LOS ANGELES - A judge properly excluded hearsay layperson testimony, as well as unfounded expert testimony of a hobbyist, in finding insufficient evidence of a man's exposure to a manufacturer's televisions, a California appeals court panel held July 16 (Jenny M. Leidig, et al. v. Zenith Electronics LLC, No. B256932, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4962).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court panel on July 16 reinstated a $6.5 million Actos bladder cancer verdict, finding that the trial court erred in excluding the plaintiffs' causation expert in a post-verdict ruling (Nancy Cooper, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., et al., No. B250163, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4965).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 15 dismissed an inmate's lead-paint poisoning claim against prison officials on grounds that there is no evidence that they had knowledge of the presence of lead-based paint in the area where the inmate claims to have been infected (Markee D. Carter v. Philip Earley, et al., C-13-4373, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92115).
LOS ANGELES - A recent decision by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the standard of proof in false advertising actions does not provide a basis for dismissing a suit alleging that the manufacturer of infant formula made false representations and engaged in misleading practices in the marketing of its product, a federal judge in California ruled July 14 (Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co., et al., No. 15-200, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - Evidence of a company's revenue alone provided a jury too small a picture of the company's actual health, a California appeals court panel held July 15 in reversing $32,500,000 in punitive damages in an asbestos case. The court affirmed the jury's award of $2 million in noneconomic damages to each of the decedent's three daughters (Patricia Soto, et al. v. BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc., No. B252995, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).
LOS ANGELES - Evidence of a company's revenue alone provided a jury too small a picture of the company's actual health, a California appeals court panel held July 15 in reversing $32.5 million in punitive damages in an asbestos case. The court affirmed the jury's award of $2 million in noneconomic damages to each of the decedent's three daughters (Patricia Soto, et al. v. BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc., No. B252995, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).
LOS ANGELES - In a pair of July 10 in chambers orders, a California federal magistrate judge found deposition-related violations by two lawyer placement firms embroiled in a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit, awarding sanctions to each (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) on July 10 asked the judge overseeing the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings to deny efforts by the states of Arizona and California to proceed in their respective state courts with ignition-switch actions against the automaker, contending that the suits are governed by a stay issued by a bankruptcy court on June 1 (In re: Motors Liquidation Co., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Shiloh Group (TSG), which is intervening in a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by an environmental group, on July 14 filed a notice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and "brings to the court's attention" a federal appellate court decision that TSG contends has relevance to a pending motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant, Fluor Corp. (Northern California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation, No. 10-05105, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 10 denied a disability insurer's motion to dismiss claims for punitive damages because the claimant sufficiently pleaded facts in support of the claims for punitive damages and the insurer failed to prove that the claimant should be precluded from seeking the requested damages (Sarah Copeland v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 15-01487, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90764).
LOS ANGELES - Allegations that the producers and distributors of the film "12 Years A Slave" violated the Lanham Act by misrepresenting the authorship of the film's score were dismissed with prejudice on July 10 by a California federal judge, who denied leave to amend after finding that any amendment by plaintiff Richard Friedman would be futile (Richard Friedman v. Hans Zimmer, et al., No. 15-502, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - California's insurance commission asked a California court on July 9 to approve a $200 million settlement on behalf of an insolvent insurer with a foreign-owned bank (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. Executive Life Insurance Company, No. BS 006912, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
LOS ANGELES - Match.com subscribers who claim that they were not provided with the proper notice about their rights to cancel their subscriptions must arbitrate their claims, a California federal judge ruled July 10 (Zeke Graf v. Match.com, LLC, No. 15-3911, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90061).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 13 dismissed without prejudice most claims in a class action complaint accusing a beverage manufacturer of placing misleading antioxidant-related statements on their products' labels in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) for failure to meet pleading requirements but said that some of the claims arising from statements on the bottles were preempted and dismissed them with prejudice (Dorinda Vassigh, et al. v. Bai Brands, No. 14-5127, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90675).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding that a plaintiff failed to meet its own proposed "bright line" test for determining when post-suit willful patent infringement has occurred, a California federal judge on July 9 dismissed the willfulness claim with leave to amend (Cisco Systems Inc. v. Arista Networks Inc., No. 14-5344, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on July 8 partially granted a motion by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to reopen discovery in a suit brought by purchasers of Reynolds' Camel brand cigarettes over discontinuation of a promotional campaign (Amanda Sateriale, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2:09cv08394, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89362).