ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a settlement with Symantec Corp. totaling more than $80 million in consumer payments, awards, costs and fees and settling a consumer fraud class action over the firm's download insurance product (Erin C. Caligiuri and Devi Khoday, et al. v. Symantec Corp., et al., No. 16-2015 and 16-2113, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7538).
PHILADELPHIA - An alleged captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an insurer constitutes a continuing violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), each time an "illegal kickback, fee, or referral was given or received," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 26, finding that the statute of limitations ran from the date of the last violation rather than the first based upon the continuing violations doctrine (Christopher Blake and James Orkis v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64392).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a North Carolina federal judge's ruling that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) is not liable for losses suffered by its 401(k) retirement employee benefit plan after its 1999 decision to divest Nabisco stock from the plan because a prudent fiduciary would have made the same divestment decision at the same time and in the same manner (Richard G. Tatum, et al. v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, et al., No. 16-1293, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7561).
CHICAGO - A group of Chicago police officers who sued a newspaper for violating the Drivers Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA) by publishing their personal information moved for a protective order in Illinois federal court on April 28, contending that the newspaper continues to seek improper and irrelevant information in discovery requests despite a previous order precluding it from doing so (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claim has the authority to certify a class for class action or for similar aggregate resolution procedures, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 26, reversing the judgment of the Veterans Court (Conley F. Monk Jr. v. David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Nos. 2015-7092, 2015-7106, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7329).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 26 rejected a $2 million amended settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, finding that the amended settlement motion corrected certain shortcomings identified by the judge in her Feb. 22 denial of the original proposed settlement, but still contained inadequate release language (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63504).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on April 26 certified a class of insurance company employees who claim that their paid time off (PTO) was accrued at the beginning of each calendar year, but was improperly docked if they took short-term leave during the year (Gretchen B. Carrel, et al. v. MedPro Group, Inc., No. 16-130, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62969).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Supporting documents pertaining to transcripts, arbitration filings and expert reports will not be sealed in a breach of contract dispute between an insurer and reinsurer over asbestos coverage, a New York federal judge ruled April 26 (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The judge overseeing the National Hockey League (NHL) concussion multidistrict litigation on April 26 said the league will not be able to get most of the documents from the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (BU CTE Center) because of the heavy burden it would create on the center to gather all of the documents requested (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Supreme Court on April 27 unanimously held that nurse practitioners may determine the cause of an injury in medical malpractice suits and reversed summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit that was dismissed on summary judgment after the trial court said a nurse practitioner was not qualified to determine how a man developed pressure ulcers (Rudy Frausto v. Yakima HMA LLC, No. 93312-0, Wash. Sup., 2017 Wash. LEXIS 442).
SAN FRANCISCO - An expert's knowledge regarding U.S. Navy practices and procedures qualifies him to testify that the asbestos-containing insulation to which a man was exposed was likely original to the boilers in question, and he need not have firsthand knowledge, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 26 (Geraldine Hilt, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, FKA Foster Wheeler Corp., No. 15-17301, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - Parties in the $454 million MicroCool surgical gown California class action on April 26 told the court that as of that date, they calculate that defendant Kimberly-Clark Corp. owes $1.04 million in prejudgment interest and spinoff Halyard Health Inc. owes $42,836 (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 26 granted a motion to preliminarily approve settlement of a class action that accused Facebook Inc. of privacy violations related to the social network's scanning of users' private messages (PMs) for advertisement purposes (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division created a "bright-line" rule April 27 that forbids expert witnesses from presenting an opinion in a civil personal injury case heard by a jury on the concepts of symptom magnification and malingering in an attempt to impeach a party's credibility (Alexandra Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. A-4137-14T3, N.J. Super. App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 56).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on April 25 certified a class of more than 3,200 people who received an unsolicited fax advertisement for lead-testing services and denied a motion by the sender to dismiss the lawsuit (Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC, et al. v. MedTox Scientific, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62838).
NEW YORK - In an unpublished decision, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 25 that a Connecticut federal judge properly dismissed a putative class action filed by Family Dollar Stores Inc. employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, saying that the plaintiffs failed to show that the insurance company that issued group life insurance to them was a fiduciary under ERISA (Patrick Hannan, et al. v. Hartford Financial Services Inc., et al., No. 16-1316, 2nd Cir.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on April 25 granted a disability claimant's motion to exclude an expert witness rebuttal report filed by a disability insurer after determining that the report was not filed by the deadline established by the court (James H. Pogue v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 14-598, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62227).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama did not err in admitting expert testimony that all significant asbestos exposures contribute to mesothelioma nor in concluding that an employer can be liable for exposing household members to asbestos, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 26 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-S-1930, N.D. Ala., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130741).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 25 granted a pharmaceutical company's motion to exclude the expert testimony of a physician in relation to an infection allegedly caused by an intrauterine device, finding that the testimony was not admissible because it was not scientifically reliable (Ivette Mercado v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 14-6699, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62550).
LOS ANGELES - Plaintiffs leading a proposed class action suit over air-conditioning units manufactured by Daikin Industries Ltd. that have evaporator coils that are allegedly defective filed a notice of appeal in California federal court on April 24 stating that they will ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a ruling dismissing their lawsuit (Joanna Park-Kim, et al. v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-9523-CAS, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 certified a class of more than 68,000 Illinois residents who were mailed collection letters that allegedly failed to include disclosures as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Renetrice R. Pierre, et al. v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., No. 16-2895, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61107).
NEWARK, N.J. - After an appeals court revived a putative class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the theft of laptops containing policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII), an insurer on April 21 filed a renewed dismissal motion in New Jersey federal court, arguing that statute governs actions of credit-reporting agencies, not health insurance providers (In Re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation, No. 2:13-CV-07418, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge on April 21 dismissed two class complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing an online university of knowingly misrepresenting how long it took to complete its doctoral program, finding that they are barred under the first-filed rule and that only a class complaint in an Ohio federal court alleging substantially similar claims may proceed (Jennifer Wright, et al. v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4037, Aaron Bleess v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4402, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61331).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In an April 21 brief in California federal court, Experian Information Solutions Inc. opposes a motion to compel by the plaintiffs in a putative data breach class action, contending that a forensic consultant's report on the breach constitutes legal advice that is exempt from discovery under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine (In Re Experian Data Breach Litigation, No. 8:15-cv-01592, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The former owner of a Chilean newspaper, who asserted claims against the Republic of Chile for damages in the amount of $422 million that were dismissed, on April 21 filed an application to terminate cases in which he requested that the award be interpreted and a case seeking rectification of the award (Victor Pey Casado and Foundation Presidente Allende v. Republic of Chile, No. ARB/98/2, ICSID).