YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Feb. 20 denied a plaintiff's class certification motion in a lawsuit accusing an Ohio city of providing functioning sewer lines in a racially discriminatory manner, ruling that the motion was premature (Venicee Howell v. The City of Youngstown, Ohio, et al., No. 17-2320, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26864).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Various ConocoPhillips entities and the national oil company of Venezuela on Feb. 20 filed a joint letter in Delaware federal court, submitting arguments over whether a recent appellate court ruling should result in the dismissal of the oil company's claims that the Venezuelan entities violated the Delaware Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (DUFTA) by fraudulently transferring assets in an attempt to avoid paying potential arbitral awards or whether amended complaints should be considered (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., et al., Nos. 16-904 and 17-00028, D. Del.).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 21 cited Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), and joined the Second and Seventh circuits in ruling that a plaintiff alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) without alleging a concrete injury lacks standing to sue (Steven Bassett v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-35933, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4097).
NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein and the other defendants in a New York federal lawsuit alleging that Weinstein flashed, fondled, assaulted and raped multiple women filed separate motions on Feb. 20 seeking dismissal of the class complaint alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, battery assault and emotional distress (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner who sued Google LLC over alleged misrepresentations about click fraud in its AdWords program, saw his claims of false advertising and unfair competition dismissed a second time Feb. 20, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff failed to plead the necessary economic injury to support his claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27111).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 refused to dismiss a carwash customer's class action claims for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws, finding that a carwash owner's failure to disclose that its customers who declined to be signed up for a monthly service would automatically be signed up anyway was misleading and deceptive (Dan DeForest, et al. v. Pepper Tree Inc., et al., No. 17-02092, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26937).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 20 granted final approval to a settlement by a Florida casino to issue $15 or $30 settlement checks to fan club members to end a class complaint alleging that the casino charged excessive fees to those members who placed a winning buy bet in certain machines while playing craps (Daniel A. Brna, et al. v. Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., et al., No. 17-60144, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26662).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 held that a consumer who claims that a tax preparation company, its franchisee and other entities manipulated tax returns and submitted them to the Internal Revenue Service without tax payers' consent has sufficiently alleged a theory of direct fraud by the franchisor and its subsidiary (Luis Lomeli v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., et al., No 17-02899, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27087).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. were denied discovery of certain privilege logs listing governmental communications over their proposed merger from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Feb. 20, when a District of Columbia federal judge found that the companies failed to establish evidence of the DOJ's selective enforcement of antitrust claims against them to justify such discovery (United States v. AT&T Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-02511, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27004).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 15 dismissed breach of implied warranty claims brought by three of four leading plaintiffs in a class action suit over allegedly faulty composite decking that prematurely swells and cracks, finding that the claims were untimely because they accrued at the time the plaintiffs discovered the defects (Anthony Pagliaroni, et al. v. Mastic Home Exteriors Inc., et al., No. 12-10164-DJC, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 250096).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Plaintiffs alleging negligence by Intuit Inc. related to incidents of fraudulent tax return filings were denied the opportunity to pursue an interlocutory appeal of an order compelling arbitration on Feb. 16, when a California federal judge concluded that an appeal would not serve to advance resolution of the case (In re Intuit Data Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-01778, N.D. Calif.).
KYIV, Ukraine - The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on Feb. 19 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the Russian Federation with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), alleging that it has violated its maritime rights.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge in an order filed Feb. 16 certified a class of drivers suing Uber Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary Rasier LLC (collectively, Uber) for changing the pricing policy in 2016 and keeping a larger percentage of each fare, allegedly violating its agreement with the drivers (Martin Dulberg, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 17-850, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26222).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Allergan plc and subsidiary SkinMedica on Feb. 16 said they settled a purported class action lawsuit alleging that certain "cosmeceuticals" contain undeclared and unapproved human growth factors (Josette Ruhnke, et al. v. SkinMedica, Inc., et al., No. 14-420, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Foot Locker Inc. asking the high court to decide whether a class of pension plan participants could be certified in a case alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when Foot Locker failed to disclose a temporary freezing of benefits after the Foot Locker Retirement Plan was transitioned to a cash-balance plan (Foot Locker, Inc., et al. v. Geoffrey Osberg, et al., No. 17-690, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 issued a per curiam decision in an appeal over retiree's health care benefits and reversed a ruling by a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority for the retirees, referencing a dissenting opinion that called the decision "Yard-Man [UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (6th Cir. 1983)] re-born, re-built, and re-purposed for new adventures" (CNH Industrial N.V., et al. v. Jack Reese, et al., No. 17-515, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court on Feb. 20 vacated a ruling finding jurisdiction in Oklahoma over a Texas-based asbestos defendant and the resulting $6 million verdict and remanded the case for further consideration in light of recent precedent on the issue. In its petition, the drywall materials company had portrayed the Oklahoma court's ruling as "indefensible" and argued that it evidenced the state's continuing disregard for Supreme Court precedent (Murco Wall Products Inc. v. Michael D. Galier, No. 17-733, U.S. Sup.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Feb. 19 said it has completed a hearing on the merits of an arbitration commenced by two financial institutions against the Russian Federation pursuant to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (PJSC CB PrivatBank, et al. v. Russian Federation, No. 2015-21, PCA).
ATLANTA - In a Feb. 16 brief to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a group of financial institutions (FIs) that achieved a successful settlement of their claims related to the 2014 Home Depot Inc. data breach oppose the home improvement chain's appeal of a subsequent $15.3 million attorney fees award, calling the amount reasonably calculated and in line with the efforts undertaken by class counsel (Northeastern Engineers Federal, et al. v. Home Depot Inc., et al., No. 17-14741, 11th Cir.).
PHOENIX - Granting a joint discovery resolution motion filed by the parties in a wrongful termination suit, an Arizona federal magistrate judge on Feb. 14 found that an employee who was purportedly terminated for whistleblowing related to data breaches experienced by his former employer was entitled to conduct discovery into why documents related to lawsuits over those breaches were designated as confidential (Miguel Corzo v. Maricopa County Community College District, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02552, D. Ariz.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Feb. 20 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by a health insurer that argued that the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not apply the proper actual or imminent harm standing in determining class members' standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution related to the exposure of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a 2014 data breach (CareFirst Inc., et al. v. Chantal Attias, et al., No. 17-641, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 1356).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari that was filed by corporations that were intervenors on the side of the Federal Communications Commission in proceedings below and that challenged a decision by a split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel that held that the FCC's 2006 Solicited Fax Rule was unlawful to the extent that it required opt-out notices on solicited faxes and vacated an FCC order filed in response to a request for a declaratory ruling filed by a generic drug company that was the defendant in a $150 million class complaint (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley, et al. v. Anda, Inc., et al., No. 17-351, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by 137 residents of a Pennsylvania town who say that illegal releases of radioactive materials from a nearby plant caused their cancers and the deaths of their family members and that a federal appeals court erred in ruling on the admissibility of expert testimony in their case (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-907, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, unlawfully increased the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition, among other reasons, plaintiffs allege in a Feb. 13 class action filed in a New York federal court (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision to allow a plaintiff's expert to testify and reinstated the full $2 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court erred by reducing the award based on comparative fault (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Robert A. Gore Sr., No. 4D15-3892, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2274).