NORFOLK, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on Nov. 6 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Virginia Power and Electric Co., doing business as Dominion Virginia Power, after finding that Sierra Club had standing to bring a lawsuit accusing the energy company of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by discharging coal ash into groundwater that eventually leads to a navigable body of water (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric and Power Company, d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 15cv112, E.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151200).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 6 denied dismissal of failure to warn, breach of express warranty and fraudulent concealment against surgical mesh patch maker Davol Inc., but dismissed his claim of fraudulent misrepresentation (Jesus Tapia v. Davol, Inc., et al., No. 15-179, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151168).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A federal judge in Missouri on Nov. 6 dismissed with prejudice a man's claims for breach of express warranty and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability against the manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing systems, finding that the plaintiff's failure to provide the defendant company with a presuit notification was fatal to his claims (Sam Budach, et al. v. NIBCO Inc., No. 14-cv-04324-NKL, W.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150714).
ST. LOUIS - Allegations that an advertising agency copied, without authorization, 169 low-resolution images through screenshots will proceed, albeit without a count for violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), thanks to a Nov. 5 ruling by a Missouri federal judge (Stephen Kennedy v. Gish, Sherwood & Friends Inc., No. 13-2236, E.D. Mo.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - Material data sheets from two companies whose automotive parts allegedly exposed a man to asbestos are not a sufficient basis for an expert's causation testimony, a federal judge in North Carolina held Nov. 5 in affirming exclusion of the evidence (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 150429).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 4 granted a summary judgment motion filed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wachovia Mortgage Corp. (collectively, Wells Fargo) in a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation, finding that the claims remaining after many of the plaintiffs settled are barred under the doctrine of res judicata (In re: Wells Fargo Wage and Hour Employment Practices Litigation [No. III], No. 11-2266, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149715).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A commercial general liability insurer breached its duty to defend allegations against an insured for improper work performed in a home, a Montana federal judge held Nov. 6, finding that the insurer is liable for the total amount of the settlement agreement, or $192,500, as well as defense costs (Andrea Wood v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group LLC, No. 14-128, D. Mont.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151140).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Boeing Co. and participants in its 401(k) plan on Nov. 5 moved in Illinois federal court for preliminary approval of a $57 million settlement, ending nine years of litigation related to excessive fee claims alleged under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Gary Spano, et al. v. The Boeing Company, et al., No. 06-743, S.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Nov. 9 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment a petition for certiorari by a man who claimed that his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were violated when a trial court ordered production of cellular site information records, which were used to convict him, without a search warrant issued with a showing of probable cause (Quartavius Davis v. United States of America, No. 15-146, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 7148).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 7 granted summary judgment to Apple Inc. in a class suit filed by retail workers seeking compensation for the time they spent waiting in line for and undergoing a security check of their bags before leaving after their shifts were over (Amanda Frlekin, et al. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 13-3451, 13-3775 and 13-4727, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92768).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly dismissed allegations of patent infringement against Apple Inc., MusicMatch Inc. and Sony Network Entertainment International LLC on grounds of collateral estoppel, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 5 (Ho Keung Tse v. Apple Inc. et al., No. 15-1639, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A March 2015 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment patent action will stand, thanks to the denial by the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 9 of two petitions for certiorari emanating from the same generic drug (Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. v. Apotex, Inc.; Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Apotex, Inc., Nos. 15-281, 15-307, U.S. Sup.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Supreme Court of Illinois on Nov. 4 reversed an appeals court ruling reinstating a $10.1 billion consumer fraud verdict stemming from Philip Morris USA Inc.'s marketing of "light" cigarettes (Sharon Price, et al. v. Philip Morris Inc., No. 117687, Ill. Sup.; 2015 Ill. LEXIS 1265).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Nov. 3 granted preliminary approval of a $3.2 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the settlement meets all statutory requirements for approval (Patipan Nakkhumpun v, Daniel J. Taylor, No. 12-1038, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149850).
NEW ORLEANS - In a one-sentence order, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 4 granted Halliburton Co.'s motion for leave to appeal a district court ruling certifying a class of shareholders in a securities suit alleging that the company and certain of its officers and directors misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law (Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., No. 15-90038, 5th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 6 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that Texas insureds are not entitled to additional building flood damage arising from Hurricane Ike but reversed the lower court's finding that the insureds are owed $2,500 for damaged car parts (Brian Lowery, et al v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-40135, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19443).
ORLANDO, Fla. - An expert offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can testify in its lawsuit on the allegations that a title company breached its duty by failing to comply with closing instructions in connection with two residential loan transactions, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 4 (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Attorneys Title Insurance Fund, Inc., No. 14-1105, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149751).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Nov. 3 denied an insurer's motion seeking permission to appeal a ruling last month that held that the more than $1.4 million in defense costs paid by the insurer in an underlying pension plan dispute should not be deducted from the insured's $1 million fiduciary liability coverage limit, further denying the insurer's and insured's motions to stay (Federal Insurance Co. v. Singing River Health System, No. 15-236, S.D. Miss., Southern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148132).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 4 refused to dismiss on jurisdiction grounds an insurer's coverage case against its insured regarding the duty to defend and indemnify a breach of contract action for the insured's alleged poor work in a premanufactured home (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Black's Home Sales, No. 15-07, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149838).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a putative class action alleging violations of California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) engaged in spoliation by disposing of his computer's hard drive containing pertinent emails, Barnes & Noble Inc. (BN) told a California federal court in a Nov. 5 sanctions motion (Kevin Khoa Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., No. 8:12-cv-00812, C.D. Calif.).
PENSACOLA, Fla. - A jury in Florida on Nov. 5 awarded the members of a family $650,000 in damages against Philip Morris USA Inc. for the lung cancer death of their husband and father as a result of his addiction to nicotine in cigarettes, ignoring jury instructions that called for an award of $2.3 million. The award included $325,000 equally for compensatory damages and punitive damages (Micah Danielson v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2007-CA-002737, Fla. Cir., 1st Jud. Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 6 denied a request by an asbestos claimants' committee to compel Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC to provide certain discovery sought in the committee's first request for production of documents directed to Garlock regarding issues for the confirmation of Garlock's plan of reorganization (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, at al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Parties to a retrocessional reinsurance dispute between a domestic reinsurer and a London market reinsurer presented arbitration umpire candidates to a federal court in New York on Nov. 3 (Odyssey Reinsurance Company v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London Syndicate 53, et al., No. 13-cv-09014, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 4 said a plaintiff's amended complaint involving a da Vinci surgical robot is not time-barred and sufficiently pleads facts to support punitive damages (Gerald Darringer, et al. v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 15-300, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150543).
MIAMI - An insurer owes no coverage for costs to replace undamaged components on floors and undamaged carpeting of a condominium building that suffered water damage from a broken valve, a Florida federal judge ruled Nov. 5, granting in part summary judgment to the insurer (Great American Insurance Company of New York v. The Towers of Quayside No. 4 Condominium Association, No. 15-20056, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150358).