ATLANTA - A food company sales broker is not entitled to receive overtime pay under federal law, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 6, upholding a trial court's decision (Jerry Robin Reyes, et al. v. Goya Foods, Inc., d.b.a. Goya Foods of Florida, No. 13-12827, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24257).
WHEELING, W.Va. - West Virginia property owners alleging negligence claims against natural gas well companies in a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia lawsuit for methane contamination of a domestic water well on Dec. 6 were granted leave to file a second amended complaint; the presiding judge denied a motion to reconsider dismissal of statutory negligence claims against one of the three companies joined by the plaintiffs (Jeremiah N. Magers, et uxor v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 12-49, N.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114157).
CLEVELAND - The Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 overturned summary judgment for a property owner named as the defendant in a premises liability action, concluding that a man's injuries were the result of faulty construction (Scott J. Wallace v. Golden Comb Inc., et al., No. 99910, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 5541).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of frivolous patent prosecution by Ford Motor Co. were rejected Dec. 5 by a New Jersey federal judge (Marlowe Patent Holdings v. Ford Motor Company, No. 11-7044, D. N.J.).
PORTLAND, Maine - Efforts by two trademark infringement defendants to bar a plaintiff from introducing evidence of secondary meaning after the defendant adopted the allegedly infringing trademark were unsuccessful on Dec. 6 (165 Park Row Inc. v. JHR Development LLC et al., No. 12-106, D. Maine).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 5 granted a preliminary injunction to keep a health insurance company group from terminating approximately 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage program (Fairfield County Medical Association, et al. v. United Healthcare of New England, et al., No. 13-1621, D. Conn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal district court's decision on the merits that leaves unresolved a request for contractual attorney fees is a final decision subject to immediate appeal, an employer told the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 in urging the court to overturn a ruling by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Ray Haluch Gravel Co., et al. v. Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers, et al., No. 12-992, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Friday granted final approval of a $153 million securities class action settlement between investors and Fannie Mae and KPMG LLP, ruling that the terms of the settlement and the plan of allocation meet all statutory requirements (In re: Fannie Mae Securities Litigation, No. 04-01639, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 6 granted final approval of a record-setting $500 million securities class action settlement in three related actions against Countrywide Financial Corp. for misrepresenting the investment quality of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) it offered to investors (David H. Luther v. Countrywide Financial Corp., No. 12-5125; Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan v. Countrywide Financial Corp., No. 12-5122; and Maine State Retirement System v. Countrywide Financial Corp., No. 10-0302, C.D. Calif.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Washington Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 affirmed summary judgment for the defendant in a medical malpractice action, agreeing with the trial court that the plaintiff's claims were time-barred (Keith L. Dixon v. Yakima HMA LLC, No. 30537-6-III, Wash. App., Div. 3; 2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2752).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 6 held that the court has jurisdiction to hear a hospital's challenge of whether the regulatory scheme governing the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) violates the Medicare Act and the Administrative Procedure Act but denied the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction to halt the defendants from applying the scheme to its current and future reclassification applications (Lawrence & Memorial Hospital v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-1495, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172120).
ROANOKE, Va. - Citing an absence of a competitive injury, a Virginia federal judge on Dec. 6 agreed with a defendant that false marking claims levied under 35 U.S. Code Section 292 fail as a matter of law (Ponani Sukumar et al. v. Nautilus Inc., No. 11-218, W.D. Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge has struck the affirmative defenses of a tobacco distributor sued for trade mark infringement, saying in a Dec. 5 opinion that the defendant had provided no factual underpinning for the defenses (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Fuad Naji Saeed, No. 3:13-cv-03837-SI, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171857).
DETROIT - The Michigan Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case, holding that the trial court did not err by excluding a document from the patient's medical chart (Eric Korpal, et al. v. Samuel Shaheen M.D., et al., No. 309344, Mich. App.; 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1977).
TRENTON - An insurer's reformation of two of a condominium association insured's four Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIPs) was mandated by federal law, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Dec. 4, dismissing with prejudice the insured's breach of contract claim based on those two policies (The Residences at Bay Point Condominium Association Inc. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-02380 (FLW)(LHG), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170811).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 3 found that plaintiffs' breach of contract claims are not properly joined in a lawsuit seeking federal flood coverage for damage caused by Superstorm Sandy (Linda Salle, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13 CV 6020 (SJF)(GRB), E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171026).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) was right to rule in favor of the Internal Revenue Service regarding a proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA) amendment affecting probationary employees, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 6 after determining that the National Treasury Employees Union's (NTEU) amendment would "ignore both the statutory and regulatory frameworks that Congress and the executive branch have put in place, create a stark circuit split, and overturn nearly thirty years of settled public-employee practice" (National Treasury Employees Union v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, No. 12-2574, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24298).
SAN DIEGO - In a pair of Dec. 4 rulings, a California federal judge dismissed all of an Internet-based automotive parts retailer's trademark infringement claims against search engine provider Google Inc. as barred by laches and precluded by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) while permitting a federal infringement claim against rival search engine provider Yahoo! Inc. to proceed (Parts.com LLC v. Google Inc., No. 3:13-cv-01074, and Parts.com LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:13-cv-01078, S.D. Calif.).
NASSAU, N.Y. - A man's diagnosis with several allegedly asbestos-related diseases in 2009 makes his 2012 action untimely, but claims based on later diagnoses can proceed, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 5 (Charles Conforti Sr. and Janet Conforti v. County of Nassau, et al., No. 600858/13, N.Y. Sup., Nassau Co.; 2013 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5591).
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a district court's ruling that a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) did not have jurisdiction to direct the administration of the bankruptcy estate as it related to securing payment for commodities customers (Sapere Wealth Management v. MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 12-4254, Chapter 11, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24267).
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Dec. 6 denied a petition for certification of a Superior Court ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 514(a) expressly preempts a medical provider's claims against the ERISA plan for payment of the provider's customary fees for the services it rendered to patients, rather than the discounted fees the plan would have been legally entitled to pay had it not breached its contractual obligation for timely payment (St. Peter's University Hospital v. New Jersey Building Laborers Statewide Welfare Fund, et al. v. Union Labor Life Insurance Company, No. C-224 September Term 2013, N.J. Sup.).
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Dec. 5 granted the motion of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver of a failed bank, to dismiss a suit alleging that the bank was negligent in allowing an individual to withdraw money from a customer's safety deposit because the plaintiff did not make a timely administrative claim with the FDIC before filing the suit (Margerie Kramer, et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 08-1430, S.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171393).
HARRISBURG - A unanimous Pennsylvania Superior Court panel issued an opinion Dec. 6 affirming summary judgment against the widow of a contractor employee who alleges that her late husband contracted cancer as a result of chemical exposure at a Rohm & Haas Co. facility in suburban Philadelphia; the testimony of her causation expert was properly excluded under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 702, according to the panel (Anne Snizavich v. Rohm & Haas Co., No. 1383 EDA 2012, Pa. Super.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Dec. 6 that a disability plan participant who was awarded benefits under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(1)(b) was also entitled to an equitable award of $3.79 million in disgorged profits under Section 502(a)(3) (Todd R. Rochow, et al. v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24271).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 vacated a judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that denied transfer of a patent dispute to New York federal court (Broadcom Inc. v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, et al., No, 12-1475, U.S. Sup.).