NEW YORK - An asbestosis sufferer "received due process in every possible respect" as a future claimant in the long-running Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp., so he cannot pursue in personam claims against the company's insurance broker, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Jan. 24 on remand (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 166).
HAMMOND, Ind. - The city of Chicago on Jan. 24 sued U.S. Steel Corp. in an Indiana federal court, contending that it is liable for "multiple excessive discharges of toxic chemicals" into Lake Michigan, which is the source of drinking water for more than 5 million people and arguing that U.S. Steel has committed "repeated and significant" violations of its permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1251-1387 (City of Chicago v. United States Steel Corporation, No. 18-33, N.D. Ind.).
NEW YORK - A chemical company filed a brief in New York federal court on Jan. 16 arguing that the district court should reconsider its ruling that determined that personal injury claims related to chemical exposure allegedly suffered on banana plantations were not barred by the statute of limitations (Tobias Bermudez Chavez, et al. v. Occidental Chemical Corporation, No. 17-3459, S.D. N.Y.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - West-Ward Pharmaceutical Co. on Jan. 17 took aim at a cancer treatment patent while also requesting joinder to an inter partes review (IPR) by Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc., in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Jan. 3 instituted trial (West-Ward Pharmaceutical Co. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. IPR2018-00507, PTAB).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Jan. 16 reduced by $500,000 the amount a company owner can recover for cleaning up a former steel manufacturing site and ruled that the former owner and operator is liable for 75 percent of past and future response costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) because it has not taken any steps to remediate the contamination and has refused the plaintiff company's requests for assistance (Valbruna Slater Steel Corporation, et al. v. Joslyn Manufacturing Company, et al., No. 10-cv-44-JD, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7063).
NEW YORK - The attorney representing a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for injuries, only to have it reversed, on Jan. 16 filed a letter with the presiding judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that the special masters in the case "have chosen to utterly ignore" the issues the attorney raised concerning fees. Moreover, he contends that there are "ethical problems" with the billing process the special masters used (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., Case No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on Jan. 11 denied a motion by Cigna Corp. to strike a proposed class and subclass in a lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing automated calls to individuals who did not give their consent and to wrong numbers (Crystal DeJesus v. Cigna Corporation, No. 17-1208, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5149).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a petition filed by General Electric Co. to confirm a $3,051,817.22 arbitral award issued against Japanese entities in relation to their failure to defend and indemnify GE pursuant to the terms of a manufacturing contract for appliances (General Electric Company v. Sampo Corporation, et al., No. 16-CV-2456, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6017).
NEW ORLEANS - Two personal injury lawsuits related to naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), one of which was filed before the effective date of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), may be removed to a federal court under CAFA as a mass action after the plaintiffs sought to consolidate the two cases, a divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 9 (Warren Lester, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., Shirley Bottley, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14-31383, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 547).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in determining that allegations of infringement of a patent later deemed invalid for violating Section 102 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102, were not exceptional, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 11 (Honeywell International Inc. v. FujiFilm Corporation, et al., Nos. 2017-1070, -1073, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 684).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Insurers' rights to audit the T H Agriculture & Nutrition LLC (THAN) asbestos trust for evidence fraud must be decided at trial because the insurers and the trust put forth reasonable definitions of what those audit rights are, defeating summary judgment or dismissal, a Delaware state vice chancellor decided Jan. 11 (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on Jan. 9 stopped the Cherokee Nation from pursuing negligence claims in tribal court against drug distributors and retail pharmacy operators for contributing to the opioid crisis in Indian country, finding that the tribe is unlikely to show that it has jurisdiction over the claims in the tribal court (McKesson Corporation, et al. v. Todd Hembree, No. 17-cv-323, N.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3700).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 9 found that when Thomas McClary departed the Grammy Award-winning band The Commodores in 1984, he forfeited his common-law rights to use and profit from "The Commodores" trademark (Commodores Entertainment Corporation v. Thomas McClary, et al., No. 16-15794, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 518).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employee seeking a ruling on noncompete agreements under the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws (Christopher Ridgeway, et al. v. Stryker Corporation, et al., No. 17-556, U.S. Sup.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two couples who were subsequent purchasers of homes built by Pulte Home Corp. that had allegedly improperly installed stucco dismissed their lawsuit in Florida federal court on Jan. 3 after reaching settlements with the company (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
SEATTLE - A man who was injured when an Amtrak train derailed and landed on a car in which he was a passenger filed suit in Washington state court on Jan. 4 against the train company, claiming that the train was moving too fast to negotiate a curve (Blaine Wilmotte, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation, No. 18-2-00455-1, Wash. Super. King Co.).
OWENSBORO, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on Jan. 3 affirmed a magistrate judge's decision to deny a motorcycle company's motion to have a deposition in a product liability suit in Japan after finding that it would be inconvenient for all attorneys to travel to Japan and less of an inconvenience for a corporate representative to travel to California for a deposition (Derek Schall v. Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., et al., No. 4:14-cv-00074, W.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 873).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A consent order was entered in a District of Columbia federal court Jan. 3 under which 48 states agreed to a $45,279,725 settlement with a mortgage servicer that engaged in the improper service of mortgage loans for several years (Alabama, et al. v. PHH Mortgage Corporation, No. 1:18-cv-00009, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 29 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted against a financial services firm in relation to trades it made to a securities company, finding that all the causes of action were barred by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) (Francis X. Fleming Jr. v. The Charles Schwab Corporation, et al., Nos. 16-15179, 16-15189, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 26982).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a final written decision issued Jan. 2, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with an inter partes review (IPR) petitioner that six claims of a method and apparatus for automatically adjusting patient medication levels would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (CareFusion Corporation v. Baxter International Inc., No. IPR2016-01463, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 28 released its ruling in a dispute related to investments for the sale and shipment of high-speed fuel to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction (Lighthouse Corporation Pty Ltd., et al. v. the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, No. ARB/15/2, ICSID).
ELGIN, Ill. - A panel of the First District Illinois Appellate Court on Dec. 19 found that a trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a grocery store after finding that a woman who slipped in oil was unable to show that the hazard was caused by an employee of the grocery store (Adela Pantoja v. Pete's Fresh Market 4700 Corporation, No. 1-17-0679, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2680).