SAN ANTONIO - A Texas federal judge on June 8 mostly allowed expert testimony for three citizens who allege that the San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium is violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by harming and harassing a 57-year-old Asian elephant named Lucky (James Graham, et al. v. San Antonio Zoological Society, No. 5:15-cv-1054, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88776).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas Supreme Court majority on June 9 granted an insurer's petition for mandamus in a discovery dispute, finding that a trial court and an appeals court abused their discretion by granting a group of insured's request for billing records from other cases in the same multidistrict litigation because such records are protected from discovery as work product (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Wardlaw Claims Service Inc. and Ideal Adjusting Inc., No. 15-0591, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 522).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The voluntary dismissal with prejudice of class claims against Microsoft Corp. over allegedly defective Xbox 360 gaming consoles deprived an appeals court of jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code Section 1291, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled June 12, reversing a ruling of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3721).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 9 affirmed a man's convictions and 10-year sentence for health care fraud resulting in death, holding that a fraudulent health care scheme that involved untrained X-ray technicians reading radiology results caused the death of two patients (United States of America v. Rafael Chikvashvili, No. 16-4393, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10292).
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on June 8 refused to certify a class for homeowners in Tennessee whose houses have Atlas Roofing Corp.'s Chalet brand shingles that are allegedly defective because they retain water and prematurely cup and curl, finding that the individual issues predominate over classwide issues (In re: Atlas Roofing Corporation Chalet Shingle Products liability Litigation, MDL 2495, Michael Mazza, et al. v. Atlas Roofing Corporation, No. 13-CV-4218-TWT, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88495).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 12 declined to review a case in which a couple claimed that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred when it overturned a $3 million jury award against Ford Motor Co. for design defect based on the appeals court's exclusion of the couple's expert testimony (Howard E. Nease, et ux. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 16-1333, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1562).
NEW YORK - An investor group was appointed as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pet therapeutics company and certain of its executive officers on June 6 after a federal judge in New York ruled that the group met all statutory requirements to serve in the position (In re Aratana Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No 17-0880, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87351).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer and an insurance agency in an insured's negligence and professional malpractice lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irene damage, finding that the insured's liability expert was properly excluded because he offered no authority to support his opinion (Satec Inc., et al. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., et al., No. A-5103-14T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 68).
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on June 6 announced that it has reached a host country agreement with the Republic of Djibouti, allowing PCA-administered cases to be heard there.
PITTSBURGH - An employee of a Pennsylvania oil field who alleges that he was paid miscalculated overtime wages or none at all was granted conditional class certification June 6 in his wage-and-hour lawsuit by a Pennsylvania federal judge (Christopher Meals, et al. v. Keane Frac GP LLC, et al., No. 16-1674, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86149).
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Although the defendant in a libel suit was negligent in failing to preserve the internet browser histories of its employees for discovery purposes, a North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 7 found no evidence of intentional conduct that would merit the sanction of adverse jury instructions sought by the plaintiff (Frederic N. Eshelman v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., No. 7:16-cv-00018, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87282).
DENVER - A taffy shop may have valid complaints about a survey conducted by an expert for a competing taffy shop in a trademark dispute, but the survey is reliable and relevant enough to not preclude it from trial, a Colorado federal magistrate judge ruled June 8 (Estes Park Taffy Company, LLC, et al. v. The Original Taffy Shop, Inc., No. 15-cv-01697, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88113).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on June 6 denied motions for sanctions filed by both sides in a suit over airline ticket costs, determining that an award for either side would be inappropriate because all sides, including the court, were to blame for the long, drawn-out litigation (Stuart Sandweiss, et al. v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., No. 16-121114, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86167).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on June 6 appointed a shareholder as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against an industrial biotechnology company and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that the shareholder met all statutory requirements to serve in the position (Donald Chu v. BioAmber Inc., et al., No. 17-1531, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 denied a petition filed by the government of Belize for rehearing of a decision in which the court rejected its appeal of an order confirming a $18,470,881 award issued in favor of a Belize bank (Belize Bank Limited v. Government of Belize, Nos. 16-7083 Consolidated with 16-7089, 16-7094, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5587).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, a Pennsylvania federal judge on June 6 denied leave to a putative class of mortgagors to file a third amended complaint based on their new theory under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) because it is time-barred and reliance on any equitable tolling doctrine has been disavowed (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) on June 5 asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL concussion multidistrict litigation to deny the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center)'s motion for attorney fees because the center has not shown that its legal costs would "have been substantially lower if the NHL's motion to compel had been limited only to those requests that were ultimately granted by the Court" (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
SEATTLE - In a June 5 order, a Washington federal judge granted in part a fired employee's motion for production of certain emails from her former supervisor, with the judge taking the opportunity to admonish both sides for the necessity of the motion, which he attributed to the parties' unwillingness to cooperate on discovery (Theresa Ortloff v. Dave Trimmer, et al., No. 2:16-cv-01257, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85963).
NEW YORK - A biopharmaceutical company violated a protective order by using discovery materials designated as confidential to file two other lawsuits, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled June 5, granting two motions by the defendant to enforce the protective order and sanctioning the plaintiff (Errant Gene Therapeutics LLC v. Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, No. 1:15-cv-02044, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85962).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 reinstated a class suit accusing Whole Foods Market Group Inc. of systemically overstating the weights of prepackaged food products and, as a result, overcharging customers, finding that the lead plaintiff plausibly alleged an injury-in-fact (Sean John, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 16-986, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9770).
CHICAGO - A federal court did not abuse its discretion in determining that a medical expert was qualified to provide testimony on the nature of physician teaching contracts in a podiatric residency program, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 5 in affirming the conviction of a doctor for taking kickbacks to refer patients to a Chicago hospital (United States of America v. Shanin Moshiri, No. 16-1126, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9959).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner that alleged fraud and misrepresentation by Google Inc. due to click fraud associated with its AdWords program saw his putative class complaint dismissed June 2 by a California federal judge who found a lack of facts to support the plaintiff's unfair competition and false advertising claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85196).
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A taxi driver may not proceed with his proposed class wage claims against his employer because he failed to properly oppose a motion for summary judgment and the claims he brought were previously resolved in a grievance filed by the union representing the drivers, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled June 1 (Michael Sargeant, et al. v. Henderson Taxi, No. 69773, Nev. Sup., 2017 Nev. LEXIS 42).
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) on June 1 announced that it has released new rules, which are aimed at improving the quality of its arbitral awards.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A medical expert can testify that gunshot wounds a nightclub bouncer received in a scuffle with an off-duty policeman caused the nerve disease and pain he suffers from, opening the door for two other experts to testify as to the man's alleged damages, a Missouri federal judge held June 1, while also severely limiting the testimony of the medical expert (Rodney Babbs, Jr. v. Bryan Block, No. 4:15-cv-0194, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83587).