OAKLAND, Calif. - The developer of Pokemon Go, a popular "augmented reality" game that is played on smartphones, is liable for nuisance for placing virtual parts of the game known as "Pokestops" and "Pokemon gyms" on or adjacent to private property, a New Jersey man alleges in a class complaint filed July 29 in a California federal court (Jeffrey Marder, et al. v. Niantic, Inc., et al., No. 16-4300, N.D. Calif.).
LAS VEGAS - A registered nurse may not testify that a woman injured in a slip and fall at a Wal-Mart store will need a life-care plan valued at more than $3 million because the nurse did not consult with the woman's treating physicians, a Nevada federal judge ruled July 29, excluding the testimony (Robbin L. Lologo and Vincent J. Lologo v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, No. 13-1493, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100559).
LOS ANGELES - A police detective may testify on interpreting coded language in conversations between an alleged drug dealer and a confidential informant (CI), a California federal judge ruled July 29, refusing to exclude his testimony (United States of America v. Brian Sawyers, No. 15-00070, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99688).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Quicken Loans Inc.'s rules barring mortgage bankers from disclosing a broad array of personnel information or criticizing the company without written consent violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because "they unreasonably burden the employees' ability to discuss legitimate employment matters, to protest employer practices, and to organize," a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 29 (Quicken Loans, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1231, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13778).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court regarding whether the notice and repair process set forth in Florida Statutes Chapter 558 constitutes a "suit" within the meaning of commercial general liability insurance policies (Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-12816, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14005).
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).
DALLAS - Five DePuy Pinnacle hip plaintiffs on Aug. 1 asked a Texas federal judge to reconsider his reduction of their punitive damage awards, arguing that because the state's punitives cap differentiates between high-income and low-income plaintiffs, it is unconstitutional (Margaret Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-1071, Jacqueline Christopher v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-194, Donald Greer v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1672, Susan Klusmann v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-2800, Robert Peterson v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-1941, In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas).
NEW YORK - Despite an annulment ruling in a Mexican court, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 affirmed a district court's decision to confirm a $400 million award issued in favor of a Mexican corporation in a dispute over underlying contracts for the construction of offshore platforms (Corporacion Mexicana De Mantenimiento Intergral, S. De R.L. De C.V. v. Pemex-Exploracion Y, No. 13-4022, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 partially granted and partially denied motions to exclude filed by the automaker and the plaintiff in the fifth bellwether trial by saying that the automaker will be allowed to present testimony about the results of a blood test that indicates that the plaintiff may have had alcohol in her system when her car crashed (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge held July 29 that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify professional race car driver Anthony Wayne Stewart against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a fellow race car driver (Axis Insurance Co. v. Anthony Wayne Stewart, No. 15-1131, N.D. N.Y.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Because a disability claimant did not have a "meaningful opportunity' to submit additional evidence in support of her claim and because the plan did not explain what "objective medical findings" are, a district court erred in granting the plan's motion summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal said July 29 in reversing the district court's ruling (Barbara Scoles v. Intel Corporation Long Term Disability Benefit Plan, No. 13-36167, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13819).
LAS VEGAS - Doctors may testify that by not instructing a patient to discontinue Probenecid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the government and one of its Veterans Affairs doctors reduced a substantial chance for a more favorable recovery, a Nevada federal judge ruled July 28, denying a request to exclude the testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit (Rosa Carrion, as surviving spouse and heir of Jose Carrion, deceased v. United States of America and Dr. William Dodge, No. 13-00419, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99519).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 29 allowed two separate but related putative class actions filed on behalf of Domino's pizza delivery drivers against their Domino's franchise employers to proceed, although limited to one class that signed an arbitration agreement and one class that did not (Atila Adolfo Tigges, et al. v. AM Pizza Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-10136, and Tylor Reeves, et al. v. PMLRA Pizza, et al., No. 1:16-cv-10474, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100366).
SAN FRANCISCO - Pursuant to California law, an arbitrator is the appropriate party to decide whether an arbitration agreement allows arbitration on a classwide basis, a divided California Supreme Court ruled July 28, holding that the question is a procedural matter, not a gateway question of arbitrability (Timothy Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., et al., No. S220812, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 6246).
FRESNO, Calif. - After previously finding that a food company employee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Labor Code were cognizable, a California federal judge on Aug. 1 refused to dismiss the claims or, in the alternative, to grant interlocutory appellate certification (Jerrod Finder, on behalf of himself and class of others similarly situated v. Leprino Foods Co., et al., No. 1:13-CV-02059, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100417).
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 set the criteria for four bellwether trials (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, No. 14-md-2592, E.D. La.).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 1 dismissed an insurance fraud lawsuit brought by State Farm Automobile Insurance Co. after finding that the insurer was unable to sufficiently establish that complete diversity existed between the parties (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Elite Health Centers Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-12380, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99958).
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).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California judge on July 28 ordered an insurer into conservatorship and named the state's insurance commissioner as conservator (Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. CastlePoint National Insurance Company, and DOES 1-50, No. CPF-16-515183, Calif. Super., San Francisco).
DENVER - A Colorado appellate panel on July 28 found that a trial court correctly found that a woman who injured herself while looking at a house for sale was a "trespasser" under Colorado's Premises Liability Act and affirmed the court's order (Ellyn Rucker v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., No. 2016COA114, App. Colo.; 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 1038).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on July 29 denied an insurer's motion for reconsideration of an earlier ruling granting in part and denying in part a pair of summary judgment motions, ruling that the insurer's interpretation of the opinion for the earlier ruling is "overreaching" (The Burlington Insurance Co. v. Eden Cryogenics LLC, et al., No. 14-0066, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99692).