BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Feb. 17 found that most of Amtrak's claims of attorney-client privilege should be sustained with some exceptions, adopting the majority of a special master's report and recommendation in a coverage dispute over environmental contamination (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23680).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Feb. 21 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss claims brought by a class of residents who contend that Chevron USA Inc. and related companies are liable for contaminating their groundwater with naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), ruling that the plaintiffs have a valid strict liability claim but do not have a claim for punitive damages against all defendants (Joseph Robertson, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 15-00874, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 stayed an appeal in a Cymbalta withdrawal class action pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case with a similar issue (Melissa Strafford, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 15-56808, 9th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because shareholders failed to plead scienter and the defendants' alleged misleading statements were forward-looking and protected, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 21 in affirming (IBEW Local No. 58 Annuity Fund, et al. v. EveryWare Global Inc., et al., No. 16-3445, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2925).
NEW YORK - A group of London market reinsurers on Feb. 20 brought to the attention of a federal court in New York that the lead witness in a reinsurance arbitration has recently been convicted of conspiracy and securities and wire fraud (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
AUGUSTA, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action suit accusing Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), Daikin Applied Americas Inc. (DAA) and Daikin North Americas LLC (DNA) of making and selling air conditioning units with faulty evaporator coils, ruling that a building owner lacks personal jurisdiction to assert claims against DIL and failed to state claims against DAA and DNA (Paws Holdings, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 16-58, S.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24684).
LONDON - The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) on Feb. 22 announced that it has published new guidelines on the appointment of arbitrators.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York man who alleges that he and other consumers were duped about the expected battery life for their laptops is bound by an arbitration clause and may not proceed with his class complaint, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 17 (Charles Andersen v. Walmart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-6488, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22862).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 21 partially granted a motion to exclude testimony on damages in a patent infringement case, but found that most of the expert's opinions did not justify exclusion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. before trial (Saint Lawrence Communications LLC v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 2:15-cv-349, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).
GREENBELT, Md. - A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 21 excluded the testimony of an expert in a trademark infringement lawsuit on grounds that his opinions were "non-substantiated proclamations on the ultimate questions of law and he lacked the requisite training education or experience in the relevant field of proffered expertise" (JFJ Toys Inc., et al. v. Sears Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 14-3527, D. Md.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc Committee for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 22 released its decision to deny a request by two entities to lift a stay of enforcement of a $48,619,578 arbitral award issued in their favor, continuing the stay until pending annulment proceedings filed by the Plurinational State of Bolivia are concluded (Quiborax S.A., et al. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia, ARB/06/02, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the Czech Republic-Ministry of Health, which sought review of an appellate court decision that reversed the denial of a petition to confirm a $325 million arbitral award in favor of a Liechtenstein corporation (The Czech Republic-Ministry of Health v. Diag Human S.E., No. 16-620, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 17 dismissed the appeal of a trial court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit alleging unlawful detention by an Illinois city, finding that it lacked jurisdiction after the named plaintiff accepted an individual offer of judgment (Marquise Wright v. Calumet City, Illinois, No. 16-2219, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2823).
OMAHA, Neb. - A trial court properly found that a procedural notice error in the application of a warrant that led to a child pornography conviction did not prejudice the defendant, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, upholding the denial of the defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained via the warrant (United States of America v. Kirk Cottom, No. 16-1050, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2789).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 17 held that a couple could pursue claims that allegedly improper installation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in their home resulted in property damage requiring remediation but that they failed to provide causation evidence to show that they suffered respiratory problems after being exposed to volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors from the products (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23434).
NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs in an asbestos exposure case are entitled to further discovery in an attempt to muster the difficult support they need to overcome jurisdictional issues against one defendant and must amend their complaint to allege more specifics against a second company, a federal judge in Louisiana held Feb. 16 (Robin Murphy, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., et al., No. 15-5566, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21979).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Citing privacy and free speech concerns, Amazon.com Inc. in a Feb. 17 motion in Arkansas court seeks to quash a police department warrant ordering production of sound recordings and transcripts associated with an Amazon Echo device belonging to the defendant in a murder case (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Benton Co., Ark. Cir. Ct.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Supreme Court on Feb. 16 upheld a circuit court's certification of a class of city workers suing for breach of contract after mandated raises ended (City of Conway, an Arkansas Municipality v. Richard Shumate, Jr., et al., No. CV-16-284, Ark. Sup., 2017 Ark. LEXIS 41).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Pella Corp. says in an opposition brief filed Feb. 16 that a federal judge in South Carolina should not reconsider his Dec. 12 ruling that plaintiffs' experts' opinions about defects in the company's Architect and Designer Series windows are unreliable because the plaintiffs' arguments have already been raised and were rejected (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.).
NOIDA, India - An Indian toll bridge company on Feb. 17 said it has initiated arbitration proceedings against a development authority, asserting claims for breach of a concession agreement.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant's Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 15 dismissed two of four Wyndham divisions in a class complaint alleging fraud via hidden hotel charges, finding that those two divisions were not provided fair notice (Thomas Luca, Jr. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., No. 16-746, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21433).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 16 granted final approval of a nearly $344,000 settlement to be paid to a class of Uber Technologies Inc. customers who allege that Uber wrongfully retained a portion of gratuity charges paid by passengers (Caren Ehret, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 14-113, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22586).
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain current and former executive officers over their alleged misrepresentations concerning their involvement in a generic drug price-fixing scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 15 (Greg Fleming v. Impax Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 16-6557, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22147).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).