CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 2 granted in part dueling motions to bar expert witnesses in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage dispute arising from a $14 million consent judgment entered against an insured (Ray A. Fox, by and through his guardian, Rose Fox v. Admiral Insurance Co., No. 12-8740, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151738).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 4 said a hearing on jurisdiction and the merits in an international treaty arbitration brought by investors against the Republic of Estonia will begin next week (United Utilities (Tallinn) B.V., et al. v. Republic of Estonia, No. ARB/14/24, ICSID).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 3 granted an English company's petition to confirm a $3.2 million arbitral award plus interest issued in its favor in relation to a patent license agreement dispute, finding that the respondent was not entitled to deduct amounts from the award to satisfy Taiwanese tax laws (Mondis Technology Ltd. v. Wistron Corporation, No. 15-CV-02340, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152785).
LANSING, Mich. - A defendant failed to show any errors in his counsel's performance with regard to the admission of expert testimony on the connection between retinal hemorrhages in a child as symptoms of alleged abuse, a Michigan appeals panel held Nov. 1 (People of the State of Michigan v. Joshua Quincy Burns, No. 327179, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 2008).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 1 found that the arbitration agreement between a well-known residential rental service and its users was valid and enforceable, stayed a racial bias class complaint and granted the rental service's motion to compel individual arbitration (Gregory Selden, et al. v. Airbnb, Inc., No. 16-933, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150863).
LOS ANGELES - Anthem Blue Cross promises Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange customers re-enrollment in a similar plans when cancellations occur, while in reality providing far inferior plans with no out-of-network coverage, according to a class action lawsuit filed Oct. 31 in California court, alleging violation of the state unfair competition law (UCL) (Paul Simon, et al. v. Blue Cross of California, d/b/a Anthem Blue Cross; and DOES 1-100, inclusive, No. BC639205, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 31 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. government opposes a grant of certiorari to a man convicted of tax evasion, arguing that law enforcement properly retained mirrored copies of the man's hard drives via a warrant that was valid per the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Stavros M. Ganias v. United States of America, No. 16-263, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 28 appointed the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd to serve as lead counsel in a securities class action lawsuit against LendingClub Corp. and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that the law firm "was within the scope of several reasonable choices and was not influenced by any pay-to-play considerations" (Steeve Evellard v. LendingClub Corp., et al., No. 16-2627, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari asking it to review a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel decision that reversed a district court's ruling in favor of a class of retirees from Moen Inc. who argued that their collective bargaining agreements guaranteed them health care benefits for life (John L. Gallo, et al. v. Moen Incorporated, No. 16-222, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 partially granted a motion and supplemental motion for partial judgment on the pleadings, leaving only a claim for declaratory judgment remaining against a red light camera system provider in a class complaint filed by two individuals who were ticketed through the system in St. Peters, Mo. (Gina Thompson, et al. v. Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., et al., No. 15-404, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151067).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. government on Oct. 31 opposed a liberty advocacy organization's motion to compel an officer of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to preserve emails in his private email account in accord with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, telling a District of Columbia federal court that the group has not met its burden to demonstrate the preservation order's necessity (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 1:14-cv-00765, D. D.C.).
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 31 denied approval of a confidential wage-and-hour settlement between an employer and its alarm response security officers (AROs), opining that she was unable to determine, based on the information provided, that the settlement is fair and reasonable (Marcus Williams, et al. v. Alimar Security, Inc., No. 13-12732, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150119).
SAN FRANCISCO - Lawyers representing about 800 current and former employees at five restaurants owned by a single McDonald's franchisee in California on Oct. 28 filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a wage-and-hour class action settlement in which McDonald's would pay the workers $1.75 million in back pay and damages and $2 million in legal fees (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari to review a Texas appeals court decision that overturned a $31 million jury award against Domino's Pizza LLC, Domino's franchisee MAC Pizza Management Inc. and a Domino's delivery driver for a crash that killed a woman and severely injured her husband (Raghurami Reddy, et al. v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No.16-356, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 31 granted approval of a $244 million settlement to be paid by in-store promotion (ISP) services providers accused of creating a monopoly; however, the judge rejected the plaintiffs' counsel's request for an award of $73.2 million and instead awarded $48,825,000 (Dial Corp, et al. v. News Corporation, et al., No. 13-6802, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150528).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 refused to reconsider its previous decision to affirm a district court's order confirming a $400 million arbitral award issued in favor of a Mexican corporation in a dispute over underlying contracts for the construction of offshore platforms (Corporacion Mexicana De Mantenimiento Intergral, S. De R.L. De C.V. v. Pemex-Exploracion Y, No. 13-4022, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Nov. 1 from an insurer, the relators in a qui tam action against that insurer, and the U.S. government over what the appropriate sanctions should be when relators in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit violate that statute's requirement that the complaint and filings remain sealed (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Oct. 31 that its reinsurer's motion to compel discovery should fail because the deadline for seeking discovery has passed and the material sought is privileged (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company v. Century Indemnity Company as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-00170, D. Conn.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Oct. 27 ruling, a California federal judge permitted computer fraud, invasion of privacy and consumer-related claims against Lenovo (United States) Inc. related to the installation of laptop spyware to proceed, while dismissing wiretap and negligence claims. The judge also granted certification of nationwide and statewide indirect purchaser classes, but denied certification for a direct purchaser class (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149958).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge issued an opinion on Oct. 31 granting Rite Aid Corp. permission to question three plaintiffs in an ongoing New York collective and class wage suit about their supervision of certain plaintiffs in current California wage suits without the plaintiffs' counsel present (Yatram Indergit, et al. v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 08-9361, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150565).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in continuing in the absence of a defendant a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) to determine whether an arson investigator may testify in a criminal case because there was independent evidence that the fire was deliberately set, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (United States of America v. Kormahyah Karmue, No. 15-1990, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19475).
ATLANTA - An appeals court erred in holding that deposition testimony of an organizational representative taken under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 9-11-30 (b) (6) may be admitted into evidence at trial under OCGA Section 9-11-32 (a) (2) without regard to the rules of evidence governing admissibility of expert testimony, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Oct. 31 (Dr. Patricia Yugueros v. Rudy Robles, No. S16G0619, Ga. Sup.; 2016 Ga. LEXIS 709).
FRESNO, Calif. - A truck operator who had opted in to a wage-and-hour collective action that was ultimately denied certification before filing his own wage-and-hour collective action is not estopped from bringing his suit, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Williams Phillips, et al. v. Randy's Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 16-753, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148574).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appellate panel on Oct. 27 upheld a state Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ruling that a claimant is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits because the franchisor of his former cleaning service's actions and franchise agreement created an employer-employee relationship (In the Matter of the Claim of Bertrand Baez, No. 520746, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6946).
SALEM, Ore. - An expert was qualified to present a jury with general testimony about the concept of sexual grooming, an Oregon appeals panel ruled Oct. 26, also finding that the testimony did not constitute scientific evidence requiring a foundation under State v. Brown (297 Or 404, 687 P2d 751 ) and State v. O'Key (321 Or 285, 899 P2d 663 ) (State of Oregon v. Robert Lewis Henley aka Sonny Henley, No. 523, Ore. App.; 2016 Ore. App. LEXIS 1341).