CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by two Arab Americans against their former bank alleging that their accounts were wrongfully closed due to their national origin (Ali El-Hallani, et al. v. Huntington National Bank, No. 14-1827, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12906).
NEW YORK - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's cash balance pension plan violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it defines "normal retirement age" as five years of service, which "bears no plausible relation to 'normal retirement,'" the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 23 (Timothy D. Laurent, et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, et al., No. 14-1179, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12678).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina presiding over 18 lawsuits involving water intrusion caused by allegedly defective windows made by MI Windows & Doors Inc. (MIWD) on July 22 entered final approval for homeowners who suffered water damage to their homes and contractors who installed the windows, finding that the agreement was fair and reasonable and that the proposed classes in the settlement agreement satisfied the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (In re MI Windows & Doors Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2333, Case No. 12-mn-0001, D. S.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 23 granted preliminary approval of a $12 million settlement in a class action lawsuit accusing a tuna manufacturer and distributor of under-filling its products in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) and approved the plaintiff's plan of allocation over the defendant's objections (Patrick Hendricks v. Starkist Co., No. 13-729, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96390).
PHILADELPHIA - An avionics lead filed a class complaint on July 23 in Pennsylvania federal court accusing his employer of illegally rounding off the hours worked by nonexempt employees (Joshua Lane, et al. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, et al., No. 15-4106, E.D. Pa.).
LOS ANGELES - A dog owner whose dog died one day after being treated by a veterinarian the owner claims misrepresented her qualifications failed to show that the conduct of the vet, her supervisor or the facility violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) or that the allegations satisfied the common question requirements for proceeding as a class action, a California appellate panel ruled July 22 (Tristram Buckley v. Advanced Critical Care Los Angeles, Inc., et al., No. B253367, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5127).
PITTSBURGH - A city's building code expert witness in a dispute over the construction of an addition at a business can offer opinions about her background, building codes in general, how she performs her job in comparison to the city's code officer and how the property in question compares to similar properties, but she cannot testify about the merits of any alleged equal protection claim or the conscientiousness and reasonableness of the code officer's actions, a Pennsylvania federal judge held July 24 (Edward L. Flanders Jr. v. Fred Dzugan, et al., No. 12-1481, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96757).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 23 released its decision denying a request for provisional measures filed by Canadian resource and Swiss gas corporations against the Slovak Republic, finding that no exceptional circumstances existed that would warrant such measures (EuroGas Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. v. Slovak Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/14/14).
ST. LOUIS - An accident reconstruction expert can offer several opinions on who caused a crash between a tractor-trailer and a car but cannot opine about gouge marks in the road at the crash scene because such testimony is too speculative, a Missouri federal judge ruled July 24 (Diana Boren, et al. v. Smith Motor Freight, Inc., et al., No. 4:14-cv-00437, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96706).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After finding that parties need to provide additional information on a request to seal certain information, including a request for international arbitration, pursuant to local rules, a California federal judge on July 22 ordered a company to submit a declaration showing that parts of the motion to seal that it seeks to redact are sealable (Baysand Inc. v. Toshiba Corp., No. 15-cv-02425, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95724).
DETROIT - A mechanical engineer can testify as an expert witness that the design of a portable tree-climbing ladder caused the injuries of a hunter who fell from the ladder because the expert is qualified and his opinions are reliable and relevant, a Michigan federal judge held July 23 (Patrick Valente, et al. v. Oak Leaf Outdoors, Inc., No. 14-12892, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95819).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations by Facebook Inc.'s purported scanning of users' private messages are not permitted to compel materials from the social network's Irish affiliate, a California federal magistrate ruled July 21, finding that considerations of international comity weighed against such discovery (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95702).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 denied a motion by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation LLC (collectively, Wal-Mart) to certify an interlocutory appeal, finding Wal-Mart's questions of law to be "over-broad, argumentative and untethered" (Charles Ridgeway, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 08-5221, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94981).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 denied a motion by CVS Pharmacy Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. (collectively, CVS) to dismiss a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by pharmacy technicians and ruled that his order was no longer subject to renewal based on the defendants' "relentless litigation tactics" (Keith Robert Dean, Jr., et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 14-2136, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95248).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on July 23 granted a German company's petition to confirm a $1,320,641.38 arbitration award and the costs associated with enforcing the decision, noting that the defendants did not oppose confirmation and that the dispute was governed by the parties' underlying agreement (Garmin Wurzburg GMBH v. Automotive Imagineering & Manufacturing LLC, et al., No. 3:14-cv-02006, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95959).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 22 vacated the certification of several state classes in a lawsuit accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC and Volvo Car Corp. of selling cars with faulty sunroofs and remanded for further analysis and definition by the trial court (Joanne Neale, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., No. 14-1540, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12629).
CHICAGO - Two opposing damages experts - one for basketball great Michael Jordan and the other for two supermarket chains that Jordan says violated his right of publicity under Illinois state law - can testify on the fair market value of the chains' misappropriation of Jordan's identity in a magazine advertisement, a federal judge in Illinois held July 23 (Michael Jordan, et al. v. Dominick's Finer Foods, et al., No. 10-407, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95921).
NEW YORK - A trial court properly denied a motion by Facebook Inc. to quash warrants served on certain Facebook users, a New York appellate panel ruled July 21, find that "there is no constitutional or statutory right to challenge an alleged defective warrant before it is executed" (Facebook Inc. v. New York County District Attorney's Office, No. 30207/13 and 30178/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6067).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A group of companies that operate glass manufacturing plants and have been sued by other companies that contend that the glass manufacturers have contaminated groundwater filed a brief on July 21 in Kentucky federal court, arguing that discovery in the case should proceed strictly on the issue of class certification, with merits discovery postponed until class status is determined (Modern Holdings LLC, et al. v. Corning Incorporated, et al., No. 13-405, E.D. Ky.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two petitioners won mandamus on July 22 from a New Jersey federal judge's modified protective order that would allow courts in Korea and Japan access to proprietary information gleaned from an American patent infringement lawsuit, in what the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals deemed a case of first impression (In re: POSCO, No. 15-112, Fed. Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a group of consolidated lawsuits brought by residents who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment on July 22 excluded the residents' expert on grounds that his testimony would not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas federal magistrate judge on July 22 denied a request by two umbrella insurers to deduct $44 million from an insured's $63 million damages claim in a lawsuit over coverage for construction defects in four power plants; however, the magistrate judge ordered the insured to produce more documentation to support its claim (Black & Veatch Corp. v. Aspen Insurance [UK] Ltd., et al., No. 12-2350, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95125).
LONDON - An English oil and gas company on July 23 announced that a Swedish tribunal has issued an award on gas rental fees in an arbitration against Ukraine.
DALLAS - A promotional firm's failure to seal a summary judgment motion, which contained confidential information, is an example of its "pattern of blatantly violating confidentiality agreements," Yahoo Inc. said in a July 22 motion for sanctions in a contract and trade secrets lawsuit related to an online basketball tournament contest (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 granted final approval of a $7.15 million settlement to be paid by Foot Locker Inc. to end a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation (In Re: Foot Locker, Inc., Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-MDL-02235, E.D. Pa.).