PHILADELPHIA - A company's failure to comply with a state court motion to compel does not warrant sanctions because the request is overly broad, but going forward, the company must produce documents relevant to product identification testimony in an asbestos case, a federal magistrate judge held Dec. 6 (William Ney, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., et al., No. 16-2408, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169371).
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) argues in a Dec. 7 brief in Pennsylvania federal court that his bid for certification of a class of Coke employees whose personally identifying information (PII) is appropriate, contending that his proposed classes meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Five putative class actions against Yahoo! Inc. related to a data breach the internet giant announced in September were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) in a Dec. 7 transfer order (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion filed by the defendants in a suit over the terms of loan guarantees to transfer a class complaint to a Virginia federal court that the defendants argue, in part, will hear the case more quickly (Jason Vanden Heuvel, et al. v. Navy Federal Credit Union, et al., No. 16-1839, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168926).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 8 addressed several motions to exclude testimony prior to a trial date set in a doctor's lawsuit against a university for discrimination that resulted in her contract not being renewed (Dr. Maria Artunduaga v. The University of Chicago Medical Center, No. 12-8733, N.D, Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169460).
LOS ANGELES - Summary judgment is warranted against insureds in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insureds have failed to show that their insurer breached its contract in failing to pay their claims for benefits or denied their requests for a defense or indemnification, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 6 (Julie Sohn, et al. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., et al., No. 15-8841, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168555).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Dec. 5 denied Sprint Communications Co. L.P. its attempts to exclude damages and patent experts in two consolidated patent infringement lawsuits filed against Comcast Cable Communications LLC and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) (Sprint Communications Company LP v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 11-2684 and Sprint Communications Company LP v. Time Warner Cable Inc., et al., No. 11-2686, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167849).
NEWARK, N.J. - Plaintiffs in a class action suit alleging that Mercedes-Benz USA LLC misrepresented the efficiency of its BlueTec Clean Diesel vehicles lack standing to bring their action against the auto maker, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Dec. 6, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that the advertisements they allegedly relied on contained any false statements (In re: Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation, No. 16-881, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168535).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 2 appointed an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the investor group has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff (David Lewis v. Lipocine Inc., et al. No. 16-4009, D. N.J. and Anthony Morassi, et al. v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4067, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166532).
STILLWATER, Okla. - A group of Oklahoma residents on Dec. 5 filed a putative class action lawsuit in state court against five energy companies contending that by disposing of fracking wastewater into the ground, the companies introduced contaminants into the natural environment that caused an adverse change to it in the form of unnatural seismic activity (David and Myra Reid, et al. v. White Star Petroleum LLC, et al., No. CJ-2016-543, Okla. Dist., Payne Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An English mining company on Dec. 7 announced that a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has granted an application filed by the Republic of Indonesia to dismiss arbitration claims asserted against it related to the revocation of mining licenses and has ordered it to pay $9.4 million in costs and fees (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
SEATTLE - In a slip-and-fall case, an expert may testify as to the nature of an airport's floors when they become wet but cannot testify about the policies and practices for detecting and cleaning up spills, a Washington federal judge ruled Dec. 2 (Evelyne Suzanne Sudre, et al. v. The Port of Seattle, et al., No. 15-0928, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166882).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A licensed professional engineer may testify regarding a man's fall from a ladder and the sufficiency of the warnings and instructions but may not testify regarding a color banding alternative design because he failed to sufficiently substantiate his opinion for this alternative design beyond his conclusion, an Indiana federal judge ruled Dec. 5 (Joseph Costanza v. Vulcan Ladder Co., No. 13-260, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167470).
SCRANTON, Pa. - In a negligence lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 5 declined to exclude medical testimony on a man's history of neck pain and how any exacerbation of the neck would have resolved itself in a matter of months because any disagreement can be addressed through cross-examination (Daniel Broe and Heidi Broe v. Steven Manns, No. 15-985, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167593).
CHICAGO - A federal judge was correct when he ruled that student athletes are not employees of the universities where they play, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 5 (Gillian Berger, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 16-1558, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21642).
ERIE, Pa. - In a Dec. 2 reply brief supporting their motion for class certification, a Wyoming couple, who unknowingly purchased a laptop with spyware installed on it, tells a Pennsylvania federal court that their complaint against the laptop seller for violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) merits class treatment because of "the ability to answer predominating common questions in a uniform manner" in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 2 released new caseload statistics for south and east Asia and the Pacific (SEAP Region).
NEWARK, N.J.- A New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 5 refused to grant a motion filed by a debt collector to dismiss claims for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), finding that she adequately pleaded her claims in relation to the instructions she was given on obtaining a verification of the debt (Milagros Fontanez, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Stern & Eisenberg, P.C., No. 16-1562, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167172).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In a medical malpractice case, an Alaska federal judge on Dec. 1 excluded a general and colorectal surgeon from testifying about the standard of care a patient received before and following his diagnosis of colon cancer because the surgeon's board certification in surgery does not directly relate to the issue (Galen Swan v. United States of America, No. 15-0012, D. Alaska; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166233).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in admitting expert testimony concerning the absence of fingerprints on a gun that a jury found a defendant had possessed, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 1, affirming a man's conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm (United States of America v. Verissimo Tavares, No. 14-2319, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21491).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 held that the False Claims Act (FCA) "does not enact so harsh a rule" as mandating dismissal of a relator's lawsuit under the act for a violation of the statute's requirement that the relator's complaint remain sealed, affirming a ruling of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 7420).
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 30 adopted a report and recommendation that found that a ship employee's injury-related claims were subject to an arbitration agreement in his employment contract and refusing to remand the case to a state court (Ali Imam Shah v. Blue Wake Shipping, No. 2:16 -CV-00529, W.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165561).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Nov. 30 declined to exclude expert testimony that will help support fraudulent inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation claims against a window manufacturer and its retail seller (Joan Cravens Inc. and Jason V. Smith v. Deas Construction Inc. d/b/a Deas Millwork Co. and Weather Shield Manufacturing Inc., No. 15-385, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165146).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Dec. 5 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari for a case in which a man convicted of tax evasion, which was based on evidence obtained from a mirror image copy of his computer hard drives, had asked the court to consider whether the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied to evidence obtained via a search warrant issued based on a predicate violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Stavros M. Ganias v. United States of America, No. 16-263, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).