NEW ORLEANS - An expert witness for a woman alleging that her husband died as a result of exposure to benzene in gasoline cannot testify at trial because his opinion on whether exposure to gas can cause the disease the man died from is unreliable, a Louisiana federal judge ruled June 9 (Yolande Burst v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 14-109, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74338).
MINNEAPOLIS - In a June 9 conditional order, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled that the many existing claims against health care provider Anthem Inc., related to a January 2015 data intrusion, will be consolidated and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. MDL 2617, JPMDL).
AMERICAN FORK, Utah - A Utah mining company on June 8 announced that it has been awarded damages in an arbitration over a dispute related to a Peruvian mine.
NEW YORK - A class complaint properly removed from state to federal court still belongs in federal court even if class claims are dropped after the removal, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 4 (In Touch Concepts, d/b/a ZCOM v. Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, et al., No. 14-1622, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9293).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that a shipping company lacked standing to sue the Republic of Guinea and that it most likely is bound by an arbitration clause, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 5 dismissed an action that sought to enforce shipping rights under a technical assistance contract (Nanko Shipping, USA, et al. v. Aloca Inc., et al., No. 14-1301, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72924).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 5 affirmed wire fraud and conspiracy convictions and 20-year prison sentences for two employees of investment companies of Ponzi scheme operator R. Allen Stanford, finding in part that the trial court did not commit harmful error in excluding certain testimony by two experts for the accused employees (United States of America v. Mark Kuhrt and Gilbert T. Lopez, Jr., No. 13-20115, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9438).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on June 5 adopted a federal magistrate's report and recommendation that the federal judge grant preliminary approval of a settlement in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that adopting the report and recommendation was proper because neither party objected to it (Waterford Township Police & Fire Retirement System v. Smithtown Bancorp, Inc., et al., Nos. 10-0864, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73025).
PASADENA, Calif. - A federal judge in California did not err in dismissing claims in a securities class action lawsuit because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead a material misrepresentation or scienter, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 5 (Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association v. Alphatec Holdings Inc., et al., No. 13-55661, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8 granted a petition for writ of certiorari in a securities class action lawsuit seeking determination of whether, pursuant to Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, a plaintiff must show not only that an opinion contained false and misleading statements but also that the speaker knew that the statements were false and misleading when made (Belmont Holdings Corp., et al. v. Deutsche Bank AG, et al., No. 14-1052, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - Efforts by photographer Barry Rosen, who previously sued eBay Inc. over its "Verified Rights Owner" (VERO) program (Barry Rosen v. eBay Inc. and Does 1 through 1000, No. 07-7531, C.D. Calif.), to subpoena the online auction site pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) were partly thwarted by a California federal magistrate judge on June 5 (In re: DMCA Subpoena to eBay Inc., No. 15-922, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73341).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on June 5 declined to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing Pepsico Inc. of violating state laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by misleading the public about the levels of the harmful and carcinogenic chemical called 4-Methylimidazole (4-Mel) contained in its Pepsi beverages (Stacy Sciortino, et al. v. Pepsico Inc., Nos. 14-478, 14-713, 14-1099, 14-1105, 14-1192, 14-1193, 14-1316, 14-1316, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73336).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8 granted the petition for writ of certiorari in the appeal of a nearly $5.8 million verdict in favor of a class of Tyson Foods Inc. workers who brought a donning and doffing suit against the company (Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Peg Bouaphakeo, et al., No. 14-1146, U.S. Sup.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A man serving a prison sentence of life without parole (LWOP) was granted discovery of certain Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) binders on June 3, with a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge deeming them relevant to the inmate's claims of violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Robert L. Holbrook, et al. v. Theresa Jellen, et al., No. 3:14-cv-00028, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71607).
DENVER - An expert's opinions about "best practices" for operating a prison do not "fit" the question of whether an inmate was segregated from the general prison population because he is HIV positive, so the trial court properly excluded the opinions, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held June 4 in affirming a jury verdict and judgment against the prisoner on a federal discrimination claim (John Doe v. Board of County Commissioners of Payne County, Oklahoma, et al., No. 14-6187, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9298).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court did not abuse its discretion in striking two expert reports for a couple alleging that they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty gas range, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 4 in a per curiam opinion, finding that there was too great a gap between the data presented and one expert's causation opinion and that the other expert was not qualified to offer his opinion on whether the range was defective (Devereaux Macy, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, No. 14-20603, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9338).
MINNEAPOLIS - A motion by former professional hockey players to enforce subpoenas for concussion-related medical records should be denied because the players have materially changed the nature of their request in pleadings filed in support of the motion, the National Hockey League (NHL) and 23 member hockey clubs told the federal judge overseeing the brain-injury multidistrict litigation against the NHL on June 2 (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on June 3 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to quash a subpoena filed by a condominium association and insureds with regard to insurer counsel's files on commercial general liability insurance policies and an underlying construction defects case (East Bridge Lofts Property Owners Association Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-2567, D. S.C.).
MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge on June 3 denied three aircraft manufacturers' motions for judgment on the bare-metal defense, but barred expert testimony that "any exposure" to asbestos could lead to disease (Shirley D. Spychalla v. Boeing Aerospace Operations Inc., et al., No. 11-497, E.D. Wis.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An English mining company on June 4 announced that it has filed its reply to an application to dismiss filed by the Republic of Indonesia, arguing that many of Indonesia's key witnesses are inaccurate and that the case should proceed (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
NEW YORK - A New York woman on June 3 filed a class complaint against iHeartMedia Inc. in New York federal court for allegedly sending unauthorized text messages to cellular phones of people around the country (Beth Shvarts, et al. v. iHeartMedia, Inc., No. 15-3231, E.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 1 certified two classes of chiropractors suing insurers for allegedly systematically denying payment for certain services rendered (Alphonse DeMaria, et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 11-7298, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70176).
NEW YORK - Google Inc. moved in New York federal court on June 1, seeking to compel three movie studios to comply with discovery subpoenas served on them in a lawsuit in Mississippi federal court in which Google asserts constitutional violations in Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's investigation of it under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) (Google Inc. v. Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00150, S.D. N.Y.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 3 limited the testimony of a damages expert in a patent dispute, directed the expert to file an amended total royalty analysis and questioned the expert's qualifications, reserving ruling on whether he is qualified until he is questioned at trial (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71716).
LOS ANGELES - A California man filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on June 1, seeking economic losses for commercial fishermen and coastal businesses that suffered damages as the result of the May 15 rupture of a pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline L.P. that resulted in the discharge of more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil along the Santa Barbara, Calif., shoreline, asserting that the company should have installed an emergency shut-off valve for that portion of the pipeline (Stace Cheverez, et al. v. Plains All American Pipeline, No. 15,cv-4113-CBM-JEM, C.D. Calif.).