NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 17 unsealed a two-week-old order certifying a class of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) employees who invested in any of its stable value funds during 2009 and 2010, saying he found evidence of a possible causal link between alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and the underperformance of the funds (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 1:12-cv-2548, S.D. N.Y.).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A fertilizer company's discovery requests in a subpoena of the owner of a competitor in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit seek irrelevant information and create an undue burden on the owner, a federal magistrate judge in Iowa ruled April 17 in granting the owner's motion to quash (Nachurs Alpine Solutions Corp., f/k/a Na-Churs Plant Food Co., v. Nutra-Flo Co., et al., No. 15-4015, N.D. Iowa, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58094).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In a criminal case, a Drug Enforcement Agency special agent may not provide expert opinion testimony regarding drug code generally because the agent was not properly designated as an expert witness, a New Mexico federal judge ruled April 17; however, the special agent may provide lay opinion testimony "limited to his personal perceptions of the investigation and intercepted communications" (United States of America v. Fidal Abdeljawad and Ashley Watson, No. 15-cr-3394, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58122).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An expert did not offer any developed damages theory relating to International Business Machines Corp.'s (IBM) use of its website, and there were "serious methodological and reliability problems" in his assumptions, a Delaware federal judge held April 17, excluding testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 13-2072, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58394).
SAN FRANCISCO - An Uber Technologies Inc. customer's class complaint alleging that the ride-sharing app's cancellation fees are arbitrary may proceed, a California federal judge ruled April 17, denying the company's motion to compel arbitration (Julian Metter v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 16-6652, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58481).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 17 heard oral arguments in an appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming that shareholders that filed a securities class action lawsuit after opting out of settlement class against the same defendants were barred from doing so as their claims were outside the statute of repose (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody Investors Service Inc., et al., No. 16-373, U.S. Sup.).
BAY CITY, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on April 13 directed an Indian tribe's health care plan administrator to respond to the tribe's request to file four sealed summary judgment documents on the public record in the tribe's lawsuit alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 1:16-cv-10317, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56562).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 13 granted a technology development company's request to amend a judgment that confirmed a $52,087,465.69 arbitral award issued in its favor and against the Hellenic Republic, adding the tribunal's award of costs and converting the entire ruling into U.S. dollars (Science Applications International Corp. v. The Hellenic Republic, No. 1:13-cv-01070, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc Committee for the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 17 granted a request by a Tanzanian electric supply company to stay the enforcement of a $148.4 million arbitral award pending the outcome of its application to annul the decision but ordered it to post a security guarantee in the full amount of the award (Standard Chartered Bank v. Tanzania Electric Supply Co., No. ARB/10/12, ICSID).
MONTPELIER, Vt. - While a man's convictions for drunken driving resulting in death were upheld, the Vermont Supreme Court on April 14 remanded the matter for resentencing because the trial court abused its discretion by not continuing a sentencing hearing to allow expert mitigation testimony to be presented (State of Vermont v. Christopher Sullivan, No. 2015-292, Vt. Sup., 2017 Vt. LEXIS 27).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 rejected an appeal of a court decision that refused to certify multiple class actions asserting violations of labor law, finding that the court's ruling was well reasoned and that it did not err when it found that the proposed classes failed to meet the sufficient requirements for class certification (Donna Ruiz, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., No. 15-3941 and Frederic Winfield, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., No. 15-3946, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6399).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thirty-three laid-off General Mills Inc. workers must have their age discrimination claims decided in arbitration individually, and not as a class, and they are not entitled to declaratory judgment regarding their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the judgment would not resolve their claims, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 14 (Elizabeth McLeod, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-3540, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6422).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An attorney's referral of a client to a particular physician constitutes a confidential communication that is protected by attorney-client privilege, a majority in the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, reversing an appeals court finding that such a referral relationship is discoverable as a means of determining potential bias by the physician in a personal injury lawsuit (Heather Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, et al., No. SC15-1086, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 812).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Vacating a $2.7 million sanctions award against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in a product liability suit, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 18 ruled that such an award must have a causal link to costs incurred by the opposing party that are attributable to the misconduct (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Leroy Haeger, et al., No. 15-1406, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2613).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 agreed with a federal district court that nine plaintiffs bringing claims against Cordis Corp. for injuries allegedly caused by the defendant's inferior vena cava (IVC) device are not seeking trials that would trigger federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jerry Dunson, et al. v. Cordis Corporation, No. 17-15257, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6446).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - None of the approximately 185 emails between an insured and two of its environmental contractors are protected by the attorney-client privilege; however, a portion of the emails on are protected by the work product doctrine, an Indiana federal magistrate judge determined April 14 after conducting an in camera review of the emails sought by an insurer in an environmental contamination coverage dispute (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57370).
GULFPORT, Miss. - In a case concerning an insurer's False Claims Act (FCA) violations on Hurricane Katrina claims, a Mississippi federal judge on April 12 granted the parties' motions to reopen the case, which was remanded after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, limiting initial discovery on those purported violations to properties previously identified in a list provided by the insurer (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An expert is qualified to testify regarding a rule under Financial Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA), a Florida federal judge ruled April 14, denying a motion to exclude filed by a securities broker-dealer (UBS Financial Services Inc. v. Bounty Gain Enterprises Inc., No. 14-81603, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57502).
PORTLAND, Ore. - While allowing expert testimony on objective considerations of nonobviousness, an Oregon federal judge also granted in part summary judgment on April 12 to a sportswear company that certain prior art references do not anticipate utility patents relating to heat-directing elements to a garment's innermost surface (Columbia Sportswear North America Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories Inc., No. 15-00064, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55714).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on April 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a class of residents who contended that they were exposed to hazardous chemicals from a coal-fired power plant so that the plaintiffs could file the claims in Kentucky state court. The judge declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims (Kathy Little, et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company, No. 13-1214, W.D. Ky.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56467).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 dismissed with leave to amend a class complaint accusing Nissan North America Inc. of knowingly selling vehicles with faulty manual transmissions and failing to properly fix them (Huu Nguyen v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 16-5591, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55501).
CLEVELAND - Despite a previous finding by the court that a discovery request was unduly burdensome, a debt collector accused of placing auto calls to nonconsenting recipients must now turn over call records to the plaintiff after its own employee stated that it was possible to create a program to identify "wrong number" calls, an Ohio federal judge ruled April 13 (Deborah Meredith v. United Collection Bureau, Inc., No. 16-1102, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56783).
LOS ANGELES - A wage class complaint filed by a California pharmacist against his employer belongs in federal court, not state court, a California federal judge ruled April 11, holding that even though removal occurred more than 30 days after the complaint was filed, it was still timely (Sevag Chalian v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 16-8979, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55485).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 12 granted preliminary approval of a $700,000 settlement to be paid by Similasan Corp. to end a class complaint alleging false or deceptive labeling of the company's homeopathic products (Kim Allen, et al. v. Similasan Corporation, No. 12-376, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56333).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Stipulations of dispositiveness are binding in appeals from conditional no contest pleas, the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, allowing a man to appeal the denial of his request to exclude testimony about the results of chemical field tests under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Roger Dennis Churchill Jr. v. State of Florida, No. SC16-654, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 829).