LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge, in a decision filed Oct. 11, certified a class of participants who filed a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against a mutual insurance company for allegedly using premiums it obtained through payments made by them for health care coverage to enrich itself, saying that the plaintiffs satisfied all of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 requirements for certification and that a class action is superior to all other methods of adjudicating the action (Susan Priddy, et al. v. Health Care Services Corp., No. 14-3360, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140414).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of a school bus transportation company, refusing to expand a class period to assert claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to unpaid wages (Delores Humes, et al. v. First Student Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-01861, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140867).
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Unified Port District (SDUPD) on Oct. 11 filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the U.S. government, seeking cost recovery and damages related to alleged contamination of the port and the groundwater around it with industrial waste (San Diego Unified Port District v. United States of America, No. 16-2540, S.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - An excess insurer argues in an Oct. 12 brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal judge incorrectly determined that excess policies are triggered by mere exposure to asbestos and said that evidence of actual injury caused by asbestos is necessary to trigger the excess policies (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A decision on rehearing from a September 2015 ruling that affirmed a patent examiner's rejection of various claims of a universal tire pressure monitoring patent yielded a new ground of rejection on Oct. 12 (Continental Automotive Systems US Inc. v. Schrader Electronics Inc., No. 2014-007436, PTAB).
SAN FRANCISCO - In briefs filed Oct. 11 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, two insurers that issued policies to a rent-to-own (RTO) retailer argue that the policies' recording and distribution exclusions barred coverage for two lawsuits relating to the retailer's installation of spyware on a purchased computer, asking the appeals court to affirm coverage and reimbursement rulings in their favor (American Economy Insurance Co., et al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 16-35059, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - An environmental group on Oct. 12 filed a brief in New York federal court seeking a summary judgment ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly missing a deadline to propose final regulations for perchlorate in drinking water pursuant to Congress' instructions in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-1251, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 11 that four companies have agreed to pay $3.5 million for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of releases of hazardous pollutants at two oil- and chemical-processing facilities in Texas.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In several petitions for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Oct. 11, Apple Inc. attacked the validity of a patent covering digital emulation (Petition for Inter Partes Review of U.S. patent No. 6,470,399, No. IPR2016-01839, PTAB).
SALT LAKE CITY - A declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of noninfringement and invalidity with regard to two utility patents was partly dismissed Oct. 12 by a Utah federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (The Beer Barrel LLC v. Deep Wood Brew Products LLC, et al., No. 16-440, D. Utah.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141495).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana federal judge on Oct. 11 denied a disability claimant's motion to remand a suit to Montana state court on the basis that jurisdiction in federal court is proper and none of the relevant factors weighs in favor of remanding the suit (Philip Cardan v. New York Life Insurance Co., No. 16-102, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140731).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 12 granted a reinsurer's motion to dismiss in an asbestos coverage suit on the basis that the California federal court lacks jurisdiction over the reinsurer whose headquarters are based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (The American Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 16-3044, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141467).
ST. LOUIS - A motor carrier that requires its truck drivers with body mass indexes (BMIs) of 35 or greater to undergo tests to determine whether they had obstructive sleep apnea is not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 12 (Robert J. Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation, No. 16-1371, 8th Cir. 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18374).
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A New Jersey state court judge on Oct. 12 dismissed with prejudice 102 Accutane bowel injury cases because prescribing physicians in the 11-year-old litigation are deceased or cannot be located to testify that a different warning would have changed their decision to prescribe the acne drug (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 271, N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 11 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion by Acting U.S. Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn to participate in upcoming oral arguments over what the appropriate sanctions are when a private qui tam lawsuit plaintiff violates a seal order under the False Claims Act (FCA) (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6149).
DETROIT - A college professor may testify to the cause of damage from winter conditions to two golf courses he examined but not to a third, which he did not, a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 11 (Bloomfield Hills Country Club, et al. v. The Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-11290, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140449).
NEW ORLEANS - Studies conducted in a more confined environment than the workplace in question are admissible because such evidence need not fit the facts of the case precisely under Daubert, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 11 in largely declining to reject an asbestos expert's testimony (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La.).
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a state court lawsuit against The Cutler Group, doing business as The David Cutler Group, on Oct. 6, claiming that defects in homes built by the company caused water infiltration that resulted in damages such as rot, mold and decay (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. The Cutler Group Inc., d/b/a The David Cutler Group, No. 16-23891, Pa. Comm. Pls., Montgomery Co.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by several petitioners that a bi-directional communications system patent owned by Sony Corp. is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were turned away Oct. 7 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ARRIS International PLC, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2016-00828, PTAB).
HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 7 found that genuine issues of fact exist as to whether a company and its owners violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and certain employment laws, refusing to grant summary judgment on claims asserted against it in relation to an underlying purchase agreement (HTK Hawaii Inc. v. Kevin Sun, et al., No. 15-00114, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140151).