LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 30 adopted a report and recommendation that found that a ship employee's injury-related claims were subject to an arbitration agreement in his employment contract and refusing to remand the case to a state court (Ali Imam Shah v. Blue Wake Shipping, No. 2:16 -CV-00529, W.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165561).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) on Dec. 1 responded to a second amended complaint filed in the concussion multidistrict litigation in federal court in Minnesota, saying the league's conduct was not illegal and it is not responsible for the alleged injuries the former players sustained (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A rejection under 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) of two claims of a thermal chemical reaction patent was reversed Dec. 2 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Ex parte Battelle Memorial Institute, No. 2015-005944, PTAB).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 30 determined that a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion when it terminated a claimant's short-term disability benefits because the insurer's termination was based on reliable evidence (Greg Martin v. Aetna Life Insurance Co. et al., No. 15-7355, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166120).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Dec. 1 affirmed a lower court's attorney fee award in favor of an insurer except as to $9,994.76 in fees that were not recoverable, reducing the total award to $73,218.29 (Wertheim LLC v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co., No. B268539, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8558).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An artist's allegation of copyright infringement in connection with an image of him taken without permission while carrying two of his own paintings were dismissed Nov. 30 by a New York federal judge (Earl Swanigan v. Kenneth Young, et al., No. 15-1272, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165591).
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge erred in determining that a staffing coordinator's claim that she was owed overtime failed as a matter of law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 1 (Jennifer Quintiliani, et al. v. Concentric Healthcare Solutions, LLC, et al., No. 14-17312, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21484).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plaintiff is entitled to prevail on its allegation that Poland's national public television broadcasting company violated the Copyright Act by displaying episodes of "TVP Polonia" on its website without permission, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Dec. 2 (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166506).
MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 30 reversed summary judgment in favor of a guard dog company in a dog bite suit because Florida's dog bite law "imposes strict liability on dog owners, subject only to a plaintiff's comparative negligence, which in this case must be determined by the trier-of-fact" (Lisa Arellano v. Broward K-9/Miami K-9 Services Inc., No. 3D16-314, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 17699).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court has denied a motion to rehear a lawsuit alleging that insurers failed to act in good faith to settle a liability claim stemming from a wrongful death, according to its orders pronounced Dec. 2 (Roy Seger, et al. v. Yorkshire Insurance Co. Ltd., et al., No. 13-0673, Texas Sup.).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Nov. 30 declined to exclude expert testimony that will help support fraudulent inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation claims against a window manufacturer and its retail seller (Joan Cravens Inc. and Jason V. Smith v. Deas Construction Inc. d/b/a Deas Millwork Co. and Weather Shield Manufacturing Inc., No. 15-385, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165146).
PIERRE, S.D. - Genuine issues of material fact remain to preclude summary judgment on the application of "your work" and "professional services" exclusions in a dispute between an insurer and its insured over coverage for damage to grain bins, the South Dakota Supreme Court held Nov. 30, reversing and remanding an entry of summary judgment to the insurer (Western National Mutual Insurance Co. v. Gateway Building Systems Inc. and Dakota Mill & Grain Inc., Nos. 27841 & 27842, S.D. Sup.; 2016 S.D. LEXIS 148).
TACOMA, Wash. - An insured's dock is not a "building" as that term is used in an insurance policy and, thus, coverage for only actual cost value (ACV) applies, a Washington federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 30, also finding that the insured failed to show that the insurer improperly calculated ACV (Douglas and Tammy Herzog v. Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, No. 16-05083, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166177).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A cardiologist's proposed testimony about the appropriateness of diagnoses and treatment by a doctor accused of health care fraud is reliable and relevant under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 597 ), a federal judge in New Mexico ruled Dec. 1, finding that the proffered expert's lack of training in holistic medicine does not adversely affect his methodology (United States of America v. Roy Heilbron, No. 15-CR-2030, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166211).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously denied Becton Dickinson & Co. (BD) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on allegations by a plaintiff that BD attempted to monopolize the market for safety syringes through various deceptive practices, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 2 (Retractable Technologies Inc. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, No. 14-41384, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21556).
CINCINNATI - An engineer who alleges that he was wrongfully discharged after notifying his employer of back problems may proceed with his claims of disability bias, wrongful termination and breach of severance agreement, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 2, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the employer (Robert B. Cady v. Remington Arms Company, No. 16-5035, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21592).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two inter partes re-examinations by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board that led to findings of patent invalidity were proper, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 2 (Dako Denmark A/S v. Leica Biosystems Melbourne Party Ltd., No. 16-1000, Fed. Cir.).
ATLANTA - Dismissal of claims in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against The Home Depot Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors for their alleged role in failing to implement the necessary internal controls to prevent a payment card data breach is proper because the shareholders have not shown that demand was futile, a federal judge in Georgia ruled Nov. 30 (In re The Home Depot Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 15-2999, N.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164841).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Dec. 5 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari for a case in which a man convicted of tax evasion, which was based on evidence obtained from a mirror image copy of his computer hard drives, had asked the court to consider whether the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied to evidence obtained via a search warrant issued based on a predicate violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Stavros M. Ganias v. United States of America, No. 16-263, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Dec. 2 granted a home builder's request for a writ of mandate after finding that a trial court erred in denying its motion to stay on the ground that a lawsuit filed by a group of homeowners is not subject to the presuit notification requirement of the Right to Repair Act (Elliot Homes Inc. v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, No. CO78122, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Calif. App. LEXIS 1052).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Dec. 2 denied a motion filed by Michigan state officials and refused to stay a district court ruling that the defendants provide bottled water to every house in Flint, Mich., in response to the lead-contaminated water crisis (Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Khouri, et al., No. 16-10277, E.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 2 granted petitions for writ of certiorari in three "church plan" Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases, consolidated them and allotted one hour for oral argument (Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al. v. Laurence Kaplan, No. 16-86, Advocate Health Care Network, et al. v. Maria Stapleton, et al., No. 16-74, Dignity Health, et al. v. Starla Rollins, No. 16-258, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting on the recommendation of the U.S. solicitor general, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 2 granted certiorari in a case that poses the question of whether foreign sales exhaust a patent owner's right to sue, as well as whether patent owners can impose restrictions on the use of patented items to prevent an exhaustion of their rights (Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc., No. 15-1189, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).
NEW ORLEANS - A company's uncontested evidence that it had no contacts in Louisiana overcomes conclusory statements and suffices for a finding that a court lacks personal jurisdiction over it, a federal judge in Louisiana held Nov. 30 (Breck Williams, et al. v. Rust Engineering & Construction Co., et al., No. 16-13136, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165012).