SAN FRANCISCO - An award of an attorney fee out of a common fund calculated as a percentage of a settlement amount in not per se unreasonable, the California Supreme Court ruled Aug. 11 in the appeal of a nearly $6.34 million attorney fee approved as part of a $19 million class action employment settlement (Mark Laffitte, et al. v. Robert Half International Inc., et al., No. S222996, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 6387).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A neurosurgeon may not testify in a strict product liability lawsuit that a woman would not have suffered significant injury were it not for her chronic degenerative condition, an Oregon federal judge ruled Aug. 10, barring the opinion that the woman would have become paralyzed at some point in the future as irrelevant (Jeanie Chong v. STL International Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 14-244, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105512).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A request by a patent infringement defendant to transfer its dispute with a competitor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas should be denied, a Delaware federal magistrate judge recommended Aug. 11 (Smith International Inc. v. Baker Hughes Inc., No. 16-56, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105481).
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions by a patent infringement defendant that a plaintiff committed false advertising and defamation in a letter it sent to the defendant's current and prospective customers were rejected on summary judgment Aug. 8 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SDN BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104380).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 announced that it will rehear en banc a case in which a panel previously found that 401(k) plan participants challenging the selection and retention of certain mutual funds forfeited their right to argue that their employer and its benefits plan failed to adequately monitor those investments because the argument was never raised before a California federal judge or in their initial appeal (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 10-56406, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14413).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lao Holdings N.V. on Aug. 3 announced that it has filed an amended request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), seeking damages from the government of Laos in relation to alleged breaches of a 2014 settlement agreement that resolved a dispute over an investment in the Laos gaming industry.
PARIS - After finding that a Cyprus company was not an investor under the terms of a bilateral investment treaty, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Aug. 2 released an award, finding that it lacked jurisdiction over an arbitration commenced against Montenegro in relation to its investment in an aluminum facility (CEAC Holdings Limited v. Montenegro, No. ARB/14/8, ICSID).
ST. LOUIS - A former employee of a freight shipping company who spent time loading trailers for interstate transportation falls within the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) exemption and is not owed overtime, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 28 (Glenn Williams, et al. v. Central Transport International, Inc., et al., No. 15-2201, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13718).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on July 29 awarded Choice Hotels International Inc. triple damages plus $1.18 million of infringer profits in a trademark infringement case against defendants who bought a North Myrtle Beach hotel from one of Choice Hotels' former franchisees and operated a "virtually identical business with a virtually identical name on the very same property" (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Zeal LLC, et al., No. 4:13-01961, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99342).
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Honeywell International Inc. and Georgia Power Co. on July 29 agreed to pay $28.6 million to remove and isolate contaminated sediment at the LCP Chemicals Superfund site in Brunswick, according to a consent decree filed in Georgia federal court (United States of America v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-112, S.D. Ga.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 27 rejected an Indian tribe's bid to dismiss a petition filed by a labor union seeking to force the tribe to arbitrate a dispute over the firing of two casino employees (Unite Here International Union v. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, No. 2:16-cv-00384, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98255).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Because a pollution exclusion does not define what constitutes pollution or contamination, the exclusion is ambiguous and cannot be construed as a bar to coverage, an Indiana federal judge determined July 25 in denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Old Republic Insurance Co. v. Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, No. 15-281, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96361).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that Venezuela submitted no new information in its sixth proposal to disqualify and arbitrator, two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 26 denied its request to disqualify the arbitrator in the case (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/07/30, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 20 released a declarative decision, stating that tribunals appointed in an investment dispute filed by a resource company against the People's Republic of Bangladesh and others have exclusive jurisdiction over the cases and that the respondents must take steps to make the Bangladesh courts aware of ICSID's jurisdiction over the case (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
PARIS - After determining that the Renco Group Inc. failed to establish that the Republic of Peru consented to arbitration under a treaty, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 19 released its award dismissing all of the group's claims against Peru for lack of jurisdiction (The Renco Group, Inc. v. Republic of Peru, No. [UNCT/13/1], ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 14 released its order in an arbitration commenced by a group of investors against the Republic of Costa Rica, establishing procedures for the production of documents in the case (David R. Aven, et al. v. The Republic of Costa Rica, No. UNCT/15/3, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner's efforts to have the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correct a claim construction rendered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board were unsuccessful on July 15, when the panel found that it lacks appellate jurisdiction (SkyHawke Technologies LLC v. Deca International Corp., Nos. 2016-1325, 2016-1326, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12977).
PARIS - The International Court of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on July 13 issued a revised practice note, launching new steps for informing parties and arbitral tribunals on whether arbitration awards under review were approved.
LONDON - A Malaysian development firm named as a respondent in a case filed by a petroleum firm with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on July 11 said it has filed its formal response, agreeing to the request for arbitration.
WILMINGTON, Del. - Ford Motor Co. on July 6 joined in a motion by Honeywell International Inc. seeking access to asbestos claimants' data in the Chapter 11 case of W.R. Grace & Co. to review the information for evidence of fraud in the tort system by asbestos plaintiffs and their attorneys (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Reorganized Chapter 11 debtors Specialty Products Holding Corp. and affiliate Bondex International Inc. filed their first omnibus objection to asbestos personal injury claims July 6 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, saying the claims are now the responsibility of the debtors' asbestos trust (In re: Specialty Products Holding Corp., et al., No. 10-11780, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Ford Motor Co. on July 6 joined in two motions filed in Delaware federal bankruptcy court by Honeywell International Inc. seeking access to asbestos claimants' data in the Chapter 11 cases of W.R. Grace & Co. and The Flintkote Co. to review the information for evidence of fraud in the tort system by asbestos plaintiffs and their attorneys (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.; In re: The Flintkote Co., No. 04-11300, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 29 denied a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) sought to stop the Internal Revenue Service from tapping a pension plan to collect back taxes (Jim Nemlowill v. United States of America, No. 16CV1642, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84843).
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica - A Costa Rican plantation owner on July 1 said that it will challenge a $32 million international arbitration award issued for a producer and distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables.
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in Texas on June 22 partially granted and partially denied two separate motions to dismiss from General Motors LLC and U-Haul International Inc. in a suit in which the surviving family members of a woman and her younger brother alleged that design defects in a car and a trailer caused their car to roll over, which led to their deaths (Maria Barragan, et al v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. SA-15-CV-854-DAE, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80984).