NEW ORLEANS - A marine safety expert may testify as to whether a vessel was not fit for its intended use and purpose, a Louisiana federal judge held April 11, however, the judge excluded the expert from rendering the legal conclusion that bunk beds are regulated (Geordon Dennis v. ESS Support Services Worldwide, et al., No. 15-690, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48375).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 11 declined to certify a class of financial advisers (FAs) suing their employer for failing to pay them overtime wages for hours in excess of 40 per week (In Re Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-3121, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48648).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurance company being sued for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) did not moot the class claims by depositing the funds to settle the lead plaintiff's individual' claims in an escrow account, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 12 (Richard Chen, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 13-16816, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6627).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A federal district court abused its discretion in granting class certification in a securities class action lawsuit because shareholders failed to satisfy the predominance requirement under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a split Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 12 (IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-3178, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6616).
NEW YORK - A federal judge erred in excluding the testimony of a shareholder's damages expert and granting summary judgment in favor of defendants in a securities class action lawsuit because the judge's exclusion ruling was inadequate, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 12 (In re Pfizer Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-2853, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6622).
LOS ANGELES - The defendant in a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit moved for contempt and preclusive sanctions against a rival attorney-recruiting website operator April 11, telling a California federal court that such remedies are merited given the plaintiff's blatant disregard of a court order compelling responses to discovery requests that go to the heart of the underlying trademark claims (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 8 affirmed a trial court's finding that a class complaint accusing several car dealerships of improperly selling vehicles with damage to the dashboard and various interior components due to the heat encountered during normal use in Texas belongs in federal, not state, court (Felicia Carter, et al. v. Westlex Corporation, et al., No. 15-20561, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6469).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on April 11 denied final approval of a $5.1 million wage-and-hour settlement to be paid by a shipping broker to employees, finding that the confidentiality provisions and proposed service awards are not fair or equitable to all parties (Nancy Koehler, et al. v. Freightquote.com, Inc., et al., No. 12-2505, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48597).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has a duty to defend against an underlying class action lawsuit alleging that its insured failed to safeguard hospital patients' private medical records by posting them on the Internet for more than four months (The Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, L.L.C., et al., No. 14-1944, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6554).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Neither the confirmation order for W.R. Grace & Co.'s reorganization plan nor a proposed case management order precludes a Delaware federal bankruptcy court from certifying a class of building owners that hold property damage claims against the debtor, a South Carolina hospital argues in an April 11 reply brief (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on April 7 granted a motion to dismiss a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by drivers working for a ride-sharing company and compel individual arbitration in light of arbitration provision contained in the drivers' service agreement (David Sena v. Uber Technologies Incorporated, et al., No. 15-2418, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47141).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 7 agreed to consolidate 15 lawsuits pending in seven different federal courts accusing Vizio Inc. of violating customers' privacy rights and centralize them in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2693, JPMDL; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47523).
CHICAGO - Despite the death of its expert, a health care provider may not engage in new expert discovery in a lawsuit over its medical treatment practices because its original expert's report failed to meet the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ), an Illinois federal judge ruled April 7, excluding the deceased expert's report (Donald L. McDonald v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., et al., No. 09-4196, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47286).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Noting a jurisdictional divide, a New Jersey federal judge on April 8 ruled that he would follow Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals precedent and declined to dismiss a class complaint accusing a mortgage servicer of engaging in a force-placed insurance (FPI) scheme (Joseph Burroughs, et al. v. PHH Mortgage Corporation, No. 15-6122, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47475).
DETROIT - A group of Flint, Mich., residents on April 6 filed a putative class action complaint in Michigan federal court against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration, contending that they are liable for the residents' personal injuries that have resulted from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water. The plaintiffs maintain that state officials "intentionally defrauded" the residents of the city regarding its water supply (Lawrence Washington, Jr., et al. v. Governor Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16- 11247, E.D. Mich.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on April 6 ruled that 42 plaintiffs currently proceeding under pseudonyms in a multidistrict litigation against the operator of AshleyMadison.com related to a July 2015 breach of the adult dating website's network who wish to serve as class representatives must decide to use their real names or dismiss their complaints and proceed without revealing their names as class members (In Re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-2669, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46893).
DETROIT - In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez (577 U.S. __ ), a Michigan federal judge on April 7, in three separate but nearly identical opinions, vacated judgment for the defendants in three Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suits that had previously been granted based on unaccepted offers of judgment and concluded the cases should be certified as class actions (Compressor Engineering Corporation v. Manufacturers Financial Corporation, et al., No. 09-14444, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47038; APB Associates, Inc. v. Bronco's Saloon, Inc., et al., No. 09-14959, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47033; Shari Machesney v. Lar-Bev of Howell, Inc., et al., No. 10-10085, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47034).
BOSTON - Dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its current and former executive officers is proper, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled April 5, because shareholders failed to plead an actionable misstatement or omission and failed to plead scienter (William Kader v. Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 14-14318, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46025).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on April 5 to enforce its earlier order confirming an arbitration award and direct an international insurer to pay the reinsurer more than $460,000 in fees and costs incurred in a different, but allegedly related, litigation (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Lawyers and a company accused of destroying evidence of and misrepresenting the presence of asbestos in talc must face fraud and conspiracy claims, a federal judge in New Jersey held April 5 in denying several motions to dismiss (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
SAN DIEGO - In an opinion filed April 5, a California federal judge granted partial summary judgment to a hair dryer manufacturer in a class action alleging that one of its products is defective and causes fires (Cynthia L. Czuchaj, et al. v. Conair Corp., No 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46693).
SAN FRANCISCO - A month after a hearing in California federal court at which Facebook Inc. sought dismissal of a lawsuit alleging privacy violations in its photo "Tag Suggestions" feature, the putative class plaintiffs on April 5 filed a statement of a recent Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that found a purported online contract to be invalid based on a website operator's failure to provide "reasonable notice" of a user's assent to the contract's terms (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A property management firm alleging bad faith for its insurer's denial of coverage under its policy's errors and omissions (E&O) provision saw some of its related discovery requests denied April 5 by an Alabama federal judge, who deemed the requests too broad and burdensome (Graham & Company LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 2:14-cv-02148, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45662).
CINCINNATI - An eyeglass company being sued for its advertising practices by a class of consumers properly removed the state case to federal court more than six months after the amended complaint was filed pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 6 (Elliott Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., No. 16-3167, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6266).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - In an April 8 letter in New York federal court, the U.S. government confirmed that it still seeks an order requiring Apple Inc. to help it gain access to a locked iPhone seized from a drug trafficking suspect (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.).