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.).
HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).
VIENNA - The United Nations on Feb. 14 announced that Iraq has signed the United Nations Convention in Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration.
AUSTIN, Texas - Expert testimony from three medical doctors on the subject of abusive head trauma was reliable, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Feb. 15, upholding a woman's conviction in a bench trial for first-degree-felony injury to a child after an infant under her care sustained serious internal head injuries (Jennifer Banner Wolfe v. The States of Texas, No. PD-0292-15, Texas App., Crim., 2017 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 215).
TAMPA, Fla. - An expert may testify as to his knowledge of police procedures and investigative techniques and whether they were followed by a detective in his mortgage fraud investigation of a married couple, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16; however, the expert may not testify as to the ultimate legal conclusion of whether probable cause existed (Ricky Shew and Frances Shew v. William Horvath, No. 16-766, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21748).
NEW YORK - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a business intelligence and marketing automation software service provider, certain of its executive officers and underwriters of the company's initial public offering (IPO) failed to show that the defendants violated federal securities law by failing to disclose certain trends in its customer concentration and sales growth, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 13 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Andrew D. Nguyen v. MaxPoint Interactive Inc., et al., No. 15-6880, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20069).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 13 adopted a special master's recommendation that the testimony of a certain expert should not be excluded from a trade secrets damages suit (MSC.Software Corporation v. Altair Engineering, Inc., et al., No. 07-cv-12807, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19733).
BAY CITY, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 14 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit of purchasers of 2015 Chevrolet Cruze diesel vehicles that contained a defeat device designed to cheat emissions tests, finding that the plaintiffs had standing and that the case should not be stayed pending an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Jason Counts, et al. v. General Motors, LLC, No. 16-cv-12541, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20277).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 15 denied a motion by an orthopedic device manufacturer to exclude the testimony of a plaintiff expert about an alleged flaw in the device (Timothy Bellas v. Orthofix, Inc., No. 14-9623, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21166).
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates - A United Arab Emirates gas company on Feb. 14 announced that a London tribunal has issued an award in its favor, finding that the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG) breached an underlying agreement and delayed its progress in completing a project.
TACOMA, Wash.- A Washington federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a motion filed by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company and another entity to dismiss claims related to an underlying dispute under a medical services software agreement, finding that removal of the case was proper because it related to an international arbitral award and that a plaintiff failed to prove its alter-ego theory (Cerner Middle East Limited v. Belbadi Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 16-5706, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20828).
RALEIGH, N.C. - Excluding a securities investment adviser's testimony because he is not qualified as an expert on mortgage lending practices and policies, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Feb. 14 that genuine issues of fact exist concerning negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith claims against a bank to survive summary judgment (Paul B. Hetzel v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 13-236, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20293).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Trade Commission (ITC) properly barred a Turkish company from importing products using opaque paint polymers into the United States for 25 years - the harshest sanction possible - as punishment for destroying computer evidence in violation of a discovery order in a misappropriation of trade secrets investigation, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 15 (Organik Kimya San ve Tic, A.S., et al. v. International Trade Commission, et al., Nos. 15-1774, 15-1833, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2623).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 14 ordered a third-party claims-processing company to cease communications with members of a settlement class in connection with a $375 million deal between residents and Dow Chemical Co. related to injuries suffered from exposure to nuclear waste (Merilyn Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp., et al., No. 90-181, D. Colo.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Opposing a motion for partial dismissal by computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. in a Feb. 10 brief, the plaintiffs in a class action over purported laptop spyware told a California federal court that they had standing to bring a New York law deceptive acts claim based on a choice-of-law provision in their sales agreements (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).