LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Electrician Can't Pin Exposure On Painting Company, California Court Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A man's evidence, including expert testimony on causation, falls short of demonstrating sufficient asbestos exposure to overcome summary judgment, a California appeals court held March 18 (Melvin Desin v. D. Zelinsky & Sons Inc., No. A137513, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - High Court Will Not Review 9th Circuit's Plan Assets Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 denied a request to consider whether parties can agree to classify an employer's unpaid contributions to an employee benefit plan as plan assets under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (The Board of Trustees of the Carpenters Health and Welfare Trust Fund for California, et al. v. Gregory Bos, No. 15-755, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Teamsters Oppose Wage Settlement With Lyft That Leaves Drivers As Contractors

SAN FRANCISCO - The Teamsters Joint Councils 7 and 42 and several individuals filed objections March 15 asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to deny preliminary approval of a proposed $12.25 million wage settlement between drivers and Lyft Inc., a company that provides drive-sharing services (Patrick Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 13-4065, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Man Files Product Liability Suit Against Pistachio, Almond Seller

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota man on March 17 filed suit in federal court in Minnesota, claiming that he was one of eight people who contracted salmonella after eating pistachios grown and sold by a nut company based in California (Eric D. Abbett v. Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, LLC, No. 0:16-cv-00676. D. Minn.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Privacy Suit Plaintiffs Move To Compel Discovery, Oppose Stay

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of plaintiffs in a privacy suit against Facebook Inc. filed a motion to compel in California federal court on March 16, complaining that the social network operator "has unilaterally granted itself a stay of discovery" and asking the court to order compliance with their previous discovery requests for certain categories of documents (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314; N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Teamsters Oppose Wage Settlement With Lyft That Leaves Drivers As Contractors

SAN FRANCISCO - The Teamsters Joint Councils 7 and 42 and several individuals filed objections March 15 asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to deny preliminary approval of a proposed $12.25 million wage settlement between drivers and Lyft Inc., a company that provides drive-sharing services (Patrick Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 13-4065, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: EPA Must Set Emission Standards For Pulp Mills, Yeast Makers

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 15 ruled that Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, failed to meet her obligation under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set standards for emissions for pulp mills and yeast manufacturers and ordered her to set standards within 22 months and 24 months, respectively (Sierra Club, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, No. 15-cv-1165-HSG, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33435).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss In Securities Suit Against Chinese Company

LOS ANGELES - Without providing further detail, a federal judge in California on March 15 denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the defendants' arguments should be brought as a motion for summary judgment (Joseph Fragala v. 500.com Limited, et al., No. 15-1463, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Asbestos Case Against Talc Company

SAN FRANCISCO - Evidence in a case alleging exposure to asbestos-tainted talc falls short of creating triable issues, a California appeals court panel held March 15 (John J. DePree, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. A140681, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Exchange Company's Post-ACA Guidance Didn't Violate Securities Law

SAN FRANCISCO - A health exchange company's officer's opinions regarding their financial health after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and forward-looking statements with adequate warnings do not support class action claims under securities law, a federal judge in California held March 14 (Jeffrey West v. eHealth Inc., et al., No. 15-360, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33429).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Exchange Company's Post-ACA Guidance Didn't Violate Securities Law

SAN FRANCISCO - A health exchange company's officer's opinions regarding their financial health after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and forward-looking statements with adequate warnings do not support class action claims under securities law, a federal judge in California held March 14 (Jeffrey West v. eHealth Inc., et al., No. 15-360, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33429).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss In Securities Suit Against Chinese Company

LOS ANGELES - Without providing further detail, a federal judge in California on March 15 denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the defendants' arguments should be brought as a motion for summary judgment (Joseph Fragala v. 500.com Limited, et al., No. 15-1463, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Exchange Company's Post-ACA Guidance Didn't Violate Securities Law

SAN FRANCISCO - A health exchange company's officer's opinions regarding their financial health after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and forward-looking statements with adequate warnings do not support class action claims under securities law, a federal judge in California held March 14 (Jeffrey West v. eHealth Inc., et al., No. 15-360, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33429).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Asbestos Case Against Talc Company

SAN FRANCISCO - Evidence in a case alleging exposure to asbestos-tainted talc falls short of creating triable issues, a California appeals court panel held March 15 (John J. DePree, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. A140681, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Says Company Is Liable For PCE Contamination, Finds Expert Unreliable

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 15 granted in part the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) motion for summary judgment in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, finding that a defendant company was unable to provide any expert testimony to show that it did not cause tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination on the property (Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-5845-VC, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33379).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge Remands, Finds PAGA Attorney Fees Must Be Divided

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 11 granted a motion to remand a labor violations class complaint, finding that the amount in controversy is not met because attorney fees in a Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) case must be apportioned among the total number of aggrieved employees (Wayne Russell, Jr. v. Aramark Refreshment Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-613, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31838).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Unimpaired Man With Pleural Plaques May Seek Medical Monitoring, Court Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A man with pleural plaques but no impairment may seek medical-monitoring costs arising as a result of his asbestos exposure, a California appeals court held March 14 in reversing summary judgment on his negligence claim (Robert James Hanson v. Collins Electrical Co., No. A141878, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge Remands, Finds PAGA Attorney Fees Must Be Divided

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 11 granted a motion to remand a labor violations class complaint, finding that the amount in controversy is not met because attorney fees in a Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) case must be apportioned among the total number of aggrieved employees (Wayne Russell, Jr. v. Aramark Refreshment Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-613, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31838).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Appeals Panel: Class Member Failed To Properly Challenge Attorney Fees

SAN DIEGO - A class member in a Song-Beverly Credit Card Act suit who filed only a notice of appearance and later objected to an attorney fee award failed to reserve her right to appeal the award as she was neither a party nor aggrieved by the award, a California appellate panel ruled March 14 (Mike Hernandez, et al. v. Restoration Hardware, Inc., No. D067091, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 185).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Says Company Is Liable For PCE Contamination, Finds Expert Unreliable

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 15 granted in part the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) motion for summary judgment in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, finding that a defendant company was unable to provide any expert testimony to show that it did not cause tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination on the property (Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-5845-VC, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33379).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Unimpaired Man With Pleural Plaques May Seek Medical Monitoring, Court Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A man with pleural plaques but no impairment may seek medical-monitoring costs arising as a result of his asbestos exposure, a California appeals court held March 14 in reversing summary judgment on his negligence claim (Robert James Hanson v. Collins Electrical Co., No. A141878, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Apple: Order Compelling Unlocking Of Shooter's IPhone Is Unconstitutional

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In a March 15 brief supporting its motion to vacate an order requiring it to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation in gaining access to a locked iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists, Apple Inc. tells a California federal court that the order violates the Constitution and is not authorized by the All Writs Act, under which it was issued (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:16-cm-00010, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Largely Denies Leave To Amend Patent Invalidity Contentions

SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to supplement its invalidity contentions was granted in part and denied in part March 10 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SBD BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31105).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Twitter Moves To Dismiss Terrorism Aiding Complaint Under Telecommunications Act

OAKLAND, Calif. - In a March 10 motion to dismiss in California federal court, Twitter Inc. asserts that the widow of a terror attack victim did not allege any connection between the social network operator and the man responsible for the attack, also arguing that Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 shields it from any liability for third-party messages posted on its "ubiquitously available online communications platform" (Tamara Fields v. Twitter Inc., No. 4:16-cv-00213, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiff Tells Judge That Merits, Harm Dictate Denying Stay Of Remand

OAKLAND, Calif. - An aircraft brake manufacturer lacks support for the argument that there is merit in its potential appeal or that immediate remand of an asbestos action harms it, a widow told a federal judge in California on March 10 (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 15-309, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30406).