ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on June 2 limited what a "visual and human factors" expert can testify about in a wrongful death action stemming from a fatal car accident because some of the expert's testimony exceeded the scope of her expertise and "other aspects of her testimony would confuse the jury" (Bruce Dolfman v. Zachary Edwards, et al., No. 13-2831, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70853).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After numerous investors and the Argentine Republic failed to provide $500,000 that was requested by a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to continue funding the investment dispute, the tribunal on June 1 released its decision to discontinue the arbitration (Ambiente Ufficio S.p.A. and others v. Argentine Republic, No. ARB/08/09, ICSID).
DENVER - A tow truck driver injured in a crash forfeited his right to challenge a biomechanical engineer's testimony that the forces involved in the collision were insufficient to cause the driver's injuries because the driver never filed an objection to the expert's witness statement or objected to any questions seeking to elicit such testimony during trial, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 2 (Melvin L. Mathis v. Huff & Puff Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 13-8082, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9181).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 vacated a district court's final approval of a $4.5 million settlement in a wage suit brought by day laborers, finding that the district court failed to satisfy the procedural standard outlined in In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liab. Litig. (654 F.3d 935 [9th Cir. 2011]) (Jeffrey Lee Allen, et al. v. Margie Bedolla, et al., No. 13-55106, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9139).
DENVER - Although one expert for plaintiffs in a class action suit alleging that an operator of hemodialysis clinics acted negligently in administering care cannot testify on matters of nephrology and dialysis because she has no expertise in those areas, she can testify on data collected by the clinics and the monitoring of the data, a Colorado federal judge ruled May 29, also finding that opinions by another expert for the plaintiffs and one for the clinic operator are admissible (Doris Morris, et al. v. DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., No. 13-cv-00573, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69046).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on May 27 granted plaintiffs' two motions for partial summary judgment in their class action suit accusing a manufacturer of cosmetic products of improperly labeling its products as organic in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that California Organic Products Act (COPA) violations are "predicate unlawful acts" under the UCL and that representations on COPA-violating products are per se "material" under the UCL, that such representations are per se deceptive under the UCL's fraud prong and that material misrepresentations create a "presumption of classwide reliance" under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Rosminah Brown, et al. v. The Hain Celestial Group Inc., No. 11-3082, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67912).
EDINBURG, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on May 29 denied an insurer's petition for writ of mandamus challenging a lower court's order requiring it to produce 15 categories of management reports and associated emails that are in response to specific requests for production pertaining to the hail litigation (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Nos. 13-14-00713 and 13-14-00714, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 5509).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a Chinese maker of golf clubs waived its right to removal under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, a California federal judge on June 1 granted a California corporation's motion to remand a contract dispute (Paradigm Solutions Group Inc. v. Shanghai Precision Technology Corp.; et al., No. 15-CV-539, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70596).
MOSCOW - A Canadian energy company on June 2 announced that it will appeal a Russian court's decision to set aside a $118 million arbitration award issued in its favor and against the Kyrgyz Republic.
PHILADELPHIA - Two engine experts can testify that a defectively designed or manufactured engine part caused a helicopter crash that killed two men because the experts are qualified, their testing is reliable and their conclusions are relevant to the cause of the crash, a Pennsylvania federal judge held May 29 (Pamela Lewis, et al. v. Lycoming Engines, et al., No. 11-6475, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69723).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 29 reversed and remanded a lead-poisoning injury case, ruling that when the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on his discovery requests and then dismissed his complaint, the Baltimore City Circuit Court "abused its discretion" and failed to "consider the correct legal standard" (Trashawn Johnson v. Roberta Franklin, No. 1216, Md. Spec. App., Sept. Term 2014; 2015 Md. App. LEXIS 71).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 27 granted final approval of a $500 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit regarding Bear Stearns' sale of more than $17 billion in mortgage-backed securities, finding the settlement agreement to be fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation, No. 08-8093, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 29 granted a request to decertify a class of claimants asserting a breach of contract claim against lenders in relation to alleged late fees, finding a lack of evidence that the lenders assumed specific contractual obligations or were in privity of contract with absent class members (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 01cv5694, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69866).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 sought the solicitor general's view as to whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a federal judge properly dismissed without prejudice a pension plan participant's claim that the plan improperly reduced his benefits, where the suit was not brought in the federal court specified in the plan's forum-selection clause (Roger L. Smith v. AEGON Companies Pension Plan, No. 14-1168, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - After finding that a company was not given adequate notice of an arbitration commenced against it in China in relation to a dispute over the purchase and sale of solar technology products, a Colorado federal judge on May 29 dismissed a petition to enforce the $1,620,882 award (CEEG [Shanghai] Solar Science & Technology Co., Ltd., No. 14-cv-03118, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69829).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 1 released its order granting the Republic of Bangladesh's oil and gas company to respond to a resource company's request for provisional measures in relation to a $25,312,747 award issued in its favor (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
CAMDEN, N.J. - An amended class complaint alleging that Riddell Inc. falsely markets its Revolution-brand football helmet as safer than others addresses deficiencies that led a federal judge in New Jersey to dismiss it without prejudice, class plaintiff Normal Thiel argues in a May 22 memorandum opposing Riddell's motion to dismiss (In re Riddell Concussion Reduction Litigation, No. 13-7585, D. N.J.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 26 granted certification of a nationwide class in a lawsuit asserting that Yahoo Inc. violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by scanning the emails of people that are not subscribers of its Yahoo Mail service (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68585).
RALEIGH, N.C. - While the defendants' briefs focused primarily on "every exposure" testimony from one expert, this was sufficient to put asbestos plaintiffs on notice that the defendants intended to challenge similar testimony from a second expert, a federal judge in North Carolina held May 26 (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., No. 12-752, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67704).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An expert's testimony about the safety warning label on an arrow is irrelevant and unreliable, so the arrow maker is entitled to summary judgment on strict liability and negligence claims filed by a man who was injured when an arrow he was shooting broke in two as he released it from the bow, a Kentucky federal judge held May 27 (Darcy Yonts v. Easton Technical Products, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-535, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68224).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who allege that Chevron Corp. is liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig on May 26 filed a brief in California federal court opposing the company's motion for sanctions related to alleged failure of some plaintiffs to comply with discovery obligations. Furthermore, if granted, the sanctions should not apply to all plaintiffs, the plaintiffs say (Foster Ogola v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Although a California federal judge found the motion to file a third amended complaint (TAC) to add an additional named plaintiff in a privacy class action against Facebook Inc. to be untimely, he found no bad faith on the plaintiffs' part and no substantial prejudice to Facebook, granting the motion in a May 22 ruling (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).
SALT LAKE CITY - The plain language of Utah law permits service on a defendant up until the time of trial, as long as a single defendant is properly served within the 120-day limit, the Utah Supreme Court held May 22 (Barbara St. Jeor v. Kerr Corp., No. 20130913, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 171).
SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney acted in bad faith when he asked an asbestos expert about the connection between the plaintiff's chemotherapy and his renal failure after telling the court that such questioning was off the table, a federal judge in California held May 26 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-3240, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 22 granted partial class certification in a lawsuit brought by California employees suing over the collection of union fees from non-union members (Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, et al. v. Service Employees International Union Local 1000, et al., No. 14-319, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67419).