PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate on Nov. 14 granted an insurer's motion to overrule objections to its request for the production of documents in a coverage dispute arising from the alleged theft of an insured's employee stock ownership plan assets by a former employee (Barbie Spear, in her capacity as trustee of the Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Plaintiffs v. Westfield Insurance Company, No. 15-00582, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188193).
SAN DIEGO - A plaintiff's failure to allege exactly what percentage of latex used in Trojan brand condoms is sourced outside the United States does not doom his class complaint alleging that the packaging stating the items are "Made in U.S.A." violates California law, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 13, finding that the plaintiff only needs to credibly allege that the amount coming from outside the United States is greater than 10 percent (Kenrick Claiborne v. Church & Dwight Co., Inc., No. 17-746, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187343).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Japanese electronics company on Nov. 13 filed a notice of appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a judge's finding that a Chinese manufacturer of televisions lacked sufficient contacts to the District of Columbia to maintain a federal lawsuit there and denial of the company's request for a declaration that a gag order issued by a Singapore arbitral tribunal was unenforceable (Sharp Corp., et al. v. Hisense USA Corp., et al., No. 17-1648, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186686).
NEW YORK - After recent appeals court rulings in which panels reversed district court judgments granting ex parte petitions for failure to comply with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA), a New York federal judge on Nov. 13 reversed his previous ruling confirming a $146,079,996 award issued against the Kingdom of Spain (Eiser Infrastructure, et al. v. Kingdom of Spain, No. 17-3808, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 13 denied a motion for attorney fees filed by a class member who filed an objection following a settlement in a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines Co. after it stopped honoring drink vouchers, ruling that any order would undo the settlement that has already been approved by a district court and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation, No. 11-8176, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186937).
PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 9 granted a joint stipulation and order to extend deadlines pertaining to a class certification motion to allow homeowners to complete relevant discovery and document production (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals court panel on Nov. 13 reversed a Risperdal gynecomastia defense verdict, finding that the trial court erred in not treating physician assistant's testimony as that of a causation expert (W.C. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 2451 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 909).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Express consent from the lead named plaintiff in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit to receive up to 10 marketing text messages per month bars her class complaint against Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. (collectively, A&F), a Michigan federal judge ruled Nov. 13 (Melissa N. Thomas v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-11467, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186945).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 10 held in abeyance a motion for collective certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) filed by a property appraiser alleging that he and others have been misclassified and denied overtime wages and ruled that the plaintiff may renew his motion when he files for class certification of his state law claims (Som Swamy, et al. v. Title Source, Inc., No. 17-1175, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186535).
CHICAGO - Stressing that the claims in their amended complaint center on a benefit of the bargain damages theory, the plaintiffs in a putative class action filed in the wake of a 2015 data breach experienced by VTech Electronics North America LLC oppose the firm's dismissal motion in a Nov. 9 brief in Illinois federal court, arguing that the breach revealed VTech's failure to provide a promised kid-safe environment (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 13 partially certified a class of consumers suing a retailer and the company that issues the retailer's private-label credit cards for allegedly profiting from a deficient credit-monitoring service, finding that certification is appropriate for class members subject to Delaware law, but not for those subject to Virginia law (Jennifer Underwood, et al. v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-730, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186927).
SAN ANTONIO - A paramedic challenging his firing was successful in getting a fire chief's expert testimony excluded from the case when a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 13 that the chief's testimony is not relevant and would not be helpful to a jury (Bryan Brightwell v. Bandera County, No. 5:16-cv-1216, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186730).
ATLANTA - Insurers in a Nov. 9 brief oppose a request from a reinsurer and its shareholders to extend the discovery period and expert report deadlines in a dispute in a Georgia federal court over allegedly fraudulent transfers of reinsurance funds (Canal Insurance Co., et al. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company Ltd., et al., No. 15-03331, N.D. Ga.).
BOSTON - A settlor's contributions to a 401(k) plan are not a defense to claims that the plan trustee breached its fiduciary duties by engaging in prohibited transactions, AARP and the National Employment Lawyers Association argue in an amicus curiae brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of plan participants in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action suit (John Brotherston, et al. v. Putnam Investments LLC, et al., No. 17-1711, 1st Cir.).
TYLER, Texas - The 12th District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 determined that a trial court erred in granting an insured's motion to compel because the documents sought by the insured are not relevant to the contract claim and will not be relevant unless and until the extracontractual claims are tried (In re: Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-17-00266, Texas App., 12th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10428).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 8 trimmed a single claim from a class complaint accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC (VCNA) and Volvo Cars USA LLC (VCUSA) of misrepresenting the average mileage its hybrid sport utility vehicle could achieve on a single charge, finding that most of the claims that had previously been dismissed based on mootness and then reinstated by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals survived the defendant's alternative motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Xavier Laurens, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., No. 16-4507, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184992).
PHILADELPHIA - Three of four doctors offering expert opinions in a wrongful death action can testify that an accident on a U.S. military base caused a man's injuries and subsequent death from taking too many pain medications for the injuries, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Nov. 8, finding the causation opinions reliable enough to be admitted (Robert S. Evans v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-1839, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185563).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State law amendments in 2013 providing for secret ex parte interviews of a medical malpractice claimant's physicians violate the Florida Constitution's guarantees of privacy and court access, a Florida Supreme Court majority ruled Nov. 9, finding that including the interviews as part of the mandated presuit informal discovery process required claimants to waive their privacy rights to avail themselves of the courts (Emma Gayle Weaver v. Stephen C. Myers, M.D., et al. No. SC15-1538, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 2282).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 denied the government of Belize's petition for writ of certiorari in which it sought review of an appeals court's ruling that affirmed the enforcement of an $18,470,881 arbitral award (Government of Belize v. Belize Bank Limited, No. 17-252, U.S. Sup.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Nov. 7 appointed an investor group to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a consumer and business banking provider and certain of its executive officers because the investor group meets all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff, but the judge rejected the investor group's choice of co-lead counsel because the investor group failed to show that co-lead counsel is necessary (Bar Mandalevy v. BofI Holding Inc., et al., No. 17-0667, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184504).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge considering two companies' motion for reconsideration in light of a ruling excluding plaintiffs' experts in an asbestos-tainted talc case denied the motions without prejudice to the filing of new ones in an order docketed Nov. 7 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 9 released post-hearing submissions filed by investors and the Republic of Panama in relation to Panama's expedited objections to the tribunal's jurisdiction over the case (Bridgestone Licensing Services, Inc., et al. v. Republic of Panama, No. ARB/16/34, ICSID).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 7 extended the deadline for discovery in a hydraulic fracturing contract dispute following a previous ruling in which the judge denied a motion for protective order and a motion to quash that had been filed by a fracking company that sought to prevent inspection of fracking rigs at issue in the litigation (Orion Drilling Company LLC v. EQT Production Company, No. 16-01516, W.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A class complaint alleging that the live stream of an August boxing match suffered from technical failures and caused pay-per-view viewers to miss large portions of the fight was stayed Nov. 7 by a New York federal judge, who ordered the matter to arbitration (Victor Mallh, et al. v. Showtime Networks Inc., No. 17-6549, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184471).
SAN ANTONIO - A doctor's expert opinion on whether a spinal injury was caused by an car crash "is sufficiently reliable for admissibility purposes," a Texas magistrate judge ruled Nov. 9 (Benjamin Koenig v. Anthony Beekmans, No. 5:15-cv-00822, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185797).