CHICAGO - Police officers were qualified in a constitutional rights lawsuit to testify about excessive force used by a fellow officer, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 28 (United States of America v. Terry Joe Smith, Nos. 14-3744 & 14-3721, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1353).
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood is not entitled to a jury trial in the present declaratory action, Google Inc. argues in a Jan. 25 reply brief in support of a motion to strike the AG's jury demand, noting that it seeks equitable relief rather than damages in countering a discovery subpoena by the AG that Google says violates the protections of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
CHARLESTON, W. VA. - A class action alleging that Boston Scientific Corp. used "counterfeit" Chinese polypropylene to make its Advantage pelvic mesh devices starting in 2012 was stayed Jan. 26 while the plaintiff takes her allegation up with the Food and Drug Administration (Teresa L. Stevens v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., No. 16-265, S.D. W. Va.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Jan. 26 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by the manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping and remanded the suit sua sponte, after finding that the state's Right to Repair Act (RORA) does not allow class action claims (Roy Victor Boyko, et al. v. Terveno LP, et al., No. 15cv2088, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8998).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 26 granted an amended motion filed jointly by the parties in a wage-and-hour class suit filed by workers who were paid on a per-task basis to modify the July order approving a $585,507 settlement (Christopher Otey, et al. v. CrowdFlower, Inc., et al., No. 12-5524, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9049).
SAN FRANCISCO - Drivers who filed a class complaint against Lyft Inc., which provides drive-sharing services, alleging various wage violations filed a motion Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking preliminary approval of a $12.25 million settlement (Patrick Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 13-4065, N.D. Calif.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 25 in two separate rulings granted preliminary approval of a $900,000 settlement by the trustees of two RadioShack 401(k) plans and partially dismissed the claims against the RadioShack directors and members of the administrative committee in a consolidated complaint brought by plan participants who allege that the defendants violated ERISA and their duty of loyalty by keeping the employee stock options plans (ESOPs) invested in RadioShack stock even as the company was declining into bankruptcy (In Re 2014 RadioShack ERISA Litigation, No. 14-959, N.D. Texas).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 25 partially granted a motion to strike class claims for violation of the California Labor Code and the unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a former employee of technology entities, allowing his representative claim for violation of the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and injunctive relief to proceed (Howard Rosenstein, individually and on behalf of himself and others similarly situated v. Pratt and Whitney, et al., No. 15cv2183, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8442).
CHICAGO - A horse trainer was not qualified in the business and financial aspects of horse breeding, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 26, upholding the exclusion of the trainer's testimony in a tax refund lawsuit (Estate of Harold Stuller, deceased, Wilma Stuller and L.S.A., Inc. v. United States of America, No. 15-1545, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1233).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Jan. 22 granted final approval of a $42.5 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit regarding certain false and misleading statements made by a medical device maker and certain of its executive officers and directors regarding the demand of certain of its products in violation of federal securities laws (City of Lakeland Employees' Pension Plan v. Baxter International Inc., No. 10-6016, N.D. Ill.)
BOSTON - Securities class action lawsuit filings reached a seven-year high in 2015 and saw a double-digit increase from the number filed in 2014, according to a report released jointly on Jan. 26 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held Jan. 22 that a genuine dispute of a material fact precludes granting a business and management indemnity insurer's motion for summary judgment on its insured's bad faith claim, denying in part and granting in part the insurer's motion in a coverage dispute over underlying attorney fees (Corthera Inc., et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 14-05014, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8388.)
MADRID, Spain - The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism on Jan. 25 announced that the Court of Arbitration of Madrid has issued an award, finding that the Kingdom of Spain did not breach the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in relation to changes made to the regulatory framework for renewable energy premiums (Charanne B.V. & Construction, Investments S.A.R.L. v. Kingdom of Spain, No. 062/2012, Madrid Arb.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Jan. 21 excluded an expert witness from testifying during a murder trial on the suggestiveness of eyewitness identification procedures and the correlation between the accuracy of an identification and an eyewitness's confidence in an identification (United States of America v. Alhassane Ould Mohamed, No. 13-527, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7394).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 22 certified a class of Texas inmates who allege that their unit, operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), is denied any climate control during the summer months and is exposed to extreme heat conditions (Keith Cole, et al. v. Brad Livingston, et al., No. 14-1698, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7509).
SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiffs in a consolidated class action against the maker of mobile device software that purportedly shared personal data with third parties filed a motion in California federal court on Jan. 22, seeking approval of a $9 million settlement reached with the software firm and several mobile device manufacturer co-defendants (In re Carrier iQ Inc. Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 3:12-md-02330, N.D. Calif.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Jan. 22 granted a motion by the lead plaintiff in a wage-and-hour dispute to decertify dozens of opt-in plaintiffs who fall within the definition of a class certified in a similar Missouri state action, but rejected the defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice (James Hose v. Henry Industries, Inc., No. 13-2490, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7679).
NEW YORK - The number of federal securities class action filings reached numbers not seen in seven years, as 234 complaints were filed, including 182 alleging violations of Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5 and Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, according to a report released Jan. 25 by NERA Economic Consulting.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Jan. 21 granted in part a motion to compel United Behavioral Health (UBH) to produce redacted or withheld documents in a class complaint accusing the insurance provider of wrongfully denying coverall for mental health and substance abuse-related residential treatment (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7242).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 25 in a per curiam opinion reversed the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that participants in eligible individual account plans (EIAPs) sponsored by Amgen Inc. sufficiently alleged that the plans' fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duty of care imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining company stock in the plans when the stock price was artificially inflated because the company was marketing risky "off label" uses of drugs (Amgen Inc., et al. v. Steve Harris, et al., No. 15-278, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Four parking production assistants (PPAs) employed by Paramount Pictures Corp. and other production companies filed a class suit Jan. 21 in New York federal court alleging that they were denied overtime pay, forced to work without any breaks and often forced to go to the bathroom in their cars or pay local business in order to use their restrooms (Christian Pellot, et al. v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, et al., No. 16-463, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Reports from medical experts that an employee had very severe coronary artery disease and that his sudden death at work was the result of a cardiac event show that the employee's employment contributed to his death, a California appeals panel held Jan. 21, affirming workers' compensation benefits (Star Insurance Co. v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and Maria Rosa Tavares, et al., No. H042244, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 409).
LOS ANGELES - Six students and a cheerleading coach on Jan. 20 filed an amended class action complaint in California federal court against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., claiming that they became sick after eating at the chain's Simi Valley restaurant where a sick kitchen manager was preparing food and that the restaurant tried to cover up its link to an outbreak of norovirus (H.C.L., a minor, by and through his guardian ad litem Richard R. LeSecla, Jr., et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. No. 2: 16cv399. Calif. M.D.).
ATLANTA - A power company on Jan. 19 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to throw out a $3 million asbestos verdict against it, saying it owed no duty to household members while also challenging causation and expert witnesses (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 15-15271, 11th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 19 concluded that a plaintiff sufficiently alleged that Big Lots Stores Inc. did not comply with the stand-alone disclosure requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it obtained a consumer report on a prospective employee, denying the retailer's motion to dismiss the putative class action (Shaundrenika Robrinzine v. Big Lots Stores Inc., No. 1:15-cv-07239, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5689).