CLEVELAND - Expert testimony attributing a man's mesothelioma to cumulative exposure to asbestos in automobile brakes simply dresses up the theory that every exposure leads to disease in new clothing and is inadmissible under Ohio law, a manufacturer and its amici curiae told the state's highest court on June 15 (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 2016-1372, Ohio Sup.).
HAMBURG, Germany - The president of the International Tribunal for the Law of The Sea (ITLOS) on June 12 issued the annual report for the tribunal, noting several important rulings and appointments.
OAKLAND, Calif. - San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) was hit with a putative class complaint in California federal court May 22, with one of its mass transit passengers claiming that the organization's smartphone application surreptitiously collects the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers associated with users' phones, as well as their precise locations, in violation of state and federal law (Pamela Moreno v. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, et al., No. 4:17-cv-02911, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 15 rejected the fourth request filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to disqualify an arbitrator in a case filed by two Venezuelan entities who assert violations of a bilateral investment treaty, finding that it failed to show that the arbitrator's assistant is employed by a law firm that allegedly represented interests that were adverse to Venezuela (Fabrica De Vidrios Los Andres C.A., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/12/21, ICSID).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected a state law unfair competition plaintiff's effort to apply the Lanham Act's "establishment claim" standard outside the context of a Lanham Act claim, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Serena Kwan, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. SanMedica International, No. 15-15496, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6995).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on April 19 certified a class of retirees in a suit filed by an employer seeking a court declaration that a union has the authority to agree to changes in retiree medical benefits for those persons who retired after a 1996 class action settlement that provided the retirees with medical benefits without violating federal law (Barnes Group, Inc. v. International Union United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, et al., No. 16-559, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59761).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Audio products and electronic systems manufacturer Harman International Industries Inc. will pay more than $28 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former executive officers concealed issues with the company's line of personal navigation devices (PND) in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed April 19 in the District of Columbia federal court (In re Harman International Industries Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-1757, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Taxi drivers who lease cabs to pick up passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona are in business for themselves and not economically dependent on AAA Cab Service Inc. and are not employees under federal or state law, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 27 in the drivers' consolidated class action, affirming a trial court's grant of summary judgment in AAA Cab (Ivan Pentchev Iontchev, et al. v. AAA Cab Service, Inc., et al., No. 15-15789, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5326).
NEW YORK - An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin's two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190219/2016, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 900, In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Bertle Stromholm, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190177/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 granted a petition for rehearing filed by defendants in an action to confirm a $48 million arbitral award issued by the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Court of Arbitration for the purpose of correcting its previous instructions to the district court with instructions that the district court apply New York law to the remaining issues of the case (CBF Industria de Gusa S/A, et al. v. Amci Holdings Inc., No. 15-1133, 15-1146, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3815).
TORONTO - An energy firm on Feb. 28 announced that a Canadian court has recognized and enforced an arbitral award issued pursuant to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) against Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
DAYTON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 15 ruled that Garrett Day LLC and the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) can pursue claims for cost recovery under Section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Ohio Volunteer Action Program (VAP) but that they could not pursue a claim for common-law nuisance because they do not own land adjacent to the contamination (Garrett Day, LLC, et al. v. International Paper, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-36, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21643).
HAMBURG, Germany - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Jan. 16 announced that it will hold a hearing on the merits in a dispute over the maritime boundary between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire next month (Ghana v. Cote d'Ivoire, No. 23, ITLOS).
NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a Chinese online retailer and others have failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or omissions in support of their claim that the defendants concealed their intention to shut down the company's beauty supply marketplace in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 10 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss certain claims (In re Jumei International Holding Limited Securities Litigation, No. 14-9826, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3206).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Dec. 12 agreed to hear an appeal concerning whether New Jersey law applies to insurance allocation determinations in an asbestos coverage dispute and whether the insured has to share in those coverage allocations after excess coverage for the asbestos bodily injury claims was no longer available (Continental Insurance Co., et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. A-21-16, N.J. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing a Delaware federal judge's incorrect instruction to jurors regarding the law on inducement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 vacated a verdict of infringement of two patents (Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1329, -1388, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21975).
LONDON - An England and Wales justice on Nov. 10 granted an application filed by two gas companies to enforce a $74 million arbitration award that was issued in their favor by a tribunal in Singapore, rejecting an Indonesian entity's application to set aside the award under English arbitration law (PT Transportasi Gas Indonesia V. ConocoPhillips [Grissik] Ltd PetroChina International Jabung Ltd., No.  EWHC 2834 [Comm], England and Wales High, Comm.).