CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on June 3 refused to certify a class for New York purchasers of Pella Corp.'s Architect Series windows, finding that the man's proposed plan of first determining if the windows contained a defect that allowed for water intrusion would still require individualized proof (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14-mn-0000, John Romig Jr., et al. v. Pella Corporation, No. 14-cv-00433, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72437).
PHILADELPHIA - Two weeks after Viacom Inc. told the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins supports dismissal of a putative class action against it under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), the plaintiffs on June 3 filed a letter arguing that Spokeo supports their position by affirming "that 'intangible' injuries may create standing" (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on June 2 excluded testimony from plaintiff's treating physicians in a slip-and-fall lawsuit because the plaintiff failed to properly disclose the experts under Federal Rule of Evidence 26(a)(2)(C) (Russia Williams v. Aramark Services, Inc., No. 14-705, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71891).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 1 per curiam opinion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Circuit of Appeals held sua sponte that it did not have jurisdiction to consider whether certain documents submitted by Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. in post-judgment proceedings in a long-running patent dispute with Apple Inc. are privileged and not subject to disclosure, holding that, per 28 U.S. Code Section 1295(a)(1), it cannot "review disclosure orders implicating attorney-client privilege" without "a final decision" (Apple Inc. v. Nokia Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., No. 2015-1857, Fed. Cir.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The advancement in fire science and arson investigation over 20 years does not constitute newly discovered evidence, a majority of the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled June 2, upholding a conviction to a man for first-degree murder and arson based upon fire expert testimony (Samuel Anstey v. David Ballard, No. 15-0067, W.Va. Sup.; 2016 W. Va. LEXIS 428).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 6 denied a petition filed by the Republic of Ecuador for certiorari in which it argued that a U.S. appeals court erred when it found that there is Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) jurisdiction over a lawsuit to confirm a $96 million arbitral award (The Republic of Ecuador v. Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company, No. 15-1088, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 overruled arguments from two attorneys seeking reversal of an order barring them from participating in the Court-Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP) related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, after finding that the judge presiding over the litigation did not impose a "professional death sentence" when finding that the attorneys violated the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct (In re Deepwater Horizon: Glen J. Lerner, et al. v. Louis J. Freeh, No. 15-30265, 5th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A trial judge did not abuse her discretion in excluding a plaintiff's causation testimony in a products liability lawsuit, a Florida appeals panel affirmed June 1 (Simona Bunin v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. f/k/a Gumtech International, Inc., et al., Nos. 4D14-3579 & 4D15-86, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8353).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 1 released its award in an arbitration commenced by a Florida company against the Dominican Republic under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), finding that the case was time-barred and that the claimant failed to satisfy the conditions of DR-CAFTA (Corona Materials LLC v. Dominican Republic, No. ARB[AF]/14/3, ICSID).
DALLAS - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and eight other organizations on June 1 sued Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Texas federal court in a bid to stop the DOL's finalized fiduciary rule, which they say "exceeds the Department's statutory authority and is arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law" (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., No. 16-cv-1476, N.D. Texas).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on May 31 ruled that he would not limit the scope of the depositions in one of the lawsuits pertaining to the lead contamination in Flint, Mich., despite the fact that witnesses may be subject to multiple depositions because of the volume of pending cases related to the water crisis (Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Khouri, et al., No. 16-10277, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70470).
NEW YORK - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit have agreed to pay $140 million to settle claims that they misrepresented a company's compliance with environmental regulations for a South American mine project in violation of federal securities laws, according to documents filed in New York federal court on May 31 (In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, No. 13-3851, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1 denied a petition for rehearing filed by shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit in which an Eighth Circuit panel reversed and remanded a federal district court's class certification ruling (IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-3178, 8th Cir.).
HELSINKI, Finland - The Finland Chamber of Commerce (FCC) on June 1 announced that it has launched mediation rules.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The China Fisheries Association (CFA) on June 1 issued a statement in which it says it supports the People's Republic of China's opposition to an arbitration commenced by the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People's Republic of China, No. 2013-19, PCA).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a May 27 ruling, U.S. Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California dismissed some of the claims against Anthem Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS) in a class action related to a 2015 data breach, granting in part the insurers' motions and disposing of some claims without leave to amend (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-md-02617, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70594).
TORONTO - A Canada-based mining company on May 30 announced that it has sent a notice of arbitration to the Kyrgyz Republic government in relation to disputes over a mining project.
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 27 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed against a Polish airline over delayed and canceled flights and rejected a proposal to deny class certification, finding that the motion to dismiss phase was the improper time to raise the arguments (Iryna Dochak, et al. v. Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A., No. 15-4344, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69632).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A stipulation limiting the amount of attorney fees cannot be used by a plaintiff in a class complaint to preclude federal jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a Missouri federal judge opined May 26 in an order clarifying a denial of remand in a class complaint over safety recalls of certain Jeep vehicles (David Faltermeier, et al. v. FCA US LLC, No. 15-491, W.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69108).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a majority ruling, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 reversed a decision to dismiss a petition to confirm a $325 million arbitration award issued against the Czech Republic Ministry of Health, finding that the Czech Republic was not entitled to sovereign immunity under the arbitration exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) (Diag Human S.E. v. Czech Republic Ministry of Health, No. 14-7142, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9770).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 26 granted preliminary approval of a settlement of a consolidated complaint accusing Shop-Vac Corp., Lowe's Home Centers Inc. and Lowe's HIW Inc. of misrepresenting certain features of wet/dry vacuums (In Re: Shop-Vac Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-2380, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69345).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 26 reversed a trial court's denial of arbitration in a class complaint accusing two billing aggregators of engaging in a scheme that caused Washington residents to unknowingly subscribe to premium text messaging services and ordered the trial court to make two additional findings before determining whether the billing aggregators may enforce an arbitration clause (Richard A. Geier, et al. v. m-Qube Inc., et al., No. 13-36080, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9640).
NEW YORK - In a majority en banc opinion, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 27 found that although government agents arguably violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by retaining hard drives containing personal files that were irrelevant to their investigation, they did so in good faith and, therefore, evidence obtained from the drives should not have been suppressed (United States of America v. Stavros M. Ganias, No. 12-240, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9706).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on May 27 dismissed a class complaint filed against a health insurance provider following a data breach, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Pamela Chambliss, et al. v. CareFirst, Inc., et al., No. 15-2288, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70096).
LAKELAND, Fla. - Because the standard in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) regarding the admissibility of expert testimony does not change the long-established rule that lay persons can identify marijuana based on their personal experience and knowledge, a Florida appeals panel on May 25 affirmed a juvenile's conviction for possession of marijuana (R.C. v. State of Florida, No. 2D15-1738, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8107).