LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 4th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Securities Suit For Failure To Plead Scienter

RICHMOND, Va. - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy provider and its CEO have failed to show that the CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting to investors that the company had secured a contract renewal with a large customer because they have not shown that he knew his statements were misleading at the time he made them, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15 in affirming a federal judge's dismissal of the action (Maguire Financial LP, et al. v. PowerSecure International Inc., et al., No. 16-2163, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22968).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Confirms $2.1M ICC Award For Bulgarian Machine Company

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted a Bulgarian machine-building company's petition to confirm a $2,119,167.79 international arbitral award issued against a California company, finding that enforcement of the award was not against public policy (TMCO Ltd. v. Green Light Energy Solutions R&D Corp., No. 4:17-cv-00997, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188362).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 4th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Securities Suit For Failure To Plead Scienter

RICHMOND, Va. - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy provider and its CEO have failed to show that the CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting to investors that the company had secured a contract renewal with a large customer because they have not shown that he knew his statements were misleading at the time he made them, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15 in affirming a federal judge's dismissal of the action (Maguire Financial LP, et al. v. PowerSecure International Inc., et al., No. 16-2163, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22968).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Judge: Nonprofit Energy Companies Sufficiently Stated Claims Over Costs

BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on Nov. 3 denied Louisiana Generating LLC's motion for a more definite statement, finding that two nonprofit energy cooperative corporations sufficiently stated claims that the defendant company may have violated power supply and service agreements by charging them for costs associated with the remediation of environmental conditions at the Big Cajun II generating plant (Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative, Inc., et al. v. Louisiana Generating, LLC, No. 17-405-JJB-RLB, M.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182387).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit: Group Can Pursue RCRA Claim Over Storm Water Discharges

SAN FRANCISCO - The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's (RCRA) anti-duplication provision does not preclude the statute's application to discharges of storm water from an energy company that also allegedly violate the Clean Water Act (CWA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 2 (Ecological Rights Foundation v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 15-15424, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21597).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Power Company To Pay $22.2M To Reduce Volatile Organic Compound Emissions

DENVER - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 31 announced that the federal government, state of Colorado and PDC Energy Inc. reached an agreement in Colorado federal court, wherein the company would spend $22.2 million to resolve allegations that its emissions contained excessive levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that violated the Clean Air Act (United States of America, et al. v. PDC Energy, Inc., No. 17-1552, D. Colo.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - North Dakota: EPA Documents Call For Change In Cases Pertaining To Waste Disposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The state of North Dakota on Oct. 26 filed a notice of supplemental authority in District of Columbia federal court contending that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has issued documents that "represent a significant change" regarding litigation pertaining to the nondiscretionary duty under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to review and, if necessary, revise regulations for wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of crude oil, natural gas or geothermal energy (Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, No. 17-5010, D.C. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Awards $650,000 In Copyright, Trademark Case

CHICAGO - A defendant who sold counterfeit "Monster Energy" products online was ordered by an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 23 to pay Monster Energy Co. $650,000 in damages in connection with allegations of copyright and trademark infringement (Monster Energy Company v. Zheng Peng, et al., No. 17-414, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175287).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Variable Electricity Pricing Class Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss with prejudice a breach of contract class claim brought by a Pennsylvania resident who claimed that an energy company violated its service contract by raising the rates each month (John D. Orange, et al. v. Starion Energy PA, Inc., et al., No. 16-1949, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19939).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Company: Battery Maker Has Duty To Indemnify In Fracking Injury Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - A hydraulic fracturing company on Oct. 9 filed a brief in an Oklahoma federal court arguing that the company that made a lithium battery pack that exploded on a fracking rig and injured a worker has a direct duty under Oklahoma law to indemnify the fracking operator because the explosion was caused by an allegedly defective design (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al. and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Panel Partially Affirms, Denies Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

EASTLAND, Texas - A panel of the 11th District of the Texas Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 affirmed summary judgment on premises liability and negligence claims against the owner of a gas lease in a premises liability suit; however, it reversed judgment granted in favor of the lease owner on a negligent hiring claim because the lease owner did not amend its motion for summary judgment to address those claims (Evelyn Cuevas, et al. v. Endeavor Energy Resources L.P., No. 11-15-00157-CV, Texas App., 11th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9399).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Constitutes Tribunal In Energy Charter Treaty Arbitration Against Italy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Sept. 26 constituted a tribunal in an arbitration commenced by a group of exploration entities against the Italian Republic, asserting claims for violation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) (Rockhopper Italia S.p.A., Rockhopper Mediterranean Ltd, and Rockhopper Exploration Plc v. Italian Republic, No. ARB/17/14, ICSID).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Refuses To Challenge Validity Of State Agency's Radon Emissions Findings

SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on Sept. 15 awarded summary judgment to a uranium mining company after refusing to challenge the validity of a state agency's findings that the company's radon emissions were excessive and in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (Grand Canyon Trust v. Energy Fuel Resources [U.S.A.] Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-243, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150279).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Battery Company: Design Changes Caused Chemical Injury Explosion On Fracking Rig

OKLAHOMA CITY - A company that is the third-party defendant in a lawsuit brought by a man who alleges that he suffered chemical injuries from a lithium battery pack that exploded on a hydraulic fracturing rig filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court on Sept. 13, contending that the fracking company's motion for summary judgment should be denied because "at the very least" an issue of fact remains regarding whether the fracking company's design changes to the battery pack were a proximate cause of the explosion at issue (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al. and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Says It's Too Early To Dismiss Energy Firm's Claims Related To Billing

SAN FRANCISCO - Applying the reasoning in a nearly identical lawsuit, a California federal judge on Sept. 8 refused to dismiss an energy provider's claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and California's unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to a gas and electric company's alleged unlawful billing practices (Vista Energy Marketing v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, et al., No. 16-cv-04019, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145911).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Agree To Move Storage Of Spent Nuclear Fuel To Off-Site Location

SAN DIEGO - Parties in a dispute over a permit that allowed an energy company to store spent nuclear waste at the site of a decommissioned power plant in California on Aug. 25 agreed to resolve the lawsuit in a stipulation in California state court, wherein the owner of the facility agreed to move the spent nuclear fuel for off-site storage (Citizens Oversight Inc., et al. v. California Coastal Commission, et al., No. 37-2015-00037137-CU-WM-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Grants Motion To Dismiss Securities Suit Against Energy Company

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 11 granted a motion to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit filed against a solar energy company and certain of its executive officers after determining that the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege falsity and scienter (In re SolarCity Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-4686, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129137).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Wage Class Suit Parties Ordered To Accept Surveys Filed Up To 1 Month Late

CLEVELAND - The parties in a class suit over the misclassification of door-to-door salespeople that ended with a jury finding for the plaintiffs on the issue of liability for unpaid wages must accept surveys regarding the hours the affected employees worked during the overtime pay period that were filed up to a month after the April 4 deadline, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 10 (Davina Hurt, et al. v. Commerce Energy, Inc., et al., No. 12-758, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128850).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Wage Class Suit Parties Ordered To Accept Surveys Filed Up To 1 Month Late

CLEVELAND - The parties in a class suit over the misclassification of door-to-door salespeople that ended with a jury finding for the plaintiffs on the issue of liability for unpaid wages must accept surveys regarding the hours the affected employees worked during the overtime pay period that were filed up to a month after the April 4 deadline, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 10 (Davina Hurt, et al. v. Commerce Energy, Inc., et al., No. 12-758, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128850).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Asbestos Claimants Drop Appeal Due To Failure Of Energy Future's Plan

WILMINGTON, Del. - Four asbestos claimants battling Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) over its handling of asbestos claims in its plan to reorganize presented the Delaware federal court on July 21 with a proposed stipulation and order dismissing the claimants' appeal of the plan confirmation, due to EFH's inability to consummate the plan (Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 17-229, D. Del.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Federal Claims Related To PACE Programs Against Governments

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - After finding that Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs are considered tax assessments and are not regulated by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and another federal law, a California federal judge on July 17 granted a motion filed by several government entities and a company to dismiss a case against them, but remanded claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to state court (In re Hero Loan Litigation, No. 16-02478, No. 16-02491, No. 16-08943, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111771).

Mealey's Insurance - Professional Services Exclusion Bars Coverage For Pipeline Explosion, Panel Says

SAN FRANCISCO - The First District California Court of Appeal on July 11 affirmed a trial court's judgment in favor of an excess insurer after finding that its policy's professional services exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims arising from a deadly pipeline explosion (Energy Insurance Mutual Limited v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. A140656, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Delaware Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Patent Claim On Section 101 Grounds

WILMINGTON, Del. - An effort by a defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations that it infringed a patented invention that - among other things - would purportedly replace human meter readers was unsuccessful July 11, when a Delaware federal judge ruled that the case should proceed (Smart Meter Technologies Inc. v. Duke Energy Corporation, No. 16-208, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106493).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 4th Circuit: Judge Lacked Jurisdiction Over Coal Jobs Loss Suit

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 29 ruled that a federal court in West Virginia lacked jurisdiction over a lawsuit brought by coal companies contending that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had failed to undertake a nondiscretionary duty under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to evaluate how the statute was affecting jobs in the industry, finding that a "court is ill-equipped to supervise this continuous, ongoing process" (Murray Energy Corp., et al. v. Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-2432, 4th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal, State Agencies Sue Company For Emissions Of Volatile Organic Compounds

DENVER - The U.S. government and the state of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Colorado federal court on June 26, alleging that a power company is in violation the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7401, and other statutes with regard to the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (United States of America, et al. v. PDC Energy, Inc., No. 17-1552, D. Colo.).