DENVER - Because a man "opened the door to evidence" regarding his polygraph examination by claiming that his confession was coerced, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 29 that the trial court can allow limited examination about the facts surrounding a polygraph test to rebut claims of coercion (United States of America v. Daniel Phillip Tenorio, No. 15-2037, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22789).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury's finding that certain Cisco Systems Inc. devices perform a "running" step outlined in various claims of a wireless technology patent is not supported by substantial evidence, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 (Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 12-1042, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22680).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 30 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that two underlying lawsuits against an insured involve interrelated wrongful acts and are, therefore, part of the same claim first made before the inception of the insured's claims-made business liability insurance policy (W.C. & A.N. Miller Development Co. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 14-2327, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22831).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 31 rejected pleas by several objectors to overturn a $3.75 million settlement by Vibram USA Inc. and Vibram FiveFingersLLC that was granted final approval in January 2015 and ended two consolidated lawsuits accusing the footwear maker of misrepresenting that its products provide certain health benefits to wearers (Valerie Bezdek, et al. v. Vibram USA, Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1207 and 15-1208, Brian DeFalco v. Vibram USA. Inc., et al., No. 15-1209, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22925).
TOLEDO, Ohio - DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. on Dec. 29 asked the ASR hip multidistrict litigation court to find that MedStar Funding LLC does not hold "assumed liens" to assert against settlement claimants or alternatively to rule that the company is due no more than Medicare would pay for hip replacement surgery for claimants (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2197, No. 10-md-2197, N.D. Ohio, Western Div.).
NEW YORK - A $612 million False Claims Act settlement with drug maker Amgen Inc. has been released from three years' in escrow after two whistle-blowers agreed to dismiss their appeal and to share an $8 million relators' share of the settlement, counsel for one of the parties said in a Dec. 30 press release (United States, ex rel. Joseph Piacentile and Kevin Kilcoyne v. Amgen Inc., No. 13-4101, 2nd Cir., and No. 04-3983, E.D. N.Y.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Dec. 30 sanctioned orthopedic device maker Zimmer Inc. for its late production of discovery documents, denied a defense attorney's request to withdraw from the case and ordered Zimmer to produce its agreement to represent a third-party distributor in a spinal fixation plate case(Christopher Trowery v. Joan F. O'Shea, M.D., et al., No. 12-6473, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173155).
CINCINNATI - An insurer is entitled to reimbursement of more than $11.7 million from its insured because the insurer properly reserved its rights when it made payments to its insured for underlying suits arising out of the insured's financial support of terrorist groups, the majority of the First District Ohio Court of Appeals said Dec. 30 (Chiquita Brands International Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No.C- 140492, Ohio App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 5299).
MADISON, Wis. - An employer may require employees who wish to participate in its health insurance plan to submit to "health risk assessment" and "biometric screening test," a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Dec. 31 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Flambeau, Inc., No. 14-638, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173482).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 4 issued final orders reclassifying pelvic mesh devices intended to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) from moderate-risk Class II to high-risk Class III devices and requiring manufacturers of the devices to obtain premarket approval (PMA) to show the safety and effectiveness of using surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse.
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 21 denied a motion to dismiss by an outside auditor in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and scienter in making his federal securities law claims (Chao Sun v. Daqing Han, et al., No. 15-703, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170005).
SAN FRANCISCO - A biopharmaceutical company shareholder filed a securities class action complaint in California federal court on Dec. 18, alleging that the company and certain of its executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Kang Li v. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 15-5841, N.D. Calif.).
MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on Dec. 18 refused to certify four nationwide subclasses for people seeking monetary damages for windows made by Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc. that prematurely rotted and a subclass for people seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for buyers of windows that have yet to be affected by a number of alleged defects, finding that the class definitions need to be clarified (Mary Haley, et al. v. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., No. 14-cv-99-bbc, W.D. Wis.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 18 partially granted a motion to dismiss claims brought by the owners of certain Craftsman lawnmowers who allege defects caused various issues, including fire, but denied a motion to strike the class allegations (Rebecca Rysewyk, et al. v. Sears Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-4519, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169124).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 21 added the asbestos trust created by the Chapter 11 reorganization of The Flintkote Co. as a plaintiff and two insurers as defendants in Flintkote's declaratory judgment action seeking to compel an insurer to enter into arbitration to determine the insurer's responsibility under an agreement with Flintkote to pay insurance proceeds for underlying asbestos claims (The Flintkote Company v. Aviva PLC, No. 15-cv-01638, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170383).
LOS ANGELES - A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 18 ordered an officer of the Environmental World Watch Inc. (EWW), which claims that The Walt Disney Co. allows contaminated storm water containing zinc and copper to run off of its property, to address matters over his alleged failure to preserve emails from other officers of the group and attempts to avoid deposition to prevent the imposition of sanctions (Environmental World Watch Inc. v. Walt Disney Company, et al., No. CV 09-04045-DMG, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170303).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Dec. 18 ruled that a groundwater contamination lawsuit against General Electric was barred by the statute of limitations because the plaintiffs knew, or should have known, about the contamination well before the action was filed (Lajim LLC, et al. v. General Electric Co., No. 13-50348, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169753).
LONDON - A London mining company on Dec. 23 said a tribunal has issued an award dismissing the majority of its claims against the government of Uzbekistan, but awarded it $10,299,572 for a breach of fair and equitable treatment.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on Dec. 18 to approve the recommended allowance of claim payments, including more than $21 million against reinsurance agreements issued by the insolvent insurer (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's attempts to resolve its asbestos liabilities without using Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and to have the future claimants' representative (FCR) vote on its reorganization plan would amount to unprecedented relief that cannot be granted on summary judgment, the asbestos claimants' committee says in a Dec. 18 opposition brief filed in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - One of the groups of plaintiffs suing railroad companies related to a vinyl chloride spill from a train derailment in New Jersey on Dec. 21 filed a notice of an intent to appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, among other things, the order issued by the presiding judge that dismissed their complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Alice Breeman v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, et al., No. 12-07468; In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).