WASHINGTON, D.C. - An August 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that relied upon the "change of law" exception to invalidate two patents as indefinite will stand, thanks to a May 23 denial of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court (Dow Chemical Co. v. Nova Chemicals Corp., No. 15-1160, U.S. Sup.).
GRETNA, La. - A homeowners insurer is not liable for homeowners' medical expenses and general damages arising out of a contractor's defective roof repairs to their home, a Louisiana appeals panel affirmed May 19, rejecting the homeowners' theory of vicarious liability argument (Richard Rubin and Mary Rubin v. The American Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-CA-53, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 995).
JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on May 19 found that the owner of a property on which a nightclub operates is entitled to summary judgment because she did not exercise sufficient control of the premises to owe a duty of care to protect a club patron from assault, reversing a lower court (Cynthia B. Adams v. Anthony S. Hughes, Jr., No. 2015-IA-00167-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2016 Miss. LEXIS 204).
BALTIMORE - A couple failed to properly disclose the full range of products an expert would testify to, and their argument that the defense was to blame is "preposterous," a federal judge in Maryland held May 18 in excluding the testimony and granting summary judgment (Charles Lemuel Arbogast Jr. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 14-4049, D. Md.).
CINCINNATI - A DNA analyst presented reliable testimony in a criminal lawsuit when he said the process used to identify a defendant as the likely major DNA profile found on three dust masks has no known error rate or accepted procedure for determining an error rate, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 18 (United States of America v. James J. Eastman, No. 14-6459, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9290).
CINCINNATI - A bookkeeper who was responsible for entering payroll data and claims that she didn't immediately realize that she was eligible for overtime wages may proceed with her lawsuit after showing that a district court erred when it determined that the employee misreported her time, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 19 (Donna Craig v. Bridges Bros. Trucking LLC, et al., No. 15-3396, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9140).
NEW YORK - Because an insured failed to disclose material information about a dry dock's condition to its insurers, the insurers were entitled to rescind the policies, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 20 (Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, et al. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, et al., No. 14-1346, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9306).
SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Supreme Court in what it said was an issue of first impression on May 19 held that the doctrine of fraudulent concealment "may apply to toll the statutory limitations period for a wrongful death claim if a defendant has fraudulently concealed a cause of action, thereby preventing that defendant from claiming the statute of limitations as a defense until the plaintiff learned or, through reasonable diligence, could have learned of the cause of action" (Estate of Alice C. Brice, by and through Personal Representative Tracy A., et al. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al., No. S-1-SC-34873, N.M. Sup.; 2016 N.M. LEXIS 95).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 20 upheld a defendant's conviction of first-degree murder in connection with a death, finding that recent scientific developments have not discredited compositional bullet lead analysis (CBLA), which was used in expert testimony (Glendale More Jr. v. State of Iowa, No. 14-1623, Iowa Sup.; 2016 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 60).
LOS ANGELES - An intermediary's general knowledge about the dangers of asbestos does not save a company from a $5 million verdict over its brokering of the sale of highly hazardous crocidolite asbestos fibers, the California Supreme Court held May 23 (William Webb and Jacqueline Webb v. Special Electric Company Inc., No. S209927, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 45-day statute of limitations for a constructive discharge claim doesn't begin until after an employee resigns, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 (Marvin Green v. Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, No. 14-613, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 3484).
PHILADELPHIA - The bare-metal defense applies to maritime negligence failure-to-warn claims, the federal judge overseeing the asbestos multidistrict litigation held May 19 in response to a decision of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John B. DeVries, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-474, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 17 granted a Brazilian insurer's motion to stay enforcement of the confirmation of a number of reinsurance arbitration awards while the confirmations are pending appeal (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - An insurer brought up in a federal court in New York on May 17 the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' recent decision in the NFL "Deflategate" case, claiming that party-appointed arbitrators are not meant to be neutral but only disinterested (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00374, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - Recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case law requires the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation reconsider his ruling granting three defendants summary judgment on maritime negligence claims arising in a renal cancer case, plaintiffs argue in May 19 motions (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A study published in the May 18 issue of the medical journal Neurology found a signal for increased risk of major birth defects after first-trimester exposure to the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.
CHICAGO - A group of lead plaintiffs argue in a May 18 brief that their putative class claims related to the breach of a digital smart toys maker's website should not be dismissed, telling an Illinois federal court that they properly alleged contractual claims based on the defendant's failure to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) secure (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
OXFORD, Miss. - After finding that a bank gave proper notice to a borrower when it took over a loan, a Mississippi federal judge on May 18 found that claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Mississippi law failed (Bertha Berkley v. Midfirst Bank, et al., No. 3:15-CV-110, N.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66116).
HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on May 17 affirmed final summary judgment to a grocery store chain in a slip-and-fall action, finding that the plaintiff customer failed to present evidence that a mat and a plastic extension cord cover near a cash register posed an unreasonable risk of harm (Maria Resendiz v. Seller Bros. Inc., No. 1-15-00331-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., Houston; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5178).
DAYTON, Ohio - An assertion of authorship of the copyrighted poem "Footprints" by a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis was levied nearly three decades too late, an Ohio federal magistrate judge concluded May 19 (Bruce Anthony Lewis v. Carolyn Carty, et al., No. 16-189, S.D. Ohio.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65492).
MINNEAPOLIS - In what she described as a "vigorously litigated" trademark case, a Minnesota federal judge on May 19 denied an infringement defendant's request for just over $400,000 in attorney fees (Mountain Marketing Group LLC, et al. v. Heimerl & Lammers LLC, No. 14-846, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65607).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on May 18 said it is investigating interim safety results from an ongoing clinical trial that found an increase in leg and foot amputation in patients treated with the diabetes drug Invokana.