ST. LOUIS - A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on Dec. 13 sustained a debt collector's motion for summary judgment in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit against a consumer, ruling that the consumer has failed to show that any FDCPA violation occurred (Joyce Hipps v. LVNV Funding LLC, No. 12-1297, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175092).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 declined to review the wire fraud conviction of the former chief executive officer of biotechnology company InterMune Inc. based on a press release about a drug clinical study that federal prosecutors allege was false and misleading (W. Scott Harkonen v. United States, No. 13-180, U.S. Sup.).
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A provision in a plaintiff couple's deed of trust (DOT) allows Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to obtain attorney fees after successfully defending a wrongful foreclosure suit because the couple's lawsuit could have "significantly affected" the lender's interest in the property, a federal judge in Missouri ruled Dec. 12 (Kenneth D. Wivell, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-03457-DGK, W.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175501).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Partly denying an insurer's motion to dismiss, a Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 13 held that an insured sufficiently alleged bad faith and breach of contract by claiming that her homeowners insurer falsely assessed a claim, which led to the improper raising of her insurance premiums (Joanna Hall v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 3:13-cv-000206, E.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174522).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Trade Commission (ITC) did not err in finding that Motorola Mobility LLC violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act when it imported and sold mobile devices that infringe Microsoft Corp.'s U.S. patent No. 6,370,566, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 16 (Motorola Mobility LLC v. International Trade Commission and Microsoft Corp., No. 12-1535, Fed. Cir.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Dec. 13 denied summary judgment in a fen-phen lung injury case, finding that there is evidence about whether the prescribing doctor knew about the risk of the diet drug Pondimin and evidence that former manufacturer Wyeth suppressed information about adverse event reports (Michael J. Tersigni v. Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 11-466, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174762).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 affirmed a district court's ruling that the convictions of three people who ran a fraud scheme involving residential mortgages and bankruptcies were appropriate given all the evidence (United States of America v. Charles White, et al., No. 11-3240, Chapter 7, 7th Cir.; 2013. U.S. App. LEXIS 24809).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 12 ordered the federal judge in Arizona presiding over the multidistrict litigation court for claims challenging the formation and operation of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) to decide if an order dismissing a portion of a man's lawsuit is appealable (Dustin Rollins, et al. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., et al., No. 12-16261, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24703).
HELENA, Mont. - A split Montana Supreme Court on Dec. 13 upheld a state court's order defining the class in a suit challenging the denial of a preauthorization request for a medical procedure but reversed and remanded with respect to the court's certification of the plaintiffs' claim as to "$(w$)hether the State of Montana breached its contract" and remanded to allow the court to consider whether a question could be presented where individual questions would not predominate (Steve Sangwin, et al. v. State of Montana, et al., No. 12-0712, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 496).
RUTLAND, Vt. - Despite subsequent U.S. Supreme Court precedent that deemed warrantless use of a global positioning system (GPS) device on a car to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 13 held that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's placement of such a device prior to that ruling was done in good faith and based on existing binding appellate precedent (United States v. Stephen Aguiar, et al., No. 11-5262-cr, 11-5329-cr and 11-5330-cr, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24803).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 denied review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling vacating denial of class certification to retirement plans' participants on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset (Lockheed Martin Corp., et al. v. Anthony Abbott, et al., No. 13-447, U.S. Sup.).
NEWNAN, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Dec. 11 dismissed as untimely claims related to certain loans in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s suit against former directors of Southern Community Bank (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. James S. Cameron, et al., No. 13-0102, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173806).
JACKSON, Miss. - The "frequency, regularity, and proximity" standard is a limited, de minimis rule properly applied only at the summary judgment or directed verdict stage, a divided Mississippi Supreme Court held Dec. 12 in reversing judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) in an asbestos case (Elsie Smith, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., Montello Inc., and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., No. 2010-CA-455-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2013 Miss. LEXIS 642).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 13 granted final approval to the $7.25 billion class action settlement between approximately 12 million merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation $(All Cases$), No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 16 issued a proposed rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.
LONDON - An English appeals court on Dec. 12 affirmed a justice's decision to uphold an arbitration award issued in favor of the purchasers of wheat and a determination that the Russian government did not trigger a prohibition clause in relation to the contract (Bunge S.A. v. Nidera B.V., No. $(2013$) EWHC 84 $(Comm$), England and Wales High, Comm.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Dec. 11 that although its reinsurer has not objection to a reinsurance billing, it has failed to pay more than $100,000 that it allegedly owes the insurer (Travelers Indemnity Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No., 13-cv-01838, D. Conn.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 11 refused to certify a class for nationwide borrowers and subclasses for California and New York consumers over SunTrust Mortgage Inc.'s purchase of force-placed hazard and flood insurance policies, finding that calculating the replacement value of each class member's homes was an individual issue that predominated over classwide issues (Shelia Gooden, et al. v. SunTrust Mortgage Inc., No. 11-cv-02595-JAM-DAD, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173511).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Georgia federal judge erred in an interpretation of 28 U.S. Code Section 1920(4), the statutory provision governing the taxation of costs, when he ordered a plaintiff to pay $49,824.60 to one defendant and $268,311.12 to another, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (CBT Flint Partners LLC v. Return Path Inc. et al., No. 13-1036, Fed. Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 13 ruled that the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) could appeal a ruling that granted the City of San Bernardino, Calif., permission to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. However, the judge said a direct appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was not warranted (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. City of San Bernardino, Calif. $(In Re: City of San Bernardino, Calif.$), No. 13-01952, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Supreme Court on Dec. 12 remanded a medical malpractice case to the trial court, agreeing with the a Court of Appeals decision concluding that the plaintiff's complaint is not time-barred (Hong Samouth Rajvongs v. Dr. Anthony Wright, No. M2011-01889-SC-S09-CV, Tenn. Sup.; 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 1000).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court on Dec. 11 affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful-denial-of-health-benefits suit, saying that the plaintiff brought his challenge of the final decision denying the benefits in the wrong court (Irvin B. Beaver v. Magellan Health Services Inc., No. A-1311-12T3, N.S. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 175).
ATLANTA - More than 250 Georgia cities and counties failed to prove that online travel companies (OTCs) collected excess taxes and now owe the localities back taxes, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13, also upholding a district court's sanctions ruling against the class of localities (City of Rome, et al. v. Hotels.com, L.P., et al., No. 12-14588, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24745).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The federal judge in California presiding over the Toyota unintended acceleration multidistrict litigation issued an order on Dec. 12 setting the stage for a possible settlement of wrongful death and personal injury claims brought against the auto manufacturer (In Re: Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration, Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, No. 8:10-ml-2151, C.D. Calif.).
SEATTLE - An expert's testimony that each "identified exposure" to asbestos substantially contributes to mesothelioma differs from the type of "each and every" exposure challenged by a defendant, a Washington federal judge held Dec. 13 in allowing trial testimony from three experts (Joanne K. Lipson, et al. v. ON Marine Services Co. LLC, Ferro Engineering Division, No. 13-1747, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175317).