NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 certified two questions to the New York Court of Appeals in a dispute over whether a public benefit corporation has the capacity to challenge as unconstitutional a New York statute that revived claims against public corporations for personal injuries incurred during the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (In re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, Nos. 15-2181, 15-2283, 15-2285, 15-2487, 15-2506 and 15-2687, 2nd Cir.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A cell phone reseller's third attempt at class certification for counterclaims accusing Sprint Nextel Corp. of restraining trade of preowned phones failed when a Kansas federal judge on Jan. 12 ruled that the motion was filed too late (Sprint Nextel Corporation v. The Middle Man, Inc., et al., No. 12-2159, D. Kan.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4931).
LOS ANGELES - Seventy-two days before the start of a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the parties on Jan. 16 reported to a California federal judge that "[d]espite the best efforts of the parties, they have been unable to settle the case" (Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - The United States on Jan. 14 filed suit against a cigar manufacturer in New York federal court, alleging that the company failed to make payments after a civil fine was imposed against it under a law that was created to transition the tobacco industry to a free market (United States of America v. La Casa Grande Tobacco Corporation, No. 17-CV-225, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the banks accused, in a multidistrict litigation that was reinstated by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after being dismissed by the trial court, of an alleged conspiracy to manipulate U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in violation of the Sherman Act (Bank of America Corporation, et al. v. Ellen Gelboim, et al., No. 16-545, U.S. Sup.).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Baxter Healthcare Corp. has agreed to pay $18.15 million in criminal and civil penalties to resolve allegations that it continued to manufacture and sell intravenous (IV) solutions made in a clean room outfitted with moldy air filters, the U.S. Justice Department announced Jan. 12 (United States of America v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, No. 17-10, United States of America v. $8,000,000 in Funds, et al., No. 15-cv15, and United States ex rel. Christopher Wall v. Baxter International, Inc., et al., No. 13-42, W.D. N.C.).
CHICAGO - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 affirmed dismissal of a Yasmin blood clot lawsuit, citing admission by the plaintiff's attorneys that did "mostly nothing" to warrant keeping the lawsuit active (Jennifer Dzik v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 16-1333, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 684).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's "insured vs. insured" exclusion bars coverage for an underlying share dispute brought against a closely held corporation and two members of its board of directors by a former board member and her two daughters (Jerry's Enterprises, Inc. v. U.S. Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-3324, 8th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 475).
PASADENA, Calif. - A majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 found that a directors and officers liability insurance policy unambiguously excludes from coverage the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s negligence, gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims against a failed bank's former directors and officers, reversing and remanding a lower court (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver for Security Pacific Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., No. 14-56132, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 452).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp. on Jan. 10 filed a brief in California federal court contending that a recent decision handed down by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supports its contention that a proposed class representing Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion should not be granted class status because the plaintiffs do not meet the criteria for certification (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - In a Jan. 11 ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Texas federal judge's determination that a state law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation - levied in connection with allegations of stolen instructional drawings - is preempted by the Copyright Act (Ultraflo Corporation v. Pelican Worldwide, et al., No. 15-20084, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 509).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Florida corporation asking it to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court's partial summary judgment ruling for the corporation on claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division on behalf of a class of female prison workers who allege gender discrimination and harassment, finding that the two agencies sufficiently conciliated their claims (The Geo Group, Inc. v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 16-302, U.S. Sup.; 2017 U.S. LEXIS 294).
PHILADELPHIA - Surviving beneficiaries of a Merchant Marine's Jones Act survival action originally filed in 1989 should not be penalized simply because the court lacked the resources to quickly resolve asbestos cases, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Jan. 6 (Creighton E. Miller (administrator for estate of Joseph F. Braun v. Manville Corporation Asbestos Disease Compensation Fund, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-33896, E.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1975).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 5 granted a bank's request to assert counterclaims against borrowers and to add various counterdefendants to an action in which property owners assert claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other causes of action, finding that amendment would not prejudice the claimants (Rick J. Hinrichsen, et al. v. Quality Loan Service Corporation, et al., No. 16cv0690, S.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1670).
GREEN BAY, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on Jan. 3 granted the federal government's motion in limine to preclude a defendant company from arguing that allocations for natural resource damages in consent decrees between the government and parties that contributed to contamination at the Lower Fox River Superfund site were too high, holding that the company was over-reading the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's section on double recovery (United States of America v. NCR Corporation, et al., No. 10-C-910, E.D. Wis.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 257).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Alabama on Jan. 2 that its reinsured submitted a reinsurance loss bill under a different agreement than the one listed in the reinsured's complaint (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 16-cv-00948, M.D. Ala.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 30 that an insurer's request regarding testimony from its corporate designee is improper because among other reasons, the reinsurer says, it does not have the information the insurer seeks (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).
RUTLAND, Vt. - A federal judge in Vermont on Dec. 28 denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit against a plastics manufacturer, ruling that a dispute over the state's groundwater contamination standards was not "essential" to the case (James D. Sullivan, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, No. 16-125, D. Vt.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180405).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 20 granted a clothing retailer's motion to dismiss a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and claims for false advertising in relation to its pricing, finding that she failed to allege facts to support her class action claims (Courtney Dennis v. Ralph Lauren Corporation, No. 16cv1056, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176856).