SAN FRANCISCO - The variety of contracts at issue and evidence that at least some of the contracted pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) understood that a pharmacy's usual and customary rate did not include the rate offered for generic drugs in its membership program defeat a motion for class certification of insured purchasers of generic drugs, a federal judge in California held March 21 (Christopher Corcoran, et al. v. CVS Health, et al., No. 15-3504, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40783).
LAS VEGAS - A federal magistrate judge in Nevada on March 21 granted a protective order in a negligence lawsuit to facilitate discovery exchanges and establishing a procedure for the filing of documents that include trade secrets and other confidential information pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a) (Sonia Fernandez-Valdez v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 16-2464, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40492).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on March 23 released its 2016 annual report announcing an increase in new arbitration requests and in administered cases.
SUBIACO, Western Australia - An Australian energy firm on March 23 announced that it will commence arbitration with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) against a uranium holding company, asserting claims related to a notice requesting that it determine the value of its shares in a mine.
MILWAUKEE - Excluding expert testimony on the cause and origin of a fire, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled March 21 that plaintiffs cannot prevail on their claims of strict products liability or negligence because "without competent expert testimony, the jury would be forced to speculate about the cause of the fire" (S.V. Gopalratnam and Hemalatha Gopalratnam, et al. v. Hewlett Packard Co. and ABC Insurance Co. v. Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Dynapack Technology Corp., No. 13-618, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40386).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A government watchdog group on March 21 filed a complaint in District of Columbia federal court against the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that the agency violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, by not timely providing certain employees' communications that were sent using an encryption application (Cause of Action Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 1:17-cv-00509, D. D.C.).
ERIE, Pa. - A second expert report filed by the lead plaintiffs in a proposed class action over spying software when they filed their reply brief in support of their renewed motion for class certification was filed too late, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled March 22, striking the new report (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's, Inc., et al., No. 11-101, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41030).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on March 22 denied a motion filed by several companies to compel arbitration of claims asserted by an investor in relation to supply and operating agreements, finding that neither of the arbitration provisions in the contracts applies to his claims (Pei Chuang v. OD Expense, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00915, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40913).
SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney representing the named plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour class complaint must pay $7,706.32 in sanctions after acting in an "unprofessional" and "disrespectful" manner during deposition, a California federal magistrate judge ruled March 21, adding that the attorney "might benefit from mental health treatment and sensitivity training" (Shaon Robinson, et al. v. The Chefs' Warehouse, No. 15-5421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40824).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 21 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Campbell Soup Co. of deceiving customers by labeling soup as healthy even though it contained trans fat but denied motions by both parties seeking sanctions (Harold Brower, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, No. 16-1005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40792).
DETROIT - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in that city filed a brief in Michigan federal court on March 21, arguing that the lawsuit meets the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and, therefore, the court should deny a motion filed by another group of defendants asking it to alter its judgment with regard to exercising its jurisdiction over state law claims (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - A child pornography suspect was correctly found to be in contempt when he refused to comply with a court order requiring him to provide law enforcement with access to external hard drives, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 20, finding that the defendant's rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were not violated (United States of America v. Apple Mac Pro Computer, et al., No. 15-3537, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4874).
LONDON - An English exploration company on March 23 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the Republic of Italy, asserting that it breached the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).
HARTFORD, Conn. - Finding that a plaintiff's expert is not qualified to testify about "handheld circular saw safety, the efficacy or necessity of riving knives on such products, or the sufficiency of warning labels" to support design defect and failure-to-warn claims, a Connecticut federal judge on March 20 granted summary judgment to the manufacturer of a circular saw (Eustathios Karavitis v. Makita U.S.A. Inc., No. 14-00913, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39830).
TYLER, Texas - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may provide opinions "based on his technical knowledge and expertise" as to the technical advantages of a claimed process of forming circuitry used in controlling liquid crystal displays (LCDs), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 22 (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41040).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 heard arguments from Microsoft Corp. and a class of owners of allegedly defective Xbox gaming systems as to whether an appeals court has jurisdiction to consider a class certification appeal after the plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on March 17 for permission to file a letter motion asking the court to disqualify certain trial witnesses that were not revealed until after the end of discovery or, in the alternative, allow the reinsurer to depose the witnesses (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
TORONTO - The owner of a joint copper mining venture on March 21 said the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has found that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan violated a treaty in relation to a dispute over mining licenses.
NEWARK, N.J. - Three drug makers and the three largest pharmacy benefit managers have engaged in a pricing scheme to drive up the cost of diabetes insulin - by more than 150 percent in the last five years - in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Sherman Act and numerous state laws, four consumers and Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation allege in a March 17 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Julia Boss, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-1823, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A network of "vendors" who perform maintenance and repair services at properties owned by Field Asset Services Inc. (FAS) are employees, not independent contractors, and are owed overtime and business expenses, a California federal judge ruled March 17 in an order granting the vendors' motion for partial summary judgment and denying FAS's motion to decertify the class of vendors (Fred Bowerman, et al. v. Field Asset Services Inc., et al., No. 13-57, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39000).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An economic expert may opine as to whether the market in which a company's stock traded was efficient during a class period and whether it is possible to calculate damages on a classwide basis for purposes of liability, an Ohio federal judge ruled March 17 (Alan Willis v. Big Lots Inc., et al., No. 12-0604, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38933).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on March 17 decided several motions to exclude testimony in a putative class action against the manufacturer and retailers of a washer that was not energy efficient despite a label on the product (Charlene Dzielak, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., et al., No. 12-0089, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39232).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on March 20 issued its final award in a dispute over Canadian drug patents, dismissing all of a pharmaceutical company's claims and finding that the invalidation of the patents by Canadian courts did not constitute violations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Eli Lilly and Company v. Government of Canada, No. UNCT/14/2, ICSID).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois overseeing a trial claiming that a former Reed Smith partner's use of the antidepressant Paxil caused him to commit suicide in 2010 on March 20 denied the drug maker's motion to strike portions of testimony from a plaintiff's expert of the amount of data he had access to that purportedly showed that suicidal events were underreported during studies (Wendy Dolin v. SmithKline Beechman Corporation, d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. 12-cv-6403, N.D. Ill.).