NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 31 granted a motion filed by lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit to certify a class of shareholders, ruling that the lead plaintiffs have shown that the instant action meets all statutory requirements for a class action lawsuit (City of Sterling Heights General Employees' Retirement System v. Prudential Financial Inc., No. 12-5275, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115287).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 2 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment seeking to reform the 2013 and 2014 professional liability insurance policies that it issued to a plastic surgeon in a dispute over coverage for an underlying professional malpractice lawsuit (Hallmark Specialty Insurance Co. v. Bradford C. Roberg, et al., No. 14-cv-3657, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116617).
ST. LOUIS - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a number of claims in a securities fraud lawsuit because those claims were not timely filed, but it did err in dismissing a claim under New Jersey law, as that claim was timely filed, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 1 (Herschel Zarecor, et al. v. Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc., No. 13-3315, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15555).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 1 reversed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) asserted by the City of Miami against banks in relation to alleged predatory lending practices, but affirmed the dismissal of its unjust enrichment claims as unsupported (City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 14-14544, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15443; City of Miami v. Citigroup Inc., et al., No. 14-14706, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15442; City of Miami v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 14-14543, 11th Cir.; 2015 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15444).
DENVER - Because an energy company's counsel of record bore responsibility for disclosing any potentially applicable insurance policies, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 2 upheld a trial court's award of sanctions against the attorney for failing to submit a copy of a directors and officers (D&O) liability policy during discovery (Sun River Energy Inc. v. Erik S. Nelson, et al., No. 14-1321, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15645).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 1 partially certified a class of drivers who have driven in California for Uber Technologies Inc. and allege that they were improperly classified as independent contractors and denied reimbursement for all necessary expenditures, as well the full amount of gratuity left by customers (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 13-3826, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116482).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Allegations made by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC in complaints filed against asbestos plaintiffs' attorneys and law firms are "more than adequate to state a claim for fraud," a North Carolina federal judge held Sept. 2 in denying motions to dismiss the complaints (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, APLC, et al., No. 14-116, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117028; Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Shein Law Center, Ltd., et al., No. 14-137, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117027).
CITY ISLAND, Fla. - A jury in Florida on Aug. 31 awarded $750,000 to a man who sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) alleging that the company was liable for the death of his wife because her addiction to cigarettes made by the company was the cause of her lung cancer. The jury found the company 25 percent liable (James Lewis, as the representative of the Estate of Rosemary Lewis v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 2009 30058 CIC, Fla. Cir., 7th Jud. Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 2 issued two orders: The first granted a motion for final approval of a $415 million settlement with Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Intel Corp. on employees' claims that the high-tech companies conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees in violation of federal antitrust law, and the second partially granted motions for attorney fees, reimbursement of expenses and service awards (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found Sept. 2 that a civil rights claim under 42 U.S. Code Section 1983 against a private prison operator insured is barred from coverage under a $1 million commercial general liability policy and a $2 million commercial umbrella liability (CUL) policy, reversing a lower federal court in part (LCS Corrections Services, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 14-40494 c/w No. 14-40587, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15643).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Aug. 31 that a foreign reinsured's arguments claiming the evident partiality of an arbitration umpire are groundless (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a consolidated complaint filed Aug. 28 in California federal court, three Illinois residents allege violations of an Illinois biometrics statute by Facebook Inc. in the social network's "Tag Suggestions" feature for pictures (Carlo Licata, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:15-cv-03748, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., a Mexican fast-food chain, is deceiving its customers by claiming that its products are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a California woman claims in her class complaint filed Aug. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Colleen Gallagher, et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 15-3952, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - A district court correctly certified a class of bankers employed by PNC Bank who allege that time they spent working outside of their normal business hours went uncompensated, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 31 (Mariseli Gomez Bell v. PNC Bank, National Association, No. 14-3018, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15403).
BENTON, Ill. - A man produces adequate evidence of work with a defendant's product and sufficient evidence that it required asbestos-containing components, a judge said Aug. 28. In a separate ruling, the judge rejected challenges to plaintiff's expert, finding the expert qualified and rejecting the argument that he would testify that "every exposure" to asbestos led to disease (Gerald D. McAlvey v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 14-64, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114618, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114620).
HARTFORD, Conn. - An executrix's four-year delay in substituting herself as a plaintiff in an asbestos action prejudiced defendants and warranted dismissal for failure to prosecute, a Connecticut appeals court held Sept. 2 (Adrienne Brochu, executrix of the estate of Adrien Brochu v. Aesys Technologies, et al., No. AC36483, Conn. App.; 2015 Conn. App. LEXIS 314).
SAN FRANCISCO - The creator of the PhantomALERT smart phone and global positioning system (GPS) device applications (apps) on Sept. 1 filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California federal court, asserting that its proprietary database was copied and used in the competing Waze app (PhantomALERT Inc. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-03986, N.D. Calif.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A panel of the Second District Texas Court of Appeals found Aug. 28 that a trial court erroneously directed a verdict of negligence because the plaintiff in the case was denied fair notice that a theory of negligence per se would be asserted as a defense (Karen 'Sue' Burnett v. Christina T. Vo, et al., No. 02-14-00297, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 9169).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 31 upheld an arbitration award finding that a homeowners association was entitled to only $24,490 for alleged construction defects that resulted in the staining of the exterior of some buildings in a condominium complex, after finding that the association was unable to show that the award was the result of a gross mistake or manifest disregard of the law (Casa del Mar Association Inc. v. Williams & Thomas L.P., doing business as Jamail Construction, No. 14-14-00046-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 9227).