SANTA ANA, Calif. - In a March 25 motion, the plaintiffs in a putative class action over a 2015 data breach experienced by Experian Information Solutions Inc. asked a California federal court to compel production of post-breach investigative documents by a security vendor, disputing the defendant's claim that the documents are shielded by attorney-client privilege (In Re Experian Data Breach Litigation, No. 8:15-cv-01592, C.D. Calif.).
MINNEAPOLIS - In the wake of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' rejection and remand of a proposed settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in 2013 data breaches, the consumers on March 27 filed a memorandum in Minnesota federal court supporting a newly filed motion for class certification and defending the adequacy of their class representation (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 14-2522, D. Minn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on March 25 granted a Canadian mining company's petition to confirm a $1.2 billion arbitral award issued by an international tribunal, rejecting the Republic of Venezuela's challenges to the award (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 16-0661, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43697).
SAN DIEGO - A class lawsuit over nutritional supplement labeling belongs in state court because the combined amount in controversy is less than $5 million, even when a 25 percent attorney fee award is included, a California federal judge ruled March 24, rejecting arguments by both sides that the case should remain in federal court (Paige Petkevicius, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 14-2616, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43636).
SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to pay $110 million to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent, according to a joint notice of settlement filed March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead any elements of scienter in making their federal securities law claims against a supplier of lightweighting and noise, vibration and harshness solutions for personal and commercial vehicles and certain of the executive officers, a federal judge in New York ruled March 23 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (Raymond Thomas, et al. v. Shiloh Industries Inc., et al., No. 15-7449, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42512).
CHICAGO - Expert testimony on sociological and statistical analysis is allowed in a racial discrimination lawsuit between an employer and its former employees to discuss whether minority employees received disparate treatment, an Illinois federal judge held March 24, finding that the testimony meets the standards set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Kenneth Martin, et al. v. F.E. Moran Inc. and Fire Protection of Northern Illinois, No. 13-03526, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42974).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 27 denied a petition for certiorari filed by class members in a credit card fee lawsuit in which a $7.25 billion class action settlement was reached in December 2013 and then set aside by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 30, 2016, after it determined that the merchant class had divided interests and needed separate counsel (Photos Etc. Corp., et al. v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., et al., No. 16-710, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2042).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 27 agreed to hear a defense technology company's appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling to determine if there is a split among the circuits regarding whether a duty to disclose is created by Item 303 of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K that is actionable under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Leidos Inc., v. Indiana Public Retirement System, et al., No. 16-581, U.S. Sup.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A man's Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) suit impermissibly seeks equitable relief in the face of other available remedies, a federal magistrate judge in Alabama held March 23 (Jeffrey Woodruff v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, et al., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41921).
SAN ANTONIO - An expert is qualified to testify on independent marketing organizations (IMOs) in the insurance industry and regarding an IMO's "compliance or lack of compliance with industry standards," a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 24 (Wealthmark Advisors Inc. and David Shields v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co. and PHL Variable Insurance Co., No. 16-00485, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42978).
NEW YORK - Finding an expert's testimony on the ergonomics factors of a plaintiff's job in relation to his injuries to be admissible, a New York federal judge on March 24 denied partial summary judgment to a railroad company in a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) lawsuit because it is premised on the exclusion of that testimony (Donovan G. Hewitt v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad, No. 14-8052, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43383).
SAN FRANCISCO - The variety of contracts at issue and evidence that at least some of the contracted pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) understood that a pharmacy's usual and customary rate did not include the rate offered for generic drugs in its membership program defeat a motion for class certification of insured purchasers of generic drugs, a federal judge in California held March 21 (Christopher Corcoran, et al. v. CVS Health, et al., No. 15-3504, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40783).
LAS VEGAS - A federal magistrate judge in Nevada on March 21 granted a protective order in a negligence lawsuit to facilitate discovery exchanges and establishing a procedure for the filing of documents that include trade secrets and other confidential information pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a) (Sonia Fernandez-Valdez v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 16-2464, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40492).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on March 23 released its 2016 annual report announcing an increase in new arbitration requests and in administered cases.
SUBIACO, Western Australia - An Australian energy firm on March 23 announced that it will commence arbitration with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) against a uranium holding company, asserting claims related to a notice requesting that it determine the value of its shares in a mine.
MILWAUKEE - Excluding expert testimony on the cause and origin of a fire, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled March 21 that plaintiffs cannot prevail on their claims of strict products liability or negligence because "without competent expert testimony, the jury would be forced to speculate about the cause of the fire" (S.V. Gopalratnam and Hemalatha Gopalratnam, et al. v. Hewlett Packard Co. and ABC Insurance Co. v. Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Dynapack Technology Corp., No. 13-618, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40386).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A government watchdog group on March 21 filed a complaint in District of Columbia federal court against the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that the agency violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, by not timely providing certain employees' communications that were sent using an encryption application (Cause of Action Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 1:17-cv-00509, D. D.C.).
ERIE, Pa. - A second expert report filed by the lead plaintiffs in a proposed class action over spying software when they filed their reply brief in support of their renewed motion for class certification was filed too late, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled March 22, striking the new report (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's, Inc., et al., No. 11-101, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41030).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on March 22 denied a motion filed by several companies to compel arbitration of claims asserted by an investor in relation to supply and operating agreements, finding that neither of the arbitration provisions in the contracts applies to his claims (Pei Chuang v. OD Expense, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00915, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40913).
SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney representing the named plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour class complaint must pay $7,706.32 in sanctions after acting in an "unprofessional" and "disrespectful" manner during deposition, a California federal magistrate judge ruled March 21, adding that the attorney "might benefit from mental health treatment and sensitivity training" (Shaon Robinson, et al. v. The Chefs' Warehouse, No. 15-5421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40824).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 21 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Campbell Soup Co. of deceiving customers by labeling soup as healthy even though it contained trans fat but denied motions by both parties seeking sanctions (Harold Brower, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, No. 16-1005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40792).
DETROIT - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in that city filed a brief in Michigan federal court on March 21, arguing that the lawsuit meets the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and, therefore, the court should deny a motion filed by another group of defendants asking it to alter its judgment with regard to exercising its jurisdiction over state law claims (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - A child pornography suspect was correctly found to be in contempt when he refused to comply with a court order requiring him to provide law enforcement with access to external hard drives, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 20, finding that the defendant's rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were not violated (United States of America v. Apple Mac Pro Computer, et al., No. 15-3537, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4874).