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).
MINNEAPOLIS - After previous settlement in a class over the 2013 Target Corp. data breaches was rejected by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Minnesota federal judge on May 17 granted a renewed certification motion by a class of consumers whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in the breaches, stating that the required "rigorous analysis" confirmed the adequacy of class representation and revealed no intra-class conflict that would render the settlement unfair (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 14-2522, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75455).
NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on May 15 declined to award summary judgment to either Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. or one of its insurers in a dispute over whether a policy has a $7 million or $14 million limit for asbestos liability claims, saying the policy is too ambiguous to interpret at this stage (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - Trademark infringement plaintiff Solo Cup Operating Corp. on May 17 won dismissal of counterclaims that Solo's complaint is preempted by the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq., when an Illinois federal judge agreed that a product configuration disclosed in an expired utility patent can nonetheless be entitled to trade dress protection (Solo Cup Operating Corporation v. Lollicup USA Inc., No. 16-8041, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74922).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on May 17 reversed summary judgment granted to a hospital and its corporate owner in a premises liability suit after finding that two plaintiffs' claims were not based in medical negligence and that their engineering expert was qualified to testify on the danger that led to a man falling and fracturing his ankle (Charles Galeano, et al. v. Susquehanna Health System and Williamsport Regional Medical Center, No. 1182 MDA 2016, Pa. Super.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 held that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's prior acts exclusion bars coverage for an underlying $15 million settlement arising from claims that a financial corporation's former executive officers breached their fiduciary duties (Clifford Zucker v. U.S. Specialty Insurance Co., 11th Cir., 15-10987, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8585).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 12 upheld a trial court's certification of two subclasses of homeowners suing a nearby corn processing company for allegedly emitting hazardous chemicals and damaging their use and enjoyment of their properties (Laurie Freeman, et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation, No. 15-1942, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 48).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Chevron Corp. on May 15 filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that, with regard to the petition for writ of certiorari filed by a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney who challenge a fraud ruling with regard to an $18.5 billion judgment they previously won against the company, there is no legal issue warranting the Supreme Court's review (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16-1178, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on May 11 affirmed a district court's ruling after determining that a long-term disability (LTD) claim was properly denied because the claimant failed to provide any objective medical findings in support of the claim for benefits (Tricia Z. Cooper v. Intel Corporation Long Term Disability Plan, No. 14-35745, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8380).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that the class counsel has undermined its credibility (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72389).
NEW YORK - Efforts by Comcast Corp. to enjoin patent allegations pending against it before the International Trade Commission (ITC) were again unsuccessful on May 15, when a New York federal judge refused to reconsider an earlier order denying a preliminary injunction (Comcast Corporation v. Rovi Corporation, No. 16-3852, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73669).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on May 10 granted summary judgment to the owner of the corporate great-grandparent company of a nursing home because the plaintiff failed to prove that the grandparent company had anything to do with the day-to-day management that led to a resident's broken hip and subsequent death (Helen Schirmer v. Avalon Health Care Inc., No. CV-15-01550, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71366).
CINCINNATI - A trial court must reconsider how pension benefits during military leave are calculated, a split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 10, finding that other cases outside of its circuit examining the 12-month look-back rule in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) support the appellant's argument that the prior pay rate and hours - including overtime hours - should be used to calculate the benefits owed by the employer (Kenneth E. Savage v. Federal Express Corporation, et al., No. 16-5244, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8267).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 denied a pelvic mesh plaintiff's appeal of summary judgment against her failure-to-warn claim, saying she still presented no reliable evidence that she or her doctors were misled by the directions for use for the Boston Scientific Corp. device (Martha Carlson, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 15-2440, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8227).
CHICAGO - A mortgage insurance reinsurer argues in a May 5 reply brief to an Illinois federal court that the rehabilitator of two insolvent insurers failed to assert sufficient allegations to support breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims (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.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A finding by a California federal judge that the means-plus-function limitation "means for mounting" in a patented method and system for real-time replication of file systems components was invalid for insufficient structure is under review by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments on May 8 (Twin Peaks Software Inc. v. IBM Corporation, No. 16-2177, Fed. Cir.).