SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 20 granted a motion filed by two companies accused of contaminating two sites in the San Diego Port to approve a settlement to resolve claims brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) seeking to recover response costs incurred in investigating and remediating the properties (San Diego Unified Port District v. General Dynamics Corporation, No. 07-cv-01955-BAS, San Diego Unified Port District v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, No. 16-cv-02026-BAS, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95076).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 refused to hear the appeal of a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney, who challenged a fraud ruling with regard to an $18.5 billion judgment they previously won against Chevron Corp. for injuries they had alleged were caused by the company's oil field operations in Ecuador (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16-1178, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Three claims of a Sony Corp. patented system for supplying digital signals are unpatentable as anticipated and obvious, a June 14 petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board asserts (ARRIS International PLC, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2017-01596, PTAB).
NEW YORK - A total of 13 settlements in 2016 were large enough to be added to the top 100 list of securities class action settlements, including one to the top 10 all-time, in terms of total settlement amount, according to a report issued by corporate governance solutions provider Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) Securities Class Action Services Inc. on June 13.
ROANOKE, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on June 9 awarded partial summary judgment to a limestone seller after finding that it is not a corporate successor to a mining company under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Dixon Lumber Company v. Austinville Limestone Company, Inc., No. 16-cv-00130, W.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88642).
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on June 8 refused to certify a class for homeowners in Tennessee whose houses have Atlas Roofing Corp.'s Chalet brand shingles that are allegedly defective because they retain water and prematurely cup and curl, finding that the individual issues predominate over classwide issues (In re: Atlas Roofing Corporation Chalet Shingle Products liability Litigation, MDL 2495, Michael Mazza, et al. v. Atlas Roofing Corporation, No. 13-CV-4218-TWT, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88495).
NEW YORK - A federal bankruptcy judge in New York on June 7 partially granted and partially denied a motion to enforce a 2009 sale order and found that a group of plaintiffs scheduled to go to trial in July in Connecticut federal court may proceed with claims against General Motors LLC (New GM) of failure to warn based on the conduct of New GM and General Motors Corp. (Old GM) and failure to recall and retrofit based on the conduct of New GM (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, f/k/a/ General Motors Corporation, et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - An insurance company can ask the owner of a restaurant that was damaged as a result of a fire that was intentionally set to obtain insurance proceeds to pay $109,049.50 in attorney fees, a federal judge in Missouri ruled June 2 in granting the company's motion to pierce the corporate veil (Depositors Insurance Company v. Hall's Restaurant, Inc., No. 14CV34, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84747).
CINCINNATI - The majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1 affirmed a district court's ruling that a 1994 settlement agreement bars coverage for any future claims arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 16-3463, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9854).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 1 dismissed breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims brought by the rehabilitator of two insolvent insurers against a mortgage insurance reinsurer and a bank (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel., Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois, as Rehabilitator for Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation and Triad Guaranty Assurance Corp. v. AAMBG Reinsurance Inc., No. 16-cv-07477, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84231).
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 26 affirmed a decision to grant summary judgment to two lenders on claims for violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and unjust enrichment asserted by the city of Los Angeles in relation to alleged predatory lending practices, finding a lack of connection between an established disparity and any facially neutral policy of the lenders (City of Los Angeles v. Bank of American Corporation, et al., No. 15-55897, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9265).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 24 granted preliminary approval of a $51,150,000 settlement to be paid the developers of a condominium-hotel project in San Diego for allegedly failing to disclose the buyers' right to rescind their purchase contracts in violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA), California's Subdivided Lands Act (SLA) and California's unfair competition Law (UCL) (Dean Beaver, et al. v. Tarsadia Hotels, a California Corporation, et al., No. 11-1842, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80648).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 25 affirmed a ruling that the federal government could not be held liable as an arranger under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for the disposal of hazardous waste at a former mining site in Idaho, holding that while the government knew that hazardous substances were being stored on the property, it did not intend for them to be disposed of (United States of America v. Federal Resources Corporation, et al., No. 15-35192, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9151).
SEATTLE - A couple must file supplemental briefs explaining why dismissal of a complete diversity defeating defendant is possible and providing a better explanation of a second defendant's corporate structure, a federal judge overseeing an asbestos action in Washington state held May 24 (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corporation LTD., et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79813).
NEW YORK - A man's maritime asbestos suit improperly naming a successor as a defendant put an independent corporation that operates as a subsidiary of the named defendant on notice that it was being sued, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 18 (Joseph J. Crandley v. Farrell Lines Inc., et al., No. 190033/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1836).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Changes by Congress to the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1391(c), did not modify the meaning of the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1400(b), as interpreted in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U. S. 222, 226 (1957), to mean that a domestic corporation "resides" only in its state of incorporation, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 22 (TC Heartland LLC d/b/a Heartland Food Products Group v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, U.S. Sup.).
ATLANTA - In a May 18 ruling, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded that copyright registration occurs when the Register of Copyrights registers a work, and not merely when an application for a registration is filed (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com LLC, No. 16-13726, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8766).
BEAUMONT, Texas - A Texas appellate panel on May 18 vacated a trial court's order denying summary judgment to a corporation after finding that an employee of the company who hit a pedestrian because the plaintiff did not prove that the driver was acting in the scope of his employment during the collision (OCI Beaumont LLC v. Yazmin Barajas, No. 09-16-00406-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 4540).