CHICAGO - A debt collector must pay class damages for unlawful debt collection practices made by a third party on its behalf, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 15 (Mary T. Janetos, et al. v. Fulton Friedman & Gullace, LLP, et al., No. 12-1473, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173718).
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Dec. 15 said it has entered a cooperation agreement with the Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion to reconsider what court a class suit over the St. Louis Rams moving to a new city belongs and ordered limited discovery on whether the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) applies (Ronald McAllister v. The St. Louis Rams, LLC, Nos. 16-172, 16-262, 16-297 and 16-189, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Dec. 15 partially reversed a judgment by a court of appeal to the extent it directed the trial court to hold further proceedings on a class's claims under the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act, but affirmed a decision that a dealership's practice of backdating contracts did not violate the Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) (Raceway Ford Cases, Nos. E054517, E056595, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 842).
PARIS - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 13 issued its ruling granting a request by a shipping company and others to amend an award in an arbitration with the Republic of Guinea to account for interest (Getma International and others v. Republic of Guinea, No. ARB/11/29, ICSID).
JACKSON, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 14 refused to exclude economic damages testimony in a man's negligence lawsuit arising from his injuries from his employment and subsequent inability to return to work because an industrial company failed to show that the testimony was based on unreliable methods (Dale Berman, et al. v. Unimin Corp., No. 15-1255, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172769).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on Dec. 13 denied an insurer's motion to compel the production of unredacted documents and emails after determining that the documents and emails are protected under the work product doctrine because they were prepared in anticipation of litigation regarding coverage for the contamination of the insured's blood products (Baxter International Inc., v. AXA Versicherung, No. 11-cv-09131, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172234).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 12 dismissed an objection filed by the United Mexican States to an arbitration filed against it by a lender, finding that questions regarding whether certain promissory notes and mortgages were investments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) required more review (Lion Mexico Consolidated L.P. v. United Mexican States, No. ARB[AF]/15/12, ICSID).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In answers filed Dec. 9 in Massachusetts federal court, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) each deny a deaf advocacy organization's putative class claims that their websites violated federal law because they are not equally accessible for hearing-impaired individuals (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, D. Mass; and National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a class action against computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. on Dec. 9 moved in California federal court for preliminary approval of a settlement with the co-defendant that designed the spyware at the heart of the lawsuit's computer fraud and invasion of privacy claims (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A retirement system failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions in pleading its federal securities law claims against a seller of hybrid data storage products and certain of its executive officers, but it may be able to cure its deficiencies with amendment of its complaint, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 9 (In re Nimble Storage Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-5803, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170924).
OTTAWA - The government of Canada on Dec. 13 announced that it has ratified a U.N. convention on transparency in arbitration.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. discriminated against approximately 250 employees when it terminated them and replaced them with workers from India, more than two dozen of the former employees allege in a class complaint filed Dec. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Leonardo Perrero, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., No. 16-2144, M.D. Fla.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A former insurance company financial representative failed in his attempt to show that he was actually an employee, not an independent contractor as his contract stated, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 12, granting a motion for summary judgment filed by the insurance company in the wage-and-hour class dispute (Joseph Rose, et al. v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-3569, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171404).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 9 granted final approval of a settlement of a consolidated complaint accusing Shop-Vac Corp., Lowe's Home Centers Inc. and Lowe's HIW Inc. of misrepresenting certain features of wet/dry vacuums (In Re: Shop-Vac Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-2380, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170841).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Dec. 13 granted Jack in the Box Inc.'s motion to dismiss the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims of plaintiffs in a putative class action against the fast food restaurant franchisor, finding that Jack in the Box was not the plaintiff's joint employer after it franchised several corporate-owned Jack in the Box restaurants (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box Inc., No. 3:14-cv-1092, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172061).
CHICAGO - A trial judge did not err in allowing testimony from a cellphone record expert that placed a man at the location of illegal gun purchases in one state with illegal sales in another state, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 9 (United States of America v. David Lewisbey, No. 14-2236, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21935).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Three experts retained by plaintiffs claiming that Pella Corp.'s Architect Series and Designer Series windows are defective cannot testify about "leakage paths" that allow water to penetrate into vulnerable areas of the windows, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 12, finding that the testing done by the experts to support their theory did not conform with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard E2128 (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171502).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 12 dismissed with prejudice a claim asserted by a putative class of homeowners accusing Pulte Home Corp. of intentionally applying stucco in a manner that violated the Florida Building Code, ruling that the statute does not allow such a cause of action (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-CV-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171271).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 8 granted in part an insurer's and a reinsurer's motions to compel discovery information from each other regarding alleged obligations under certain reinsurance agreements (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A candy company former employee who filed a wage and hour class complaint against her former employer may proceed only with two of her individual claims, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division I, ruled Dec. 9, upholding summary judgment for the employer on the other remaining causes of action, including the class claims (Pamela Silva v. See's Candy Shops, Inc., No. D068136, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8895).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 8 certified a class of Florida condo owners suing the owners and managers of a hotel located in the same complex for allegedly overcharging the unit owners for the cost of upkeep for the shared components such as lobby, parking garage and fitness center (Gary Dear, et al. v. Q Cub Hotel, LLC, No. 15-60474, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91200).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Dec. 9 refused a Hong Kong commodity company's petition to vacate an arbitral award that was issued in favor of a Hong Kong seller of coking coal, finding that an arbitral panel did not exceed its authority in finding that the company wrongfully terminated an underlying contract for shipment (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Kailuan [Hong Kong] International Co., Ltd. v. Sino East Minerals Ltd., No. 16-2160, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170821).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 8 denied a motion for class decertification filed in a wage-and-hour complaint brought by a limo driver who claims that his employer's commission-based payment structure resulted in hours worked without any compensation and a denial of overtime wages when hours exceed 40 per week (Roger Lassen, Jr., et al. v. Hoyt Livery, Inc., et al., No. 13-1529, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169506).
JACKSON, Miss. - A trial judge did not err in allowing a ballistic expert to give definitive testimony matching bullets from a crime scene to a gun linked to a man later convicted of deliberate design murder, the majority of the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Dec. 8; however, the majority overturned the conviction based on the judge's error in answering a question posed by a jury during deliberations (James Douglas Willie a/k/a James D. Willie a/k/a James Willie v. State of Mississippi, No. 2014-KA-01041-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2016 Miss. LEXIS 509).