MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A psychologist can testify about whether a fitness exam for an airport police officer was job related and consistent with business necessity but must wait until trial for a determination on whether the officer's supervisor acted in a reasonable and prudent manner by relieving the officer of duty and referring her for the exam, a Tennessee federal judge held June 25 (Rosalyn Small v. Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, et al., No. 2:13-cv-02437, W.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82523).
LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly concluded that an employer shifted the burden of summary judgment and that plaintiffs failed to create triable issues, a California appeals court held June 24 (Teresa Quiroz, et al. v. BNSF Railway Co., No. B250165, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4426).
NEW YORK - In an electronic order, a federal judge in New York on June 25 unsealed a number of related reinsurance disputes and ordered that a consolidated complaint be filed (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-01165; National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-02939; National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03310 and National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 23 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss an office supply company insured's counterclaim alleging that it is entitled to declaratory relief regarding the insurer's indemnification duties in an underlying lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and civil conspiracy (Sentinel Insurance Co. v. Yorktown Industries Inc., No. 14 CV 4212, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81419).
NEW YORK - A New York federal court properly limited or excluded expert testimony for three defendants convicted of submitting false disability claims to the Long Island Railroad's (LIRR) Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and properly allowed expert testimony by a government witness, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 22 in affirming the convictions (United States of America v. Joseph Rutigliano, et al., Nos. 14-152, 14-759, 14-1339, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10425).
BOSTON - A professional engineer expert can testify about the design of a metal treestand that broke when a deer hunter stepped on it, sending the hunter falling to the ground, because the expert is sufficiently qualified and his testimony is relevant and reliable, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled June 23 (David Garfield v. Gorilla, Inc., et al., No. 13-12810, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81236).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 25 allowed an industrial hygienist's asbestos-exposure testimony, over defense complaints that he lacked sufficient experience with mastics or adhesives. The judge previously admitted deposition testimony finding that an insurer's interests were represented by a predecessor in interest and said plaintiffs could raise challenges to defense experts in cross-examination (Sally Gros Vedros, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., et al., No. 11-1198, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82672).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Ford Motor Co. and a woman who claims that it fatally exposed her husband to asbestos settled the action after five days of trial, according to a June 24 docket entry. The federal judge overseeing the case previously declined to sanction Ford for failing to produce certain documents, citing the plaintiff's familiarity with the testimony (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Olga Pavlick, et al. v. Advance Stores Company Inc., et al., No. 10-174, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81504).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on June 23 denied dueling motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from alleged breaches of contractual obligations under two promissory notes and a consulting agreement by the insured and its directors and officers (Intelligent Digital Systems LLC, et al. v. Beazley Insurance Company Inc., No. 12-1209, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82742).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 23, in a ruling affirming the dismissal of a class complaint, declined to expand the coverage of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act to online transactions (Michael Ambers, et al. v. Buy.com, Inc., No. 13-55953, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10614).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana federal jury on June 23 awarded a former Union Pacific Railroad Co. employee, who accused the company of retaliation, $375,000 in damages (Jeffrey Davis v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 12-2738, W.D. La.).
INDIANAPOLIS - An exception to the Indianapolis no-smoking ordinance for satellite facilities constitutes unconstitutional disparate treatment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled June 24 (Whistle Stop Inn Inc., et al. v. City of Indianapolis, et al., No. 49A02-1407-MI-519, Ind. App.).
ELGIN, Ill. - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured against underlying allegations of improper design and implementation of a solution to logistical and supply chain processes, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed June 25 (Century Surety Co. v. Winchester Industrial Controls LLC, No. 2-14-0969, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1403).
CHICAGO - Less than a month after it was determined that most of the part-time faculty of a Chicago-based university may vote on union representation because the university failed to meet its burden of establishing that those employees serve a religious function, the National Labor Relations Board Region 13 acting regional director on June 23 ruled that the same university is subject to the NLRB's jurisdiction in an organizing dispute with its full- and regular part-time housekeepers (Saint Xavier University and Service Employees International Union Local 1, No. 13-92296, NLRB Region 13).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In conjunction with a recently filed motion seeking approval of their settlement of claims against Adobe Systems Inc. related to a 2013 data breach, the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action on June 24 filed a motion for attorney fees in California federal court in light of the pending settlement that they assert confers "a significant benefit" on millions of Adobe product users nationwide (In re Adobe Systems Inc. Privacy Litigation, No. 5:13:cv-05226, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge's determination that a patent case was not exceptional was reversed, in part, by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 25 insofar as the ruling was based on a prevailing defendant's alleged misconduct (Gaymar Industries Inc. v. Cincinnati Sup-Zero Products Inc., No. 14-1174, Fed. Cir.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on June 25 denied Carolina Water Service Inc.'s motion to dismiss a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit brought by Congaree Riverkeeper Inc., finding that the group has standing to pursue a claim that the company is violating the act by failing to connect its wastewater treatment facility to the regional system and that the claim is timely because it constitutes an ongoing violation (Congaree Riverkeeper Inc. v. Carolina Water Services Inc., No. 15-cv-194, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82387).