CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 14 upheld a trial court's summary judgment ruling for a chain of cosmetology schools sued by a proposed class of students seeking wages for time spent in the schools' salons (Venitia Hollins v. Regency Corporation, et al., No. 15-3607, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15076).
CHICAGO - Two groups of consumers, both represented by Hagens Berman, filed two separate class complaints, one in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island on Aug. 7 and the second in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Aug. 9, accusing CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., respectively, of fraudulently driving up the cost of generic drugs (Megan Schultz, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, No. 17-359, D. R.I., David Grabstald, et al. v. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., No. 17-5789, N.D. Ill.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on Aug. 8 awarded summary judgment to a doctor and his employer on an estate's wrongful death claims after excluding a late-filed expert report as untimely and, therefore, prejudicial (John Faure v. Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, et al., No. 1:14-cv-559, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125558).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 9 held that a professional liability insurance policy's prior-knowledge exclusion relieves the insurer of its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying negligence lawsuit brought against its attorney insured (David R. Farbstein, P.A., et al. v. Westport Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 16-62361, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125990).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 7 ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) to produce certain documents in a case in which a Nigerian entity seeks to confirm a $1,779,000,000 arbitral award (Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited et al v. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, No. 1:14-cv-08445, S.D. N.Y.).
PASADENA, Calif. - A federal trial court abused its discretion twice when making two expert witness decisions against a California city, and the errors were prejudicial to the city in its claims that its groundwater was polluted by a chemical in a company's fertilizer products, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 7 in vacating the trial court's judgment and remanding for a new trial (City of Pomona v. SQM North America Corporation, No. 15-56062, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14491).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that confirmed the validity of a household blender patent was reversed Aug. 4 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Homeland Housewares LLC v. Whirlpool Corporation, No. 16-1511, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14332).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 28 ruled, in a case presenting a question of first impression in the circuit, that a court, not an arbitrator, must decide whether an arbitration agreement allows for class arbitration (Catamaran Corporation v. Towncrest Pharmacy, et al., No. 16-3275, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13689).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend a road repair corporation insured against false representation, monopolization and unfair and deceptive trade practices counterclaims in an infringement dispute over a patent that protected a particular pavement-lifting process (Uretek Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 15-20104, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13707).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on July 27 awarded a hair salon franchisor $26,900 in attorney fees and $8,649.42 in litigation expenses and court costs, less than the $62,344 the franchisor was seeking, in a case against a former franchisee alleging breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark and trade dress infringement, finding duplication of effort between the two law firms that worked on the case (Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. Gerald Mosley, No. 16-2318, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177941).
BENNINGTON, Vt. - The state of Vermont and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) on July 24 reached a consent decree with a plastics manufacturer in which the parties have agreed to drop a groundwater contamination lawsuit in exchange for the company's continued remediation efforts, which will involve the company providing $4,357,853.87 for remediation costs (State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, No. N/A, Vt. Super., Bennington Unit).
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - General Motors LLC cannot sue Johns-Manville Corp.'s asbestos personal injury trust in Ohio state court to recover money for payments made to a widow because GM's claim for contribution is barred by the decades-old injunction issued in Johns-Manville's Chapter 11 case, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held July 24 (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [General Motors LLC v. Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, et al., No. 1:17-ap-1032], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
The U.S. Justice Department and Celgene Corp. on July 25 announced that the company will pay $280 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit that it promoted the cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for off-label uses (United State, ex rel. Beverly Brown v. Celgene Corporation, No. 10-3165, C.D. Calif., Western Div.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The federal judge in South Carolina overseeing litigation stemming from two models of Pella Corp. windows that are allegedly defective denied the manufacturer's request to deny certification in all remaining class action suits in the multidistrict litigation on July 21, holding that there are issues in the suits that would need to be briefed (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 14-mn-00001-DCN, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114223).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Pulte Home Corp. moved for summary judgment in Florida federal court on July 21, arguing that purchasers of homes with stucco that was improperly installed are not entitled to damages because they knew of the defect at the time they purchased their homes (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida woman filed a lawsuit in state court against the builder of her home on July 20, claiming that the stucco on the home was improperly applied in violation of the Florida Building Code (Tammy Marie Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 17-CA-006860, Fla. Cir., Hillsborough Co.).