WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Republic of Kazakhstan on May 14 responded to a motion filed by investors for leave to register a judgment confirming a $497,685,101 arbitral award in other judicial districts in an attempt to obtain payment, arguing that not enough time has passed and that the investors have not shown that it has assets in the United States (Anatoli Stati, et al. v. Republic of Kazakhstan, No. 14-1638, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48140).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a May 14 jurisdictional brief, an appellant tells the Florida Supreme Court that he was erroneously denied an opportunity to file an amended complaint against two tobacco companies after the trial court deemed the case a legal nullity, upon learning that the original named plaintiff died before her complaint could be filed (Raymond Staines v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc., No. SC18-628, Fla. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a May 15 brief, a patent owner urges the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reject an inter partes review (IPR) petitioner's invocation of "issue joinder" as grounds for seeking IPR outside the statutorily mandated one-year window (Proppant Express Investments LLC v. Oren Technologies LLC, No. IPR2018-00914, PTAB).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 15 denied a commercial general liability insurer's motion to reconsider his finding that an unexplained delay of at least 15 months between the date the insurer learned of the grounds to deny coverage of an underlying sexual assault suit and the date it actually denied coverage is unreasonable under New York Insurance Law Section 3420(d)(2) (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Intrepid Group, LLC, et al., No. 16-7928, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82607).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A disability insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith when it terminated a claimant's short-term disability (STD) benefits and denied a claim for long-term disability benefits because the decisions were based on a profit-making motive rather than the evidence of the claimant's disability, the claimant alleges in a May 14 complaint filed in Tennessee federal court (Janet Mitchell v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-94, E.D. Tenn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on May 15 determined than a surety is entitled to reimbursement of more than $4 million for claims it paid on behalf of a construction company that contracted with the government on a number of construction projects (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. K.O.O. Construction Inc., et al., No. 16-518, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81914).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A borrower who alleged that a bank violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws when it refused to accept his untimely mortgage payment as part of a trial period plan on May 16 filed a notice of an appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a judge's decision granting summary judgment for the bank (Paul Schrupp v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2:16-636, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82835).
AMARILLO, Texas - The Seventh District Texas Court of Appeals on May 14 affirmed a trial court's ruling in favor of an insurer after determining that the trial court did not err in concluding that the insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in its handling of the insured's claim for water damage (Mahmoud Abdalla v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 07-17-00020, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 3358).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a consumer failed to show that her class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising in relation to allegedly fake octopus products met the federal amount-in-controversy requirement, a California federal judge on May 15 dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction (Vivian Lejbman v. Transnational Foods Inc., et al., No. 17-CV-1317, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81867).
CHICAGO - A district court wrongly dismissed with prejudice a class complaint over a company's printing of credit and debit card expiration dates on receipts because the court lacked jurisdiction, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 14, vacating the lower court's judgment and remanding with instructions to send the case back to state court (Kathryn G. Collier, et al. v. SP Plus Corporation, No. 17-2431, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12454).
NEW YORK - Similar types of products at the heart of two men's asbestos exposures are not enough to overcome different vectors of exposure and diseases, a New York justice held in denying consolidated trial in an opinion posted May 15 (Joseph Montebianco, et al. v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. 190185/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wisconsin statute governing fraudulent transfer of assets does not alter the fraudulent transfer exception analysis to the general rule against successor liability, a majority of the state's Supreme Court held May 15 (Penny L. Springer v. Nohl Electric Products Corp., et al., No. 2015AP829, Wis. Sup.).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal court did not abuse its discretion in excluding an expert's opinion that pollution from a fertilizer factory caused or worsened a woman's pulmonary diseases, and then awarding the factory judgment for lack of expert causation evidence, because the court correctly found that the expert's "methodology was undermined by multiple defects," the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 14 (Rhonda Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, No. 17-10894, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12478).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal court lacks jurisdiction over claims resulting from state default judgments against customers of a household good leasing company, a Missouri federal judge ruled May 15, sending a class lawsuit back to state court (Sade Beaton, et al. v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., No. 18-26, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81819).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a 52-47 vote, the U.S. Senate on May 16 passed Senate Joint Resolution 52, which expressed congressional disapproval of a February 2018 Federal Communications Commission rule that repealed the principle known as "net neutrality."
SAN FRANCISCO - U.S. Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California on May 16 issued revised, tentative jury instructions one day after opening arguments were held in the retrial on damages due in connection with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s infringement of three Apple smartphone design patents (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 held that no reasonable jury could find that a life insurer had a fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to solicit supporting materials for coverage beyond the guaranteed issue amount or notify new employees that they had not completed the evidence of insurability requirement, affirming a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Kimberly P. Gordon v. Cigna Corporation, et al., No. 17-1188, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12568).
LOS ANGELES - Wells Fargo Bank N.A. filed a notice of appeal on May 15, a week after a California federal judge awarded a class of Wells Fargo Bank N.A. home mortgage consultants (HMCs) more than $97 million in damages on claims that they were denied rest breaks and a derivative California's unfair competition law (UCL) claim (Jacqueline F. Ibarra, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-4344, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78513).
PHILADELPHIA - Anti-assignment provisions in health insurance contracts are enforceable and bar a provider's Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 16 (American Orthopedic & Sports Medicine v. Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield, et al., No. 17-1663, 3rd Cir.).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on May 16 reversed a lower court's final judgment against an insurer in a dispute over coverage for insureds' $59,719.25 supplemental Hurricane Wilma claim, finding that the insured's failure to comply with their post-loss obligations under the policy relieved the insurer of any duties regarding the supplemental claim (State Farm Insurance Co. v. Efrain Xirinachs, et al., No. 3D16-2225, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 6775).
NEW YORK - A 12-year putative class action alleging antitrust violations in the form of price fixing for digital music concluded May 15 as a California federal judge approved a stipulation of dismissal reached by the music-purchasing plaintiffs and the record label defendants (In re Digital Music Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-md-01780, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 14 found no facts to support causes of action asserted by a first-time homebuyer who alleged that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it improperly charged borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock fees, dismissing his claims with partial leave to amend (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81040).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A woman's causation expert, who is a medical doctor and an attorney, can testify in a personal injury action that the woman's car was not going fast enough in a fender-bender accident to cause the spinal injuries of the man whose car she hit, an Indiana federal magistrate judge held May 14 in finding the expert's methods reliable and his opinions helpful to the trier of fact (Greg Guthrie v. Lori Ann Hochstetler, No. 3:16-cv-473, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80620).
HELENA, Mont. - A trial court didn't err when it found that a woman who sued a company performing background checks over the inclusion of obsolete information in checks carried out for potential employers failed to satisfy the element of superiority under Montana Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) in her motion for class certification, a divided Montana Supreme Court ruled May 15 (Nissa Ascencio, et al. v. Orion International Corp., No. DA 17-0353, Mont. Sup., 2018 MT 121).