SAN FRANCISCO - Lawyers representing about 800 current and former employees at five restaurants owned by a single McDonald's franchisee in California on Oct. 28 filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a wage-and-hour class action settlement in which McDonald's would pay the workers $1.75 million in back pay and damages and $2 million in legal fees (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari to review a Texas appeals court decision that overturned a $31 million jury award against Domino's Pizza LLC, Domino's franchisee MAC Pizza Management Inc. and a Domino's delivery driver for a crash that killed a woman and severely injured her husband (Raghurami Reddy, et al. v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No.16-356, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 31 granted approval of a $244 million settlement to be paid by in-store promotion (ISP) services providers accused of creating a monopoly; however, the judge rejected the plaintiffs' counsel's request for an award of $73.2 million and instead awarded $48,825,000 (Dial Corp, et al. v. News Corporation, et al., No. 13-6802, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150528).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 refused to reconsider its previous decision to affirm a district court's order confirming a $400 million arbitral award issued in favor of a Mexican corporation in a dispute over underlying contracts for the construction of offshore platforms (Corporacion Mexicana De Mantenimiento Intergral, S. De R.L. De C.V. v. Pemex-Exploracion Y, No. 13-4022, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Nov. 1 from an insurer, the relators in a qui tam action against that insurer, and the U.S. government over what the appropriate sanctions should be when relators in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit violate that statute's requirement that the complaint and filings remain sealed (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Oct. 31 that its reinsurer's motion to compel discovery should fail because the deadline for seeking discovery has passed and the material sought is privileged (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company v. Century Indemnity Company as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-00170, D. Conn.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Oct. 27 ruling, a California federal judge permitted computer fraud, invasion of privacy and consumer-related claims against Lenovo (United States) Inc. related to the installation of laptop spyware to proceed, while dismissing wiretap and negligence claims. The judge also granted certification of nationwide and statewide indirect purchaser classes, but denied certification for a direct purchaser class (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149958).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge issued an opinion on Oct. 31 granting Rite Aid Corp. permission to question three plaintiffs in an ongoing New York collective and class wage suit about their supervision of certain plaintiffs in current California wage suits without the plaintiffs' counsel present (Yatram Indergit, et al. v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 08-9361, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150565).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in continuing in the absence of a defendant a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) to determine whether an arson investigator may testify in a criminal case because there was independent evidence that the fire was deliberately set, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (United States of America v. Kormahyah Karmue, No. 15-1990, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19475).
ATLANTA - An appeals court erred in holding that deposition testimony of an organizational representative taken under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 9-11-30 (b) (6) may be admitted into evidence at trial under OCGA Section 9-11-32 (a) (2) without regard to the rules of evidence governing admissibility of expert testimony, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Oct. 31 (Dr. Patricia Yugueros v. Rudy Robles, No. S16G0619, Ga. Sup.; 2016 Ga. LEXIS 709).
FRESNO, Calif. - A truck operator who had opted in to a wage-and-hour collective action that was ultimately denied certification before filing his own wage-and-hour collective action is not estopped from bringing his suit, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Williams Phillips, et al. v. Randy's Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 16-753, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148574).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appellate panel on Oct. 27 upheld a state Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ruling that a claimant is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits because the franchisor of his former cleaning service's actions and franchise agreement created an employer-employee relationship (In the Matter of the Claim of Bertrand Baez, No. 520746, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6946).
SALEM, Ore. - An expert was qualified to present a jury with general testimony about the concept of sexual grooming, an Oregon appeals panel ruled Oct. 26, also finding that the testimony did not constitute scientific evidence requiring a foundation under State v. Brown (297 Or 404, 687 P2d 751 ) and State v. O'Key (321 Or 285, 899 P2d 663 ) (State of Oregon v. Robert Lewis Henley aka Sonny Henley, No. 523, Ore. App.; 2016 Ore. App. LEXIS 1341).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A concrete manufacturer's expert may testify that a supplier's cement mix performed inadequately when applied at construction projects, an Oregon federal magistrate judge ruled Oct. 27, declining to exclude the testimony (Ross Island Sand & Gravel Co. v. Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., No. 15-01369, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148766).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (136 S. Ct. 663 ), vacated a trial court's judgment that dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) class complaint for lack of jurisdiction after the defendant made an unaccepted offer to the named plaintiff and entered judgment in the plaintiff's favor despite his protests (Sean Conway v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, No. 15-5925, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19373).
LOS ANGELES - Reasonable explanations exist for every apparent contradiction regarding an asbestos defendant's production of evidence and why that production falls short of what a plaintiff could find through discovery, a federal judge in California held Oct. 24 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147070).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 conditionally certified two classes of restaurant workers in a wage-and-hour suit, finding that the defendants failed to provide sufficient evidence of their claim that the workers already waived their claims in a settlement between the defendants and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (Luis Antonia Arellano Galvan, et al. v. San Jose Mexican Restaurant of NC, Inc., et al., No. 16-39, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146544).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A seafood seller accused of using jumbo squid in products labeled as octopus failed to show that the amount in controversy is less than $5 million, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26, denying the seller's motion to dismiss a customer's class complaint (Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca, et al. v. Vigo Importing Co., No. 16-2055, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148457).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 25 agreed to transfer a breach of contract class complaint to Virginia, finding that the contract's forum-selection clause "does not contravene any anti-waiver provision of California's UCL [unfair competition law] or the strong public policy of California" (Run Them Sweet, LLC v. CPA Global Limited, et al., No. 16-3662, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147803).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Oct. 26 released an interim award on jurisdiction in an arbitration commenced by investors, who allege that the Republic of Costa Rica expropriated their investment in luxury beachfront property, finding that it lacks jurisdiction to hear claims related to many of the allegedly affected lots of land (Spence International Investments et al. v. Republic of Costa Rica, No. UNCT/13/2, ICSID).
DES MOINES, Iowa - A trial judge did not err in allowing an officer to testify as an expert on cellphone records to establish a man's involvement in a burglary of a poker game, an Iowa appeals panel ruled Oct. 26, because the officer had sufficient knowledge and experience (State of Iowa v. Joseph William Rendon, No. 15-1832, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 1114).
WORCESTER, Mass. - A defendant's third offer of judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit, which satisfied the full amount sought by the named plaintiff, renders the individual plaintiff's claims moot but does not moot the class suit, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. ACT, Inc., No. 12-40088, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148255).
SCRANTON, Pa. - In a land easement dispute, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 26 granted and denied in part motions to exclude testimony, noting the parties "who know the land and the subject natural gas operations best and who occupy a prime position to appropriately value the contested easements, even if such valuation ultimately requires compromise on both sides" should resolve the dispute rather than a jury (Columbia Gas Transmission LLC v. 101 acres and 41,342 sq. ft more or less in Heidelberg Township, York County, Pa., et al., No. 13-00783; Columbia Gas Transmission LLC v. 1,5561 acres more or less in Heidelberg Township, York County, Pa., et al., No. 13-00785, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148053).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A class action complaint was filed Oct. 26 against EpiPen maker Mylan N.V. for alleged violations of consumer laws in 19 states (Rosetta Serrano, et al. v. Mylan N.V., et al., No. 16-2711, D. Kan.).
CINCINNATI - The lack of employee signatures on an arbitration agreement does not prevent enforcement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24, finding that under Kentucky law, the employees' decision to continue working "demonstrated assent" (Marlena Aldrich, et al. v. University of Phoenix, Inc., No. 16-5276, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19296).