TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 16 granted judgment in favor of a boat maker, finding that customer information did not constitute a trade secret and that a reasonable jury could not find that it infringed on another company's trade dress when it manufactured an allegedly similar boat (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 8:15-cv-990, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21745).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant's Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Pella Corp. says in an opposition brief filed Feb. 16 that a federal judge in South Carolina should not reconsider his Dec. 12 ruling that plaintiffs' experts' opinions about defects in the company's Architect and Designer Series windows are unreliable because the plaintiffs' arguments have already been raised and were rejected (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Feb. 16 approved the commutation of certain reinsurance contracts covering third-party construction defect claims in an agreement between a reinsurer and an insolvent insurer (In the matter of the liquidation of Legion Indemnity Co., No. 02 CH 06695, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The manufacturer of a surgical blood temperature device on Feb. 17 opposed centralization of 15 federal lawsuits alleging intraoperative infections because there are too few cases and too few common issues of fact (In Re: Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2772, JPMDL).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Feb. 17 reversed summary judgment in favor of a chiropractor and the clinic he owns after finding that a woman who claimed that she got blisters after being treated did not need to present an expert witness to determine whether the chiropractor breached the standard of care because her claims require only common knowledge (Betty Collins v. Herring Chiropractic Center LLC, et al., No. 1151173, Ala. Sup., 2017 Ala. LEXIS 14).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Feb. 17 ordered a new trial on liability and damages in a construction defects case after learning that the judge who presided over the suit had retired and that no other judge could prepare a supplemental opinion explaining his rulings (Leo J. Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Company Inc., et al., No. 2951 EDA 2015 Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 691).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly dismissed allegations that Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and others infringed two patents directed to data processing on grounds that the patents in suit are invalid under the Patent Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 17 (Evolutionary Intelligence LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., Nos. 2016-1188, -1190, -1191, -1192, -1194, -1195, -1197, -1198, -1199, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2784).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 17 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that two claims of a sound reproduction patent are unpatentable as obvious but also reversed the board's determination that a third claim would not have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art (Slot Speaker Technologies Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 15-2038, -2039, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2785).
SAN FRANCISCO - A decision by a California federal judge to grant, sua sponte, summary judgment on behalf of myriad fashion industry defendants accused of infringing copyrighted textile designs was reversed by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 (Acmet Inc. v. The Wet Seal Inc., et al., No. 15-55928, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2682).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 15 dismissed two of four Wyndham divisions in a class complaint alleging fraud via hidden hotel charges, finding that those two divisions were not provided fair notice (Thomas Luca, Jr. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., No. 16-746, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21433).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 16 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of the False Claims Act (FCA) against a bank, finding that a borrower failed to show that it was involved in a scheme that resulted in the submission of false claims (United States, ex rel., Lynn E. Szymoniak, et al. v. American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., et al., No. 15-1720, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2742).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 16 granted final approval of a nearly $344,000 settlement to be paid to a class of Uber Technologies Inc. customers who allege that Uber wrongfully retained a portion of gratuity charges paid by passengers (Caren Ehret, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 14-113, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22586).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 partly reversed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the collapse of an airport terminal during construction (Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, No. 16-2675, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2856).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 17 found that a federal judge in Louisiana did not abuse his discretion when refusing to review a business's appeal of the Court Supervised Settlement Program's (CSSP) decision that it should receive $29,567.81 as part of the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement (E&P Settlement), holding that the plaintiff company was a startup business under the terms of the settlement agreement (Claimant ID 100009540 v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., et al., No. 15-30964, 5th Cir.).
OCALA, Fla. - A Florida jury on Feb. 17 awarded a man and his daughter a total of $3.95 million in compensatory damages for the loss of two family members who were killed when a truck driver collided with their car, which had been disabled after being hit by a drunken driver; however, the jury found that the drunken driver was more responsible for the two deaths than the trucker (Eliezer Maldonado, et al. v. Wayne T. Fellows Inc., et al., No. 2013-CA-001308, Fla. 5th Jud. Cir. Marion Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court on Feb. 16 said a plaintiff who claims that he was infected by recalled medical wipes missed the state statute of limitations for one lot but not the second (Kenneth Nicolosi, et al. v. Smith and Nephew, Inc., et al., No. 1-1108-15T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 389).
DETROIT - The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) on Feb. 17 issued a report in which it said the "disparate response" to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., was the result of "systemic racism that was built into the foundation and growth of Flint, its industry and the suburban area surrounding it" and said the state should establish a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to deal with racial discrimination.
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain current and former executive officers over their alleged misrepresentations concerning their involvement in a generic drug price-fixing scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 15 (Greg Fleming v. Impax Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 16-6557, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22147).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).
NEW YORK - Despite the potential unfairness given the facts of a case, asbestos plaintiffs must demonstrate a continuity of ownership to show that an asset purchase constituted a de facto merger until a New York appellate court changes the standard, a New York justice held Feb. 15 in granting summary judgment (Ivette Montanez and Peter Montanez v. American Honda Motors Co. Inc., et al., No. 190409/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 493).
VIENNA - The United Nations on Feb. 14 announced that Iraq has signed the United Nations Convention in Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration.
SILVER SPRING, Md. - Zimmer Biomet has recalled its Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder because the prosthesis is fracturing at a higher rate than listed on the device's label, the Food and Drug Administration announced Feb. 16.