SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 28 agreed to send a class complaint alleging false promotion of cleaning and personal care products as "natural" back to state court after the lead plaintiff amends his complaint to clarify that the scope of the class is limited to California residents (Carlo Labrado v. Method Products, PBC, No. 16-5905, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163718).
BISMARCK, N.D. - County and city police officers who "unleashed a violent, unjustified, and unprovoked physical attack" on Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) protestors should be stopped from using excessively violent means of crowd control and should pay for injuries they inflicted on the protesters, a group of protesters, including several Native Americans, assert in a Nov. 28 class complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed in North Dakota federal court (Vanessa Dundon, et al. v. Kyle Kirchmeier, et al., No. 16-406, D. N.D.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - After an appeals panel partly dismissed sanctions against an attorney as not properly reflecting the harm incurred by a copyright defendant due to the attorney's discovery misconduct and misrepresentations, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 deemed the attorney's actions to be civil contempt and sanctioned him in amount equivalent to the defendant's remaining costs related to the misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162981).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on Nov. 28 to intervene in a number of discovery disputes with an insurer, notably asking that the court allow it to depose up to 20 current and former employees and agents of the insurer (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge on Nov. 23 granted an insured's motion to compel the production of documents in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the insured has shown a need for the requested documents and that the request was not overly burdensome (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 16-2778, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162783).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 28 released a fifth procedural order in relation to the organization of upcoming hearings in an arbitration commenced by investors in a residential development project against the Republic of Costa Rica (David R. Aven, et al. v. The Republic of Costa Rica, No. UNCT/15/3, ICSID).
MIAMI - In a putative class complaint filed Nov. 22 in Florida federal court, a smartphone owner alleges that his phone's manufacturer and a firmware provider violated privacy and warranty laws by intercepting and transmitting his personal information without authorization to a Chinese server (Aaron Bonds v. Blu Products Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A class suit accusing an accounting firm of failing to safeguard individuals' personal information after an email account was hacked belongs in state court because the firm failed to provide evidence supporting its prediction that the unidentified amount in controversy exceeds the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) threshold, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 22 (Jennifer Bohnenstiehl, et al. v. McBride, Lock, and Associates, LLC, No. 16-306, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161900).
NEWARK, N.J. - In a Nov. 22 reply brief in New Jersey federal court, Viacom Inc. argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on the sole remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim in a remanded putative class action over purported collection of personally identifiable information (PII) from minors because the evidence clearly shows that it did not collect any "real-world identifying details" about users of its Nickelodeon websites (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
ATLANTA - A federal trial court erred when it ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) does not vest a federal court with original jurisdiction over state law claims after the class claims are dismissed, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 22 (Wright Transportation, Inc. v. Pilot Corporation, et al., No. 15-15184, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20937).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 22 ordered Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen AG, Audi of America LLC and Audi AG (collectively, Volkswagen) to pay class members in the clean diesel multidistrict litigation their settlement compensation directly, despite notification of liens placed by attorneys on their clients' recovery and invoked his authority under the All Writs Act to enjoin any state court proceedings regarding the attorneys' lien (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2672, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162339).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Nov. 21 granted final approval of a $37.5 million settlement to be paid by Zions National Bank and its former payment processing subsidiary to end a class complaint accusing the companies of knowingly processing payments for fraudulent telemarketers (Reynaldo Reyes, et al. v. Zions First National Bank, et al., No. 10-345, E.D. Pa.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 withheld ruling on a plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification and preliminary approval of an $8.8 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action settlement, saying that he did not have enough information to conclude that the proposed settlement should be approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate to the members of the proposed class (Salvador Ortiz, et al. v. American Airlines Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-151, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160588).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Nov. 21 filed a brief in the perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) injury multidistrict litigation, arguing that the MDL court should deny the plaintiffs' motion to compel the production of underlying data the company used to create witness summaries for a cancer registry used in the first bellwether trial (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
ST. LOUIS - In a Nov. 18 brief filed in Missouri federal court, the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the operator of the Ashley Madison website oppose dismissal of their putative class action over a 2015 data breach that exposed their personal information, contending that they never assented to an arbitration clause within the site's terms and conditions (T&C) (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Expert testimony by a medical examiner showed that a defendant's fired gunshots, along with a victim's genetic medical condition, caused the victim's death, a Texas appeals panel ruled Nov. 17, also holding that accomplice witness testimony corroborated by evidence supported the finding that the defendant committed the alleged offense (Johnny Juarez v. The State of Texas, No. 13-15-00248, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12299).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 17 granted a summary judgment motion filed by Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and ordered the file closed in a proposed class complaint accusing the pet food maker of using toxic substances in its Beneful brand dog food (Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., et al., No. 15-569, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159569).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge issued a memorandum on Nov. 18 recommending that the parties in six individual class action lawsuits addressing sewage issues caused by flushable wipes consider settlement (D. Joseph Kurtz, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-1142, Anthony Belfiore, et al. v. The Procter & Gamble Company, No. 14-4090, Desmond R. Armstrong, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-2909, Gladys Honigman, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, No. 15-2910, Steven and Ellen Palmer, et al. v. CVS Health, et al., No. 15-2928, Eugene and Victoria Richard, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-4579, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160363).
NEW YORK - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Nov. 18 announced that a $25 million settlement had been reached ending claims that Trump University - which was owned by President-elect Donald Trump and marketed itself as a university to train, educate and mentor entrepreneurs involved in real estate investing - was actually a sham and defrauded its students out of millions of dollars.
PHILADELPHIA - Three hospital employees who opted in to the second round of wage litigation against their employer have no standing to appeal the trial court's denial of collective action certification after the lead named plaintiff settled his individual claims, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18 (Steven Halle, et al. v. West Penn Allegheny Health System Inc., et al., No. 15-3089, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20655).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 16 affirmed a lower court ruling that a reinsurance dispute should be arbitrated in New York and not London (Infrassure, Ltd. v. First Mutual Transportation Assurance Company, Inc., No. 16-306, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20529).
CHICAGO - A fire and explosion investigator may opine that a negligent design in a toaster caused a fire and that it was unreasonable for the manufacturer to design a toaster that "would indefinitely heat food products to the point of combustion as a result of foreseeable failures and blockages" within the toaster, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 16 (David Ostrinsky, as administrator of the estate of Michael Ostrinsky, deceased v. Black & Decker [U.S.] Inc., et al., No. 15-1545, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159447).
CHICAGO - A valuation expert's estimation of an engineering consulting firm's assets creates a genuine dispute as to whether the firm possessed valuable goodwill that it transferred during bankruptcy to a manufacturing company, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 17, denying summary judgment to the manufacturing company (David Leibowitz, Chapter 7 Trustee of McDonough Associates Inc. v. Bowman International Inc. f/k/a Bowman International LLC and Bowman Consulting Group Ltd., No. 15-3021, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159071).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding that the counterclaimant in a dispute over the ownership of certain motion picture technology "fail[ed] to carry the high burden . . . to overturn [a] district court's discovery determination," a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 17 denied the firm's motion for a writ of mandamus for relief from an order compelling production of purportedly privileged documents (In re: Rearden LLC, et al., No. 16-125, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20637).
PHILADELPHIA - The lead plaintiffs in a putative fraud and breach of contract class action against Angie's List Inc. filed a motion in Pennsylvania federal court Nov. 14, seeking final approval of a settlement in their lawsuit over the consumer review site operator's practice of obtaining revenue from service providers that are the subject of such reviews (Janell Moore, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01243, E.D. Pa.).