HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Jan. 17 in a single opinion vacated orders denying class certification in two substantially similar complaints alleging that oil and gas leases were breached and payments were never made, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motions (Lucinda A. Cardinale, et al. v. R.E. Gas Development, LLC, et al., No. 1186 WDA 2015, Mary R. Billotte, et al. v. R.E. Gas Development, LLC, et al., No. 1187 WDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 34).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Jan. 13 denied a reinsurer's challenge to a magistrate judge's ruling, finding that the magistrate judge's finding that a certain document was privileged was not clearly erroneous (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California woman on Jan. 13 filed a class action complaint in federal court alleging that she and other women have been wrongfully denied access to and coverage for a vital women's preventive service - breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling - for which coverage is mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 4:17-cv-00183, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - A month after a Pennsylvania federal judge granted final approval of a settlement in a class action alleging unfair trade practices related to the paid reviews feature on Angie's List Inc.'s website, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted dismissal of an objector's appeal of that settlement after it was voluntarily withdrawn (Janell Moore, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., No. 16-4430, 3rd Cir.)
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 17 refused to vacate a $1,305,131 arbitral award issued in favor of a maker of solar panels, finding that the award was not ambiguous and that the tribunal did not act in bad faith (Trina Solar US, Inc. v. JRC Services LLC, et al., No. 16-CV-2869, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6134).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Despite recalling certain top-load washers, Samsung Electronics America Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. are failing to perform repairs, the only recall option available to consumers that won't cost them anything out of pocket, an Oklahoma man alleges in a class complaint filed Jan. 13 in an Oklahoma federal court (Jerry Wells, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., et al. No. 17-46, W.D. Okla.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A cell phone reseller's third attempt at class certification for counterclaims accusing Sprint Nextel Corp. of restraining trade of preowned phones failed when a Kansas federal judge on Jan. 12 ruled that the motion was filed too late (Sprint Nextel Corporation v. The Middle Man, Inc., et al., No. 12-2159, D. Kan.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4931).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Single calls placed to each health insurance customer about policy renewals were not telemarketing or advertising, a California federal judge ruled Jan. 13, granting summary judgment to the insurance provider in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint (Shannon Smith, et al. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company, No. 16-108, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5620).
ATLANTA - A rural electric cooperative that paid out excess revenues to members via account credits rather than cash did not violate Alabama law, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 12, affirming a trial court's dismissal of cooperative members' class complaint (Pamela Caver, et al. v. Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, No. 15-15207, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 549).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Jan. 13 issued various updates in an arbitration commenced by numerous real estate entities against the Russian Federation in relation to an alleged real estate investment in Crimea, announcing that the Russian Federation did not participate in a recent hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility (Everest Estate LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-36, PCA).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 12 determined that Apple Inc. is a distributor of third-party created apps sold in its App Store, leading the panel to find that putative monopolization class claims related to the store could proceed (In re Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-15000, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 577).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 agreed to hear an appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming that shareholders that filed a securities class action lawsuit after opting out of settlement class against the same defendants were barred from doing so as their claims were outside the statute of repose (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody Investors Service Inc., et al., No. 16-373, U.S. Sup.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A federal judge in New Mexico on Jan. 11 granted the federal government's motion to exclude the testimony of an expert designated to discuss the medical necessity of tests administered by a holistic doctor who is accused of fraudulently billing Medicare and other insurers, after finding that the proposed testimony is not relevant and does not meet the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 597 ) (United States of America v. Roy Heilbron, No. 15-CR-2030, D. N.M.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 granted petitions for writ of certiorari filed in three cases challenging the barring of class or collection action waivers in employment agreements, consolidated the three cases and granted a total of one hour for oral arguments (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).
CHARLESTON, S.C - The contents of two PowerPoint presentations made by attorneys during town hall meetings held to persuade homeowners to join a proposed class action suit against the builders of their homes over alleged construction defects waived any work product protection over the information, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Jan. 12 in denying the plaintiffs' motion to quash subpoenas (Jacqueline L. Craft, as Trustee of the Jacqueline L. Craft Trust, et al. v. South Carolina Plastering LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4510).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the banks accused, in a multidistrict litigation that was reinstated by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after being dismissed by the trial court, of an alleged conspiracy to manipulate U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in violation of the Sherman Act (Bank of America Corporation, et al. v. Ellen Gelboim, et al., No. 16-545, U.S. Sup.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The majority of the South Carolina Supreme Court on Jan. 11 affirmed a special referee's finding that coverage under commercial general liability insurance policies was triggered and calculation of an insurer's pro rata portion of the progressive damages based on its time on the risk (Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities Inc., et al., No. 2013-001281 & 2013-001291, S.C. Sup.; 2017 S.C. LEXIS 8).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - In deciding a summary judgment motion on constitutional violation and state law claims against a town and police officers, an Indiana federal judge on Jan. 11 refused to exclude expert testimony because it was unnecessary to rule on summary judgment (David Marshall III and LaMisa Marshall v. Town of Merrillville, et al., No. 14-50, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3977).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 12 denied preliminary approval of a $290,000 wage-and-hour settlement, finding that the parties failed to provide an evaluation of the range of reasonable recoveries (Sean Patterson, et al. v. Premier Construction Co. Inc., et al., No. 15-662, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4845).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp. on Jan. 10 filed a brief in California federal court contending that a recent decision handed down by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supports its contention that a proposed class representing Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion should not be granted class status because the plaintiffs do not meet the criteria for certification (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a Chinese online retailer and others have failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or omissions in support of their claim that the defendants concealed their intention to shut down the company's beauty supply marketplace in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 10 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss certain claims (In re Jumei International Holding Limited Securities Litigation, No. 14-9826, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3206).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 asked the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the government's views in a case that asks whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act permits a cause of action for indemnity or contribution by a person found liable for breach of fiduciary duty (David B. Fenkell v. Alliance Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-473, U.S. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - Additional discovery is needed into two Canadian companies' contacts with New Jersey so that a woman can fairly contest motions to dismiss her asbestos action on jurisdictional grounds, a federal judge in New Jersey said Jan. 9 (Estelle Grimes, et al. v. AT&T Corp., et al., No. 15-8466, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181534).
NEW YORK - Experts in an asbestos case may make qualitative evaluations regarding exposure and need not precisely identify the quantity of exposure, a New York justice held in a Jan. 9 opinion denying defendants' wide-ranging motion (In re New York City Asbestos Litigation, Geraldine Andrews, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190034/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 12).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 granted a retailer's motion to compel supplemental responses to certain discovery requests from a purchaser who asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising and other claims related to its pricing (Marilyn Sperling v. Stein Mart Inc., et al., No. 15-1411, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3668).