PHOENIX - Granting a joint discovery resolution motion filed by the parties in a wrongful termination suit, an Arizona federal magistrate judge on Feb. 14 found that an employee who was purportedly terminated for whistleblowing related to data breaches experienced by his former employer was entitled to conduct discovery into why documents related to lawsuits over those breaches were designated as confidential (Miguel Corzo v. Maricopa County Community College District, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02552, D. Ariz.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Feb. 20 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by a health insurer that argued that the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not apply the proper actual or imminent harm standing in determining class members' standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution related to the exposure of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a 2014 data breach (CareFirst Inc., et al. v. Chantal Attias, et al., No. 17-641, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 1356).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari that was filed by corporations that were intervenors on the side of the Federal Communications Commission in proceedings below and that challenged a decision by a split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel that held that the FCC's 2006 Solicited Fax Rule was unlawful to the extent that it required opt-out notices on solicited faxes and vacated an FCC order filed in response to a request for a declaratory ruling filed by a generic drug company that was the defendant in a $150 million class complaint (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley, et al. v. Anda, Inc., et al., No. 17-351, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by 137 residents of a Pennsylvania town who say that illegal releases of radioactive materials from a nearby plant caused their cancers and the deaths of their family members and that a federal appeals court erred in ruling on the admissibility of expert testimony in their case (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-907, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, unlawfully increased the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition, among other reasons, plaintiffs allege in a Feb. 13 class action filed in a New York federal court (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision to allow a plaintiff's expert to testify and reinstated the full $2 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court erred by reducing the award based on comparative fault (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Robert A. Gore Sr., No. 4D15-3892, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2274).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in its administration and management of its retirement plan (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 16-6284, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23540).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 denied a retirement plan's administrative and investment committees' petition for permission to appeal the grant of class certification in a breach of fiduciary duty case in which the investors claim that the defendants selected company-affiliated mutual funds as plan investments rather than other better-performing mutual funds, finding that immediate appeal is unwarranted (Marya J. Leber v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., No. 07-9329, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An English mining company on Feb. 16 said it has filed a reply to Indonesia's opposition to a case in which the company seeks to annul an award issued by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which dismissed its treaty claims related to a coal mining project (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
NEW YORK - A biomechanical engineer is not precluded from testifying in a personal injury action over a car crash just because his opinions were stricken in another recent auto accident case, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 14 in denying a bid by the injured driver to exclude the expert's testimony (Craig Thomas v. YRC Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-6105, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24384).
SAN FRANCISCO - In its third appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a copyright dispute with several movie studios, video-filtering service provider VidAngel Inc. argues that a trial court improperly dismissed its counterclaims under the Sherman Act and California's unfair competition law (UCL), despite its ample pleadings of the studios' collusive actions (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 17-56665, 9th Cir.).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Feb. 12 found that a benefits plan and insurer were not obligated to provide a plan participant with documents in relation to his discovery request because they are not the plan administrators, granting them summary judgment on his claim for violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Figlioli v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, et al., No. 1:17CV171, N.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22155).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A rail car company provided no justification for why it could not have identified an expert asbestos state-of-the-art witness prior to the passage of an already extended deadline, a federal judge in Kansas held Feb. 13 in denying a motion to extend discovery and disclosure periods (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23230).
NEW YORK - Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimants in its bankruptcy case do not have standing to challenge subpoenas served by insurers to asbestos claims-processing facilities seeking evidence of fraud in the asbestos trust system, and besides, the information sought is relevant to the debtor's declaratory judgment action against the insurers, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Feb. 12 (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 378).
CHICAGO - L.L. Bean Inc. violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and other laws when it abruptly changed its "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" policy allowing returns of any product at any time to a limited one-year warranty, an Illinois man alleges in his class complaint filed Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Victor Bondi, et al. v. L.L. Bean, Inc., No. 18-1101, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With oral arguments approaching on Feb. 27, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a reply brief on behalf of the federal government with the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 12, arguing that the presumption against extraterritoriality does not prevent Microsoft Corp. from producing foreign-stored emails under a Stored Communications Act (SCA) warrant because the firm's compliance with the warrant would occur domestically (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - After finding that an arbitrator exceeded his authority when he issued an award in a gold mining case, despite a Mexican judge's ruling that found the underlying arbitration clause to be unenforceable, a Colorado federal magistrate judge on Feb. 13 recommended that a petition to confirm the award be denied and that the award be vacated (Goldgroup Resources Inc. v. DynaResource De Mexico, S.A., C.V., et al., No. 16-cv-02547, D. Colo.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 12 dismissed an amended class complaint by a timeshare owner alleging various breaches by Wyndham timeshare entities for being a shotgun pleading and gave the plaintiff two weeks to file an amended complaint that properly separates the claims (Tommy J. Embree v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, et al., No. 16-928, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22165).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on Feb. 9 granted final approval of a $1 million settlement to be paid by a Jewish school in Orange County, N.Y., to end class wage claims brought by the school's kitchen workers (Oscar Vivaldo, et al. v. United Talmudical Academy of Kiryas Joel, Inc., et al., No. 14-2636, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22863).
TAMPA, Fla. - Competing experts in a breach of contract lawsuit over the inspection of a company's airplane both had their proposed testimony limited Feb. 13 by a Florida federal judge (Oil Consulting Enterprise, Inc. v. Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support, LLC, No. 8:16-cv-3453, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23273).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 9 certified one of two proposed subclasses, comprising oil platform and processing facility workers, in a lawsuit against the operators of a Santa Barbara, Calif., pipeline that leaked into the Pacific Ocean in May 2015, finding that common questions predominate (Keith Andrews, et al. v. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., et al., No. 15-4113, C.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Feb. 12 remanded a class complaint over the St. Louis Rams moving to a new city, finding that the plaintiffs properly invoked the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) local controversy exception (Ronald McAllister v. The St. Louis Rams, LLC, Nos. 16-172, 16-262, 16-297 and 16-189, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22395).
DETROIT - Engineering consultants named as defendants in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., and the class of plaintiffs alleging that they have been injured by that water on Feb. 9 filed briefs debating whether the federal district court has jurisdiction to order certain discovery at the current stage of the litigation (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The city of Providence, R.I., on Feb. 12 filed a consumer protection class action complaint against Intel Corp. in California federal court, charging the microprocessor chip manufacturer with unfair competition and warranty violations related to the recently discovered "Meltdown" and "Spectre" security vulnerabilities that can reportedly affect millions of computers and devices worldwide, resulting in the exposure of users' sensitive information (Providence v. Intel Corp., No. 5:18-cv-00894, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Arguing in a Feb. 9 brief that they sufficiently alleged such elements as reliance, damages and unconscionability, the lead plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit over data breaches experienced by Yahoo Inc. oppose the internet firm's motion to dismiss in California federal court (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).