LOS ANGELES - A company that rebroadcasts copyrighted programs over the Internet may be entitled to a compulsory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act, a California federal judge ruled July 24, distinguishing the case from a recent related U.S. Supreme Court ruling and disagreeing with a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on the topic (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. FilmOn X LLC, et al., No. 2:12-cv-06921, and NBCUniversal Media LLC, et al. v. FilmOn X LLC, et al., No. 2:12-cv-06950, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Wisconsin federal judge's decision to grant judgment as a matter of law that various claims of three patents are invalid as obvious was reversed and remanded by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 (Circuit Check Inc. v. QXQ Inc., No. 15-1155, Fed. Cir.).
NEW YORK - The federal judge overseeing the multidistrict ignition-switch litigation against General Motors LLC (New GM) on July 24 denied the automaker's request for a broad-based order enjoining the use of pretrial discovery materials for nonlitigation purposes (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois did not err when finding that a trucking company could not pursue a contribution claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) against parties with which it previously entered into a settlement agreement and properly sanctioned the company $200,000 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 11, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 27 (United States of America v. Rogers Carnage Company, et al., Nos. 12-3624, 13-3052, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12926).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 27 found that a borrower's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) were valid but that her damages claims failed and that the case should be dismissed with leave to replead (Elina Zaychick v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 9:15-CV-80336, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 97514).
TRENTON, N.J. - A declaratory judgment counterclaim seeking a declaration of copyright co-ownership was rejected July 27 by a New Jersey federal judge, who instead granted plaintiff TD Bank N.A. summary judgment on its allegation of copyright infringement by a former CEO (TD Bank N.A. v. Vernon W. Hill II, No. 12-7188, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97409).
PITTSBURGH - There are triable issues of fact in a subrogated insurer's professional negligence lawsuit against a contractor regarding water damage as to causation in the failure to comply with identified code and provide stamped drawings from a professional engineer for a fire sprinkler system, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled on July 27 (Insurance Company of Greater New York, as subrogee of Five Star Hotels, LLC d/b/a Holiday Inn Parkway East v. Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., No. 11-1078, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97467).
LONDON - An English appeals court on July 28 affirmed a court's decision to set aside parts of interim third-party debt orders that were issued in relation to an $8,716,477 arbitration award in favor of a petroleum corporation and against an Iraqi oil marketing company (Taurus Petroleum Limited v. State Oil Company of the Ministry of Oil, Republic of Iraq, No.  EWCA Civ 835, England and Wales App.).
BALTIMORE - A disability insurer did not wrongfully terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits because the evidence, including a surveillance video of the claimant participating in a number of physical activities, does not support the subjective severity of the claimant's condition, a Maryland federal judge said July 24 (Mario Realmuto v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 14-1386, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96559).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 27 denied a motion by Purdue Pharma L.P. to reconsider his order denying dismissal of consumer fraud claims brought by the City of Chicago and denied Chicago's motion to clarify the motion dismissing claims against six other opioid manufacturers (City of Chicago v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al., No. 14-4362, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by two Arab Americans against their former bank alleging that their accounts were wrongfully closed due to their national origin (Ali El-Hallani, et al. v. Huntington National Bank, No. 14-1827, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12906).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) July 26 announced the entry of a consent order in which FCA US LLC, also known as Chrysler Group (Chrysler), is held liable for as much as $105 million in civil penalties for violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act's (MVSA) requirements related to repairing vehicles containing safety defects (In re: FCA US LLC, AQ14-003, Recall Nos. 13V-528 and others, U.S. DOT, NHTSA).
PHILADELPHIA - U.S. Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 27 agreed to certify a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs in a long-running antitrust dispute over pay-for-delay agreements relating to generic modafinil (King Drug Company of Florence, Inc., et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 2:06-cv-1797, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's decision to dismiss copyright infringement allegations surrounding a software license agreement (SLA) and master services agreement (MSA) was affirmed July 27 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, albeit on different grounds (The AStar Group Inc. v. Manitoba Hydro, et al., No. 14-2882, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12920).
NEW YORK - An asbestosis victim's claims that an insurance company conspired with Johns-Manville Corp. to withhold information from the public on the dangers of asbestos inhalation are barred by nearly 30-year-old court orders confirming Johns-Manville's bankruptcy reorganization plan and issuing an injunction protecting the company and its insurers from such claims, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held July 27 (In re Johns Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.; 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 2455).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 27 affirmed a lower federal court's $500,000 punitive damages award in favor of a hotel property owner in a coverage dispute over August 2008 Phoenix storm damage, rejecting the insurer's argument that the award was unconstitutionally excessive (Glendale & 27th Investments LLC v. Delos Insurance Co., No. 13-16063, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12987).
NEW YORK - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's cash balance pension plan violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it defines "normal retirement age" as five years of service, which "bears no plausible relation to 'normal retirement,'" the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 23 (Timothy D. Laurent, et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, et al., No. 14-1179, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12678).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on July 22 found that a business owners insurance policy's "limitation of real estate operations" endorsement precludes coverage for an underlying negligence suit against a real estate listing agent insured, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Property-Owners Insurance Co. v. Gerald T. Powers and Phyllis J. Powers, et al., No. 73A05-1501-PL-2, Ind. App.; 2015 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 826).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina presiding over 18 lawsuits involving water intrusion caused by allegedly defective windows made by MI Windows & Doors Inc. (MIWD) on July 22 entered final approval for homeowners who suffered water damage to their homes and contractors who installed the windows, finding that the agreement was fair and reasonable and that the proposed classes in the settlement agreement satisfied the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (In re MI Windows & Doors Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2333, Case No. 12-mn-0001, D. S.C.).
ST. LOUIS - An accident reconstruction expert can offer several opinions on who caused a crash between a tractor-trailer and a car but cannot opine about gouge marks in the road at the crash scene because such testimony is too speculative, a Missouri federal judge ruled July 24 (Diana Boren, et al. v. Smith Motor Freight, Inc., et al., No. 4:14-cv-00437, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96706).
PHILADELPHIA - An avionics lead filed a class complaint on July 23 in Pennsylvania federal court accusing his employer of illegally rounding off the hours worked by nonexempt employees (Joshua Lane, et al. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, et al., No. 15-4106, E.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 23 granted preliminary approval of a $12 million settlement in a class action lawsuit accusing a tuna manufacturer and distributor of under-filling its products in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) and approved the plaintiff's plan of allocation over the defendant's objections (Patrick Hendricks v. Starkist Co., No. 13-729, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96390).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on July 27 said it is investigating the risk of deposits of the contrast agent gadolinium in human brains after repeated use.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A Illinois appeals panel on July 22 upheld the Pollution Control Board's ruling finding that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) properly responded to public comments regarding its decision to award a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination system (NPDES) permit to a coal-fired electric generating facility and that the agency was not required to establish a case-by-case basis for determining if the energy supplier was using the best available technology for limiting its discharges of mercury (Natural resources Defense Council, et al. v. The Pollution Control Board, et al., No. 4-14-0644, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 559).
BOSTON - An underlying claim alleging health and safety code violations based on the presence of lead in fabrics manufactured by an insured does not constitute a "suit" pursuant to the terms of an insurance policy, the Massachusetts Appeals Court said July 22 in affirming that an insurer owes no coverage for the underlying claim alleged against the insured (30 Magaziner Realty LLC et al., v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-P-790, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 782).