RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint by yard hostlers, finding that the federal court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims because the amount in controversy, minus an estimate on the damages statement for an unpleaded claim, is below $5 million (Grant Frisch v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, No. 17-2226, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202705).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 6 partially granted a dismissal motion filed by the makers of Biotin supplements in a proposed class complaint alleging false labeling and gave the plaintiffs two weeks to file a second amended complaint (Rosa Alvarez, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 17-567, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201159).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 6 petition for certiorari, the U.S. government argues that a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) obligated Microsoft Corp.to provide a user's email data that it happened to store abroad, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that the presumption against extraterritoriality barred such foreign application of the statute (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8, in denying summary judgment to Fitbit Inc. on class claims that the sleep-tracking functions on its devices do not work, ruled that the opinions of a plaintiffs' expert who tested the devices are reliable and relevant (James Brickman, et al. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02077, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202568).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a group of mining entities, which challenged the issuance of a $48,053,462 arbitral award by the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Court of Arbitration in favor of a group of Brazilian companies in a dispute related to the sale of pig iron (Amci Holdings Inc., et al. v. CBF Industria De Gusa S/A, et al., No. 17-481, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - Plaintiffs' attempt to bring alternative claims under state law in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class suit that alleges that two defined-benefits plans were improperly classified as "church plans" creates an "absolute conflict," an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 5 dismissing the five state law claims (Sheilar Smith, et al. v. OSF Healthcare System, et al., No. 16-467, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199805).
PORTLAND - After finding that a producer of dried fruit and a seller of food processing equipment never agreed to submit disputes in relation to the sale and purchase of equipment to international arbitration, an Oregon federal judge on Dec. 5 entered an order granting an injunction in favor of the producer and refusing to compel arbitration in Vienna (Meduri Farms Inc. v. DutchTecSource B.V., No. 3:17-cv-906, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199793).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several U.S. states and other parties opposing the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 6, arguing against the federal government's petition for mandamus to halt an order requiring discovery of purported privileged deliberative documents (In re United States, et al., No. 17-801, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Miramax LLC, Miramax Film Corp. and Miramax Film NY LLC (collectively Miramax), The Weinstein Co. (TWC) and TWC's board facilitated and condoned the alleged flashing, fondling, sexual assault and rape carried out by movie producer Harvey Weinstein at offices, in hotel rooms, in his homes and in rooms at industry functions, six women allege in a Dec. 6 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking certification of a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4) class for liability for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), battery assault and emotional distress (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).
HOUSTON - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a worldwide provider of professional services and technologies within the government services and hydrocarbons industries on Dec. 4 asked a federal judge in Texas to dismiss federal securities law claims because shareholders failed to plead a material misrepresentation, scienter of loss causation (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-1375, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Less than two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the concrete injury requirement to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution in a lawsuit over alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the data aggregator defendant filed a renewed petition for certiorari Dec. 4, citing conflicting lower court interpretations of the prior ruling and a remand ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it says undermines the 2016 decision (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit against a for-profit college and certain of its current and former senior executives is warranted because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead falsity or scienter in making its federal securities law claims against the defendants, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 6 in granting the defendants' motion (Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers v. DeVry Education Group Inc., et al., No. 16-5198, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200272).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 unsealed its Nov. 28 opinion reversing summary judgment in the incretin mimetic multidistrict litigation, saying the MDL judge misapplied a U.S. Supreme Court precedent, improperly blocked discovery, misinterpreted what constituted new evidence and improperly disqualified a plaintiff expert (In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation, Jean Adams, et al. v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 15-56997, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24674).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge properly ordered a boiler company to produce more than 5,000 index cards after the company voluntarily permitted inspection by an asbestos plaintiff, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 5 (Larry Salvatore Sr., et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks, et al., No. 4-17-0173, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
PHILADELPHIA - The exclusion of two experts did little to change the state of a case as two other experts hold the same opinions regarding asbestos-contaminated talc's role in causing mesothelioma, a woman told a Pennsylvania judge on Dec. 4 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a valid arbitration agreement existed between companies in relation to an agreement for the use and sale of certain trademarks owned by Sharp Corp., a California federal judge on Dec. 5 compelled claims for fraud, rescission and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to arbitration in Singapore (Sharp Corp. v. Hisense USA Corporation, et al., No. 17-cv-03341, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200102).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Dec. 6 announced that it has held a hearing on the outstanding issues of liability, jurisdiction and admissibility in an arbitration commenced by a bank and a finance company against the Russian Federation (PJSC CB PrivatBank, et al. v. Russian Federation, No. 2015-21, PCA).
SAN FRANCISCO - Parties in a securities class action lawsuit against a company that sells renewable energy and certain of its executive officers asked a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 4 to determine whether a federal district court erred in dismissing the action for failure to plead scienter under a holistic approach (James Webb v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 16-16440, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Former InterMune Inc. CEO W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., on Dec. 4 lost another attempt to vacate his 2009 wire fraud conviction when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said he and his trial counsel voluntarily decided not to present testimony by their own biostatistician and pulmonologist and there was no ineffective counsel (United States of America v. W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., No. 15-16844, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24475).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge, in an order filed Dec. 1, declined preliminary approval of a class settlement worth up to $7,425,000 offered by Dave & Buster's Inc. to end claims that the nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15-3608, S.D. N.Y.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Railroad track owner BNSF Railway Co. was directed Dec. 1 to provide certain records and corporate designee depositions by a Kansas federal magistrate judge who mostly granted a motion to compel by passengers intervening in a suit over a National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak) train derailment, with the magistrate deeming most of the requested discovery relevant to negligence claims, while limiting the scope of requests found to be overbroad (National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al. v. Cimarron Crossing Feeders LLC No. 6:16-cv-01094, D. Kan., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197572).
SEATTLE - Finding insufficient support for an insurer's claim that its consultants were engaged in advance of possible insurance fraud litigation, a Washington federal judge on Dec. 5 denied the insurer's motion to quash subpoenas served on them by the plaintiff in a coverage suit related to extreme weather events (Premier Harvest LLC, et al. v. AXIS Surplus Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00784, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199910).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 4 denied summary judgment to an insurer in a lawsuit over coverage for a damaged home after finding that testimony by the homeowners' expert is admissible and raises a material factual dispute about whether a sinkhole caused the damage (Debra Daniels, et al. v. Erie Insurance Group, No. 3:16-cv-01977, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198906).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 1 approved employees' motion for final approval of a modified $1.7 million class action settlement that increased the payout to the class members in a lawsuit alleging that their franchisor and franchisee employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), further granting the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees that awards the attorneys 44 percent less than the original proposal (Adam Cunningham, et al. v. Suds Pizza, Inc., et al., No. 15-6462, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198250).
MISSOULA, Mont. - On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Montana federal judge on Dec. 4 granted in part and denied in part a commercial general liability insurer's motions in limine in a coverage dispute over claims that a beauty school insured expelled students after they filed complaints of unprofessional conduct, sexual harassment, occupational health and safety, violations of internal policies and procedures, licensing rules and regulations and curriculum (Breanne Walden, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Co., No. 13-222, D. Mont., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198973).