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).
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.).
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).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on July 29 awarded Choice Hotels International Inc. triple damages plus $1.18 million of infringer profits in a trademark infringement case against defendants who bought a North Myrtle Beach hotel from one of Choice Hotels' former franchisees and operated a "virtually identical business with a virtually identical name on the very same property" (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Zeal LLC, et al., No. 4:13-01961, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99342).
HOUSTON - A cooperation clause applies to an insured's conduct in declining a settlement in an underlying lawsuit over a faulty flex connector, a Texas federal judge ruled July 29, also finding that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether the insured breached that duty (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99896).
BOSTON - Saying their claims under the meningitis outbreak settlement are being held up by the federal government delay, 154 Virginia plaintiffs on Aug. 1 asked the New England Compounding Center (NECC) multidistrict litigation court to order the tort trustee to make distributions without delay, to give the federal government a deadline for a lien agreement and to order the trustee to stop imposing other lien requirements on the claimants (In Re: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2419, No. 13-md-2419, D. Mass.).
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.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly construed the terms "specified connection" and "UL connections" in a dispute over wireless communication patents, according to an Aug. 1 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of defendant Apple Inc. (Wi-LAN USA Inc., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1256, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13860).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's decision that upheld a verdict of patent invalidity and noninfringement following a seven-day jury trial was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 1 (GPNE Corp. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1825, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13862).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 affirmed the dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition (UCL) in relation to a contract for the supply of polysilicon based on forum non conveniens (Adema Technologies Inc., et al. v. Wacker Chemical Corp., et al., No. 14-16618, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13742).
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).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 upheld a federal district court's $115,279.33 judgment in favor of a mortgage lender and against a force-placed flood insurer in a dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac damage (Alfred Cotton, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, No. 15-31005, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13962).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Century Indemnity Co. moved in a federal court in New York on July 28 to intervene in an asbestos reinsurance billing dispute for the purpose of opposing a reinsured's motion to seal certain documents (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).