BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Two weeks after stating that it intended to continue to pursue an order to compel Apple Inc. to help it gain access to a seized, locked iPhone, the U.S. government on April 22 filed a letter in New York federal court stating that it "no longer needs Apple's assistance" because "an individual provided the [device's] passcode" (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A trial judge erred in allowing a physician's assistant to testify as an expert on the need and cost for a future surgery, a Florida appeals panel held April 22, reversing a $166,000 jury verdict entered against an insurer and remanding for a new trial on damages (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. William Long, Nos. 5D14-3704 & 5D15-1749, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6148).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 issued an order directing those individuals who object to the proposed $100 million settlement filed a day earlier in a class wage-and-hour dispute filed against Uber Technologies Inc. to file "a single document (instead of multiple filings) discussing all of their concerns and objections to the settlement, which will then be filed on the court docket" (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3826, Hakan Yucesoy, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-262, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - A doctor admitted that he had no expert opinion about why an implanted knee replacement system's design was defective, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 20, affirming summary judgment to the system's manufacturer on strict liability and negligence claims (Sandra Witt v. Stryker Corporation of Michigan and Howmedica Osteonics Corp., No. 15-12243, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7145).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 vacated a $2.3 million class counsel fee in a dental implant settlement, finding that the district court denied the defendant due process by examining attorney timesheets and cost records in camera (Jason M. Yamada, D.D.S., et al. v. Nobel Biocare Holding AG, et al., No. 14-55236, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7122).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 18 denied a renewed motion to remand a class complaint accusing Empire Beauty School salons in Pennsylvania of violating state law by overcharging customers for cosmetology services provided by its students, finding that the plaintiff's evidence of citizenship fell short of his burden (Russell Jones v. EEG, Inc., et al., No. 15-5018, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51379).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 19 confirmed a $6.3 million arbitration award after determining that an arbitration panel did not disregard the law by awarding damages to the defendant and did not deny the plaintiff fundamental fairness by refusing to consider evidence during the arbitration proceeding (Inficon Inc. v. Verionix Inc., n/k/a Kitech Ventures Inc., No. 15-8044, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52708).
LOS ANGELES - A department store failed to supply evidence supporting its claim that the amount in controversy in a class suit by sales managers, who allege that they were not reimbursed for certain business expenses, exceeded $5 million, a California federal judge ruled April 18, sending the case back to state court (Nazanin Tehrani v. Macy's West Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-7286, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51713).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on April 18 denied preliminary approval of a $250,000 settlement to be paid by a rental management company in a suit over the collection of "resort fees," finding that the plaintiff failed to show that the terms were fair and reasonable (Alice Sinanyan, et al. v. Luxury Suites International, LLC, et al., No. 15-225, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51511).
BOSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded a material misrepresentation, scienter and loss causation in making their federal securities law claims, the lead plaintiffs argue in an April 18 opposition brief (William M. Cody, et al. v. ConforMIS Inc., et al., No. 15-13295, D. Mass.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit will pay more than $41 million to settle claims that they misrepresented a company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed in Virginia federal court on April 18 (In re NII Holdings Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-227, E.D. Va.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on April 18 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss a proposed class complaint accusing a mortgage servicer and an insurer of engaging in a kickback scheme where borrowers were overcharged for "force-placed" insurance (John C. Sekula, et al. v. Residential Credit Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 15-2104, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51636).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 15 granted Apple Inc.'s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action involving smartphones (Thomas A. Palmer v. Apple Inc., No. 5:15-cv-05808, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51823).
PHILADELPHIA - In an April 18 order addressing several discovery and related motions in a defamation suit brought by one of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assault victims against a former district attorney (D.A.), a Pennsylvania federal judge denied in part Cosby's attorney's motion to quash a discovery subpoena seeking communications between the attorney and D.A. (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - A doctor is unqualified in a product liability action to offer an expert opinion on the material or biomechanical science of crosslinking or on the body's immunological response to crosslinked materials, a Michigan federal judge ruled April 19 (Robert and Karol Avendt v. Covidien, Inc., No. 11-15538, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52034).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A witness is required to be qualified as an expert before he may testify to the issue of impairment related to horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test results under North Carolina Rule of Evidence 702(a1), the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled April 19 (State of North Carolina v. William Edward Godwin, III, No. COA15-766, N.C. App.; 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 428).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The District Court of The Hague on April 20 reversed more than $50 billion in awards issued in three arbitration cases filed against the Russian Federation in relation to investments made in OAO Yukos Oil Co. (Yukos) after determining that the Russian Federation was not bound by the terms of the arbitration clause in the Energy Charter Treaty because the federation never ratified the treaty (The Russian Federation v. Veteran Petroleum Ltd., No. 477160; The Russian Federation v. Yukos Universal Ltd. [Isle of Man], No. 477162, The Russian Federation v. Hulley Enterprises Ltd., No. 481619, Hague Dist.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - In an April 15 notice of supplemental authority, Microsoft Corp. informed the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a newly adopted European statute, the "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR), which Microsoft argues supports its argument that it should not be required by governmental warrant to provide a user's emails that are stored in Irish servers (In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp.[Microsoft v. United States], No. 14-2985, 2nd Cir.).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A firearms expert may testify in a products liability lawsuit that a rifle was defective and that the defect caused the accident that led to the death of a hunter, a South Dakota federal judge ruled April 14, denying a motion filed by the makers of the rifle to exclude (Carol O'Neal, as personal representative of the Estate of Lanny O'Neal v. Remington Arms Company LLC, et al., No. 11-04182, D. S.D.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50107).
DETROIT - An expert may not testify regarding source code similarity between software programs in a breach of licensing agreement lawsuit, a Michigan federal judge ruled April 14, finding that the topic was already adjudicated at summary judgment (Ford Motor Co. and Ford Global Technologies LLC v. ThermoAnalytics, Inc., No. 14-13992, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50019).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A deputy medical examiner's testimony about a victim's wounds and cause of death was relevant given that a petitioner was charged with murdering her husband by shooting him in the head, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held April 13, affirming a jury conviction of murder in the first degree without a recommendation of mercy (State of West Virginia v. Julia Surbaugh, No. 14-0890, W.Va. Sup.; 2016 W. Va. LEXIS 239).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 14 found that plaintiffs' claims of increased risks of fraudulent charges and identify theft, due to the purported theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a breach of a restaurant chain's network, constitute sufficiently concrete and immediate damages to support their putative class action, leading the panel to vacate a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit (John Lewert v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., No. 14-3700, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6766).
JACKSON, Miss. - A trial judge did not err in allowing a doctor to testify that a woman's post-surgery hemoglobin levels indicate her obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) overestimated her blood loss, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled April 14 (Charles Robinson, M.D. v. Regina A. Corr, No. 2015-CA-00051-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2016 Miss. LEXIS 151).
DENVER - An insurance expert may not offer opinions that conflict with a federal court's interpretation of an insurance policy's condominium enhancement endorsement in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from the insurer's denial of coverage for water damage, a Colorado federal judge ruled April 13 (Chateau Village North Condominium Association v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-01583, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49665).