NEW YORK - Saying that the defendants' reliance on a commentary demonstrates its relevance, a New York justice on Jan. 12 declined to quash the deposition of the author (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Weitz & Luxenberg Asbestos Cases, No. 040000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Virginia's statute of limitations began with a man's asbestosis diagnosis, and any challenge to the accuracy of that diagnosis should properly have been raised at that time, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Jan. 12 (James Herbert, executor of the estate of Vincent W. Gatto Sr. v. American Biltrite and its division, Amtico, et al., No. 1702 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands - A Ukraine oil and gas company on Jan. 13 announced that it has commenced arbitration with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), seeking compensation for the alleged seizure of petrol station operations (PJSC Ukrnafta v. the Russian Federation, No. 2015-34, PCA).
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a fitness-tracking device manufacturer and certain of its executive officers in California federal court on Jan. 11, alleging that the defendants issued a series of misrepresentations that caused the company's stock to trade at an artificially high rate in violation of federal securities laws (Brian H. Robb v. Fitbit Inc., et al., No. 16-151, N.D. Calif.).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Jan. 8 denied an insurer's motion to bifurcate discovery in an insurance dispute, ruling that bifurcation is premature at this stage of the litigation (Hudson Insurance Co. v. James Miller, et al., No. 15-0349, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2967).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted a motion to amend filed by employees of a care business for mentally challenged adults as plaintiffs to a class action lawsuit that asserts violations of the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) but found that the employers in the case would be prejudiced by the addition of new defendants (Horacio Veyra Palana, et al. v. Mission Bay Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-05235, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3740).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 11 dismissed Ford Motor Co.'s petition to vacate arbitration awards related to insurance coverage that were issued in favor of a German insurer, finding that the awards were already confirmed in another district and that the Michigan federal court lacked jurisdiction (Ford Motor Company v. HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG, No. 2:14-cv-13789, E.D. Mich.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Citing public interest, Tennessee's governor and other officials, who were defendants in one of the cases that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling in June 2015, on Jan. 8 moved to unseal the plaintiffs' counsel's time entries, asserting that they are protected by neither attorney-client privilege nor the work product doctrine (Valeria Tanco, et al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam, et al., No. 3:13-cv-01159, M.D. Tenn.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - Mississippi's collateral source rule precludes an expert's type of "reasonable value" calculations for past and future medical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Jan. 12, granting a motion to exclude the expert's testimony (Wanda Williams, individually and as conservator for John Robert Williams Jr. v. Manitowoc Cranes LLC, No. 14-383, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3553).
NEW ORLEANS - An expert may not testify as to the ergonomics of a plaintiff's body positioning during the time he allegedly injured himself lifting a valve and the effects of lifting versus catching a falling item, a Louisiana federal judge held Jan. 12, finding that a juror could use common experience and knowledge to reach a conclusion (Randall Sapp v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., et al., No. 15-3, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3501).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling affirming a lower court's decision to deny leave to amend in a securities class action lawsuit (NECA-IBEW Pension Trust Fund, et al. v. Kenneth D. Lewis, et al., No. 15-562, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court denied review Jan. 11 of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 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.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 upheld a trial court's rejection of taxi cab drivers' state wage and unjust enrichment claims, finding that both were barred by the drivers' employment agreements (Peter Enger, et al. v. Chicago Carriage Cab Corp., et al., No. 15-1057, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 388).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of email users that asserted privacy violations against Yahoo Inc. filed a motion in California federal court Jan. 7, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement of their class action, voicing their satisfaction with Yahoo's agreement to change the manner in which it will "process all incoming and outgoing email" to a way that complies with the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' reversal of a federal district court ruling in a securities class action lawsuit against Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) regarding its sale of certain residential mortgage-backed securities in violation of federal statute (Retirement Board of the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of the City of Chicago, et al. v. the Bank of New York Mellon, at trustee under various pooling and servicing agreements, No. 15-314, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A doctor may not testify on claims of future medical expenses and alleged causation between benzene and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a Puerto Rico federal judge ruled Jan. 8 (Gerardo Campos, et al. v. Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., et al., No. 12-1529, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2474).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 8 partially dismissed wage-related claims asserted by a former employee of a food company, finding that his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Labor Code were unsupported (Jerrod Finder v. Leprino Foods Company, et al., No. 1:13-CV-2059, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2584).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an individual who alleged that the Venezuelan government prosecuted him for political reasons and expropriated his investments, which sought review of a district court's ruling that two Venezuelan agencies were entitled to sovereign immunity (Nelson J. Mezerhane v. Republica Bolnariana De Venezuela, et al., No. 15-410, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - Although a shareholder has properly pleaded a number of claim in a securities class action lawsuit, he has done so in his opposition brief and not in his first amended complaint as required, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 7 in granting a motion to dismiss with leave to amend (Felipe Garcia, et al. v. Hetong Guo, et al., No. 15-1862, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1819).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court granted an insurer's motion to stay discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) pending resolution of its petition for writ of mandamus in a bad faith lawsuit arising from alleged hail and wind damage, according to its Jan. 8 pronouncement (In Re State Farm Lloyds, No. 15-0905, Texas Sup.).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 6, because the shareholders failed to properly plead any material misrepresentations, scienter or loss causation in making their federal securities law claims (In re Sanofi Securities Litigation, No. 14-9624, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1664).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A reinsurer's attorney asked a federal court in the District of Columbia on Jan. 8 to reconsider an order denying the attorney's motion that the court allow him to use certain protected documents related to a London arbitration in a case in a different federal court (Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft in Munchen v. Northrop Grumman Risk Management Inc., No. 10-cv-00551, D. D.C.).
ST. LOUIS - A retirement plan sponsor's allegations that a service provider breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act failed because the provider did not owe any duty to the participants at the time the fees were negotiated and because the sponsor failed to establish a connection between its excessive fee allegations and the alleged post-contract basis for fiduciary duty, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 8, rejecting the position of the U.S. Department of Labor (McCaffree Financial Corp. v. Principal Life Insurance Company, No. 15-1007, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 214).
PORTLAND, Ore - A federal judge in Oregon on Jan. 7 denied a health insurers' motion to dismiss claims alleging that it breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying coverage for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy for the treatment of autism-related spectrum disorder to children who have been diagnosed as autistic (A.F., by and through his parents and guardians, Brenna Legaard and Scott Fournier, et al. v. Providence Health Plan, No. 13-776, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1503).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 8 passed legislation its supporters claim will reduce fraud in the asbestos bankruptcy trust system and help ensure that federal class actions lawsuits enrich only truly injured individuals.