MONTGOMERY, Ala. - In an Aug. 28 filing in Alabama federal court, the U.S. government states that it "persists in its request" from a July 18 motion to review and vacate a magistrate's order denying warrants for the production of emails related to a tax fraud investigation, arguing that a subsequent 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on the search of email accounts has no bearing on the present case (In re Search of Information Associated with 15 Email Addresses Stored at Premises Owned, Maintained, Controlled or Operated by 1&1 Media, Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cm-03152, M.D. Ala.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 29 approved a $2.75 million settlement between Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and a class that claimed that the insurer improperly classified transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an experimental treatment for depression in an effort to avoid covering the procedure (Annette Weil, et al. v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-07074, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139093).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Consumers who purchased glasses for viewing the Aug. 21 solar eclipse from Amazon.com Inc. purchased a product that Amazon knew or should have known was defective and would cause various eye injuries, two South Carolina residents allege in their Aug. 29 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Thomas Corey Payne, et al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 17-2313, D. S.C.).
NEW YORK - A man who says an anti-psychotic drug he took during his teens caused enlargement of his breasts can pursue most of his products liability claims against the drugmaker, a New York federal judge ruled Aug. 30 after finding that the causation opinions of the man's medical expert are admissible and raise a triable issue of fact (Jamal Adeghe v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 16-2235, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139913).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 25 dismissed several claims in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action lawsuit against New York University, saying that the plaintiffs failed to plead sufficient facts to support their claims that the university breached its duty of loyalty by not offering any factual allegations that actions taken by the university benefitted a third party or itself (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-6284, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137115).
LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a motion for class certification filed in an Illinois woman's lawsuit accusing the maker of a baby seat of making deceptive claims about its product, finding the class to be overbroad and inappropriate for class certification under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3) (Elizabeth Clark, et al. v. Bumbo International Trust, No. 15-2725, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137607).
PHILADELPHIA - A policyholder of Aetna Inc. filed a class complaint against the insurer in Pennsylvania federal court Aug. 28, alleging that in settling two previous lawsuits over purported privacy violations of its insureds that take HIV medications, the insurer again violated their privacy with an indiscreet mailing (Andrew Beckett v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-03864, E.D. Pa.).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on Aug. 25 certified a class of individuals and entities that are registered ginseng growers in that state and are suing other sellers who they allege are trying to pass off their China-grown ginseng as having been grown in Wisconsin, thereby flooding the U.S. market and depressing prices and by eroding the status of Wisconsin-grown ginseng (Baumann Farms, LLP, et al. v. Yin Wall City, Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-605, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136823).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A law firm representing the owners of farms that were expropriated by the Republic of Zimbabwe on Aug. 29 announced that committees for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) recently issued a decision denying a request made by Zimbabwe for provisional measures and for a temporary stay of the award (Bernard Von Pezold and others v. Republic of Zimbabwe, No. ARB/10/15, Border Timbers Limited, et al. v. Republic of Zimbabwe, No. ARB/10/15).
CHICAGO - A federal trial court properly barred litigants in a securities fraud case from referring to an accountant as an "expert" witness to safeguard against a bias jury, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority held Aug. 29 (United States of America v. Jaime C. Lopez, No. 16-2269, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16492).
PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 24 struck an affirmative defense that homeowners' claims are barred because they paid mortgage insurance rates filed with and approved by state regulators (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).
SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Division I Washington Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 28 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical negligence suit after finding that a trial court did not err by allowing a midwife's expert to testify about the natural forces of labor (NFOL) theory (L.M., ex rel. William L.E. Dussault v. Laura Hamilton, et al., No. 76019-0-1, Wash. App., Div. 1., 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 2041).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two months after a California federal judge dismissed with prejudice most of the privacy-related claims in a putative class action accusing Facebook Inc. of tracking users' internet activity without their consent, the lead plaintiffs on Aug. 25 filed a third amended consolidated complaint restating two contractual claims alleging that the social network violated its assurances that it would not engage in such tracking (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).
OMAHA, Neb. - Treating physicians for a man injured while working for a railroad company can offer expert opinions about the cause of the injury because their methods were sufficiently reliable, even though they did not reconstruct the accident, a Nebraska federal judge held Aug. 25 (Steven C. Logsdon vs. BNSF Railway Company, No. 8:15-cv-232, D. Neb., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136770).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A manufacturer of water and drainage pipes and various precast products, and certain of its executive officers and directors issued misrepresentations in Securities and Exchange Commission documents for an initial public offering (IPO) regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, a shareholder argues in an Aug. 23 securities class action complaint filed in New York federal court (Matthew Spindler v. Forterra Inc., et al., No. 17-4978, E.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 24 denied a motion for nearly $60,000 in attorney fees filed by an objector in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class suit that was settled for up to $76 million, finding that the objector's counsel did not provide a material benefit to the class (Gerardo Aranda, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-4069, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135755).
SAN FRANCISCO - Uber Technologies Inc. says in an Aug. 24 motion that despite the recent filing of an amended complaint, two former Uber drivers bringing a putative class action over a 2014 data breach still fail "to identify a single instance of identity theft stemming from the" breach, asking a California federal judge to again dismiss the suit (Sasha Antman v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-01175, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 24 upheld the denial of class certification in a deceptive marketing lawsuit filed against the maker of homeopathic products, finding that most consumers have already been protected by a previous class settlement, but reversed the district court's ruling that the named plaintiff who had opted out of the original settlement had no legal right to reject the company's offer of settlement and remanded for further proceedings (Chad Conrad v. Boiron, Inc., et al., No. 16-3656, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16180).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 threw out a $525,000 settlement in a multidistrict litigation against the franchisor of Subway restaurants over the actual length of the chain's "Footlong" submarine sandwiches, saying it yields "zero benefits for the class" (In Re: Subway Footlong Sandwich Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Appeal of: Theodore Frank, No. 16-1652, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16260).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class complaint accusing the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office of violating property owners' procedural due process when distributing unused proceeds following sheriff's sales, finding the lead plaintiff failed to employ the process available under Pennsylvania law to challenge the distribution of proceeds (Joanne Thornton v. City of Philadelphia, et al., No. 16-5554, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134844).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Aug. 24 issued its decision rejecting an application filed by a company that was previously found liable for causing environmental damage in the Republic of Ecuador when it conducted work in two Amazon regions, finding that it had already resolved the disputes regarding Ecuador's environmental counterclaims in another order (Perenco Ecuador Limited v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/08/6, ICSID).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Aug. 22 declined to exclude expert testimony and a life care plan for a man seeking damages for injuries he suffered in a work site accident after finding that the expert properly relied on medical reports to create the life plan (Richard Edwards, Jr. v. McElliotts Trucking, LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1879, S.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133803).
SAN DIEGO - A consumer cannot pursue a class action alleging that product claims on the label for nutritional supplements are false because admitted expert testimony that scientific evidence supports the claims on the label precludes the consumer's claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 23 after denying the consumer's bid to exclude the expert opinions (Tatiana Korolshteyn v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-709, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135303).