DENVER - A Domino's Pizza franchisor employs a flawed method to determine its per-trip reimbursement rate for its delivery drivers, causing their wages to fall below minimum wage during some or all workweeks, a former driver alleges in her class complaint filed Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Kaylee Wilson, et al. v. DFL Pizza, LLC, No. 18-109, D. Colo.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 11 adopted a federal magistrate judge's recommendations and sent a class complaint alleging that the printing of more than five digits of credit card numbers on receipts violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act back to an Illinois state court (Anita Parker, et al. v. J. Crew Grp., Inc., et al., No. 17-1214, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5360).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a joint motion to dismiss a petition to vacate and a cross-petition to confirm a $18,068,685 international arbitral award issued in a dispute over a contract for the excavation of tunnels as part of a project for the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Guatemala (Cobra Infraestructuras Hidraulicas S.A. v. Societa Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici, S.p.A., et al., No. 17-23664, S.D. Fla.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer breached its contract by refusing to pay its share of losses arising out of the settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer says in a Jan. 16 complaint filed in the Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Claims of asbestos exposure from pipe insulation aboard railway passenger cars do not clearly implicate federal statutes governing locomotives or safety appliances and avoid preemption, a federal judge in Kansas held Jan. 12 (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5794).
NEW YORK - The attorney representing a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for injuries, only to have it reversed, on Jan. 16 filed a letter with the presiding judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that the special masters in the case "have chosen to utterly ignore" the issues the attorney raised concerning fees. Moreover, he contends that there are "ethical problems" with the billing process the special masters used (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., Case No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appellate panel on Jan. 16 affirmed the dismissal of a medical malpractice suit against a doctor and the practice he worked, ruling that the trial court did not err in finding that the plaintiff's expert affidavit did not sufficiently show a chain of causation (Ludwig P. Sansom v. Jack W. Gordon, et al., No. A17-0721, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. LEIS 38).
NEWARK, N.J. - Statements made by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a pet food company and certain of its executive officers in 2015 investor earnings calls were not forward-looking or protected by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), and the lead plaintiff has shown that the defendants knew that their statements were false when they made them, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 12 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Gary Curran v. Freshpet Inc., et al., No. 16-2263, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5833).
BILLINGS, Mont. - A federal judge in Montana on Jan. 16 denied a motion to dismiss a 14-count indictment filed by a transportation company and its owner accused of concealing from their insurer that they were transporting explosives, finding that the allegations in the indictment sufficiently support conviction (United States of America v. Woody's Trucking LLC, et al., No. CR 17-138, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6816).
NEW YORK - It is unclear whether a federal district court properly applied the correct standard in determining that defendants in a securities class action lawsuit failed to properly rebut the presumption of reliance by a preponderance of the evidence as required pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 12 in vacating and remanding the lower court's grant of class certification (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 16-0250, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 810).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 affirmed the guilty verdicts and six-year prison sentence for a woman who kept illegal Mexicans in her home, where she abused them and forced them to perform slave labor, after finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing an expert to testify about "trauma bonds" between abusers and victims (United States of America v. Olga Sandra Murra, No. 17-10117, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 906).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Citing overlapping issues with an underlying state court declaratory judgment action, a North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 12 dismissed a coverage dispute between commercial general liability insurers with regard to a duty to defend a mutual insured and additional insureds in construction defects cases (Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-253, W.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5655).
SAN FRANCISCO - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart favors men in pay, promotions and other opportunities, and leadership fosters an environment where women are marginalized and demeaned, one female attorney and nonequity shareholder of the firm alleges in her class and collective action complaint seeking more than $300 million, filed Jan. 12 in a California federal court (Dawn Knepper, et al. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., No. 18-303, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari by Wisconsin's Labor and Industry Review Commission seeking to overturn a decision by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that found that a magistrate judge lacks authority to enter final judgment when the unserved defendant has not consented to a magistrate judge's exercise of authority (Labor and Industry Review Commission of the State of Wisconsin v. Tracey Coleman, No. 17-579, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 650).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Health insurer Blue Shield of California and a class of people who claim that the company improperly denied coverage for mental health services reached a $7 million agreement resolving the case on Jan. 15 (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No. 16-2848, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92573).
ST. LOUIS - An expert witness for a minor asserting medical malpractice claims cannot offer an opinion that injuries to the minor limit the youth's ability to stand or walk to "perhaps as much as a maximum of four hours per day" because it is only speculation, though the expert's other testimony is admissible, a Missouri federal judge ruled Jan. 12 (J.B. v. Missouri Baptist Hospital of Sullivan, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01394, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5785).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 11 granted a construction company's motion to reconsider a ruling denying its motion to dismiss, finding that the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (SCWCC) should determine if an insurance policy issued to the company was in place at the time a man's claim was filed (Owners Insurance Company v. Warren Mechanical LLC, No. 16-cv-0668-DCN, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5187).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 16 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Delaware federal judge erred in basing her decision to deny a patent assignee and licensee injunctive relief on an erroneous claim construction that excluded various accused L'Oreal USA Inc. products (Liqwd Inc., et al., v. L'Oreal USA Inc., et al., No. 17-2295, Fed. Cir.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a liquor liability insurance policy's assault and battery exclusion relieves the insurer of its duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit that resulted in a $3.5 million consent judgment against its bar owner insured (Jane Doe v. Hudson Specialty Insurance Company, No. 17-11642, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 784).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a University of Kentucky professor who alleges that during his removal as chair of a university department, he was denied liberty and property without due process of law (Richard A. Crosby, PhD v. Eli Capilouto, et al., No. 17-723, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 746).
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. filed an answer in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup in California federal court on Jan. 16 denying that exposure to the herbicide "did or could have caused" non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as alleged by a specific plaintiff (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Kevin McNew v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 17-6858, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A data and metrics provider for the media, advertising and marketing industries will pay $110 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former officers and directors violated federal securities law by engaging in a massive accounting fraud, lead plaintiffs claim in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement and stipulation of settlement filed Jan. 12 in New York federal court (Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association, et al. v. comScore Inc., et al., No. 16-1820, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a retiree seeking reinstatement of terminated health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (George W. Mathias v. United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, et al., No. 17-740, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 denied a motion to stay a certified class action seeking wages for time spent going through bag checks and unreimbursed business expenses pending decisions by the California Supreme Court in two cases concerning wages, finding "a fair possibility" of harm to class members with a stay (Jimmy Greer, et al. v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., et al., No. 15-1063, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4711).
NEW YORK - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company and certain of its current and former executive officers failed to plead any material misrepresentation or omissions or scienter to support his federal securities law claim that the defendants concealed that the company's former CEO neglected his responsibilities to the company while secretly exercising control over another company that did significant business with the energy company, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Jeffrey Fries v. Northern Oil & Gas Inc., et al., No. 16-6543, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5307).