CHICAGO - A disability claimant is permitted to depose an independent medical consultant because a physician's potential biases could affect a decision regarding whether the claimant was actually disabled, an Illinois federal judge said April 10 (Becky Harding v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 16-6700, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54241).
WATERLOO, Ontario - A mobile-native security software and services company on April 12 announced that an award has been issued by an arbitral panel in its favor in a dispute over royalties applied to payments under a license agreement, ordering a California entity to pay it $814,868,350 in damages.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 11 registered an application for annulment filed by an English mining company that seeks to annul an award that granted an application filed by the Republic of Indonesia to dismiss an arbitration against it (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa morbidity and mortality statute shields a hospital's safety report from discovery in a patient's negligence suit, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled April 7, reversing a trial court order compelling its production (Dennis Willard v. State of Iowa, No. 16-1009, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 31).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia added more than $700,000 in interest April 10 to an attorney's $2.8 million fee award for work he did for hundreds of thousands of Native American plaintiffs in a class action alleging mismanagement by the government of Indian lands that resulted in a $3.4 billion settlement for the plaintiffs (Elouise Pepion Cobell, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 1:96-cv-01285, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54281).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on April 7 granted a motion for summary judgment dismissal of claims for breach of warranty brought by a town against Monsanto and its affiliates related to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a school building on grounds that the town failed to show that an alternate design was feasible. As a result of that dismissal, the judge ruled that motions to exclude expert witness testimony were "moot" (Town of Westport v. Monsanto Company, No. 14-12041, D. Mass.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53815).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on April 10 granted preliminary approval of a $10.5 million settlement between investors and one of the country's largest industrial, engineering and construction companies in a securities class action lawsuit alleging that the company and certain of its current and former senior officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-1287, S.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES - Moments after a California federal jury returned a $454 million verdict in a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the judge on April 7 urged the parties to try to resolve the dispute to avoid having the matter go on "for many years further after today's verdict" (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly Clarke Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - Customers of a stem cell therapy business sufficiently plead that the business advertised false and misleading information on its website about consumer satisfaction rates in a way that was deceptive to potential customers, though they must amend their class claims that the business misrepresented the efficacy of its treatments if those claims are to proceed, a California federal judge held April 6 (Selena Moorer, et al. v. StemGenex Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02816, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53294).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing a pending motion to dismiss a suit over the data-collection practices of the National Security Agency (NSA), the federal government defendants tells a District of Columbia federal court in an April 10 brief that a discovery conference the plaintiffs seek to compel is "uncalled for" (Larry Elliott Klayman, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 1:13-cv-00851 and 1:13-cv-00881, D. D.C.).
HOUSTON - KBR Inc. on April 10 announced that it has reached a settlement with a Mexico-owned oil company, ending its efforts to collect a $435 million arbitral award issued in favor of its subsidiary.
TAMPA, Fla. - An insurance company that is defending itself against a class suit over its failure to provide coverage required under Florida law failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, a Florida federal judge ruled April 6, sending the case back to state court (Amber Rae McLawhorn, et al. v. GEICO Indemnity Company, No. 17-156, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52905).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 6 approved a class counsel fee amount of at least $15.26 million, over defendants' objections, in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement worth up to $76 million (Gerardo Aranda, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-4069, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54080).
WACO, Texas - After excluding testimony on damages for failing to determine whether property damage "is cosmetic or functional damage," a Texas federal judge on April 6 granted summary judgment to an insurer on breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and statutory claims but denied summary judgment on a breach of contract claim (Stephen Hahn v. United Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-00218, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53178).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - After refusing to exclude expert testimony from both sides in a patent infringement case involving disposable pants-type diapers, a Kentucky federal judge on April 10 granted and denied in part summary judgment of noninfringement to a baby diaper manufacturer on certain accused products (SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag, et al. v. First Quality Baby Products LLC, et al., No. 10-00122, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54167).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge in the Zofran multidistrict litigation on April 6 granted a plaintiffs' motion to compel defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) to produce documents related to the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the off-label marketing of the anti-nausea drug suspected of causing birth defects (In Re: Zofran [Ondanestron] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2657, No. 15-md-2657, D. Mass.).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 7 affirmed an Ohio federal judge's decision to dismiss a class action filed by members of the Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that the decision is in line with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer that allowed fiduciaries for ESOPs to rely solely on the market price of a security as a risk barometer (Paul Saumer, et al. v. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., et al., No. 16-3449, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6015).
TRENTON, N.J. - Two former executive team leaders on April 6 accepted a $83,000 offer of judgment filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Target Corp. and Target Corporation of Minnesota (collectively, Target), ending their proposed collective action that accused the retailer of misclassifying them as exempt from receiving overtime pay (Richard Locicero, et al. v. Target Corporation, et al., No. 16-5592, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Native American tribe can seek through discovery tax return information from the Internal Revenue Service for people who worked for the tribe in an effort to avoid paying withholding taxes for workers the IRS reclassified from contractors to employees, the U.S. Tax Court held April 5 (Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 28120-14, U.S. Tax, 2017 U.S. Tax Ct. LEXIS 12).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 4 declined to bar testimony from real estate appraisers in a dispute over a lease's purchase option between a gasoline retailer and a landlord because excluding either appraisal would upset the current balance (Buchanan Energy [N] LLC v. Lake Bluff Holdings LLC, No. 15-3851, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51403).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 5 denied a massage parlor franchisor's motion for judgment on the pleadings or to strike class action allegations in a case in which franchise members claim that they were charged fees above those in the membership agreements they signed, saying the plaintiffs' claims are not barred by previous court actions and settlement agreements (Baerbel McKinney-Drobnis, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising LLC, No. 4:116-cv-06450, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52165).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A group of shareholders have met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a medical equipment developer and certain of its executive officers, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 3 in granting their motion for appointment as lead plaintiffs (Rajesh M. Shah v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-0815, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 50236).
LONDON - An English mining company on April 5 announced that its subsidiary and a Colombian milling company have entered into a settlement, completely resolving an international arbitration case.
ALEXANDRIA, La. - After granting a request to dismiss a Bermuda insurer who removed an action filed by an injured electrician from a state court based on an arbitration agreement with an energy company named as a defendant, a Louisiana federal judge on April 3 granted the claimant's motion to remand the case to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Garrett L. Faulk, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 2:16-CV-01461, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51675).
SEATTLE - The components of EpiPens cost between $20 and $30 to make, but Mylan Specialty L.P. has increased the list price of the epinephrine auto-injector 574 percent since 2007 - from $90.28 to $608.62 -to participate in a kickback scheme, three consumers allege in a class complaint filed against Mylan on April 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Amber Rainey, et al. v. Mylan Specialty, L.P., No. 17-5244, W.D. Wash.).