WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that all of the arguments against confirmation of a $96 million arbitration award asserted by the Republic of Ecuador failed, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 affirmed a district court's order confirming the award in favor of Chevron Corp. (Chevron Corporation, et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. 13-7103, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13528).
HELENA, Mont. - Although a Montana state court properly excluded testimony by an expert that trauma could contribute to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it abused its discretion in finding that a second expert is not qualified to offer an opinion that trauma from a car crash was the "proximate cause" of a woman's ALS, the Montana Supreme Court held Aug. 4 (Carol J. McClue, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. DA 14-0375, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 399).
ATLANTA - A district court abused its discretion in finding that certain opinions of an expert for a couple suing a cruise line in a slip-and-fall case were not reliable, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 4 in reversing in part the district court's evidentiary rulings and vacating the grant of summary judgment and award of costs in favor of the cruise line (Teresita Sorrels, et al. v. NCL [Bahamas] Ltd., Nos. 13-15858 and 14-14467, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13541).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 4 granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement under which J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $388 million to settle claims that it violated provisions of federal securities law by misrepresenting the investment quality of certain mortgage-backed securities it sold to investors, according to court documents filed in New York federal court (Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 09-3701, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on July 30 left portions of claims for violations of the state's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL), as well as fraud and negligent misrepresentation, but dismissed all other claims in a class action suit accusing the manufacturer of a dog bone product of selling items not safe for its intended purpose (Khristie Reed v. Dynamic Pet Products, et al., No. 15-987, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100540).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Testimony by a property value expert for Halliburton Co. in a suit filed by homeowners alleging that the company polluted the groundwater under their properties is admissible because it is reliable and will be helpful to a jury, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled July 31 (Amanda Alexander, et al. v. Halliburton Company, et al., Nos. 11-1343, 11-1272, 11-1305, 11-1306, 11-1322, 11-1323, 13-715, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100030).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on July 31 refused to recognize a Bolivian court judgment in favor of a car dealership, finding that the parties agreed to arbitrate all disputes under a global importer dealer sales agreement (Automotores Galindo, S.A. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 13-CV-23285, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100259).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - While the treating physician for a woman alleging that her leg had to be amputated due to medical malpractice cannot testify as an expert witness on causation because the basis for his opinion is "inherently unreliable," an interventional radiologist can testify as an expert because her testimony creates a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether a botched angiogram caused the amputation, an Alabama federal judge held Aug. 3 (Jessica Marie Muniz v. United States of America, No. 2:13-cv-01163, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100921).
NEW YORK - New York City sanitation workers who filed a class complaint alleging discriminatory promotion practices failed to present sufficient statistical evidence and exhaust their administrative remedies, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 31 (Andrenia Burgis, et al. v. New York City Department of Sanitation, et al., No. 14-1640, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13353).
PASADENA, Calif. - In a lawsuit where both class claims and nonclass claims are being pursued, the amount sought for the nonclass claims may not be added together with the amount sought for class claims to meet the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) amount-in-controversy requirement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 30 (Porfiria Yocupicio, et al. v. PAW Group, LLC, et al., No. 15-55878, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13273).
NEW YORK - A magistrate judge in a federal court in New York on July 30 granted an insurer's motion to enjoin an arbitration, holding that the arbitration demand of a group of reinsurers was in direct contravention of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Equitas Insurance Limited, et al., No. 13-cv-07680, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99787).
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi Supreme Court panel on July 30 upheld a trial court judge's decisions to award summary judgment to the developer, architect, structural engineer and contractors who repaired the Inn by the Sea (IBTS) condominiums following Hurricane Katrina and exclude the expert testimony proffered by a plaintiff homeowners association, ruling that the judge properly found that the estimates were not based on reliable information (Inn by the Sea Homeowner's Association Inc. v. SeaInn LLC, et al., No. 2013-CA-02013-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2015 Miss. LEXIS 379).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A settlement between a California-based retailer and the representatives of a putative consumer class that alleged inappropriate collection of their personal information was preliminarily approved by a California federal judge on July 29 (Heidi Anderson-Butler, et al. v. Charming Charlie LLC, et al., No. 2:14-cv-01921, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99154).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 29 partly denied a university's motion to dismiss wiretap and privacy class claims against it related to campus police officers' assertions that their conversations were covertly recorded (Federated University Police Officers' Association, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. 8:15-cv-00137, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99147).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on July 30 issued a decision to enforce an English ruling in favor of a Congolese company and denied a motion filed by the Republic of Congo to substitute the company as a plaintiff in the case based on rulings made by several Congolese courts (Commissions Import Export S.A. v. Republic of the Congo, et al., No.. 12-743, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99241).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 affirmed a district court's decision to certify a class of borrowers who alleged that two banks engaged in predatory lending practices, finding that all of the requirements for class certification were met (In re: Community Bank of Northern Virginia Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation, et al., No. 13-4273, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13186).
BOSTON - Although securities class action filings in the first half of 2015 were up over the number of filings from first half of 2014, the number of filings overall still remains below historical semiannual averages, according to a report filed July 29 by economic and financial analysis provider Cornerstone Research.
NEW YORK - A New York court released an opinion on July 27 in which a justice denied a reinsurer's motion to vacate an earlier opinion regarding discovery, noting that the reinsurer had not shown any changes in the law or that the court had missed any relevant facts (Granite State Insurance Company, et al. v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 654494/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on July 27 found that a proposed class for homeowners whose homes have allegedly defective corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) made by Ward Manufacturing LLC could not be certified and that the lead plaintiffs failed to state claims upon which relief could be granted, ruling that their strict liability and negligence claims are barred by the economic-loss doctrine (Chad Pelino, et al. v. Ward Manufacturing LLC, No. RDB-14-02771, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97290).
LOS ANGELES - A lawsuit filed by an insurance claims examiner who alleges that she and other similarly situated examiners were improperly classified as exempt from receiving overtime is not appropriate to proceed as a class action because individual issues predominate, a California appellate panel ruled July 27, affirming a trial court's ruling (Anna Marie Gentile v. Keenan & Associates, No. B253097, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5256).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 29 granted a motion by Google Inc. to transfer its motion to compel discovery responses from three movie studios to a Mississippi federal court, which is the venue for Google's underlying lawsuit against that state's attorney general, Jim Hood (Google Inc. v. Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00150, S.D. N.Y.).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on July 27 granted certification to a class of magazine subscribers who allege that when they signed up for their subscriptions, their personal information was shared with two marketing companies in violation of Michigan state law (Rose Coulter-Owens, et al. v. Time, Inc., No. 12-14390, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97352).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 27 denied class certification in a suit accusing an airline of violating the Montreal Convention, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that each Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 requirement was met and that the plaintiffs' attorney failed to demonstrate that he could adequately serve as class counsel (Moses Rambarran, et al. v. Dynamic Airways, LLC, No. 14-10138, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97651).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on July 25 granted in part an investor's motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the investor has properly pleaded a corrective disclosure that led to a price impact on the part of Halliburton Co. and its former CEO with regard to statements made in a Dec. 7, 2001, announcement regarding a jury verdict against Halliburton's subsidiary and others (The Erica P. John Fund Inc., et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 02-1152, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97464).
SAN DIEGO - In ruling on a motion to dismiss in a class action lawsuit accusing the manufacturer of Maker's Mark whiskey of deceptive advertising and business practices, a federal judge in California on July 27 dismissed state unfair competition law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL) claims based on failure to plausibly allege likelihood of deception but allowed UCL and FAL claims based on the safe harbor doctrine to continue (Safora Nowrouzi, et al. v. Maker's Mark Distillery Inc., No. 14-2885, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97752).