ATLANTA - A trial court erred in excluding an expert's testimony that a man died as a result of a defect in the design of his rifle, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 17, reversing summary judgment entered in favor of the gun manufacturer (Cynthia Seamon, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Kenneth Seamon v. Remington Arms Company, LLC, No. 14-15662, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2645).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 16 on various Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) motions to exclude testimony regarding professional police standards and "selective attention" among other subjects in a lawsuit against a county and its police department for a shooting and killing of a police officer by another officer (Tamara Davies, as personal representative of the Estate of James Davies v. The City of Lakewood, Colo., and its Police Department, et al., No. 14-01285, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18348).
MIAMI - A defendant in a personal injury lawsuit failed to make a timely objection under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ), a Florida appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, reversing a trial judge's decision to grant a new trial following a $93,000 jury verdict (Enzo Rojas v. Yagmerys Rodriguez, No. 3D15-277, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 2247).
DETROIT - A resident of Flint, Mich., on Feb. 16 filed a putative class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the State of Michigan, its governor and various officials in the governor's administration, contending that the state is liable for the lead contamination of the city's drinking water because the state "completely overtook and replaced" Flint's city government prior to the water crisis (Angela McIntosh v. State of Michigan, et al., No. 16-10571, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Five blind individuals and two organizations filed a class complaint in California federal court on Feb. 16 accusing AMC Entertainment Inc., AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and American Multi-Cinema Inc. of failing to maintain audio description equipment for blind customers to use (Scott Blanks, et al. v. AMC Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 16-765, N.D. Calif.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A professional engineer may not testify to a stock picker's hydraulic system and electrical drive system but may testify regarding the stock picker's steering wheel fastening system, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 16, granting and denying in part summary judgment to a manufacturer on strict liability and negligence claims (Patricia English and Richard English v. Crown Equipment Corp., No. 13-0978, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18029).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The same day that a California federal magistrate judge issued an order compelling Apple Inc. to "unlock" a cellular phone owned by one of the shooters in the December San Bernardino, Calif., attack, Apple on Feb. 16 released a public statement asserting its opposition to the order out of a concern for privacy and security from technology and a precedent that "would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect" (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:15-mj-00451, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 16 released its first procedural order in an arbitration commenced by a German entity against the Republic of Kosovo, establishing the procedural details of the case (ACP Axos Capital GmbH v. Republic of Kosovo, No. ARB/15/22, ICSID).
PHILADELPHIA - A lawsuit accusing the City of Philadelphia of improperly collecting meter fees for parking when parking was to be free of charge was denied class certification on Feb. 11 by a Pennsylvania federal judge and sent back to the state court where it originated (Angela Parsons, et al. v. The Philadelphia Parking Authority, et al., No. 13-0955, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16731).
WILMINGTON, Del. - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may testify on actual identifiers in systems for providing efficient data storage that eliminate redundancy using deduplication techniques, a Delaware federal judge ruled Feb. 11, also granting and denying summary judgment on issues of infringement and validity (EMC Corp., et al. v. Pure Storage, Inc., No. 13-1985, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16794).
NEW ORLEANS - A neuropsychology expert may testify on the neuropsychological validity testing he performed on plaintiffs in a maritime personal injury lawsuit, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Feb. 11, finding that the methodology is reliable as the results were peer-reviewed (Calvin Howard, et al. v. Offshore Liftboats, LLC, et al., No. 13-4811 c/w 13-6407 & 14-1188, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16937).
HOUSTON - A trial court did not err in allowing a police officer to testify as an expert witness on the issue of gang membership and in admitting photographs of various gang symbols, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 11, affirming convictions (Jeremy Dion Washington v. The State of Texas, No. 01-13-00227, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1451).
CINCINNATI - Patients who provided their cell phone numbers to the hospital where they received medical care gave their "prior express consent" to receive collection calls at that number for debt owed for medical care, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 12, upholding a trial court's rejection of a class suit filed by patients under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Zachary Baisden, et al. v. Credit Adjustments, Inc., No. 15-3411, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2465).
NEW YORK - Citing the "overly complex, overly risky" nature of four participant-directed defined-contribution 401(k) retirement plans offered by Verizon Communications Inc., a participant in one of those plans on Feb. 11 filed a purported class action complaint against myriad defendants in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Melina N. Jacobs v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1082, S.D. N.Y.).
CLEVELAND - A man awarded $20 million for his wife's mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure from friction products told an Ohio appellate court Feb. 11 that the judge erred in granting a directed verdict on his punitive damages claim, completing briefing that has involved every-exposure testimony challenges, other evidentiary challenges and issues surrounding directed verdict (Mark Scwartz, et al. v. General Electric Corp., No. CA 15 102277, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
LONDON - An oil and gas exploration company on Feb. 16 announced that an English appeals court has dismissed its appeal of an arbitration award issued by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in relation to a share purchase agreement.
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who sued Uber Technologies Inc. and Raiser LLC in California federal court over the ride-share service's "Safe Rides Fee" filed a stipulation of settlement on Feb. 11 stating that the defendants have agreed to pay $28.5 million to end the class action complaint and will rename the fee as well as change the advertising wording regarding safety (Matthew Philliben, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 14-5615, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 11 partially dismissed claims asserted by a Luxembourg company and a Portuguese company in relation to their investment in a Venezuelan entity but ordered that Venezuela pay them $87.3 million in damages for breaches of two underlying bilateral investment treaties (Tenaris S.A., et al. v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/11/26, ICSID).
BALTIMORE - A mobile advisory consultant may testify about the secondary handset market for cell phone devices and the participation of retail resellers in it, a Maryland federal judge ruled Feb. 10; however, the expert may not opine on whether there have been breaches of contract (Sprint Nextel Corp. v. Simple Cell, Inc., No. 13-617, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16017).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder on Feb. 11 filed a securities class action lawsuit against a financial products and services provider and certain of its executive officers in a federal court in Delaware, claiming that the defendants misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (George A. Menold v. Navient Corp., et al., No. 16-0075, D. Del.).
BOSTON - A federal jury in Massachusetts on Feb. 10 found in favor of Philip Morris U.S.A. Inc. in a class action filed by smokers seeking to have tobacco company pay for medical monitoring to detect early signs of tobacco-related diseases (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc. No. 1:06-cv-12234, D. Mass.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 10 denied the Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) request to apply the consultant corollary exception of the deliberative process privilege to a five-page draft of a letter that was shared with a Rutgers University professor who believes that global warming has spurred a phenomenon known as the "polar vortex," finding that the professor could not be likened to a government employee and that her opinion was not being sought to assist the office with forming a policy position (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 14-cv-01806, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15893).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Although a federal district court judge erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because the lead plaintiff properly pleaded scienter, the judge properly ruled that the lead plaintiff failed to plead loss causation in making its federal securities law claims, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in a Feb. 10 opinion (Rand-Heart of New York Inc., et al. v. James P. Dolan, et al, No. 15-1838, 8th Cir.).
DENVER - In a products liability case, an attorney is barred from testifying on court findings of "discovery obfuscation, failure to produce documents and dishonest conduct by the defendants with their refusal to reveal existing documents," a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 10 (Miriam White v. Deere & Co. and John Deere Ltd., No. 13-02173, D. Colo.).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a second amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a shareholder properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and loss causation in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 9 (Benjamin Gross v. GFI Group Inc., et al., No. 14-9438, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15602).