BOSTON - The National Labor Relations Board did not err when it adhered to the "successor bar doctrine" established in UGL-UNICCO Service Co., 357 N.L.R.B. 801 (2011), and ruled that the company that obtained a portion, including employees, of a bankrupt auto parts delivery company was a successor employer and had to bargain with the workers' union, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 31 (National Labor Relations Board v. Lily Transportation Corporation, No. 15-2398, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5634).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on March 31 vacated a $4.24 million verdict handed down in favor of a group of residents against a hydraulic fracturing company they had accused of contaminating their groundwater. The judge ordered that a new trial be held if the parties are unable to reach a mutual settlement on the remaining claims in the lawsuit (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49075).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on March 28 found that a dispute over a charter party agreement should be compelled to arbitration but denied the motion until the parties could agree as to where the arbitration should be conducted (Internaves De Mexico, s.a. de C.V. v. Andromeda Steamship Corporation, et al., No. 16-81719, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46507).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on March 27 released its order discontinuing an arbitration commenced by two Canadian entities that sought damages from the United States in relation to their investment in a crude oil pipeline (TransCanada Corporation & TransCanada PipeLines Limited v. The Government of The United States, No. ARB/16/21, ICSID).
MINNEAPOLIS - In the wake of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' rejection and remand of a proposed settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in 2013 data breaches, the consumers on March 27 filed a memorandum in Minnesota federal court supporting a newly filed motion for class certification and defending the adequacy of their class representation (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 14-2522, D. Minn.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on March 24 denied a dairy's motion for judgment on the pleadings after finding that a plaintiff corporation sufficiently alleged that the dairy discharged hazardous substances that are covered by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Citizens Development Corporation v. County of San Diego, et al., No. 12cv0334, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43785).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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 Chevron Corp. filed a petition for writ of certiorari March 27 in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that "the Second Circuit's unprecedented authorization of a preemptive collateral attack on a foreign country's money judgment warrants" the high court's intervention (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16A686, and Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16A714, U.S. Sup.).
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on March 22 ruled in favor of an excess insurer in a manufacturer insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging claims for breach of contract, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and negligence (Berry Plastics Corporation v. Illinois National Insurance Co., No. 15-00170, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41546).
CHICAGO - The liquidator of a pair of insolvent insurers told a federal court in Illinois on March 22 that the claims she brings against a mortgage insurance reinsurer are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel., Acting Director of Insurance, Anne Melissa Dowling v. HMC Reinsurance Company, a Vermont Corporation, No. 16-cv-08156, N.D. Ill.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland Court of Special Appeals panel on March 21 affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the parent and grandparent corporation of a hospital in a wrongful death suit because under Maryland law, parent and grandparent corporations are not responsible for establishing hospital protocols (Kimberley Hughes Johnson v. University of Maryland and Medical System Corporation, et al., No. 396, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 299).
NEWARK, N.J. - Three drug makers and the three largest pharmacy benefit managers have engaged in a pricing scheme to drive up the cost of diabetes insulin - by more than 150 percent in the last five years - in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Sherman Act and numerous state laws, four consumers and Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation allege in a March 17 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Julia Boss, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-1823, D. N.J.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 20 approved an application by an insolvent insurer's special deputy receiver (SDR) and declared the disallowance of a certain house fire claim final (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois overseeing a trial claiming that a former Reed Smith partner's use of the antidepressant Paxil caused him to commit suicide in 2010 on March 20 denied the drug maker's motion to strike portions of testimony from a plaintiff's expert of the amount of data he had access to that purportedly showed that suicidal events were underreported during studies (Wendy Dolin v. SmithKline Beechman Corporation, d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. 12-cv-6403, N.D. Ill.).
PITTSBURGH - Trustees for the asbestos trust established by the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) said March 17 in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court that they want to reopen the case to find out whether more than $9 billion in claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, which has assets of less than $4 billion (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 13 held that an insurance policy's financial services exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging Lanham Act and unfair competition claims against an insured, further finding that the underlying claims asserting that the insured illegally charged up-front fees to homeowners seeking mortgage advice are uninsurable under California law (First One Lending Corporation, et al. v. The Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-01500, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36548).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on March 14 approved a consent decree that would require Pocahontas Land Corp. to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to resolve allegations brought by three environmental groups that the company was violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) (Ohio Valle Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Pocahontas Land Corporation, No. 15-cv-15515, S.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36145).
A Georgia federal judge overseeing the Mentor ObTape pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on March 14 openly disagreed with a March 9 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision reversing the MDL judge's statute-of-limitations ruling against 12 plaintiffs (Deborah Ann Rogers v. Mentor Corporation, et al., No 16-10119, et al., 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4184, In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-2004, M.D. Ga., Columbus Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35833).
CHICAGO - Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 14 in a wrongful death case in which GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) is accused of failing to update its Paxil label to warn about the risk of suicide (Wendy Dolin, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A stucco remediation expert's methodology for calculating the cost to repair homes made by Pulte Home Corp. that have improperly installed stucco is not reliable or relevant, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 10 in granting the builder's motion to exclude the testimony (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 said a multidistrict litigation court erred in dismissing as time-barred the claims of 12 Mentor Corp. pelvic mesh plaintiffs, finding that Minnesota law requires plaintiffs to know about a causal connection between a device and their injury before the statute of limitations begins to run (Deborah Ann Rogers v. Mentor Corporation, et al., No 16-10119, et al., 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4184).