MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - A trial court did not err in refusing to prohibit the State of Ohio from presenting expert testimony that substances were "substantially similar" to controlled substances, an Ohio appeals panel ruled Sept. 21, upholding the conviction on multiple counts of aggravated trafficking in controlled substance analogs (State of Ohio v. Hamza Shalash, No. CA2014-12-146, Ohio App., 12th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 3723).
SAN FRANCISCO - Denying an anti-abortion organization's petition for a writ of mandamus, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 23 found that limited discovery was necessary for a trial court to rule on the parties' motions to strike and for a preliminary injunction motion in a racketeering lawsuit over the group's release of videos that purportedly violated confidentiality agreements (In re: Center for Medical Progress, et al., No. 15-72844, 9th Cir.)
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge on Sept 21 once again rejected defendants' challenges to an asbestos expert's testimony, including their portrayal of his opinion as overly general "every exposure" testimony (Andrew V. Kochera v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 14-29, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125726).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California magistrate judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $900,000 settlement to pay claims brought by distribution center employees of CVS Pharmacy Inc., settling causes of action related to wages and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL,) and granted the claimants' motion for attorney fees (Leticia Ceja-Corona, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1868, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126885).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Two putative class actions were filed Sept. 18 against Excellus Health Plan Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, alleging negligence in the health insurance provider's failure to safeguard policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) from a recently announced data breach (Matthew Fero, et al. v. Excellus Health Plan Inc., et al., No. 6:15-cv-06569; Nicholas Gilbert v. Excellus Health Plan Inc., No. 6:15-cv-06570; W.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 18 found that a solar corporation's claims against two Chinese entities were directly related to an underlying arbitration agreement and that its breach of contract claims were properly removed to federal court (Sunvalley Solar Inc. v. CEEG [Shanghai] Solar, et al., No. 15-5099, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125199).
DETROIT - An insured's expert cannot testify that a car accident caused the insured's aphasia, a Michigan federal judge ruled Sept. 21, limiting the expert to informing a jury about his opinion as to the cause of the insured's aphasia only insofar as he is recounting opinions formed during and for the purpose of treatment (Terri L. Stevens v. National Liability & Fire Insurance Co., No. 13-12920, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125395).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 21 granted final approval of a $1.5 million settlement to be paid by an international mail and freight company to end wage claims by a class of its workers but reduced the fees sought by class counsel from $500,000 to $370,236.50 (Dionne Marshall, et al. v. Deutsche Post DHL, et al., No. 13-1471, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125869).
SAN FRANCISCO - Concluding that a trial court "erred by conflating restitution calculation with the liability inquiry" for claims brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 reversed a ruling that denied a putative class's motion for certification in its claims that Google Inc. misled them under its AdWords advertising program (Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 12-16752, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723).
BATON ROUGE, La. - After finding that public interest factors weighed in favor of dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, a Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 18 dismissed a widow's claims related to a settlement that was approved by an arbitrator in the Philippines (Aina Z. Layson v. Baffin Investments Ltd., et al., No. 14-518, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24962).
CINCINNATI - Two policyholders of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. argued to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 18 appellant brief that they have standing to bring a class action against the insurer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) after their personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen in a 2012 data breach, seeking reversal of a trial court order that found that they had suffered no injury in fact (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-3386 and 15-3387, 6th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The admission of expert reports in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain gun laws enacted by the District of Columbia was not an abuse of discretion, the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 18 (Dick Anthony Heller, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al., No. 14-7071, D.C. App.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16632).
ORLANDO, Fla. - An insured seeking uninsured motorist (UM) benefits failed to show that his expert's testimony on causation is based on sufficient facts and data or that it is the product of a reliable methodology, a Florida federal judge ruled Sept. 18 (William Scott Carmody v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-830, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125056).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Seven owners of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. vehicles filed a class complaint in California federal court on Sept. 20 accusing the car maker of intentionally installing software on more than 482,000 diesel vehicles that circumvents U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for certain air pollutants (Michael McCabe, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., No. 15-1930, C.D. Calif.).
CLEVELAND - Without expert testimony on whether there were any design defects that caused mold to develop in a washing machine, an Ohio federal judge granted summary judgment on Sept. 17 to the machine's manufacturer on breach of warranty, negligent design and failure to warn claims (Maureen Huffman v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., No. 12-2681, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124259).
PITTSBURGH - An expert's omission of proffered price-influencing variables in testimony in an antitrust class action does not render his regression analysis "irrelevant," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 18, denying a motion to exclude that testimony (Resco Prods., Inc. v. Bosai Minerals GRP., et al., No. 06-235, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124930).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a lead plaintiff has failed to state a viable claim for relief against a software provider and certain of its executive officers, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 17 (Viswanath V. Shankar v. Imperva Inc., et al., No. 14-1680, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125279).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 19 summary judgment motion in California federal court, Yahoo Inc. asserts that its email scanning functions, which are at the heart of a privacy class action, comprise beneficial antivirus functions and benign targeted advertising but do not violate asserted federal and state privacy laws (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Social media giant Facebook Inc. told a California federal court in a Sept. 18 motion that the named plaintiffs in a five-year-old putative class action do not have standing to bring their privacy claims under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because they have not established any third-party access of their personal information or any injury in fact, thus meriting dismissal of the case (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit on Sept. 14 asked a federal judge in Rhode Island to preliminarily approve a $48 million settlement with CVS Caremark Corp. and certain of its executive officers over alleged misrepresentations made regarding CVS's 2007 merger with Caremark Rx Inc. (Richard Medoff v. CVS Caremark Corp., et al., No. 09-0554, D. Rhode Island).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Sept. 16 limited the scope of testimony offered by experts in a suit brought by Union Insurance Co. seeking to void a policy it issued to the owner of an apartment complex, finding that some of the proffered testimony was irrelevant (Union Insurance Company v. Blakeney Palmer Co. LLC, No. 12-cv-04072-RDP-TMP, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123220).
SAN FRANCISCO - Social network provider Twitter Inc. was hit with a putative class action Sept. 14, when a Texas man filed a complaint in California federal court, alleging violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) by Twitter's purported intercepting, reading and sometimes altering private messages between Twitter users (Wilford Raney v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:15-cv-04191, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An intellectual property holding and licensing firm filed a motion in California federal court Sept. 14, seeking an award of sanctions against Apple Inc. for what it calls unjustified misrepresentation of the technology giant's knowledge of the flash memory patents in suit prior to the filing of the present lawsuit, which it says resulted in prejudice and the dismissal of willful infringement claims (Longitude Licensing Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 3:14-cv-4275, N.D. Calif.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A group of banks and financial institutions (FIs, collectively) suing Target Corp. in the wake of a massive 2013 data breach, saw their motion for class certification granted Sept. 15 by a Minnesota federal judge who found that they had sufficiently presented prima facie evidence of negligence and related damages to merit class treatment of their claims against the retailer (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 0:14-md-02522, D. Minn.).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 reversed a federal judge in Missouri's ruling certifying a class for residents who live near the site of a pipeline that leaked in 1963 after finding that the plaintiffs' alleged fear of spreading contamination is not an injury that can support a common-law claim for nuisance (Bruce Smith, et al. v. ConocoPhillips Pipe Line Company, No. 14-2191, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16393).