MINNEAPOLIS - The trustees of Boston University on Feb. 6 told the federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League concussion multidistrict litigation that the league has failed to "demonstrate with specificity" why it needs the research and autopsy reports conducted by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center) and that compelling those documents would violate the privacy of the research subjects (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 found that a member of a class action lacked standing to appeal a district court's final approval of a $25,750,000 settlement of claims asserted against a bank in relation to fees it automatically charged for property inspections (Edward Huyer, et al. v. Rhadiante Van de Voorde, No. 16-1694, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2290).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal magistrate judge in New Jersey on Feb. 7 denied a motion to compel filed by a third-party defendant company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit seeking information from another third party, holding that information created as part of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process is not discoverable (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al. v. American Thermoplastics Corp., et al., No. 98-CV-4781, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16743).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 7 granted an insurer's motion to stay a $5.4 million reinsurance dispute and compel a European reinsurer to the arbitration table, holding that the reinsurer cannot avoid an arbitration clause in a reinsurance agreement by arguing that the reinsurance agreement is void (HDI Global SE v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-07241, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 6 granted a petition to enforce a judgment confirming a $20,106,100 arbitral award that was issued in London in favor of two companies, finding that actions taken by the government of Belize to prohibit enforcement do not affect the district court's jurisdiction (BCB Holdings Limited, et al. v. The Government of Belize, No. 14-1123, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17070).
DENVER - An insurance claims consultant may offer testimony about an auto insurer's industry standards and practices but may not offer legal conclusions about whether the insurer acted "unreasonably" in its claims handling, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 7, granting in part and denying in part the insurer's motion to exclude the expert testimony (Donald O'Sullivan v. Geico Casualty Co., No. 15-1838, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17186).
RICHMOND, Va. - Without expert testimony, a seller of internet domain names could not establish the elements of its Lanham Act claim, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 8, finding that there was no evidence that the seller suffered an actual injury as a direct result of a competitor's conduct (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC and Daniel Negari, No. 15-2526, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2264).
NEW YORK - A reinsured insurer argues in a Feb. 3 brief in a federal court in New York that since a German reinsurer is challenging an agreement as a whole and not the arbitration clause, the parties' dispute regarding the validity of a reinsurance agreement should be left to arbitrators to decide (HDI Global SE v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-07241, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A former insurance company long-term disability (LTD) claim specialist filed a nationwide class complaint Feb. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut seeking more than $50 million from her former employer and two of its subsidiaries for unpaid overtime (Stephanie McKinney v. MetLife, Inc., et al., No. 17-173, D. Conn.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana dismissed a case on Feb. 3 after being informed the parties settled, just a day after the judge excluded treating physicians from offering expert testimony regarding asbestos's role in the plaintiff's asbestosis and lung cancer (Jesse Frank Sheppard v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-2401, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted an employee's motion to remand her class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and various labor codes, finding that her employer failed to show that the amount in controversy would exceed $5 million under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jasmine Miller v. A-1 Express Delivery Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06251, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15795).
LONDON - A U.K. oil and gas company on Feb. 7 said an international arbitral tribunal has issued an award on its treaty claims against Ukraine, awarding it $11.8 million in damages related to royalties and production taxes its subsidiary paid.
MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 3 granted a French energy company's motion to compel arbitration in Germany of claims asserted by numerous insurers in relation to a failed engine (Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, et al. v. Converteam SAS, a foreign corporation now known as GE Energy Conversion France SAS, Corp., No. 16-00378, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15331).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation "does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the" Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).
HOUSTON - In a strict products liability lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 declined to exclude testimonies from fire investigators because the expert opinions rely on acceptable methodology (Harris Caprock Communications Inc. v. Trippe Manufacturing Co. d/b/a Tripp Lite d/b/a Tripp Lite Holdings Inc., No. 15-0130, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16857).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class complaint against all 32 National Football League teams, dismissing claims of violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiracy brought by a class of retired players and the estates of deceased players who claim that the teams they played for caused them injury by giving them medication rather than allowing them to rest and fully heal from their injuries (Etopia Evans, et al. v. Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, et al., No. 16-01030, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15803).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners' motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings hit record highs in 2016, up more than 40 percent of the average from 1997-2015, according to a report released Jan. 31 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania in a reinsurance dispute over asbestos-related claims granted on Feb. 2 an insurer's unopposed motion for the issuance of a protective order regarding confidential information (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A judge erred in allowing an electrical engineer's testimony that a Ford Motor Co. vehicle was reasonably unsafe and that alternative designs existed because he did not perform his gatekeeping duties with regard to the testimony, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 1, finding that without other expert testimony, a couple cannot prove their product liability case under West Virginia law (Howard E. Nease and Nancy Nease v. Ford Motor Co., No. 15-1950, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1781).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in allowing a damages expert's testimony on lost profits following the discovery of a fault in bulk containers used to transport and store a chemical agent for crude oil, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 1, upholding a jury award of $7.2 million in damages to the manufacturer of the bulk container (Packgen v. Berry Plastics Corp. and Covalence Specialty Coatings LLC, No. 16-1348, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1793).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Finding merit to objections of two members of a consumer class action over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 remanded a settlement of that suit, finding that a trial court "failed to articulate its analysis of the numerous disputed issues of law and fact regarding the propriety of class certification" (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1767).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 31 denied appeals from a company in a suit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that it lacked jurisdiction to review three rulings on motions seeking discovery from a nonparty company based in England (P.H. Glatfelter Co. v. Windward Prospects Ltd., Nos. 15-3847, 16-1197, 16-1310, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1707).
NEW ORLEANS - Producing an unprepared corporate witness who failed to answer almost 100 noticed matters despite months of preparation time was akin to offering no witness at all, a federal judge in Louisiana held Jan. 31 in ordering a new deposition and imposing costs and fees (Martha Denmon Storer, et al. v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., et al., No. 14-2488, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13349).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 31 motion in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeks summary judgment of a suit in which three news organizations allege Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) violations, with the bureau asserting that it withheld certain details related to the unlocking of a terrorist's smart phone out of national security concerns and to protect trade secrets of the vendor that unlocked the device (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).