AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer's writ of mandamus seeking review of an appeals court's denial of its motion to disqualify an attorney and her law firm in a hailstorm coverage dispute, according to its March 10 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 16-0190, Texas Sup.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on March 9 announced that it has issued an interim award in two cases in which investors assert claims against the Russian Federation for violation of a bilateral investment treaty, ruling on issues of jurisdiction and admissibility (PJSC CB PrivatBank, et al. v. Russian Federation, No. 2015-21, PCA).
ATLANTA - A putative class of banks and financial institutions (FIs) on March 8 filed an unopposed proposed settlement of their claims against The Home Depot Inc. arising from a 2014 data breach, asking a Georgia federal court to approve the $27.2 million settlement that they state was the result of good-faith arm's-length negotiations with the retailer (In re: The Home Depot Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02583, N.D. Ga.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A little more than seven months after a class of minor league baseball players was decertified in a lawsuit seeking unpaid wages from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, its member franchises and former Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, a California federal magistrate judge granted in part a motion class certification and recertification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action (Aaron Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., No. 14-608, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32949).
NEW YORK - The deposit of a check with the clerk of a district court in satisfaction of judgment made by the defendant in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint doesn't moot the suit, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 9, vacating the judgment of the district court and remanding for further proceedings (Radha Geismann, M.D., P.C., et al. v. ZocDoc, Incorporated, No. 14-3708, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4150).
HAMMOND, Ind. - A New York man may proceed with his class complaint against a hoverboard manufacturer alleging that his hoverboard self-combusted after an Indiana federal judge on March 7 denied motions by the defendant to strike class allegations, dismiss an unjust enrichment claim and dismiss a claim for injunctive relief (Michael Brown v. Swagway, LLC, No. 15-588, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31997).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit are not entitled to sanctions pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) because they have not shown that an investor's amended complaint was "legally or factually baseless from an objective perspective" or that the investigation performed by the investor's counsel was reasonable and competent before filing the amended complaint, a federal judge in California ruled March 6 in denying the defendants' motion to amend by imposing sanctions (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 7 stayed a consumer's lawsuit over the installation of defeat devices in some of Volkswagen Group of America Inc.'s diesel vehicles pending transfer to a multidistrict litigation court, finding that the MDL court can determine if jurisdictional issues warrant remanding the action to state court (Pamela Woodcox, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., d/b/a Volkswagen of America, Inc., et al., No. 17-215 WBS DB, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32609).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on March 8 granted an insurer permission to file certain documents under seal, including deposition transcripts regarding an asbestos reinsurance dispute (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company v. Century Indemnity Company as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-00170, D. Conn.).
NEW ORLEANS - An expert's conclusion that six defendants' products couldn't have caused a man's mesothelioma impermissibly leaps to specific causation from his general causation opinion regarding chrysotile asbestos' role in the disease, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31117).
CLEVELAND - A copyright infringement plaintiff's request that evidence of expenses, deductions or allocations be excluded from the calculation of damages in connection with a defendant's alleged discovery abuses was denied March 7 by an Ohio federal magistrate judge (Design Basics LLC v. Petros Homes Inc., et al., No. 14-1966, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32066).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 7 granted a motion to dismiss an Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit alleging that a record-keeper breached its fiduciary duty by preventing ERISA plans from getting a more competitive rate for record-keeping services, finding that the record-keeper was not a fiduciary of the plans (Elaine Malone, et al. v. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, No. 15-cv-08038, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32308).
TORONTO - A Canadian energy company on March 8 said the Kyrgyz Republic has filed an application with an English court, seeking to set aside a jurisdictional award that was issued in favor of the company by an international arbitral tribunal.
RALEIGH, N.C. - Although a police officer's retrograde extrapolation testimony failed to satisfy the "fit" test under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. by not being properly tied to the facts, a North Carolina appeals panel on March 7 found no prejudicial error because there was sufficient evidence that a woman was "appreciably impaired" (State of North Carolina v. Lori Lee Babich, No. COA16-762, N.C. App.; 2017 N.C. App. LEXIS 133).
CHICAGO - An investor group has shown that a pharmaceutical company and certain of its current and former executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations concealing certain financial reporting errors for fiscal year 2014 and concealing the integration of two companies it acquired in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Illinois ruled March 6 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re Akorn Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-1944, N.D. Ill.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A nonparty insurer told a federal court in New York on March 7 that portions of the materials that an insurer in a reinsurance dispute wants to be placed under seal were publicly aired in a recent decision in a related case (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 7 granted a law firm insured's motion to compel a professional liability insurer to produce underwriting materials but found that the insured failed to satisfy the heightened relevancy standard applicable to its discovery request for personnel files of three of the insurer's employees (Westport Insurance Corp. v. Hippo Fleming & Pertile Law Offices, et al., No. 15-251, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31659).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - In an Arkansas judge's March 6 order, it was disclosed that Amazon.com Inc. submitted to law enforcement the recordings from an Amazon Echo device belonging to a murder defendant in compliance with a police warrant that Amazon previously sought to quash under privacy and free speech concerns (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Ark. Cir., Benton Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a patent and trademark infringement dispute between competitors in the fitness and exercise equipment industry, a California federal judge on March 6 refused to exclude expert testimony on lost profits damages and royalty damages (Fitness Anywhere LLC v. WOSS Enterprises LLC, No. 14-01725, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31505).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - With the admission of a retired prison official's expert testimony, a Texas federal magistrate judge found March 7 that a prison's grooming policy requiring short hair imposes "a substantial burden" on prisoners' religious exercise (Teddy Norris Davis, et al. v. Lorie Davis, director, TDCJ-CID, No. 12-166, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31944).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 3 denied a former truck driver's request to certify a class of truck drivers in relation to an alleged failure to pay a minimum wage for the hours worked, finding that he failed to meet the federal pleading requirements (Robert Gatdula, et al. v. CRST International Inc., et al., No. 11-1285, C.D. Calif., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184720).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on March 6 entered final approval of a $9.3 million settlement that certified a class of consumers who purchased a concrete resurfacing paint made by Rust-Oleum Corp. that allegedly bubbled and flaked prematurely (In re: Rust-Oleum Restore Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2602, Case No. 15 C 1364, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 granted a petition for rehearing filed by defendants in an action to confirm a $48 million arbitral award issued by the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Court of Arbitration for the purpose of correcting its previous instructions to the district court with instructions that the district court apply New York law to the remaining issues of the case (CBF Industria de Gusa S/A, et al. v. Amci Holdings Inc., No. 15-1133, 15-1146, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3815).
SAN DIEGO - A former Trump University LLC student on March 6 filed an objection to the $25 million settlement to be paid by the now-defunct school, owned by President Donald J. Trump, to end claims that the school was a sham and defrauded its students out of millions of dollars, arguing that the settlement agreement fails to provide class members with the option to be excluded from the settlement (Sonny Low, et al. v. Trump University, LLC, et al., No. 10-940, Art Cohen, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 13-2519, S.D. Calif.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - In a married couple's lawsuit alleging violation of their constitutional rights by a police officer during a traffic stop, a South Carolina federal judge on March 2 excluded in part testimony from a police captain who is also an attorney that served to bolster the credibility of the police officer (Jerome C. Newkirk Sr. v. James B. Enzor, individually and as an officer of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, No. 13-1634, Catherine B. Newkirk v. James B. Enzor, individually and as an officer of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, No. 13-1635, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29333).