WILMINGTON, Del. - An asbestos defendant's registration in Delaware is sufficient to create personal jurisdiction, a Delaware judge held in denying reargument on Aug. 25 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Mary Anne Hudson v. International Paper Co., et al., No. N14C-03-247, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 423).
NEWARK, N.J. - A group of lease accountants presented sufficient evidence to make a "modest factual showing" that they were similarly situated and should be granted conditional certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 21, rejecting the employers' arguments to the contrary (Paula Robles, et al. v. Vornado Realty Trust, et al., No. 15-1406, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111038).
ST. LOUIS - A defendant on Aug. 24 won dismissal by a Missouri federal judge of a request for an order requiring her to repay more than $1.3 million in allegedly erroneously issued pension payments, but she must still face claims for restitution and unjust enrichment under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Pharmacia Corporation Supplemental Pension Plan et al. v. Virginia V. Weldon, No. 14-1498, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111544).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Although a plaintiff failed to meet a court-imposed deadline for amending his copyright infringement allegations, a Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 25 found that "good cause" exists for allowing an amended complaint (Jeff Gray v. Edwin L. Javius, No. 13-905, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112066).
PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to persuade a Pennsylvania federal judge to reconsider his earlier dismissal of monopolization and unlawful restraint of trade claims in light of the recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in King Drug Co. of Florence Inc. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (791 F.3d 388 [3rd Cir. 2015]) failed Aug. 25 (Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Inc. et al., No. 14-5151, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112135).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware state judge on Aug. 21 determined that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying asbestos suits, but deferred ruling on whether the insured provided timely notice of the underlying claims (CNH Industrial America LLC v. American Casualty Company of Pennsylvania et al., No. N12C-07-108, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 418; Del. Super. LEXIS 419; Del. Super. LEXIS 420).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 21 preliminarily approved a $500,000 settlement in a wage-and-hour suit brought on behalf of a class of financial sales advisers, opining that while the amount is less than 11 percent of the total potential liability estimate given by the plaintiffs, the court's concerns may be addressed later (Cheryl Deaver v. Compass Bank, et al., No. 13-222, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111170).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 24 denied an insurance company's motion for summary judgment in a suit in which it seeks an order declaring a general commercial policy void ab initio, after finding that an insurance agent's completion of an application containing alleged misrepresentations creates a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant intended to deceive the company (Century Surety Company v. Bassam Nafel, No. 14-101-JWD-RLB, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111575).
CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 25 (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a third party's insurance bad faith claim against an insurer because the third party's bad faith claim was not brought within the one-year statute of limitations, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 21 (Michael L. Belanger v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 15-30018, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14793).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 found that a bank violated a bankruptcy court discharge injunction when it attempted to collect payments on a mortgage and affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling to award the borrowers damages and fees (Venture Bank v. Howard L. Lapides, No. 14-3085, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14939).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Aug. 24 announced that it has issued an award, finding that Russia violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) when it unlawfully seized a vessel operated by Greenpeace International and that the Netherlands is entitled to damages (The Netherlands v. Russia, No. 2014-02, PCA).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 dismissed a disability insurer's appeal for lack of jurisdiction after determining that a district court's remand of the disability suit to the plan administrator was not a final appealable order (Joseph Stevens v. Santander Holdings USA Inc. Self Insured Short Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1481, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14838).
NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge on Aug. 20 granted a computer maker's motion to dismiss a proposed class action related to a one-year warranty policy, granting the purchaser leave to amend his California law claims to include more particularity and ordering him to show why he is entitled to assert claims under California law (Maury Adkins v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 15-cv-02035, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111163).
BOSTON - A plaintiff was denied judgment on the pleadings Aug. 21 by a Massachusetts federal judge, who instead agreed with an insurer that a "broad" intellectual property (IP) exclusion in a general liability insurance policy precludes coverage in an underlying copyright lawsuit (PTC Inc. v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, No. 14-14056, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111398).
LOS ANGELES - In an Aug. 24 brief opposing certification of a class of ex-employees whose data was compromised in a 2014 breach of its network, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. argues in California federal court that "elements of injury and causation" for the plaintiffs "are entirely individualized" and, as such, not suitable for class treatment (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A jury properly heard testimony that every asbestos exposure above background can cause disease and found Ford Motor Co. liable for a man's death from mesothelioma, but its verdict against a talc defendant was hopelessly conflicted, a Louisiana appeals court held Aug 20 in partially affirming a $2.3 million verdict (William Oddo Jr. v. Asbestos Corp. Ltd., et al., No. 2014-CA-0004, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 1584).
SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate panel held Aug. 24 (John M. Kalahar and Peggy L. Kalahar v. Alcoa Inc., No. 72635-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Aug. 24 rejected certified questions from a federal judge regarding premises owner liability and the proper causation standard in a take-home asbestos exposure case (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 1141023, Ala. Sup.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Negotiations between asbestos claimants and Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC in a failed effort to reach a consensus on a plan of reorganization should remain confidential and out of the reach of discovery in the plan confirmation process, the claimants' committee says in an Aug. 24 motion for a protective order filed in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Relying on previous court rulings that found that the term "handcrafted" on a bottle would not lead a reasonable person to believe that bourbon is actually made by hand, a California federal judge on Aug. 21 granted a bourbon maker's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law and other claims filed against it in relation to its bottle labels (Scott Welk v. Beam Suntory Import Co., et al., No. 15cv328, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111164).