NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 11 overruled a defendant company's argument that the federal government's claim against it under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was untimely, holding that the storage of hazardous waste constitutes a continuing offense (United States of America v. Tonawanda Coke Corp., No. 14-1091-cr, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 332).
NEW YORK - Saying that the defendants' reliance on a commentary demonstrates its relevance, a New York justice on Jan. 12 declined to quash the deposition of the author (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Weitz & Luxenberg Asbestos Cases, No. 040000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a fitness-tracking device manufacturer and certain of its executive officers in California federal court on Jan. 11, alleging that the defendants issued a series of misrepresentations that caused the company's stock to trade at an artificially high rate in violation of federal securities laws (Brian H. Robb v. Fitbit Inc., et al., No. 16-151, N.D. Calif.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - Mississippi's collateral source rule precludes an expert's type of "reasonable value" calculations for past and future medical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Jan. 12, granting a motion to exclude the expert's testimony (Wanda Williams, individually and as conservator for John Robert Williams Jr. v. Manitowoc Cranes LLC, No. 14-383, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3553).
NEW ORLEANS - An expert may not testify as to the ergonomics of a plaintiff's body positioning during the time he allegedly injured himself lifting a valve and the effects of lifting versus catching a falling item, a Louisiana federal judge held Jan. 12, finding that a juror could use common experience and knowledge to reach a conclusion (Randall Sapp v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., et al., No. 15-3, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3501).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Jan. 8 denied an insurer's motion to bifurcate discovery in an insurance dispute, ruling that bifurcation is premature at this stage of the litigation (Hudson Insurance Co. v. James Miller, et al., No. 15-0349, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2967).
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Final judgment in a pending asbestos action requires more than a conclusory statement that no reason exists for delay, a federal judge in Alabama said Jan. 12 in rejecting a magistrate judge's recommendation (Donna Franklin, as personal representative of the estate of Ray Franklin v. Dana Holding Corp., et al., No. 11-2731, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3481).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted a motion to amend filed by employees of a care business for mentally challenged adults as plaintiffs to a class action lawsuit that asserts violations of the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) but found that the employers in the case would be prejudiced by the addition of new defendants (Horacio Veyra Palana, et al. v. Mission Bay Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-05235, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3740).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 11 dismissed Ford Motor Co.'s petition to vacate arbitration awards related to insurance coverage that were issued in favor of a German insurer, finding that the awards were already confirmed in another district and that the Michigan federal court lacked jurisdiction (Ford Motor Company v. HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG, No. 2:14-cv-13789, E.D. Mich.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Citing public interest, Tennessee's governor and other officials, who were defendants in one of the cases that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling in June 2015, on Jan. 8 moved to unseal the plaintiffs' counsel's time entries, asserting that they are protected by neither attorney-client privilege nor the work product doctrine (Valeria Tanco, et al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam, et al., No. 3:13-cv-01159, M.D. Tenn.).
TRENTON, N.J. - Citing the "present uncertainty of the law" regarding whether compliance with a state's corporate registration statute constitutes consent to jurisdiction, a New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 12 stayed a patent infringement case pending the outcome of AstraZeneca AB v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. (No. 14-664, D. Del., Dec. 17, 2014) by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Takeda GmbH, et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 15-3384, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3490).
NEW YORK - Allegations of copyright infringement against Starbucks Corp. and a co-defendant in connection with an advertising campaign for Starbucks' "Frappuccino" product were dismissed by a New York federal judge on Jan. 12 (Maya Hayuk v. Starbucks Corporation, et al., No. 15-4887, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3493).
BOSTON - More than 800 Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions were filed in fiscal year (FY) 2015, up from 681 in FY 2010, according to a report jointly issued Jan. 12 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the New York University Pollack Center for Law and Business.
DENVER - An insured failed to establish that it suffered water damage to "covered property" at a renovation project under a builders risk policy, a Colorado federal judge ruled Jan. 8, finding that the insurer properly denied coverage and did not breach its contract (Gerald H. Phipps, Inc. d/b/a GH Phipps Construction Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-01642, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2939).
DALLAS - The Texas federal judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on Jan. 8 consolidated five cases for the initial bellwether trial (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
PHOENIX - A disability claimant can pursue a wrongful denial of benefits claim and a breach of fiduciary claim because the claims are not "clearly duplicative" and the equitable remedies for each claim are different, an Arizona federal judge said Jan. 11 in denying the plan insurer's motion to dismiss (Cynthia Susan Mullin v. Scottsdale Healthcare Corporation Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 15-01547, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2927).
PHILADELPHIA - A female truck driver who was laid off following her filing of numerous complaints about her co-workers and was never recalled, even after all her male co-workers were, may proceed with her disparate treatment and retaliation claims, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 11, vacating a trial court's dismissal of the claims with prejudice (Sandra Connelly v. Lane Construction Corporation, No. 14-3792, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 366).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Neither 35 U.S. Code Section 314 nor the U.S. Constitution stands as a bar to the practice by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeals Board of allowing panels that institute inter partes review (IPR) from later deciding the question of patent validity, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 13 (Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. v. Covidien LP, No. 14-1771, Fed. Cir.).