SAN FRANCISCO - In a motion seeking interlocutory review, an insurer argues that whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires an insurer to provide access to lactation services or merely forbids financial barriers to obtaining such services is exactly the type of question the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should address and, in an answer to the complaint filed Sept. 19 in a California federal court, the insurer says the plaintiffs' fail to state a claim under either the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the ACA on which relief can be based (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 17-183, N.D. Calif.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - An engineering expert can opine that nearby coal-mining operations caused subsidence damage to a couple's property in West Virginia, a federal judge held Sept. 18, finding that the expert's opinion is both reliable and helpful and that the late production of the expert's report is excusable (Christopher Clark, et al. v. McElroy Coal Company, et al., No. 5:16-cv-137, N.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152125).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed a consolidated class action against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) related to a series of 2015 data breaches that compromised employees' personally identifiable information (PII), finding that the two plaintiff employee unions failed to allege the necessary injuries or sufficient facts to establish standing under the asserted statutes (In Re: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-mc-01394, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151449).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on Sept. 19 granted a motion filed by a man accused of orchestrating a telemarketing scheme to sell insurance products that were not major medical health insurance, finding that he should be allowed to review recordings of approximately 100,000 sales calls to establish a good faith defense (United States of America v. Timothy Thomas, No. 14-182, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152336).
TAMPA, Fla. - A rental property owner seeking class certification in a suit over the constitutionality of a Florida city's rental housing program failed to prove the ascertainability and numerosity of its proposed class, a Florida federal judge ruled Sept. 19 (Lea Family Partnership Ltd., et al. v. City of Temple Terrace, Florida, et al., No. 16-3463, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151405).
BAY CITY, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 15 dismissed a class lawsuit accusing a Michigan county and one of its employees of violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by marking tires of parked cars prior to issuing parking tickets (Alison Patricia Taylor v. City of Saginaw, et al., No. 17-11067, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149846).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 18 affirmed a ruling in which a district court found that a motorman who was injured while working aboard a vessel must arbitrate his claims against his employer in the Philippines pursuant to his employment contract (Rodrigo R. Pagaduan v. Carnival Corporation, et al., No. 16-465, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17981).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - An expert witness for a woman who says her paralysis was caused by medical malpractice was excluded from testifying by a Puerto Rico federal judge, who ruled Sept. 18 that the expert's opinion on the cause of the paralysis is useless because, despite the woman's claims to the contrary, the evidence shows that she is not in fact paraplegic (Aglaed Gonzalez Rivera v. Centro Medico Del Turabo, Inc. D/B/A Hospital Himacaguas, et al., No. 15-1538, D. Puerto Rico, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151189).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man whose mother died in a Florida nursing home after the air conditioning system broke following Hurricane Irma filed suit on Sept. 15 against the home, its owners and administrative staff, seeking a pure bill of discovery and to preclude the home, its staff and owner from destroying evidence that could lead to who is responsible for his mother's death (Francis L. Lopez v. Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills LLC, et al., No. CACE17016659, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a consumer sufficiently pleaded that she relied on various representations regarding the health benefits of coconut oil, a California federal judge on Sept. 18 denied a motion filed by the maker of the product to dismiss the purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Syndi Tracton v. Viva Labs Inc., No. 16-cv-2772, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151178).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 14 denied an unopposed motion by the plaintiff in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit to file the motion for class certification under seal, ruling that claims that information in the motion was declared confidential by the defendant is insufficient to overcome the public's right of access (Melanie Glasser, et al. v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, No. 16-952, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149332).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 reversed a trial court's decertification of a class of consumers suing a supplement maker for allegedly including false claims on the labels of its aphrodisiac supplements, ruling that the trial court abused its discretion when it based its decision on the lead plaintiff's inability to provide restitution damages through the full refund model (Troy Lambert, et al. v. Nutraceutical Corp., No. 15-56423, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17923).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A cosmetics company is not entitled to summary judgment on a woman's claim that she contracted a methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) infection from a makeover at one of the company's stores, an Ohio federal judge held Sept. 15 after finding that the opinions of the woman's causation experts are sufficiently reliable to be admitted at trial (Susan Welch Kelly, et al. v. Bare Escentuals Beauty, Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-1359, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150060).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 15 denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Shutterfly Inc. of violating Illinois' Biometic Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by using facial recognition software to scan faces in uploaded images and then storing that data (Alejandro Monroy, et al. v. Shutterfly, Inc., No. 16-10984, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149604).
ESPOO, Finland - Nokia Technologies on Sept. 18 announced that an international arbitral tribunal has issued a confidential award, resolving a dispute with an electronics company over a smartphone patent license.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Voicing its intention to appeal a California federal judge's ruling ordering it to comply with a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) seeking production of foreign-stored user emails, Google Inc. on Sept. 13 moved for an order of civil contempt related to its noncompliance, to establish appellate jurisdiction (In re: Search of Content That is Stored at Premises Controlled by Google, No. 3:16-mc-80263, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 14 awarded attorney fees and incentive awards following the $60.8 million settlement reached between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and a class of drivers who brought wage claims against their employer, but in amounts below those requested by the plaintiffs (Charles Ridgeway, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 08-cv-05221, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149440).
FRESNO, Calif. - A U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California judge on Sept. 14 dismissed a class complaint accusing several gyms and their franchisor of violating the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) following the transfer of memberships, but gave the plaintiffs one more opportunity to amend their complaint while warning them that the "Court's resources are limited" and that the amended pleadings "will be considered to be the best the parties can present" (Jogert Abrantes, et al. v. Fitness 19 LLC, et al., No. 16-903, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149435).
GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 15 awarded summary judgment to a utility contractor on an insurance company's claim that the contractor's negligence caused a house fire, after excluding the insurer's expert from testifying about the standard of care for the work at issue due to lack of a reliable methodology (American Strategic Insurance Corp. v. Scope Services, Inc., No. 15-2045, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149789).
STANTON, Ky. - A Kentucky Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 vacated certification of a class of customers suing United Propane Gas Inc. for breach of contract and other violations, finding the trial court's certification was deficient under Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure 23.01, 23.02 and 23.03 (United Propane Gas, Inc. v. Faye Purcell, et al., No. 2016-CA-001037-MR, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. LEXIS 523).
NEW YORK - Newly uncovered evidence that could show that mobile device manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd. and certain of its former executive officers concealed declining sales of its new Z10 smartphone and other 10 series mobile devices is enough to warrant amendment of a shareholder class action complaint so that shareholders may properly plead the elements of their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 13 in granting the shareholders leave to amend (Marvin Pearlstein v. BlackBerry Ltd., et al., No. 13-7060, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148479).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 13 rescinded certification of a class of people who allege that they have been denied effective transition services by the District of Columbia, resulting in them being stuck in nursing facilities in violation of the integration mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show the existence of "a concrete, systemic failure that entitles them to class-wide relief" (Ivy Brown, et al. v. District of Columbia, No. 10-2250, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147939).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company relied on erroneous information in arguing that the company and certain of its senior executives concealed from investors certain adverse events observed in a phase III clinical trial for the company's hepatitis B drug in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 12 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re Dynavax Securities Litigation, No. 16-6690, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147760).
SAN FRANCISCO - Since a construction company seeks to assert claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) as representative claims under state law, rather than as class claims under federal law, a California federal judge on Sept. 12 denied an insurer's motion to strike parts of the company's complaint filed against it in relation to its issuance of general liability insurance policies (Albert D. Seeno Construction Company, et al. v. Aspen Insurance UK Limited, No. 17-cv-03765, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147646).
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A gold mining company on Sept. 14 announced that two Greek ministries have filed a formal notice of arbitration against it in Greece, asserting claims related to a technical study for a metallurgical plant.