SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on March 25 granted the transfer of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) class action suit regarding certain captive reinsurance transactions to a federal court in Iowa (Rachel Silva, et al. v. Aviva Plc, et al., No. 15-cv-02665, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40617).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Plaintiffs cannot point to sufficiently specific advertisements or claims made by Apple Inc. regarding the iPhone's Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, a federal judge in California held March 25 in dismissing unfair competition law (UCL), Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., claims with prejudice (David Yastrab, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-1974, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arguing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has fully complied with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by The Associated Press and a reporters group, notwithstanding documents properly withheld under FOIA exemptions, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 28 moved for summary judgment in District of Columbia federal court in a suit alleging violations of the act (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392, D. D.C.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 25 dismissed with prejudice a woman's class suit seeking to stop an online gambling game manufacturer from operating allegedly unlawful gambling devices and recovery of all monies paid by players (Margo Phillips v. Double Down Interactive LLC, No. 15-4301, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39189).
MEMPHIS - In a wrongful death lawsuit, a doctor may not testify as to the cause of a plaintiff's death, a Tennessee federal judge held March 28, finding that the doctor failed to consider other possible causes and did not provide reliable evidence to support his testimony (Dorothy Mae Johnson, et al. v. Memphis Light Gas & Water Division, No. 12-02664, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39908).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 25 rejected a class member's objections to a $10.25 million settlement to be paid by Unilever United States Inc. to end claims that one of its hair-smoothing products can damage hair and scalp (Tina Martin v. Sidney Reid, et al. v. Unilever United States, Inc., et al., No. 14-3009, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5620).
DENVER - An insurer's biomechanical engineering expert was wrongfully disqualified from testifying as to vehicle dynamics, what happens in a rear-end collision and the nature of an insured's injury, 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 29, finding that a trial court failed to fulfill its gatekeeping function under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) (Patrick Adamscheck v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-1125, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5753).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 26 denied a motion for panel rehearing in a securities class action lawsuit and issued an amended memorandum reversing and remanding a federal district court's dismissal of the action for failure to plead falsity (In re Finisar Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 13-17199, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5653).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 28 reversed a federal judge in South Carolina's decision finding that an arbitrator should decide if a putative class's construction defects claims are subject to arbitration, ruling that fundamental differences between bilateral and class arbitration are a gateway question for the court (Del Webb Communities Inc., et al. v. Roger F. Carlson, et al., No. 15-1385, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5700).
PHILADELPHIA - In a March 28 brief opposing a motion to quash by Bill Cosby's attorney, a one-time accuser of the comedian argued in Pennsylvania federal court that documents and information sought from the attorney are relevant to her present defamation lawsuit against a Pennsylvania district attorney (D.A.) and to responding to Cosby's pending motion to intervene in the present suit (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A mechanic is qualified to offer an opinion as to the mechanical condition of a slide-out room on a recreational vehicle (RV) in a breach of warranty lawsuit, a Florida federal judge ruled March 28, denying a motion to exclude (Michael Johnson and Karla Johnson v. Thor Motor Coach, Inc., No. 15-85, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40193).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A pool company owner is not qualified to offer testimony regarding the standard of care or breach thereof related to the subject pool or waterslide design or the designs' alleged causation of a plaintiff's injuries, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled March 28, excluding the owner's testimony in a personal injury lawsuit (Bruno Pierre v. Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, et al., No. 14-3790, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40053).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 25 denied a motion seeking to allow a deceased man's estate to replace him as the lead plaintiff in a proposed class complaint accusing a timeshare company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing unsolicited phone calls to the man's cellular telephone (Mark Hannabury v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, No. 14-6126, W.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39493).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 28 invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in a foreign arbitral award proceeding (Government of Belize v. Belize Social Development Ltd., No. 15-830, U.S. Sup.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - One week after a hearing was vacated in the battle between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple Inc. over the unlocking of the iPhone of San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, the federal government on March 28 filed a status report in California federal court stating that it had "successfully accessed the data stored on" the phone and requesting that a Feb. 16 order compelling the unlocking of the encrypted phone by Apple be vacated (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:16-cm-00010, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 23 granted a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that lead plaintiffs failed to show that a plastics company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings were overstated "based solely upon a comparison to its" filings with China's regulatory authority in violation of federal securities laws (In re China XD Plastics Co. Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 14-5308, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37951).
CHICAGO - A reinsurer told the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 23 that a lower court judge misinterpreted a reinsurance treaty's service-of-suit clause, which the reinsurer contends is meant to relate to arbitrations and not litigations (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Transfercom, Ltd., No. 16-1073, 7th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 23 granted a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiffs have met all statutory requirements for certification of the investor class (In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, No. 13-3851, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37970).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 22 held that a plaintiff's breach of contract claim against her disability insurer, which is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), entitled her to take limited discovery from the insurer because there was a potential evaluator/payor conflict of interest (Nicole Myers v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 14-948, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37411).
TUCSON, Ariz. - A trial judge did not err in allowing a toolmark expert's testimony that was based in part on the use of three-dimensional imaging software and "confocal microscopic analysis" in a first-degree murder case, an Arizona appeals panel ruled March 23 (The State of Arizona v. Bryan Peter Foshay, No. 2 CA-CR 2014-0252, Ariz. App., Div. 2; 2016 Ariz. App. LEXIS 39).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper because shareholders failed to plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled March 21 (In re DNTW Chartered Accountants Securities Litigation, No. 13-4632, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36661).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 22 denied a health supplement maker's motion for summary judgment in a class action arising over the advertising and sale of a glucosamine-based supplement (Dragan Vasic, et al. v. Patenthealth LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-849, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37305).
JACKSON, Miss. - In a March 22 brief in Mississippi federal court, Google Inc. argues that its subpoena to depose the general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) should not be quashed, asserting that neither the attorney-client privilege nor the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects lobbying, which goes to the heart of Google's lawsuit against Mississippi's attorney general (AG) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
BALTIMORE - An expert failed to provide sufficient evidence as to the methodology used in opining about the cause of an accident and alleged defects in a trailer's jack, a Maryland federal judge ruled March 22, granting motions to exclude and summary judgment to the defendant in a products liability lawsuit (Stephen McKerrow v. Buyers Products Co., No. 14-2865, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36590).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A putative class action against the makers of the popular "Madden NFL" video game will proceed, thanks to a denial of certiorari March 21 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Electronic Arts Inc. v. Michael E. Davis, et al., No. 15-424, U.S. Sup.).