HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania environmental group that opposes hydraulic fracturing on Aug. 18 filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) opposing the issuance of fracking permits to Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, contending that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) "acted contrary to law and abused its discretion" in granting the permits (Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., No. N/A, Pa. EHB).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Leather Industry of America Inc. (LIA) was absolved Aug. 19 by a North Carolina federal judge of allegations of false advertising in connection with statements by its director that it is deceptive and fraudulent to refer to bonded leather as "leather" (Design Resources Inc. v. Leather Industry of America, et al., No. 10-157, M.D. N.C.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A motion seeking to amend a judgment tolls the time to file an appeal, making dismissal of an insurer's appeal of an asbestos verdict against it necessary, a panel of the Delaware Supreme Court said Aug. 15 (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., et al. v. Viking Pump Inc., et al., No 372,2014, Del. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on Aug. 18 ordered the federal government to pay $839,531.87 to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) for lawsuits stemming from the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, finding that because the government is also a plaintiff in the proceedings, it should satisfy its obligations to pay expenses related to the preparations of deposition and trial expenses (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 19 granted an injunction against a health insurance company, requiring the company to change the way it issues notice and appeal procedures before recouping money from previously paid claims (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, et al., No. 09-5619, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114664).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reinstated two claims by a former government worker who alleges that the denial of her request for substantial flexibility in her working hours - known as a "maxiflex" schedule - violated the Rehabilitation Act (Linda Solomon v. Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, No. 12-5123, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15671).
LOS ANGELES - Asbestos-gasket maker The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. must provide indemnification for damages stemming from a $6,895,000 verdict, Crane Co. alleges in an Aug. 19 complaint (Crane Co. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 14-6509, C.D. Calif.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Aug. 18 denied Boston Scientific Corp.'s motion to sever four Florida cases consolidated for a bellwether trial in the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation (In Re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2326, No. 2:12-md-2326, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The judge overseeing the Boston Scientific Corp. (BSC) pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Aug. 18 granted partial summary judgment to both the defendant and a bellwether plaintiff, preserving her right to bring a punitive damage claim (Roseanne Sanchez, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 2:12-5762, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114122).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Aug. 18 granted final approval of a $62.5 million settlement on shareholder claims that Wells Fargo N.A. failed to ensure that certain funds that were part of a securities-lending program were not high-risk and long-term investments in violation of several common-law and Minnesota statutes (The City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement System v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 10-4372, D. Minn.).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 15 remanded a health insurance breach of contract case to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Thomas R. Peterson, M.D., et al. v. Cigna Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-03818, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11349).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 15 dismissed claims against one health insurer in a reimbursement dispute and partially dismissed claims against another group of insurers, leaving two claims brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Act and one state law claim for prompt-payment violations (MBody Minimally Invasive Surgery, et al. v. Empire Healthchoice HMO Inc., et al., No. 13-6551, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114012).
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A trial court did not err in dismissing an insured's claims for negligence and bad faith against an insured in a dispute over coverage for water and mold damages because the insured failed to present sufficient evidence in support of the claims, the Vermont Supreme Court said Aug. 14 (Helena G. Murphy v. Patriot Insurance Company, No. 2013-235, Vt. Sup.; 2014 Vt. LEXIS 101).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Aug. 18 denied a commercial liability insurer's motion to reconsider its previous ruling that the insurer failed to properly reserve its rights to disclaim coverage of an underlying class action for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. All Plumbing Inc., et al., No. 12-851 [CKK], D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114054).
NEW YORK - A group of plaintiffs alleging securities fraud by a Chinese television advertising firm have met the class certification requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, a New York federal judge found Aug. 15, granting a motion to certify the proposed class and denying a defendant's motion to strike the testimony of the plaintiffs' proffered market efficiency expert (Daniel McIntire, et al. v. China MediaExpress Holdings Inc., et al.; In Re China MediaExpress Holdings Inc. Shareholder Litigation, No. 1:11-cv-00804, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113446).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 15 denied class certification in a suit over a low-down-payment mortgage program, finding that the named plaintiff was an insufficient class representative and that individualized issues predominate (Margaret Galas, et al. v. The Lending Company, Inc., et al., No. 12-1265, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113644).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 14 narrowed the claims and definition of the class in a complaint filed by 11 current and former employees of a pharmaceutical company who allege gender discrimination (Megan Barrett, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-5224, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113289).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - En banc review of a decision that tax credits apply only for individuals who receive insurance through state Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges would only delay ultimate resolution before the U.S. Supreme Court, plaintiffs told the a federal appeals court Aug. 18 (Jacqueline Halbig, et al. v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., No. 14-5018, D.C. Cir.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 affirmed a Florida federal court's decision to imprison a homeowner for making false statements to secure a reverse-mortgage loan, finding that the court did not err when it calculated the loss amount (United States of America v. Yesenia Pouparina, a.k.a. Yesenia Campos, No. 13-14045, 11th Cir.. 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15885).
LOS ANGELES - A group of companies that are being held liable for soil and groundwater contamination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 15 filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking cost recovery and declaratory judgment against a different group of companies that allegedly operated businesses that were supposed to properly process waste but instead spilled or discharged that waste onto the ground and into the groundwater (Alcoa Inc., et al. v. APC Investment Company, et al., No. N./A, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Department of Justice on Aug. 18 announced that the leader of a $20 million prescription drug fraud scheme was sentenced to eight years in prison by a federal judge in California and ordered to pay $9.1 million in restitution (United States of America v. Lianna "Lili" Ovsepian, No. 11-cr-01075, C.D. Calif.).