BALTIMORE - After finding that class claims asserted by homeowners in relation to the foreclosure of their property failed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a Maryland federal judge on July 29 granted a bank's motion to dismiss the case (Byron R. Bartlett, et al. v. Bank of America, NA, No. 13-975, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102897).
ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands - The firearms identification methodology used by the government's expert in a murder case were reliable and relevant under the standards of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 ), a Virgin Islands federal judge ruled July 28, and also deemed the expert to be qualified and denied a plaintiff's motion to exclude the expert's testimony (United States of America, et al. v. Elvin Wrensford, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00003, D. Virgin Islands; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102446).
PHOENIX - Because there will be no jury to be potentially prejudiced by expert testimony that was objected to by the defendants in a prison conditions class action, an Arizona federal judge on July 28 denied the defendants' motion to preclude, also finding that the objections were insufficient to support exclusion of the experts' opinions in their entirety (Victor Antonio Parsons, et al. v. Charles L. Ryan, et al., No. 2:12-cv-00601, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102541).
LONDON - The London International Court of Arbitration (LCIA) on July 29 announced that it has formally adopted a new set of rules, which will take effect in October.
DENVER - A lay witness did not exceed the scope of Federal Rule of Evidence 701 in a tax fraud trial, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found July 28, affirming a lower court's conviction and rejecting the appellant's challenge of the witness's testimony (United States of America v. Curtis L. Morris, No. 12-1474, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14292).
CHICAGO - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and student-athletes claiming head injuries suffered in intercollegiate play reached a $75 million settlement of their federal class action suit July 29 (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litgation, MDL No. 2492, Master Docket No. 1:13-cv-09116, N.D. Ill.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 let stand the certification of a class of employees alleging hostile work environment claims, finding that the petition filed by the employer for interlocutory review of a trial court's refusal to decertify the class was untimely (Nucor Corporation, et al. v. Quinton Brown, et al., No. 14-154, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14182).
PORTLAND, Ore. - After finding that claims asserted in a shareholders dispute related directly to an arbitration agreement, an Oregon federal judge on July 24 stayed an action pending the outcome of arbitration in Cyprus (William Davis, et al. v. Cascade Tanks LLC, No. 3:13-cv-02119, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100958).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on July 24 denied reargument of its earlier decision regarding timeliness of an asbestos-related reinsurance arbitration dispute (In the Matter of ROM Reinsurance Management Company, Inc., et al. v. Continental Insurance Company, Inc., No. M-1783, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on July 28 conditionally certified a class of satellite television technicians who are paid per job but are seeking overtime compensation (Freddy Simmons, et al. v. Broadway Home Improvement Inc., d/b/a ABC Hi-Def Communications, et al., No. 14-483, S.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102420).
HANNIBAL, Mo. - The expert witness proffered by the plaintiff in a dispute over insurance coverage for roof and water damage from a hailstorm did not have "sufficient specialized knowledge" regarding the type of roof at issue, a Missouri federal judge found July 25, also concluding that the expert's report was based on an insufficient factual basis and, as such, must be excluded (Phyllis Hannan v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 2:13-cv-00053, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101403).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 28 announced that it has issued awards in three arbitration cases filed against the Russian Federation in relation to investments made in OAO Yukos Oil Co. (Yukos), awarding the investors more than $50 billion (Yukos Universal Limited [Isle of Man] v. The Russian Federation, No. AA 227, PCA).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 refused to dismiss a class complaint accusing a pizza chain of wrongfully charging sales tax on a delivery fee and negligently misrepresenting that tax (Bruce Schojan, et al. v. Papa John's International Inc., et al., No. 14-1218, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100319).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Although a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 23 found that a physician was qualified to testify as to possible future treatments a plaintiff may need to undergo for an ankle injury that is at the heart of a negligence lawsuit, the judge concluded that the doctor's testimony about how the injury might affect the plaintiff's future employment possibilities was "much too attenuated to be allowed," granting in part the defendant's motion to preclude (Peter Lazar v. Cedar Lake Camp, et al., No. 3:13-cv-00973, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100112).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 denied a motion to certify a class complaint that accuses a company collecting debts of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing auto-dialed phone calls to individuals, finding that the motion was premature (Michael Dickerson v. Laboratory Corporation of America, Inc., No. 14-1390, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100323).
MIAMI - An arbitrator in a dispute before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which was filed by an energy company that alleges that Canada violated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on July 24 released the 10th procedural order in the case (Mesa Power Group v. Government of Canada, No. 2012-17, PCA).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 22 denied a motion to reconsider his decision to conditionally certify a class of workers seeking pay for overtime hours (Sandra Kelly, et al. v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc., No. 13-441, E.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99025).
PARIS - After determining that an arbitrator appointed on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan in a dispute over exploration rights manifestly lacked impartiality, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 23 released its decision granting a request to disqualify him as arbitrator by a Kazakh company and its owner (Caratube International Oil Company LLP & Mr. Devincci Salah Hourani v. Republic of Kazakhstan, No. ARB/13/13, ICSID).
NEWARK, N.J. - A prior class complaint filed in New Jersey state court that, for a time, tolled the statute of limitations for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims brought by recipients of allegedly unauthorized faxed ads failed to save the otherwise untimely TCPA claim filed in New Jersey federal court more than six years after the fax was sent, a New Jersey federal judge ruled July 22 (A & L Industries, Inc., et al. v. P. Cipollini, Inc., No. 12-7598, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99285).
NEW YORK - After finding that an arbitration panel properly determined that a valid contract existed in relation to an agreement for the shipment of aggregates, a New York federal judge on July 21 confirmed a $1,121,783.12 arbitration award issued in favor of a shipping company (In the Matter of Arbitration between TBS Middle East Carriers Ltd. v. United Quarries, No. 13-8932, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99848).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An asbestos-related lung cancer death is an indivisible injury not subject to apportionment, Maryland's top court held July 21 in a divided opinion affirming more than $4 million in verdicts (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 84, September Term, 2013, Md. App.).
PHILADELPHIA - Seven retired National Football League players filed a petition June 21 seeking leave to appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the class-certification order that led to a settlement of brain-injury claims filed by retired players against the league (In re: National Football League Players Concussion Industry Litigation, No. 14-8103, 3rd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 granted a motion to remand a former assistant store manager's wage-and-hour class complaint to state court, finding that the employer failed to show that the federal amount in controversy requirement was met (Payal Patel v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., No. 14-851, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98918).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 21 granted preliminary approval of a $504,000 settlement to end a wage class complaint filed by employees of a spa franchise, but he cautioned that prior to final approval, the parties must either explain why he erred in calculating the maximum recovery to be more than $6 million or why such a low recovery was warranted (Yvette R. Balderas, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, No. 12-6327, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99966).