DETROIT - A purported class of Flint, Mich., residents on March 7 filed a lawsuit in Michigan federal court against the governor, the state, state officials and city employees, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of federal laws pertaining to safe drinking water connected to the lead water crisis in Flint (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Gov. Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that although shareholders properly pleaded scienter, loss causation and an actionable misrepresentation, they lack standing to bring claims pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933 (Keith Thomas, et al. v. Magnachip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28077).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A plaintiff's expert may testify as to an insurer's handling of an underlying bodily injury claim arising from a motor vehicle accident, a Kansas federal judge ruled March 7, denying an insurer's motion to exclude and motion for summary judgment on negligence and bad faith claims (Grant M. Nelson v. Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co., No. 15-7454, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28952).
NEW YORK - A trial judge did not err in allowing a lawyer to testify about his meeting with a plaintiff regarding signatures for mortgage loan documents, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 8, affirming a verdict in favor of mortgage companies on a fraud claim (Linda D. Crawford v. Tribeca Lending Corp., et al., No. 15-1403, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4305).
NEW ORLEANS - A plaintiff failed to show that defense experts' opinions are unreliable or inadmissible, a Louisiana federal judge held March 4; however, the judge found that the plaintiff demonstrated that two newly converted, handicap-accessible parking spaces are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S. Code Section 12181, et seq., because they do not conform to guidelines as they must under the maximum extent feasible standard (Thad Tatum v. Doctor's Associates, Inc., et al., No. 14-2980, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27764).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Finding that a former judge may be able to assist a jury on procedures employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. immigration courts, a Florida federal judge on March 4 reserved ruling on a motion to exclude until trial (United States of America v. Yohany Hernandez-Hernandez, No. 15-59, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27737).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - One week after a federal magistrate judge denied its motion to compel Apple Inc. to assist in obtaining access to an iPhone seized during a criminal investigation, the U.S. government on March 7 appealed that ruling in New York federal court, calling its request a "routine application" that has been made of Apple "dozens of times before" and with which the technology firm has always complied (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - In a securities fraud action filed by employees, a New York federal judge on March 7 allowed certain testimony from defense experts on fiduciary duty standards and when the employer should have disclosed a financial investment offer (Clifford P. Beede, et al. v. Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. and Charles W. Stiefel, No. 13-120, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28304).
JACKSON, Miss. - In a March 7 brief in Mississippi federal court, Google Inc. opposed as "frivolous" a protective order motion filed by Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood, defending its intention to depose the AG in a dispute centering over Google's purported liability for illegal Internet content in light of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted preliminary approval of a settlement in a securities class action lawsuit against a company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement meets all statutory requirements for settlement (In re Vocera Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-3567, N.D. Calif.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Complaints about a plaintiff's alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional asbestos exposures involves perjury claims subject to a one-year limitations period, not fraud, a Kentucky court held in affirming dismissal March 4 (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Delores Ann Robertson, et al., No. 2013-CA-001546-MR, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 175).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court panel on March 3 found nothing "speculative or illogical" about "every exposure" testimony on which a $2 million asbestos verdict was built (Nickole Davis, as personal representative etc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. B256793, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 169).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on March 2 approved an "unprecedented" $940 million settlement of Native American tribes' 25-year-old class claims that the United States government underpaid tribes and tribal contractors to operate Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) programs (Ramah Navajo Chapter, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 90-957, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27624).
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - A mechanical engineer may testify in a products liability lawsuit on the technological feasibility of incorporating flesh detection technology, a Vermont federal judge ruled March 2; however, the engineer may not offer expert testimony regarding the cost of incorporating that technology (Roger Cote v. Robert Bosch Tool Corp., No. 14-202, D. Vt.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27484).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A trial judge did not err in excluding a liability expert from testifying as to breach of duty and to causation in an employee's lawsuit filed under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S. Code Section 51 et seq. (2012), a Kansas appeals panel affirmed March 4 because the expert failed to provide specific examples of what an employer did wrong or could have done better (Jay E. Smart v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 113,809, Kan. App.; 2016 Kan. App. LEXIS 16).
LINCOLN, Neb. - A judge did not err in barring a psychologist's opinion as to a defendant's mental state when he killed his father and in finding sufficient evidence to support a first-degree murder conviction, the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed March 4, holding that the expert failed to show a reliable methodology for retroactively diagnosing the defendant's mental health (State of Nebraska v. Steven R. Braesch, No. S-14-1091, Neb. Sup.; 2016 Neb. LEXIS 32).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 3 denied eight motions to exclude various experts regarding liability and cleanup practices in environmental lawsuits between a town, county, water authority and General Electric Co. (GE) (Town of Halfmoon and County of Saratoga v. General Electric Co., No. 09-228; Saratoga County Water Authority v. General Electric Co., No. 11-6, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26888).
FRESNO, Calif. - Having previously excluded an expert's report and testimony as to dollar figures of his aggregate damages analysis for rest break premiums, meal period premiums and underpaid meal premium classes for damages pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7, a California federal magistrate judge on March 2 precluded plaintiffs from eliciting testimony from the defendant's expert as to the damage estimates (Sandrika Medlock, et al. v. Taco Bell Corp., et al., No. 07-01314, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26350).
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - An expert cannot testify that a partial DNA profile from a sexual assault crime scene is not expected to occur in more than one in 35 Native Americans, an Arizona federal judge held March 2, saying that the testimony is not reliable because it is probably based on unrepresentative data (United States of America v. Theodore Kootswatewa, No. CR-15-08034, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25936).
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah legislators on March 2 held hearings on legislation requiring plaintiffs to submit sworn statements that they investigated and filed all available asbestos bankruptcy trust claims.
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 3 denied a motion for reconsideration of a previous order denying a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the recantation of information by confidential witnesses is not sufficient enough to grant reconsideration (In re Genworth Financial Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-2392, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on March 2 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that although lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded their federal securities law claims against a pharmaceutical company, they have failed to do so against a number of the company's current and former officers and directors (Bing Li v. Aeterna Zentaris Inc., et al., No. 14-7081, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26772).
NEW YORK - The judge presiding over the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on March 2 granted GM's motion to seal documents relating to a settlement between thousands of drivers and GM, noting that there had been no objections to the motion (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02543, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Facebook Inc. filed a motion for a protective order March 2 in California federal court, asserting that a four-year-old privacy suit over its purported use of tracking cookies should be stayed pending resolution of the social network's second dismissal motion (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - A trial court erred in once again declining to hear testimony from a doctor in a wrongful death lawsuit against caretakers for a disabled man, a Georgia appeals panel ruled March 2, vacating a grant of summary judgment and remanding for the court to hear the testimony (Yvonne Blake, et al. v. KES, Inc., et al., No. A15A2207, Ga. App., 1st Div.; 2016 Ga. App. LEXIS 110).