WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 11 that four companies have agreed to pay $3.5 million for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of releases of hazardous pollutants at two oil- and chemical-processing facilities in Texas.
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Oct. 4 ordered the U.S. government to provide more information on what its firearms expert will be testifying on in a criminal case but refused to exclude the testimony on the basis that the government stated only the general topics covered by the expert (United States of America v. Santos Peter Murillo, No. CR16-0113, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138595).
PORTLAND, Maine - Email statements made by a deceased man are not hearsay and are admissible in a case of mail fraud and retaliation, a Maine federal judge ruled Sept. 30, also refusing to exclude an expert's testimony that the man died from his own ingestion of a lethal amount of potassium cyanide (United States of America v. Sidney P. Kilmartin, No. 14-00129, D. Maine; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135299).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 22 vacated a trial court's partial dismissal and denial of class certification rulings issued in a lawsuit by foreign nationals who claim that attempts to deport them following criminal convictions are unconstitutional (Garfield Gayle, et al. v. Warden Monmouth County Correctional Institution, et al., No. 15-1785, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17321).
DETROIT - A group of Michigan residents on Sept. 22 filed an omnibus response in a lawsuit regarding the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., contending that although employees of the state have yet to be indicted for the lead water crisis in Flint, there are "more than enough questions of fact, internal contradictions, and criminal falsehoods" to warrant denial of their motion to dismiss (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).
BOSTON - The judge presiding over a federal criminal case in Massachusetts stemming from the fungal meningitis outbreak on Sept. 21 denied a motion by five defendants to dismiss a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration (United States of America v. Barry Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128933).
BOSTON - A drug manufacturers' organization on Sept. 17 asked a federal district court to allow it to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of an acquittal or new trial for two former drug company executives convicted of adulterating and misbranding a medical device (United States of America v. William Facteau, et al., No. 15-10076, D. Mass.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Aug. 12 upheld a trial court ruling ordering the forfeiture to the U.S. government of New Zealand and Hong Kong-held assets of now defunct Internet file storage service Megaupload and others involved in a criminal copyright infringement conspiracy, finding the forfeiture to be supported by the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (United States of America v. Finn Batato, et al., No. 15-1360, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14861).
BOSTON - With a criminal trial against two company executives just concluded, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts on July 22 revealed that medical device maker Acclarent Inc. paid $18 million to settle lawsuits that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs through the off-label marketing of its Stratus nasal device (United States of America, ex rel. Melayna Lokosky v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 11-11217, United States of America, ex rel. WW. Young, III v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 12-12314, United States of America, ex rel. John Doe v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 13-10205, D. Mass.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 18 granted William H. Cosby Jr.'s motion to stay a homeowners and excess insurer's coverage dispute pending resolution of an underlying lawsuit brought by model, actress and TV producer Janice Dickinson but denied the motion to the extent Cosby seeks a stay pending the resolution of a criminal action in Pennsylvania (AIG Property Casualty Co. v. William H. Cosby Jr., et al., No. 15-04842, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A discovery guide created by the U.S. Department of Justice and used by federal prosecutors qualifies as attorney work product, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 19, affirming a trial court's finding that the DOJ did not need to produce the manual in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys, et al., No. 15-5051, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13141).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 16 upheld a New York federal judge's ruling that a company had cause to fire two employees who refused to answer questions about their possible involvement in an alleged criminal conspiracy (William W. Gilman, et al. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., et al., No. 15-0603, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10937).
SAN FRANCISCO - A criminal trial against FedEx Corp. for allegedly conspiring to deliver controlled substances from illegal Internet pharmacies was dismissed June 17 by the federal government five days into a bench trial (United States of America v. FedEx Corporation, et al., No. 14-cr-380, N.D. Calif.).
ABINGDON, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on June 9 denied a man's motion to vacate his 144-month prison sentence for his role in a workers' compensation insurance fraud scheme, holding that his counsel was effective and that the sentence was properly adjusted based on the defendant's criminal history (United States of America v. Carlos Perry, No. 14CR00003, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74977).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Although the Pennsylvania Superior Court on May 24 disagreed with a lower court's ruling that a criminal acts policy exclusion bars coverage for an underlying suit alleging that an insured was negligent in failing to ensure the safety of its tanning customers and in failing to secure the premises from a third party's misconduct, it determined that the underlying claims for negligent operation of a business fail to trigger coverage on their own (Penn-America Insurance Co. v. Toni Tomei, et al., No. 480 WDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1859).
CINCINNATI - A DNA analyst presented reliable testimony in a criminal lawsuit when he said the process used to identify a defendant as the likely major DNA profile found on three dust masks has no known error rate or accepted procedure for determining an error rate, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 18 (United States of America v. James J. Eastman, No. 14-6459, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9290).
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Device maker B. Braun Medical Inc. has entered into a nonprosecution agreement with federal prosecutors and agreed to pay $7.8 million in criminal penalties, forfeiture and victim restitution to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold contaminated pre-filled saline flush syringes that resulted in patient infections, the U.S. Justice Department announced May 18.
SAN DIEGO - A California appellate panel on May 12 ruled that a trial court judge did not err when denying a man's request to reduce his convictions for making false statements in connection with a workers' compensation claim from felonies to misdemeanors, holding that the defendant had a prior history of criminal activity and that he did not show remorse for what he did (People v. Chany Lopez, No. D068570, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3510).
SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon Court of Appeals panel on May 11 found no error in a woman's conviction for seven counts of making false health care claims and a trial court judge's decision to enhance her sentencing on the basis that the theft convictions did not arise out of the same conduct or criminal episode (State of Oregon v. Vera Andreyevna Spynu, No. A156548, Ore. App.; 2016 Ore. App. LEXIS 574).
BOSTON - A sales representative on May 12 pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to criminally obstructing a federal health care fraud investigation into kickbacks paid to medical professionals in exchange for prescribing a medical device and prescription drugs, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office (United States of America v. Terrence Kyle Tackett, No. 15-cr-10121, D. Mass.).
BOSTON - Six people facing federal criminal charges including murder in connection with the 2013 contaminated compounded drug scandal on May 3 lost their bid in a Massachusetts federal court to dismiss Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act criminal counts based on alleged violations of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) routinely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) by obtaining and using job applicants' records in a manner that violates federal and state law, a Philadelphia man who was an unsuccessful job applicant alleges in his class complaint filed against SEPTA in Pennsylvania federal court on April 27 (Frank Long, et al. v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, No. 16-1991, E.D. Pa.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on April 27 ordered directors and officers liability insurers to immediately reimburse and advance legal costs to a former official of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in connection with his indictment, extradition and defense in an underlying criminal action (Eduardo Li v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., No. 15-06099, E.D. N.Y.).