WASHINGTON, D.C. - A 108-year-old precedent bars allegations that a computer filing system patent was infringed, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 30 (SpeedTrack Inc. v. Office Depot Inc. et al., No. 14-1475, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin so the court can clear up conflicting decisions in lower courts regarding equitable tolling under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) (Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States of America, et al., No. 14-510, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied a defendant's request to review an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming denial his qualified immunity motion to dismiss a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit (Michael Boudreaux v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 14-1142, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 4361).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 29 dismissed the majority of claims asserted against banks in relation to the foreclosure of a property, finding that the lawsuit was filed in an improper venue (Gregory Walsh, et al. v. Bank of America NA, et al., No. 15-cv-00021, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83873).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on June 26 that its reinsurer's motion to stay a $1 million reinsurance billing dispute is an attempt to avoid having to post pre-pleading security that the insurer claims is mandated by Connecticut state law (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
NEW YORK - U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) umpires are independent contractors, not employees, for the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 29, affirming a trial court's decision (Steven Meyer, et al. v. United States Tennis Association, No. 14-3891, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11037).
PITTSBURGH - A group of residents on June 26 filed a purported class action in Pennsylvania federal court against a power company and its affiliates, contending that they have been injured as a result of the defendant's "reckless" operation of two nuclear materials processing facilities (Russell Crocker, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., et al., No. 15-00844, W.D. Pa.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Consolidated Rail Corp. (CONRAIL), one of the railroad defendants being sued in New Jersey federal court by residents who seek damages related to a chemical spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek filed an answer on June 29 in which it admits only that certain cars on the train derailed, and it "specifically" denies that the bridge collapsed. Moreover, the defendant says it admits that one of the train cars was breached and "released a limited quantity of vinyl chloride," but it denies that the event caused harm to people or property (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on June 26 denied a request by nine law firms representing tens of thousands of asbestos claimants to provide information on EFH and affiliates about their asbestos use and products and to delay a hearing on setting an asbestos claims bar date, saying the debtor is already working with a creditors' committee on proposed forms of notice and a noticing plan for the bar date that will satisfy due process for current and future asbestos claimants (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - An exception to a faulty workmanship exclusion for "resulting loss or damage caused by [a] Covered Cause of Loss" applies under facts alleged by an insured, an Illinois appeals panel held June 29, affirming the reinstatement of an insurer for its alleged breach of the policy in denying coverage (Moda Furniture LLC v. Chicago Title Land Trust Co., et al., No. 13-L-63001, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 496).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A judge overseeing an asbestos case nearing trial on June 29 barred an expert from testifying that "every exposure" leads to disease and excluded another expert's testimony regarding causation, finding it insufficiently specific (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., No. 12-752, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83991).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 said it lacks appellate jurisdiction in a dispute over a copyrighted photograph (Richard N. Bell v. Cameron Taylor et al., No. 14-3099, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11142).
ANCHORAGE, Ala. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 remanded a case to the Environmental Protection Agency to make a determination regarding whether the discharge of noncontact cooling water into the Beaufort Sea will cause unreasonable degradation of the marine environment, after the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) challenged an EPA permit authorizing the discharge by oil and gas facilities of waste streams into marine waters of the sea (Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 13-70633, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11062).
AUSTIN, Texas - Answering a certified question from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the affirmative, the majority of the Texas Supreme Court on June 26 ruled that an administrative action initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a "suit" as that term is defined under the insurance policies at issue (McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0465, Texas Sup.; 2015 Tex. LEXIS 624).
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. did not establish that AT&T Mobility, its alleged co-conspirator in a putative antitrust class action related to service for Apple's iPhones, was a necessary party to the action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority ruled June 29, reversing a trial court's dismissal of the case for failure to join AT&T, per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 12-17805, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 granted the petition for writ of certiorari in an appeal asking it to decide whether Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. (431 U.S. 209 ) should be overruled and whether requiring public employees to affirmatively object to subsidizing nonchargeable speech by public-sector unions violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Rebecca Friedrichs, et al. v. California Teachers Association, et al., No. 14-915, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 agreed to hear an appeal of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling remanding a securities class action lawsuit over the alleged illegal "naked" short selling of a company's stock back to state court Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., et al. v. Greg Manning, et al., No. 14-1132, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Remand of a securities class action suit to state court is proper because the defendants were prohibited from removing the action to federal court in the first place, a federal judge in California ruled June 25 (Alexander Liu v. Xoom Corp., et al., No. 15-0602, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82830).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on June 25 refused to enter summary judgment against an insured in an environmental contamination coverage dispute because the definition of "pollutant" in the policies' pollution exclusions is ambiguous and there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the contamination occurred before or after the site at issue was operated as a landfill (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. et al. v. City of Kokomo et al., No. 13-1573, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82465).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 29 granted a joint motion to confirm certain arbitration awards regarding a dispute of agreements going back to the 1960s, '70s and '80s (OneBeacon America Insurance Company, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 14-cv-12562, D. Mass.).
NEW ORLEANS - A general liability insurance policy's breach of contract exclusion precludes coverage for breach of contract claims asserted by a parish's insurer with regard to a project that allegedly suffered from improper work by various subcontractors, a Louisiana federal judge ruled June 29, granting summary judgment to a subcontractor's insurer (Hanover Insurance Co. v. Plaquemines Parish Government, No. 12-1680, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84056).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that an insurer was required to provide defense or indemnification, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 25 (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Richard Pira, et al., No. 13-15991, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10777).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in awarding a declaratory judgment copyright plaintiff summary judgment, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 29 (16 Casa Duse LLC v. Alex Merkin et al., No. 13-3865, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11053).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied petitions asking the high court to review a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling affirming a federal judge in Louisiana's finding concerning BP Exploration & Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s liability under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for pollution caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 (BP Exploration & Production Inc. v. United States of America, No. 14-1217, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation v. United States of America, No. 14-1167, U.S. Sup.).
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on June 25 granted a motion by restaurant servers to conditionally certify a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action, but denied the plaintiffs' subsequent motion to narrow the scope of the class (Lynn Walter, et al. v. Buffets Inc., d/b/a HomeTown Buffets, Old Country Buffet, Fire Mountain, Country Buffet, Ryan's, No. 13-2995, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82507).