DALLAS - Johnson & Johnson on Feb. 9 offered to avoid having witnesses testify in a Texas federal court Pinnacle hip case about its 2011 deferred prosecution agreement and $21 million criminal penalty by stipulating to a letter about the deal from the U.S. Justice Department (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
BOSTON - Fourteen defendants facing federal criminal charges related to the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak have all the exculpatory evidence they need, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Feb. 10 (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Special Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over claims that a nonprofit insured committed criminal acts in prosecuting a lawsuit against the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (The Fund For Animals, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company Of Pittsburgh, PA., No. 2598, Md. App.; 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 13).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 22 certified a class of Texas inmates who allege that their unit, operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), is denied any climate control during the summer months and is exposed to extreme heat conditions (Keith Cole, et al. v. Brad Livingston, et al., No. 14-1698, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7509).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The federal judge in New York overseeing the criminal case against alleged Ponzi scheme operator Martin Shkreli on Jan. 7 issued a restraining order preventing Shkreli or any of his associates from using the funds of a $45 million E*Trade individual brokerage account (United States of America v. Martin Shkreli, No. 15-637, E.D. N.Y.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In a sexual assault criminal case, a law enforcement professional was allowed to testify on the issue of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) intoxication, a majority of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held Nov. 18 (State of West Virginia v. Richard Wakefield, No. 14-0968, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W. Va. LEXIS 1116).
BOSTON - A third former Warner Chilcott sales manager on Nov. 12 pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of disclosing identifiable health care information for allegedly accessing patient records to submit prior authorizations for prescription of the company's Atelvia osteoporosis drug (United State of America v. Landon Eckles, No. 15-cr-10320, D. Mass.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 held that it was not reasonable for a wrongfully convicted criminal to rely on insurers' alleged misrepresentation in settling an underlying civil rights lawsuit against a city insured and its police detective, affirming a federal court's dismissal of fraud, silent fraud, civil conspiracy and negligent misrepresentation claims against the insurers (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Michael Louis Cristini, et al., No. 15-1257, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19728).
ATLANTA - A trial court did not err in allowing an expert to testify on pain management in a criminal case against a doctor for unlawful dispensing of controlled substances, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 10, affirming the convictions on conspiracy unlawful dispensation of controlled substances and sentencing against the doctor (United States of America v. Najam Azmat a/k/a Dr. Hazmat, No. 14-13703, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19574).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The same day that a New York federal judge directed the U.S. government to explain its continued need to have a criminal defendant's smartphone unlocked by Apple Inc. in light of his recent guilty plea, the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 30 filed a letter stating that the "matter remains ongoing until sentencing and judgment is entered in the" underlying case and, thus, its quest for potential evidence on the phone is not moot (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).
BOSTON - Pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott on Oct. 23 pleaded guilty to health care fraud, and its former president was arrested for conspiracy to pay kickbacks to physicians, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts announced Oct. 29 (United States of America v. Warner Chilcott Sales (U.S.) L.L.C., No. 15-cr-10324, United States of America ex rel. Lisa A. Alexander, et al. v. Warner Chilcott, plc, et al., No. 11-cv-10545, D. Mass.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A group of individuals, referred to only by their initials, filed a class complaint on Oct. 22 in Pennsylvania federal court, accusing officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) of failing to provide mental health care for people found incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges (J.H., et al. v. Theodore Dallas, et al., No. 15-2057, M.D. Pa.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts gynecologist was arrested Oct. 22 for taking kickbacks, disclosing protected health care records and obstructing a criminal investigation in connection with her prescribing the osteoporosis drugs Actonel and Atelvia, according to a federal indictment and press release (United States of America v. Rita Luthra, M.D., No. 15-cr-30032, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Sufficient evidence and testimony existed to support most of the convictions of a man alleged to have committed a crime spree on the basis of being in a street gang, a California appeals panel affirmed Oct. 20; however, the panel reversed and vacated the sentences as to claims for receipt of stolen property and street terrorism (The People v. Joseph Blacknell, No. A135721, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7578).
CARSON CITY, Nev. - An employer may be liable for an employee's criminal conduct if it was reasonably foreseeable, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Oct. 15 reversing the dismissal of claims against a Las Vegas casino by a guest who was sexually assaulted by an employee (Cristie N. Anderson, et al. v. Mandalay Corporation, et al., Nos. 61305 and 61871, Nev. Sup.; 2015 Nev. LEXIS 97).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 2 answer filed in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) deny that they violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by denying requests from The Associated Press (AP) for documents related to investigations in which the government impersonated media organizations for the purpose of tracking down suspected criminals (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392, D. D.C.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia retail and compounding pharmacy will pay more than $1.4 million in criminal and civil penalties for health care fraud, misbranding drugs and causing false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs, according to a Sept. 15 press release by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia (United States of America v. Trivillian's Pharmacy, No. 14-cr-279, United States of America v. Paula Jane Butterfield, No. 14-278, S.D. W.Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Recordings made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of an investigation into alleged antitrust violations in the optical disk drive (ODD) industry, but prior to a grand jury investigation, are not exempt from discovery under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Panel found Sept. 10, affirming a trial court's denial of a motion to quash brought by the subject of the recordings (In Re: Optical Disk Drive Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-15702, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16081).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 28 appellee brief, the U.S. Department of Justice told the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a bar association's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a document pertaining to federal criminal discovery practices was properly dismissed by a district court under the work-product doctrine (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.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 10 that an insurer has no duty to defend its university insured against underlying claims that it conspired to kidnap a minor because the underlying complaint fails to allege an "occurrence" and triggers the policy's intentional and criminal acts exclusions, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Liberty University, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-2254, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11888).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 2 denied former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Director Rajat K. Gupta's motion to vacate his sentence on criminal charges stemming from his role in a massive insider trading scheme, ruling that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling in United States v. Newman does not apply to the instant action (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-cr-0907, S.D. N.Y.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on June 5 agreed to stay an insurance company's declaratory judgment suit against defendants accused of intentionally setting fire to an insured property during a criminal investigation of the defendants, finding that the stay would not prejudice the insurer and that allowing the cases to go on concurrently would result in significant overlap (EMC Property and Casualty Company v. 205 Customz LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-00293, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72949).