CHICAGO - The investor who filed a putative class action against Mt. Gox Inc., the bankrupt operator of a bitcoin exchange, on March 4 moved in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction preventing the company from "dissipating" its assets held in the United States (Gregory Greene v. Mt Gox, et al., No. 14-01437, N.D. Ill.).
SEATTLE - Manufacturers at a deposition shared the same interest in discrediting a witness's testimony as an absent manufacturer sued in another asbestos case, a Washington appeals court held March 3 in allowing the evidence (Michael Farrow and Lidia Farrow v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 69917-2-1, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 449).
NEW YORK - JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $400 million to settle claims that it misrepresented the risk involved with certain residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) that were insured by monoline insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc., according to a financial statement issued by Syncora on Feb. 28, bringing an end to four lawsuits Syncora filed in an attempt to recover its losses (Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. EMC Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 650420/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. EMC Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 653519/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. JPMorgan Securities LLC, et al., No. 651566/2011, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. EMC Mortgage Corp., No. 09-3106, S.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA - A federal district court did not err in upholding a disability plan's denial of benefits to a participant who sought benefits based on her asthma symptoms under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the participant failed to demonstrate that she was unable to work in her occupation for other employers and because the participant did not seek medical treatment for five months, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 28 in an unpublished opinion (Tazenna Kennedy v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, No. 12-15057, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3811).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 28 sent a class complaint over a bank's practice of charging non-account holders a check-cashing fee back to state count after determining the amount in controversy fell below jurisdictional requirement of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Brian McDaniel, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 13-1878, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25971).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on March 3 stayed an insured's putative class actions against insurance agents regarding alleged commission inflation in mortgage lending insurance policies pending a final order approving or disapproving the settlement of another case involving a similarly defined nationwide class (Tilena Ali v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 13-876, W.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26670).
BALTIMORE - A proposal for a consolidated trial of Maryland asbestos cases lacks sufficient detail and likely places too heavy a burden on the court and litigants, a Maryland judge held March 5 in denying the motion (In re Baltimore City Personal Injury and Wrongful death Litigation Global, No. 24-X-87-048500, Md. Cir., Baltimore City).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - Four patients died and five others experienced low blood flow when they tried to switch control systems for their HeartMate II LVAD heart assist devices, the Food and Drug Administration reported March 5.
CHICAGO - Allegations that two defendants committed false endorsement under the Lanham Act when they accessed a plaintiff's Twitter and Facebook accounts without permission were rejected on summary judgment March 3 by an Illinois federal judge (Jill E. Maremont v. Susan Fredman Design Group Ltd., et al., No. 10-7811, N.D. Ill.).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 ruled that a bankruptcy court properly denied the attempt of creditors to collect on certain debts related to loans made to the debtor because they failed to carry their burden of proof to show that the obligations remained after the bankruptcy court had initially discharged the case (Stephen Sherman Wyse v. Chester Wayne King $(In Re: Chester Wayne King$), No. 12-3701, Chapter 7, 8th Cir.; 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 4090).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against claims that it "substantially, illicitly, and tortiously benefitted financially" from West Virginia's prescription drug abuse problem, a Kentucky federal chief judge ruled March 4. The chief judge, however, refused to rule on the indemnification issue (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Richie Enterprises LLC, No. 1:12-CV-00186-JHM-HBB, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27306).
CHICAGO - Holding that the warning label is part of a prescription drug "product," an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 28 said GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) may be liable for failing to warn that both Paxil and its generic versions can cause suicidal behavior even when a plaintiff took a drug made by a generic manufacturer (Wendy Dolin, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 5 heard oral arguments in a securities class action lawsuit seeking a determination as to whether the Supreme Court should overturn or limit its holding in Basic Inc. v. Levinson (485 U.S. 224 $(1988$)) (Halliburton Co., et al. v. Erica F. John Fund Inc., No. 13-317 U.S. Sup.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal magistrate judge on March 3 ordered an infringement plaintiff to turn over all documents it submitted to, or received from, the U.S. Copyright Office in securing protection for a copyrighted software system (SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Limited, No. 10-25, E.D. N.C.).
DENVER - A pension fund and retirement system that is a shareholder in The Western Union Co. brought a derivative lawsuit against Western Union in a federal court in Colorado on Feb. 28, claiming that the company's directors and officers put the company at risk by not conforming to certain money transfer banking laws (Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System, derivatively on behalf of The Western Union Company, v Dinyar S. Devitre, et al., No. 14-cv-00641, D. Colo.).
DOVER, Del. - After finding a lack of evidence as to whether a condominium unit contained mold growth that required remediation, a Delaware chancellor on Feb. 28 approved a master's decision to deny a council access to the unit (The Council of The Pointe at Bethany Bay Condominiums v. Higgins, No. 7543-VCN, Del. Chanc.; 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 32).
BALTIMORE - A secondary school won a preliminary injunction barring its former alumni association from using various school-related trademarks on March 4 (Potomac Conference Corporation of Seventh-Day Adventists, d/b/a Tacoma Academy v. Takoma Academy Alumni Association Inc., No. 13-1128, D. Md.).
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu on March 4 denied motions for judgment filed by the defendants and intervenors in the lawsuit filed by California students against the state challenging teacher employment laws (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. BC484642, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A global energy company that provides low-enriched uranium (LEU) for commercial nuclear power plants on March 5 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, citing debts of $1.07 billion and assets of only $70 million (In Re: USEC Inc., No. 14-10475, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
BOSTON - The installation of a global positioning system (GPS) device on a suspected arsonist's vehicle fell within the good faith exception to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Feb. 28, upholding a lower court's denial of the defendant's motion to suppress the GPS evidence (United States of America v. Jose L. Baez, No. 13-1025, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3858).