WASINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 20 ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to produce more than 100 documents it has withheld in a civil action against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), saying that Treasury has "miserably failed" to explain its deliberative process privilege claims (U.S. Department of the Treasury v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., v. Dennis Black, et al., No. 12-mc-100, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175656).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 20 granted a clothing retailer's motion to dismiss a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and claims for false advertising in relation to its pricing, finding that she failed to allege facts to support her class action claims (Courtney Dennis v. Ralph Lauren Corporation, No. 16cv1056, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176856).
DENVER - A proposed class complaint accusing a company of failing to be upfront on its website about its monthly fees belongs in federal, not state, court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) once the traditional meaning of the term "in controversy" is applied, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 20, reversing a district court's decision (Elizabeth Hammond v. Stamps.com, Inc., No. 16-2243, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22600).
LOS ANGELES - The defendants in a putative class action alleging that the University of Southern California's (USC) 403(b) retirement plans charged excessive fees moved Dec. 19 in California federal court for an order compelling individual, nonclass arbitration and dismissal or, in the alternative, staying all proceedings pending the resolution of arbitration (Allen L. Munro, et al. v. University of Southern California, et al., No. 2:16-cv-06191, C.D. Calif.).
DALLAS - A journalist who suffered an epileptic seizure after receiving a tweet from an anonymous poster containing a strobe image was granted leave by a Texas judge on Dec. 19 to depose a representative of Twitter Inc. to obtain identifying information about the Doe poster for the purpose of pursuing legal action against him or her (In re: Petition of Kurt Eichenwald Requesting Pre-suit Deposition under Rule 202, No. DC-16-16077, Texas Dist., Dallas Co.).
HOUSTON - In a breach of contract lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Dec. 20 excluded in part testimony from both parties involved in a dispute over an agreement for the supply of crude oil (Musket Corp. v. Suncor Energy [U.S.A.] Marketing Inc., No. 15-100, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175601).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 21 made a small amendment to its Sept. 7 opinion in which it held that a California federal judge erred when he assumed the authority to decide in two class complaints whether arbitration agreements between Uber Technologies Inc. and its drivers were enforceable and denied a petition for rehearing en banc (Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-16178, Ronald Gillette v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-16181, Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-16250, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22898).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 19 released its decision refusing to annul a $39 million award plus interest that was issued in favor of a French company against the Argentine Republic in relation to its investment in a water and sewage concession (SAUR International v. Argentine Republic, No. ARB/04/4, ICSID).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed a district court's confirmation of an arbitral award that granted a California corporation the rights to intellectual property and patent applications for the development of microalga products, finding that an arbitral panel did not exceed its authority when issuing the award (Roquette Freres S.A. v. Solazyme Inc., Nos. 15-4030 and 16-1308, 3rd Cir.).
TEXARKANA, Texas - Finding no error in the admission of two medical professionals' testimony concerning the medical care and treatment a patient received, a Texas appeals panel on Dec. 19 upheld a take-nothing judgment and finding of no negligence on the part of a hospital and one of its doctors (Kay Plunkett, et al. v. Christus St. Michael Health System, et al., No. 06-16-00010-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13427).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - With the lodging of a Dec. 16 complaint against Yahoo! Inc. in California federal court, at least four putative class actions have been filed since the internet firm's Dec. 14 announcement of a recently discovered hacking incident that compromised the personally identifiable information (PII) associated with 1 billion user accounts (Hector M. De Avila Gonzalez v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 5:16-cv-07206, N.D. Calif.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - In a December 20 reply brief in Oregon federal court, Premera Blue Cross says that fraud-based and contract-based claims brought against it in a putative class action over a 2014 data breach incident merit dismissal because the plaintiffs have not met their burden of individually stating plausible claims under their respective contracts with the insurer (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore.).
TRENTON, N.J. - Although excluding an expert from testifying on retail safety operations, a New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 19 declined to grant summary judgment to Whole Foods Market because fact issues exist as to whether it showed "reasonable or due care" by placing a yellow warning sign near a spill until an employee returned with a mop (Gabriela Puerto v. Whole Foods Market, et al., No. 14-5118, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174714).
LONDON - An England and Wales court on Dec. 19 rejected the appeal of an investor in a Moscow real estate project of a judgment enforcing a $72,243,000 arbitral award issued in favor of another investor by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), finding that the judge did not err in his interpretation that an underlying arbitration clause existed (Ashot Yegiazaryan v. Vitaly Ivonovich Smagin, No.  EWCA Civ 1290, England and Wales App.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A French social benefit company on Dec. 16 said a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has awarded it 23 million euros in a dispute with Hungary over a meal voucher program (Edenred S.A. v. Hungary, No. ARB/13/12, ICSID).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 15 reinstated a proposed class complaint accusing a residential mortgage company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by hiring a third party to send out unsolicited faxed advertisements, finding that unaccepted offers of individual judgment did not moot the claims (Bridging Communities Inc., et al. v. Top Flite Financial Incorporated, No. 15-1572, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22297).
CHICAGO - A debt collector must pay class damages for unlawful debt collection practices made by a third party on its behalf, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 15 (Mary T. Janetos, et al. v. Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP, et al., No. 12-1473, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173718).
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Dec. 15 said it has entered a cooperation agreement with the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion to reconsider what court a class suit over the St. Louis Rams moving to a new city belongs and ordered limited discovery on whether the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) applies (Ronald McAllister v. The St. Louis Rams, LLC, Nos. 16-172, 16-262, 16-297 and 16-189, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Dec. 15 partially reversed a judgment by a court of appeal to the extent it directed the trial court to hold further proceedings on a class's claims under the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act, but affirmed a decision that a dealership's practice of backdating contracts did not violate the Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) (Raceway Ford Cases, Nos. E054517, E056595, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 842).
PARIS - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 13 issued its ruling granting a request by a shipping company and others to amend an award in an arbitration with the Republic of Guinea to account for interest (Getma International and others v. Republic of Guinea, No. ARB/11/29, ICSID).
JACKSON, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 14 refused to exclude economic damages testimony in a man's negligence lawsuit arising from his injuries from his employment and subsequent inability to return to work because an industrial company failed to show that the testimony was based on unreliable methods (Dale Berman, et al. v. Unimin Corp., No. 15-1255, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172769).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on Dec. 13 denied an insurer's motion to compel the production of unredacted documents and emails after determining that the documents and emails are protected under the work product doctrine because they were prepared in anticipation of litigation regarding coverage for the contamination of the insured's blood products (Baxter International Inc., v. AXA Versicherung, No. 11-cv-09131, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172234).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 12 dismissed an objection filed by the United Mexican States to an arbitration filed against it by a lender, finding that questions regarding whether certain promissory notes and mortgages were investments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) required more review (Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P. v. United Mexican States, No. ARB[AF]/15/12, ICSID).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In answers filed Dec. 9 in Massachusetts federal court, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) each deny a deaf advocacy organization's putative class claims that their websites violated federal law because they are not equally accessible for hearing-impaired individuals (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, D. Mass; and National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).