DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on May 24 agreed to compel arbitration of racial bias claims filed against FCA US LLC by employees hired after an arbitration agreement was in place, but declined to enforce the agreement as to employees hired before the agreement's implementation, finding that there was not a valid agreement in place (Marlin Williams, et al. v. FCA US LLC, No. 17-10097, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87184).
SAN FRANCISCO - The same day that a California federal judge denied Facebook Inc.'s motion to stay proceedings in a suit over its alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 granted the social network's emergency motion to stay trial court proceedings pending its appeal of a class certification ruling (Namesh Patel, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 18-80053, 9th Cir.).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire trial justice ordered a limited fund class action on May 24 against the excess funds the New Hampshire insurance commissioner seeks to tender in the winding down of a risk-sharing plan for a medical malpractice insurer (Georgia A. Tuttle, M.D., et al. v. New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association and In the Matter of the Winding Down of the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association, No. 2015-347, N.H. Super., Merrimack Co., 2018 N.H. Super. LEXIS 12).
PEORIA, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on May 23 sent a class complaint accusing a restaurant chain of improperly collecting and retaining employees' fingerprints back to state court, ruling that the district court lacks jurisdiction (Emily Kiefer, et al. v. Bob Evans Farms, LLC, et al., No. 17-1544, C.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88639).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal court made proper determinations when allowing a police practices expert to testify while excluding testimony from a medical expert for a man who says he was injured by police when they used excessive force to arrest him, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 24 in an unpublished opinion (Gregory Kelly v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, et al., No. 15-16175, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13743).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 29 granted a petition for writ by United Healthcare Services Inc. (UHS) in a case over a class arbitration waiver, vacated the judgment in favor of the employee and remanded to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U.S. ___ (2018) (United Healthcare Services, Inc. v. Sandra Riederer, No. 16-996, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3244).
Washington, D.C. - Energy firms on May 22 moved a District of Columbia federal court for an order allowing them to begin attachment and enforcement efforts in an attempt to satisfy payment of a $11.75 million award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against Ghana (Balkan Energy Limited, et al. v. Ghana, No. 1:17-cv-00584, D. D.C.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida court did not abuse its discretion in allowing a treating physician in a personal injury case to testify as an expert witness about causation and permanency of injuries, even though the doctor was not designated as an expert witness as required by a trial preparation order, a state appellate panel held May 23 (Robert Walerowicz v. Mandy Nicky Armand-Hosang, No. 4D17-1900, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 7272).
PHILADELPHIA - A former spring water extractor who filed a class complaint accusing other companies of damaging his business by falsely labeling their water as "spring water" may proceed with his Lanham Act and state law claims against only another extractor, not three bottling companies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 24 (Stanley F. Frompovicz v. Niagara Bottling, LLC, et al., No. 18-54, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87156).
DALLAS - The Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals on May 22 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a plaintiff's amended expert report in a lawsuit alleging that a nursing facility's negligence contributed to the death of one of the facility's residents because the amended expert report established a causal relationship between the breach of the standard of care and the injuries that ultimately led to the resident's death (Vickie Jones, et al. v. Ashford Hall Inc., et al., No. 05-16-01402, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 3653).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Stored Communications Act (SCA) prohibits a service provider from disclosing only communications that are private or for restricted audiences, the California Supreme Court held May 24, affirming in part an appeals court's reversal of an order requiring three social media provider to submit users' posts sought by two murder suspects, but remanding for a trial court to make additional findings and complete the record (Facebook Inc., et al. v. The Superior Court of San Francisco City and County, et al., No. S230051, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 3635).
NEW YORK - A former National Football League player on May 22 filed suit in New York federal court, alleging that the NFL's retirement plan and its fiduciaries duty violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by refusing to reclassify players' disability benefits as football degenerative (FD) benefits despite evidence showing that the disabilities suffered by players were caused by numerous hits to the head and concussions sustained while playing in the NFL (Christopher Hudson, et al., v. National Football League Management Council, et al., No. 18-4483, S.D. N.Y.).
HOUSTON - The Houston Texans football team and its cheerleading coach wrongfully require cheerleaders to work off the clock and fail to pay minimum and overtime wages, one former cheerleader, referred to only by her initials, alleges in her May 21 collective action filed in a Texas federal court (P.G.G., et al. v. Houston NFL Holdings, L.P. D/B/A Houston Texans, et al., No. 18-1662, S.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES - A former University of Southern California (USC) student filed a class complaint on May 21 in a California federal court accusing the university, the university's board and the school's campus gynecologist, George Tyndall, M.D., of violating the trust of a class of female students treated by the doctor who is accused of sexually abusing students over the course of three decades (Lucy Chi, et al. v. University of Southern California, et al., No. 18-4258, C.D. Calif.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge is set to reconsider on June 4 an April 17 opinion denying final approval of multi-million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing an online wine retailer of mispresenting pricing and the savings to consumers (Kyle Cannon, et al. v. Ashburn Corporation, et al., No. 16-1452, D. N.J.).
BALTIMORE - In a May 18 reply brief in Maryland federal court, Wikimedia Foundation defends its motion to compel documents to establish that its communications were intercepted by the National Security Agency's (NSA) upstream surveillance program, arguing that a statutory in camera review procedure defeats the government's assertion of the state secrets privilege (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 18 issued a decision in an arbitration filed by investors in mining concessions, rejecting an application made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia to annul a $48,619,578 award (Quiborax S.A., et al. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia, ARB/06/02, ICSID).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 vacated a court's decision ordering a Russian national to turn over assets held in a trust to assist in satisfying a $92 million arbitral award, finding that the order was premature because a Lichtenstein court is reviewing similar issues as those in the present case and has jurisdiction over the trust (Vitaly Ivanovich Smagin v. Ashot Yegiazaryan, ex rel., Nos. 16-55502, 16-56749, 17-56467, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13005).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 17 certified a class of individuals who allege that they were in jail during the November 2016 election and were wrongfully kept from voting by the Allen County, Ind., sheriff (Demetrius Buroff, et al. v. David Gladieux, No. 17-124, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83887).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on May 16 affirmed certification of a class in a case against state agencies and insurers over illegal transactions made to protect the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (Donald W. Abshire v. The State of Louisiana, et al., No. 2017CA0689 c/w 2017CA0690, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 141).
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Supreme Court on May 18 affirmed the exclusion of a plaintiff's sole causation expert in an Accutane bowel injury case, saying the expert's methodology failed to meet case law standards (Aimee Freeman v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. 300 Neb. 47, Neb. Sup.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on May 18 quashed two subpoenas served on rehabilitation centers where a doctor who was found guilty of four counts of health care fraud preformed toenail avulsions, finding that the requests were unduly burdensome and that they were not necessarily relevant for the calculation of the amount of loss incurred by Medicare and other insurers (United States v. John J. Cauthon, No. 15-cr-00172, M.D. Tenn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84104).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on May 21 in three consolidated cases that arbitration agreements barring class action proceedings must be enforced (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - After engaging in arbitration, a New York woman filed a stipulation in California federal court May 17, voluntarily dismissing a putative class action under the Electronic Communications Privacy App (ECPA) against National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors and a technology firm, disposing of her allegations of eavesdropping via the team's smartphone app (LaTisha Satchell v. Signal360 Inc., et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Chiding both parties in a trade secret misappropriation suit for "a long, drawn out, pitched battle" over discovery, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on May 17 denied Motorola Solutions Inc.'s motion to compel forensic examination of the defendants' computers, finding no evidence that such an examination would be relevant to the limited statute of limitations issue presently before the court (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Hytera Communications Corp., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01973, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83136).