MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 7 declined to grant final approval to a proposed $1.2 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement after only 211 claims were validated, totaling $27,430, ruling that class counsel failed to show that there was sufficient evidence made to reach other members of the class (Desiree Marengo, et al. v. Miami Research Associates, LLC, No. 17-20459, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95908).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 6 awarded partial summary judgment to Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp. and its co-defendants on allegations that they violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by engaging in prohibited transactions when overseeing a 401(k) plan, finding that there was no evidence that a different, more expensive class of funds was offered to members of the plan compared to those offered to other shareholders (Ramon Moreno v. Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp., et al., No. 15 Civ. 9936, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95324).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 7 refused to confirm a Malaysian arbitral award issued against the government of India and its Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, finding that enforcing specific performance of a part of the award, which would require India to allow the company to regain access to a geographic block to determine the viability of a reserve of natural gas there, would violate U.S. public policy (Hardy Exploration & Production [India] Inc. v. Government of India, et al., No. 16-140, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95965).
NEW ORLEANS - An oyster biologist has ample qualifications, and his methods to determine whether oil well activity killed most of the oysters in a couple's oyster beds are sound, a Louisiana appeals court panel held June 6 in affirming judgment for the couple on their negligence claims against a drilling company (Pero Cibilic, et al. v. Cox Operating, L.L.C., No. 2017-CA-0813, La. App., 4th Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 1181).
WAYCROSS, Ga. - An expert for a widower in a wrongful death action against medical personnel had most of his opinions trimmed from his expert report June 6 by a Georgia federal judge due to lack of compliance with Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702 (Sredrick Jones v. Wallace Steve Anderson, D.O., et al., No. 5:17-cv-77, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95315).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal jury on June 6 awarded a class of State Farm Life Insurance Co. policyholders more than $34 million on claims that they were systematically overcharged for more than two decades (Michael G. Voght, et al. v. State Farm Life Insurance Company, No. 16-4170, W.D. Mo.).
MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and other defendants to bar an expert from testifying that they owe at least $1.5 billion in damages for patent infringement were unsuccessful on June 5, when a Texas federal magistrate judge denied their joint, sealed motion to exclude (Kaist IP US LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-1314, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93876).
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The national oil and gas company of Ukraine on June 5 said a Dutch court has granted its petition to attach the assets of a Russian gas company's shares in its subsidiaries in an attempt to satisfy payment of a $2.6 billion arbitral award.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ghana on June 5 filed its opposition in a District of Columbia federal court to a request made by two energy firms seeking an order allowing them to begin attachment and enforcement efforts to obtain payment of a $11.75 million international arbitral award, arguing that they are not authorized to begin attachment efforts and that they have not identified the specific assets they seek to attach (Balkan Energy Limited, et al. v. Ghana, No. 1:17-cv-00584, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A growing list of class actions against Facebook Inc. over the sharing of millions of social network users' personal data by a third-party app developer will be centralized in California federal court, the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled June 6, granting a motion to transfer by two of the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on June 4 awarded summary judgment to a pipeline company on plaintiffs' claims for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that a 2014 spill was not an ongoing violation and that the plaintiffs were unable to produce reliable expert evidence to show that any remaining gasoline vapors presented an imminent threat to human health (Day LLC, et al. v. Plantation Pipe Line Co., et al., No. 16-cv-00429-LSC, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93749).
PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a chocolate products maker had no duty to disclose on its labels the existence of child and slave labor in its supply chain, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed dismissal of a purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws for failure to state a claim (Robert Hodson v. Mars Inc., et al., No. 16-15444, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15013).
SAN DIEGO - Two nonretained experts for a company that makes auto transmissions can offer opinions as experts, rather than as lay witnesses, even though they both work for the company, which is trying to fend off product liability class claims, a California federal judge decided June 4 (Carlos Victorino, et al. v. FCA US LLC, No. 16-cv-1617, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93776).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on June 1 ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a group seeking records that administrator Scott Pruitt relied upon when publicly stating that human activity was not the largest factor driving climate change, holding that the request was unduly burdensome (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No 17-652, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91367).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed a lower court ruling that a plaintiff must designate an expert to testify as to why an intrauterine device (IUD) broke while it was being removed (Cheryl Dalton v. Teva North America, et al., No. 17-1990, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14709).
MIAMI - After finding that an investor in a wine distribution company's service in Brazil was proper and that no exceptions to enforcement of a Chilean arbitral award existed, a Florida federal judge on June 1 granted a Delaware company's petition to confirm the award issued in its favor and against a shareholder in a dispute over a share purchase agreement (EGI-VSR, LLC v. Juan Carlos Celestino Coderch Mitjans, No. 15-20098, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92714).
VIENNA - The Energy Community Secretariat's Dispute Resolution Centre (EDRC) and the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) announced June 2 that they have reached a cooperation agreement for dispute resolution.
ATLANTA - Two weeks after consolidated class complaints were filed by consumer and small business (SB) classes in the consolidated multidistrict litigation over the massive 2017 Equifax Inc. data breach, a class of financial institutions (FIs) followed suit May 30, filing a consolidated complaint in Georgia federal court, accusing the credit-reporting giant of negligence and related claims (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
NEW YORK - Miramax Film NY LLC, The Walt Disney Co., Disney Enterprises and others facilitated and concealed numerous sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults by producer Harvey Weinstein, three woman who had or wanted to make deals in the entertainment industry allege in a class complaint filed June 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Caitlin Dulany, et al. v. Miramax Film NY LLC, et al., No. 18-4857, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Republican strategist Roger Stone each filed briefs May 31, opposing a jurisdictional discovery request in a lawsuit over the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC's) database, asserting that the discovery sought by the plaintiffs, whose personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen and posted online, is overbroad and untimely (Roy Cockrum, et al. v. Donald J. Trump For President Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01370, D. D.C.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge said May 31 that he must first hold a hearing pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), before he decides a ladder maker's request to strike expert testimony for a man who was injured when he fell from a ladder and now says the ladder was defective (Dennis Mercurio, et al. v. Louisville Ladder, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-412, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92111).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 4 vacated an en banc order by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a proposed class action lawsuit over abortions for unaccompanied minors and ordered the appellate panel on remand to direct the district court to dismiss the individual claim for injunctive relief as moot (Alex M. Azar, II, et al. v. Rochelle Garza, No. 17-654, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A group of California residents on May 30 moved in California federal court seeking class certification for their injury lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. related to damages they allege they have suffered as a result of an explosion at the company's Torrance Refinery in 2015 (Arnold Goldstein, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 17-2477, C.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A former support staff employee on May 29 filed a class action complaint in a California state court against a rehabilitation center and its owner, alleging that they violated numerous California Labor Code sections and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Alex Martinez v. Recovery Bay Rehabilitation Center, LLC, No. 2018-00995738, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
NEW YORK - A gold mining company on May 29 filed a petition in a New York federal court, seeking to confirm an arbitral award issued in its favor in relation to an agreement for ownership of companies with gold mining rights in Chile (Global Gold Corporation v. Amarant Mining Ltd., et al., No. 7:18-cv-04723, S.D. N.Y.).