ST. LOUIS - A letter from plaintiffs' counsel seeking a settlement in excess of $5 million was not sufficient notice to the defendant that the case was removable to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 24 (Carla Gibson, et al. v. Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc., No. 16-8012, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19073).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal court in Texas did not abuse its discretion in excluding the testimony of the plaintiff's expert witness in a medical negligence case, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Oct. 19, affirming summary judgment for the defendants (Jewel Honey-Love, Individually and as a Representative of the Estate of Larry Lavon Love v. United States of America, et al., No. 16-20080, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18829).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Puerto Rico federal judge on Oct. 19 refused to exclude a treating physician's testimony because it is relevant to establish the causal nexus between a man's prior treatment and his alleged injury (Martin Torres-Rivera v. Centro Medico Del Turabo Inc., et al., No. 13-1747, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145129).
NEWARK, N.J. - Citing Spokeo v. Robbins (136 S.Ct. 1540 ), a New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 20 dismissed a putative class action against J. Crew Inc. under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), finding that the complaint failed to allege any concrete injuries from the retailer's printing too many credit card digits on customers' receipts (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145392).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - In an excessive force lawsuit against a city and its police officers, a Mississippi federal judge excluded on Oct. 18 a police expert's testimony because the opinions consist of legal conclusions based on legal analysis (Sandra Willis, et al. v. City of Hattiesburg, Miss., et al., No. 2:14-CV-89-KS-MTP, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144060).
CHICAGO - A defendant charged with providing a minor with a gun used in a crime failed to establish that her expert's testimony on perception and human memory is "necessary for adequate representation," an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 20, declining to appoint an expert under the Criminal Justice Act (United States of America v. Vandetta Redwood, No. 16-CR-80, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145307).
SANDTON, South Africa - A South African resource company on Oct. 20 said an international arbitrator has found that an international court of arbitration has jurisdiction over a shareholders' dispute in relation to a mining project.
DENVER - A Kansas federal judge properly entered summary judgment for truck drivers on their claim that the motor carrier for whom they worked violated 49 Code of Federal Regulations Sections 376.12(i) by charging them $15 per week to use a satellite communications system, but erred in finding that the drivers were owed damages, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Candace Fox, et al. v. TransAm Leasing, Inc., et al., No. 15-3203, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18654).
HOUSTON - In a breach of contract lawsuit, an employee of a supply, trading and logistics company may testify as to the company's efforts "to lease, mobilize and manage the logistics of providing rail cars to a terminal," a Texas federal judge ruled Oct. 18, finding that the employee's experience and education qualify him as an expert (Musket Corp. v. Suncor Energy [U.S.A.] Marketing Inc., No. 15-100, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143881).
HOUSTON - In a trademark infringement lawsuit, an expert may testify on branding in the fitness industry but is not allowed to discuss whether an alleged brand meets various legal definitions related to trademark law, a Texas federal judge ruled Oct. 18, also denying summary judgment to a fitness training company on its fair use defense (Michael Jones v. American Council on Exercise, No. 15-3270, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143882).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pane. on Oct. 17 stayed an enforcement order requiring Backpage.com LLC Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer to comply with a U.S. Senate subcommittee discovery subpoena connected with an investigation of online sex trafficking, finding that he had met the requirements for a stay pending appeal (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232 and 16-5274, D.C. Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Horizon Healthcare Service Inc. and related companies (collectively, Horizon) has already transferred $33 million to an interest-bearing, federally insured escrow account that will be used to pay class members, settlement administration costs above the $160,000 that Horizon is obligated to pay and any attorney fees and costs under a settlement granted final approval by a New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 18, ending a class complaint filed by chiropractors alleging that Horizon systematically denied payment for certain services rendered (Alphonse A. DeMaria, et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. d/b/a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 11-7298, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143941).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Oct. 19 released its decision in a dispute over loans, ordering that a Tanzanian bank pay a U.K. bank $148.4 million under a power purchase agreement (Standard Chartered Bank v. United Republic of Tanzania, No. ARB/10/12, ICSID).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held a hearing Oct. 18 on a proposed settlement of a class action against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that would create a $1.21 billion settlement fund and provide additional benefits to all 652 VW franchise dealers in the United States who suffered as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2672; Napleton Orlando Imports LLC, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. 3:16cv2086, N.D. Calif.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on Oct. 20 held that insureds' claim for sinkhole damage is governed by the definition of "covered claim'" in Section 631.54(3), Florida Statutes, that was effective May 17, 2011, affirming an appeals court's reversal of a lower court's order confirming a $130,600 appraisal award against the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) (Leandro de la Fuente, et al. v. FIGA, No. SC15-519, Fla. Sup.).
DETROIT - A class of Michigan residents on Oct. 18 filed a putative class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief "to vindicate the rights" of school-age children residing in Flint, Mich., who currently have disabilities, or who are at risk of developing them, due to elevated levels of lead in the drinking water (D.R., as a minor through parent and next friend Dawn Richardson, et al. v. Michigan Department of Education, et al., No. 16-cv-13694, E.D. Mich.).
ERIE, Pa. - Eighteen months after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed their ability bring class claims against a rent-to-own (RTO) retailer that purportedly installed spyware on their computer, a Wyoming couple on Oct. 14 again moved for class certification to pursue their claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge in an order filed Oct. 17 directed insurer defendants in a class action challenging the lump-sum payment method used to calculate interest earned by pension plan members' accounts to produce several dozen allegedly privileged documents based on the fiduciary exception to the attorney-client and work product privileges (Jennifer Durand, et al. v. The Hanover Insurance Group Inc., et al., No. 3:07-cv-00130, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143064).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed a class complaint accusing Starbucks Corp. of falsely advertising the size of its iced beverages by including the ice when advertising its drinks' volume (Steven Galanis, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 16-4705, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In a habeas corpus action, a man convicted of sex crimes failed to show that the admission of a social worker's expert testimony on the dynamics of sexual abuse and common characteristics was contrary to Daubert v. Merrell-Dow Pharmaceuticals (509 U.S. 579 ), a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 17 (Duraid Haithem Fathi v. Bonita Hoffner, No. 13-835, W.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143132).
KYIV, Ukraine - A Ukrainian oil and gas company on Oct. 19 said it has commenced arbitration against the Russian Federation, seeking $2.6 billion in damages for an alleged seizure of assets in Crimea.
BOSTON - In a false advertisement lawsuit between two pharmaceutical companies over a bowel prep for colonoscopies, a Massachusetts federal judge on Oct. 14 refused to strike a survey examining whether a "superior cleansing efficacy" advertisement conveys a certain message (Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Braintree Laboratories Inc., No. 13-12553, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142636).
BOSTON - A mechanical engineer may testify as to the defects in a lawn mower and the causation of a man's injuries while a doctor of bio-mechanics may testify as to the timing of the accident, a Massachusetts federal judge held Oct. 17 (Anthony Provanzano v. MTD Products Co. and Lowe's Home Centers LLC, No. 15-11720, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143402).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 14 declined to reconsider its earlier ruling in which a split panel dismissed for want of jurisdiction an appeal by unidentified opt-in plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour dispute who were seeking an extension of equitable tolling (Joanna Marie Wilson, et al. v. Navika Capital Group, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-20204, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18552).
NEW ORLEANS - A California state court approved opt-out class settlement that released Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims precludes FLSA claims brought in a federal court on behalf of California plaintiffs, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 14 (Raymond Richardson, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-20711, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18528).