CHICAGO - Illinois law permits an insurer seeking declaratory judgment as to its coverage obligations to conduct discovery for evidence outside the underlying complaints as to whether a claimant qualifies as an insured, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 22, reversing a trial court's judgment in favor of the claimant (Landmark American Insurance Co. v. Peter Hilger, No. 15-2566, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17343).
CINCINNATI - A motion by Time Inc. to dismiss the appeal of a ruling in its favor in a privacy class action was denied Sept. 22, with a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel finding that the magazine publisher's arguments went to the jurisdiction of the trial court, not the appeals court (Rose Coulter-Owens, et al. v. Time, Inc., No. 16-1321, 6th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 22 vacated a trial court's partial dismissal and denial of class certification rulings issued in a lawsuit by foreign nationals who claim that attempts to deport them following criminal convictions are unconstitutional (Garfield Gayle, et al. v. Warden Monmouth County Correctional Institution, et al., No. 15-1785, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17321).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $500,000 settlement to be paid by Hair Club for Men LLC to settle employees' wage claims; however, the judge denied a request for incentive awards for the two named plaintiffs and awarded amounts for attorney fees and costs below the amount requested (Teresa Clemens, et al. v. Hair Club for Men, LLC, et al., No. 15-1431, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130710).
NEW YORK - A gastroenterologist may testify regarding an incarcerated woman's standard of care to support negligence and medical malpractice claims, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 21; however, the gastroenterologist may not testify as to the standard of psychiatric care or postoperative wound care (Lana Stelman v. United States of America, No. 14-05363, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129420).
ATLANTA - A special drug agent's testimony regarding the fact that drug dealers use coded language was lay testimony that was properly allowed, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 21, upholding a man's conviction for one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine (United States of America v. Curtis Jones, No. 15-14514, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17235).
PHILADELPHIA - A split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 affirmed that a Pennsylvania federal judge properly certified a class of franchisees suing one of the largest commercial cleaning franchisors over their employment classification, saying the claims in this case are "susceptible to class-wide determination" (Darryl Williams, et al. v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, et al., No. 15-2049, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17223).
NEW YORK - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Sept. 22 said it has amended its practice note provided to parties and arbitral tribunals on the conduct of arbitration.
NEW YORK - The government of the United Mexican States on Sept. 21 moved for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in support of an exploration company's petition for rehearing in a case in which the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently confirmed a $400 million award against it (Corporacion Mexicana De Mantenimiento Intergral, S. De R.L. De C.V. v. Pemex-Exploracion Y, No. 13-4022, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 19 denied an investor's motion for relief from a previous dismissal order, ruling that the investor's newly discovered evidence was in fact available to the public months before the initial complaint in the action was filed (Steven P. Messner v. USA Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-5427, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127041).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer in a Sept. 19 brief asks a federal court in New York to reconsider its discovery rulings that the reinsurer says require it to produce reserve information while not requiring its reinsured to produce the same category of documentation (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A federal judge in Puerto Rico on Sept. 19 granted a motion to remand claims for damages related to the alleged impairment of an exclusive distribution agreement, finding that a company validly pleaded a tortious interference claim and that the court could not exercise federal question jurisdiction under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Air-Con Inc. v. Daikin Applied Latin America LLC, et al., No. 15-2683, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128863).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 19 granted a motion requesting remand of a consolidated class complaint accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of various wage violations, finding that Wal-Mart failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and filed an untimely removal (Polo Garcia, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 15-5337, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127476).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 16 granted preliminary approval of a $486 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit between shareholders and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable (In re Pfizer Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 04-9866, S.D. N.Y.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Vizio Inc. on Sept. 19 moved to dismiss a putative class action in California federal court over purported tracking of smart TV users' "viewing data" for lack of standing, arguing that the plaintiffs did not establish that it is a "video tape service provider" under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) or that it disclosed their personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 19 certified a class of insureds accusing their health insurance provider of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands and claiming that the provider is an ERISA fiduciary under 29 U.S. Code Section 1104(a) "and therefore owes a duty to discharge its duties 'with . . . care, skill, prudence, and diligence' and 'solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries'" (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127435).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite finding that Backpage.com LLC Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer did not properly invoke common-law privileges to a U.S. Senate subcommittee document subpoena, a District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 16 granted in part his motion to extend the time to comply with an order enforcing the subpoena in light of his recent efforts to produce the requested documents (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 1:16-mc-00621, D. D.C.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana dismissed claims against Grant Thornton International Ltd. (GTIL) in a securities lawsuit on Sept. 15, ruling that shareholders failed to show that a federal district court had either general or specific jurisdiction over the claims (Firefighters' Retirement System, et al. v. Citco Group Limited, et al., No. 13-373, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125991).
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on Sept. 16 ordered defendant Bayer Corp. to give the plaintiffs two personnel files the plaintiffs say are relevant to their argument that the anticoagulant was rushed to market or that "aggressive compensation schemes" were used to market the drug (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2591, No. 14-md-2592, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126946).
LOS ANGELES - Parties to a proposed $12.25 million limited-fund, mandatory class settlement for pelvic mesh injury claims against Caldera Medical Inc. on Sept. 19 told a California federal judge that after a court-ordered analysis of the company's liquidation value, it has a negative liquidation value and can contribute nothing more to the settlement (Federal Insurance Company v. Caldera Medical, Inc., et al., No. 15-393, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation gained access to the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists via assistance of an unidentified third party, three news organizations filed suit in District of Columbia federal court Sept. 16, seeking to compel the FBI to disclose details about its business transaction with this unknown vendor under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citing public interest and privacy concerns (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 15 trimmed claims in a class complaint accusing New Jersey officials of orchestrating a scheme, referred to as "Bridgegate," to cause a traffic jam by closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge (GWB) in September 2013 without prior notice and denied a motion for class certification as premature (Zachary Galicki, et al. v. State of New Jersey, GW Car Service LLC, et al. v. State of New Jersey, et al., No. 14-169, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126076).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 15 stayed claims asserted by consumers for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action asserted against a seller of snack foods pending the outcome of a decision by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of the word "natural" on product labels (In re: Kind LLC "Health and All Natural" Litigation, Nos. 15-MD-2645 [WHP],15-MC-2645 [WHP], S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125752).
TRENTON, N.J. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court separately moved to dismiss the claims against them on Sept. 13, arguing that shareholders failed to plead any actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making their federal securities law claims (In re Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-7658, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal magistrate judge in Minnesota on Sept. 15 consolidated a pair of securities class action lawsuits against Target Corp. and certain of its executive officers and appointed the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as lead counsel (In re Target Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-1315, D. Minn.).