LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Michigan Federal Judge Bars Damages Experts' Opinions In Patent Infringement Suit

    DETROIT - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning car navigational methods, a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 14 that damages experts failed to present a reliable methodology for a conjoint study to assist a jury in determining what portion of Garmin International Inc.'s profits could be attributed to the incremental value that the four patented features added to the overall value of the accused devices (Visteon Global Technologies Inc. and Visteon Technologies LLC v. Garmin International Inc., No. 10-10578, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142395).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Expert Opinion On Responsible Care Initiative In Tainted Water Supply Suit

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Having found that American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care initiative is not an industry standard and does not impose an independent duty of care on a chemical distributor, a West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 13 excluded expert testimony on the initiative from both the distributor and plaintiffs accusing it of contaminating their water supply (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Company Inc., et al., No. 14-01374, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141865).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Investor Failed To Plead Elements Of Federal Securities Law Claims, Judge Rules

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 12 granted several motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a semiconductor producer and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead the elements of its securities fraud claims as required (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141567).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Wells Fargo 401(k) Plan Participant Files Class Action Under ERISA

    MINNEAPOLIS - A former Wells Fargo & Co. employee and participant in its 401(k) plan on Oct. 14 filed a class action complaint under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act against the company, former and current executives and investment committee members, alleging that they breached their fiduciary duty by, among other things, retaining common stock of Wells Fargo as an investment option in the plan when a reasonable fiduciary using the "care, skill prudence, and diligence . . . that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters" would have done otherwise (Lynette Fletcher, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 0:16-cv-03495, D. Minn.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.S. Government: 2nd Circuit Erred In Denying Access To Irish-Based Emails

    NEW YORK - In an Oct. 13 motion for rehearing, the U.S. government tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a panel ruling improperly deemed unenforceable a warrant seeking emails stored in a Microsoft Inc. server in Ireland because the provisions of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), under which the warrant was issued, cannot apply extraterritorially (In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp.[Microsoft v. United States], No. 14-2985, 2nd Cir.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Finds Use Of Police Policies Does Not Make Testimony Irrelevant

    ROANOKE, Va. - Expert testimony is relevant under Federal Rules of Evidence 401 and 402 because the expert's use of police policies was one factor in forming his opinion, a Virginia federal judge ruled Oct. 12, also finding that the testimony should not be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, provided that the testimony does not equate policy violations with constitutional violations (Michael E. Wyatt v. Johnny Owens, et al., No. 14-00492, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140878).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Power Home Remodeling Settles TCPA Class Suit For $5.2 Million

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 granted final approval of a $5.2 million settlement to be paid by Power Home Remodeling Group LLC to end a class complaint accusing the company of placing repeated automated sales calls to the cells phones of more than 1.1 million people in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Teofilo Vasco v. Power Home Remodeling Group LLC, No. 15-4623, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141044).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Vivendi Seeks Rehearing Of Panel's Affirmation Of Verdict In Securities Suit

    NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred in affirming a federal jury's verdict against a French company for issuing a series of misrepresentations regarding liquidity in violation of federal securities law, and rehearing is necessary because the ruling is in conflict with U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the company argues in an Oct. 11 motion for rehearing and rehearing en banc (In re Vivendi S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 15-180, 2nd Cir.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Defendants: Flint, Mich., Residents' Claims Fail In Water Crisis Lawsuit

    DETROIT - A group of defendants in a putative class action filed by residents of Flint, Mich., contending that various state officials are liable for injuries that have stemmed from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water moved in Michigan federal court to have the case dismissed on grounds that they are covered by sovereign immunity and federal law pertaining to drinking water "provides a comprehensive remedial scheme which precludes all claims" (Lawrence Washington, Jr., et al. v. Governor Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16- 11247, E.D. Mich.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Removal Of Wage-Related Class Was Improper, Remands

    LOS ANGLES - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 granted a motion to remand a case filed by an employee who alleged wage-related and other claims against his former employer, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet the requirements for removal of a class action to a federal court (Gustavo Segura Santoya v. Consolidated Foundries Inc., et al., No. 16-02232, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142112).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Refuses To Enter Default For Alleged Unlawful Broadcast

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 refused to enter a default ruling in favor of a sports production company on its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action in relation to the alleged unlawful broadcast of a boxing match, finding that it failed to plead sufficient facts to support a finding that a restaurant owner was liable (J&J Sports Productions Inc. v. Yolanda K. Crawford, No. 16-cv-01744, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142038).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Employer To Pay $6 Million To Settle Federal, State Wage Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $6 million settlement to be paid by a company that provides asset protection solutions to hourly technicians who are members of a putative class and collective action in which they alleged that they were denied compensation for work-related activities, including mandatory trainings and traveling to and from customer worksites (Edgar Viceral, et al. v. Mistras Group, Inc., No. 15-2198, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140759).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Employee From Testifying On Trademark Confusion In Trade Secrets Suit

    PHILADELPHIA - In a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a company's employee in its marketing department is unqualified due to a lack of technical knowledge to testify on issues such as "branding, trademark confusion, customer reactions, business ethics, or trademark law," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 12, excluding the testimony (Alpha Pro Tech Inc. v. VWR International LLC, No. 12-1615, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141030).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Reconsideration Of Class Certification Denied In Suits Over Denial Of Care

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 12 denied a motion filed by United Behavioral Health (UBH) to either reconsider his Sept. 19 certification of a class of insureds accusing UBH of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands or certify the order for interlocutory appeal (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141441).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Whirlpool Dishwasher Settlement Granted Final Approval By California Federal Judge

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - A settlement, estimated to be worth up to $100 million by plaintiffs' counsel, ending a class complaint alleging defects in Whirlpool Corp.-manufactured dishwashers that caused them to smoke, spark and catch on fire was granted final approval Oct. 11 by a California federal judge (Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., No. 11-1733, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140839).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Certifies Class Of Health Care Plan Participants Suing Insurer

    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).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge Refuses To Expand Class Period For School Bus Drivers

    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).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Asbestos Expert's Testimony; Evidence Need Not Be Perfect Fit

    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.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Limits Expert Testimony To 2 Out Of 3 Golf Courses On Cause Of Damage From Ice

    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).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Solicitor General To Argue In High Court Case On False Claims Act Seal Violations

    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).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders DuPont To Produce Documents, Denies Request For Sanctions

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - The judge presiding over litigation brought against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries stemming from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Oct. 7 ruled that the company is compelled to supplement its discovery requests but held that it would not be subject to sanctions as had been requested by the plaintiffs (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Allows Class Action Against Wawa To Proceed

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 6 denied most parts of a motion to dismiss a class action complaint accusing a man's former employer, Wawa Inc., of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when it forced him and other terminated employees to sell their stock in the company because Wawa's reservation of a right to amend the plan "at any time" did not necessarily give it the authority to reduce the plaintiffs' benefits (Greg Pfeifer v. Wawa, Inc., et al., No. 16-497, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Action Accuses Wells Fargo & Co. Of 'Cross-Selling' Scheme

    MINNEAPOLIS - A participant in and beneficiary of the Wells Fargo & Co.'s 401(k) Plan filed a putative class action lawsuit in Minnesota federal court Oct. 7, alleging violations of Sections 409 and 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for allegedly encouraging and causing employees to sign up customers for unauthorized and unwanted accounts and other banking products to generate inflated share price growth (Francesca Allen, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 16-3405, D. Minn.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - No Error In Allowing DEA Agent's Testimony On Drug Trade Codes, 4th Circuit Says

    RICHMOND, Va. - A trial judge did not err in refusing to suppress evidence seized from a storage unit or in permitting an agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to testify regarding drug trade codes, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 7 (United States of America v. Lateef Fisher, Nos. 15-4471 & 15-4550, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18271).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 5th Circuit: Exclusion Of Expert Testimony Is Fatal To Products Liability Case

    NEW ORLEANS - The exclusion of expert testimony on the mechanics of how a vehicle's fuel tank struck a flange and whether safer alternative designs existed was fatal to prove products liability claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 5, affirming summary judgment for the vehicle's manufacturers (Henry Lee Sims Jr., individually and as legal heir to the Estate of Henry Lee Sims Sr., et al. v. Kia Motors of America and Kia Motors Corp., No. 15-10636, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18116).