SHERMAN, Texas - An expert's opinions on the state of mind of defendants in a misappropriation of trade secrets suit and the legal definition of a trade secret are prohibited, although the expert's remaining testimony, as well as that of a second expert regarding damages, is admissible, a Texas federal judge held Jan. 30 (Quintel Technology Ltd. v. Huawei Technologies USA, Inc., et al., No. 4:15-cv-307, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14485).
MINNEAPOLIS - Shareholders have properly shown that an investor class in a securities class action lawsuit against a medical technology provider and several of its current and former executive officers meets all statutory requirements for certification, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Jan. 30 in granting class certification, albeit with a shorter class period than proposed (West Virginia Pipe Trades Health & Welfare Fund v. Medtronic Inc., et al., No. 13-1686, D. Minn.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14744).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)'s Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) program was adequately fulfilled by the USPTO, according to a Jan. 31 ruling by a District of Columbia federal judge (R. Danny Huntington v. U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 15-2249, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15430).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 29 trimmed retaliation claims asserted under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in a consolidated lawsuit over Allstate Insurance Co.'s reorganization that switched employee agents to independent contractors, finding that the retaliation claims that were based on Allstate's counterclaims cannot proceed because the counterclaims were not objectively baseless (Gene R. Romero, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 01-3894, 01-6764, 03-6872, 15-1049 and 15-3047, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14160).
PARIS - An international arbitration court and a Miami arbitral institute on Jan. 31 announced that they have agreed to collaborate on a cost study aimed at increasing transparency in international arbitration.
BOSTON - Federal merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction securities class action lawsuit filings more than doubled in 2017 helping the total number of filings for the year to reach record numbers for the second straight year - the most since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), 15 U.S.C. 78u-4, was enacted, according to an annual report released by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse on Jan. 30.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A landowner must address new evidence related to whether it had a duty under Louisiana law to protect a contractor from asbestos exposure, a Delaware judge held Jan. 30 (Sandra Kivell, et al. v. Murphy Oil USA Inc., et al., No. N15C-07-093 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Affirming dismissal of a putative Wiretap Act class action against Apple Inc., a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 29 held that certain misclassified and undelivered text messages from Apple iMessage users were not intercepted in transit and, thus, did not violate the statute (Adam Backhaut, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-17523, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2207).
BOSTON - The Massachusetts federal judge presiding over the Celexa/Lexapro multidistrict litigation on Jan. 26 granted summary judgment in two remaining class actions (In Re: Celexa and Lexapro Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2067, No. 09-2067, Painters and Allied Trades, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 13-13113, Delana S. Kiossovski, et al. v Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-13848, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13579).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Jan. 29 refused to dismiss claims for violations of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted by the inventor of a tele-audiology technology, who alleged that a California company and its German parent company copied her invention (Deborah M. Manchester, PH.D. v. Sivantos GMBH, et al., No. 2:17-CV-05309, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14108).
ATLANTA - A Costa Rican company on Jan. 29 filed a reply in its appeal with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing a district court's decision to confirm a $29,290,400 international arbitration award that was issued for Del Monte International GMBH in a dispute over a contract for the sale of pineapples (Inversiones Y Procesadora Tropical Inprotsa, S.A. v. Del Monte International GMBH, No. 1:16-cv-24275, 11th Cir.).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - FCA US LLC and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) colluded when FCA offered bribes and UAW accepted the bribes in exchange for company-friendly positions at the bargaining table and elsewhere, workers allege in a class complaint filed Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Beverly L. Swanigan, et al. v. FCA US, LLC, No. 18-10319, E.D. Mich.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California judge on Jan. 29 granted final approval of a $6.5 million settlement to be paid by Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) to end a class complaint accusing the computer maker of selling faulty laptops (Ed Rutledge, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Company, et al., No. 1-03-CV-817837, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Jan. 29 allowed nearly all testimony from vision and rehabilitation experts for a woman alleging that her employer constructively discharged her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after she lost part of her eyesight due to a stroke, barring only one statement by each expert (Catherine Jones v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, No. 16-cv-340, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13545).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 29 reconsidered a denial of class certification in a lawsuit accusing Prudential Insurance Company of America of breaching its fiduciary duty by creating retained asset accounts in lieu of making one payment to the beneficiaries of life insurance policies and found that the subclass was sufficiently ascertainable and may be certified (Clark R. Huffman, et al. v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 10-5135, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13665).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 26 denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought by the franchisors of two New York City locations of Applebee's in a class suit alleging that customers are forced to pay a minimum percentage for tips, holding that the plaintiffs alleged possible harm and tipping as a social norm does not negate the claims (Kendall Ghee, et al. v. Apple-Metro, Inc., et al., No. 17-5723, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13112).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Two restaurants affected by drinking water contamination litigation in West Virginia filed a brief in West Virginia federal court on Jan. 25, arguing that the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (WVHTA) made no effort to determine if the restaurants were properly represented by counsel in decision to opt out of a $151 million class settlement, and now they want to be included (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).
BOSTON - Emails shared with a contractor who discovered construction defects in a couple's home are protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine, a federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts ruled Jan. 26, holding that the documents contained information about ongoing litigation and litigation strategy (Gregg Wade, et al. v. Touchdown Realty Group LLC, et al., No. 17-10400-PBS, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13069).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Qualcomm Inc. in a Jan.. 26 brief asks a California federal judge to affirm a $25,000-a-day discovery sanction that Apple Inc. called "unduly harsh" in a motion for relief, with Qualcomm arguing that the sanction amount is appropriate in light of Apple's pattern of discovery noncompliance in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Qualcomm Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-00220, N.D. Calif.).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Jan. 25 denied a motion to stay or transfer the second class complaint filed against Whole Foods Market Group Inc. over a data breach, finding that there is no overlap in the state law claims made in the two suits and that the case should proceed without interruption (Patricia Banus, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 17-2132, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12289).
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on Jan. 29 "swipe[d] left" and reversed a trial court's ruling for Tinder Inc., finding that the lower court erred when it ruled that the dating application company did not violate the Unruh Act or California's unfair competition law (UCL) by charging older users more for its premium service than younger users (Allan Candelore v. Tinder, Inc., No. B270172, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 71).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Jan. 29 upheld a decision from 1942 and ruled that an unnamed class member may not appeal a settlement or judgment under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 902 unless he or she has formally intervened before the action is final (Mike Hernandez, et al. v. Restoration Hardware, Inc., No. S233983, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 538).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Even though a toxicology expert's opinion on what level of pollutants causes health problems is contrary to federal and Kentucky law, it is still reliable enough to help a jury determine common-law liability, a Kentucky federal judge held Jan. 25 in declining to exclude the expert's testimony (Modern Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Corning, Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-00405, E.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11891).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Jan. 26 granted a motion to intervene filed by media organizations in a tenant class complaint against the companies that own more than a dozen Maryland apartment complexes, companies that are owned in part by the son-in-law of the president of the United States; the motion to intervene was filed for the purpose of opposing the defendants' motion for leave to file the supplemental removal statement under seal (Tenae Smith, et al. v. Westminster Management, LLC, et al., No. 17-3282, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12780).
NEW YORK - Federal securities class action lawsuit filings reached record numbers in 2017, thanks in large part to the nearly 200 filed federal merger-objection suits, equating to a 44 percent increase over 2016 and a third straight year of securities class action filing growth, according to a report released on Jan. 29 by securities, finance and commerce economic consultant NERA Economic Consulting.