova and Dorothy Bova v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 102148/03, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - The First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division on Dec. 17 affirmed dismissal of negligence and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation claims against insurance brokers (Structure Tone Inc. v. Thomas Niland, et al., No. 11357, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8332).
NEW YORK - An architect's belief that he worked with asbestos-free joint compound is not dispositive in light of evidence that Georgia-Pacific LLC produced only limited amounts of such a product during the time in question, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 18 (William Berensmann and Madelyn Berensmann v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190472/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).