WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 2 answer filed in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) deny that they violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by denying requests from The Associated Press (AP) for documents related to investigations in which the government impersonated media organizations for the purpose of tracking down suspected criminals (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392, D. D.C.).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A man convicted of rape and abuse of a minor was wrongly denied discovery of certain items from his trial and of subsequent rape cases involving the same victim, a Kansas Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 2, reversing in part a trial court's discovery orders and remanding for some in camera review by the lower court (State of Kansas v. Lamar Willis, No. 110.954, Kansas App.; 2015 Kan. App. LEXIS 65).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari by a pro se plaintiff who argued that experts in his Zicam injury lawsuit were improperly excluded (Michael D. Nelson v. Matrixx Initiatives, et al., No. 14-1389, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge presiding over litigation stemming from Chinese drywall did not err when denying a motion to enjoin a Florida from pursuing class action claims in Florida state court over the loss of market value of his condominium, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, finding that the claims are not subject to two settlements resolving claims over the product (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-31355, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17407).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Sept. 30 granted an insurer's request to appoint an umpire to resolve a coverage dispute over the alleged hailstorm damage to the siding of an 68-unit apartment complex, rejecting the insured's contention that the chosen candidate is biased (The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co. v. C.F.L.P. 1, LLC, No. 14-40, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132523).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. filed a motion focused on product identification issues, but then improperly argued and obtained judgment on causation issues surrounding whether its talc contained asbestos, Alabama's Supreme Court held Sept. 30 (Frank Kruse, et al. v. Vanderbilt Minerals LLC, f/k/a R.T. Vanderbilt Company Inc., No. 1121382, Ala. Sup.; 2015 Ala. LEXIS 121).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 2 ruled that the claim files and the deposition of a nonparty subcontractor's insurance adjuster are discoverable for the purpose of determining if a conflict of interests existed that required the appointment of independent counsel, granting a home builder's motions to compel in a construction defects declaratory judgment action (Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Co., et al. v. Centex Homes, No. 1:14-cv-00826, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134923).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The judge of compensation claims (JCC) did not abuse his discretion in denying an objection to medical opinion testimony in a workers' compensation lawsuit, a Florida appeals panel affirmed Sept. 30 (Ernesto O. Sierra v. Metropolitan Protective Services and Guarantee Insurance, No. 1D15-0094, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 14510).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 excluded testimony and reports to be offered in support of homeowners' breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their insurer for coverage of damages caused in an electrical fire (Wayne Moore and Kimberly Moore v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-3113, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132211).
TRENTON, N.J. - A Harvard professor may testify in an antitrust lawsuit over the market inflation of the bundling of pediatric vaccines, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 30, finding that the professor's report is reliable and granting class certification (Adriana M. Castro, et al. v. Sanofi Pasteur Inc., No. 11-7178, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132458).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a first amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because the lead plaintiff failed to properly plead materiality in making its federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 29 (In re Ply Gem Holdings Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-3577, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131203).
NEW YORK - A pension plan must be reformed to provide the benefits reasonably expected by a class of plan participants as a result of the plan's misrepresentations, a New York federal judge said Sept. 29 after determining that the evidence submitted by the class plaintiffs fully supported their claims against the plan (Geoffrey Osberg v. Foot Locker Inc., et al., No. 07-1358, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132054).
NEW YORK - A law firm on Sept. 30 announced that a group of Greek investors have formally filed an arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Cyprus, seeking damages related to a bailout and financial crisis in Cyprus.
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 29 refused to adopt a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that dismissed a Mexican gold mining company's lawsuit against a resource company for lack of jurisdiction, ordering the mining entity to now show cause as to why the dispute should not be arbitrated (Dynaresource De Mexico, S.A. de C.V., et al. v. Goldgroup Resources Inc., No. 14-cv-01527, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131430).
PHOENIX - Having excluded an expert from testifying that chafing was caused by a defect in the way in which a battery cable was secured in a car that caused a fire to a home, an Arizona federal magistrate judge granted summary judgment on Sept. 29 to BMW of North America LLC on a negligence claim (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al. v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 13-01228, D. Ariz.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131218).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 29 denied several motions by the secretary of the Labor to exclude expert testimony in a lawsuit alleging fraudulent activity in the purchase of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) (Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor, et al. v. First Bankers Trust Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-4450, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130749).
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of The Coca-Cola Co. has standing to sue the beverage giant related to the theft of laptops that contained his personally identifiable information (PII), a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 30, declining to dismiss for lack of standing. However, the judge granted partial dismissal of the putative class action, finding that claims for negligence and fraud were not properly pleaded (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133168).
NEW YORK - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Sept. 29 ordered defendants in a securities class action lawsuit to produce a privilege log containing certain information sought by the named plaintiff in the action showing why it is covered by work product privilege (In re Symbol Technologies Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 05-3923, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131478).
SAN FRANCISCO - National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations are subject to antitrust scrutiny, and pursuant to the Rule of Reason, the NCAA must allow its schools to provide compensation to their student-athletes up to the cost of attendance, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 30 (Edward C. O'Bannon, Jr., et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, AKA The NCAA, et al., Nos. 14-16601 and 14-17068, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17193).
MADISON, Wis. - Finding that reasonable jurors could conclude that processors fabricated in Texas but completed overseas and never sold in or imported into the United States after completion could nonetheless be capable of infringement at the point of manufacture, a Wisconsin federal judge on Sept. 29 reserved a motion by Apple Inc. to limit the royalty base in an upcoming patent trial (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130906).
TRENTON, N.J. - Shingle manufacturer Maibec Inc. says in an opposition brief filed Sept. 29 in New Jersey federal court that a request to certify two discovery rulings for appeal filed by plaintiffs who claim the shingles are defective is frivolous and worthy of sanctions because the decisions did not absolve the company from producing electronically stored information (ESI) and allow discovery from a retained expert (Ilene Stern, et al. v. Maibec Inc., No. 11-3951, D. N.J.).
PASADENA, Calif. - A waiver of a plaintiff's representative Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim is unenforceable, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 28 and remanded the matter for the parties to decide in the first instance where the claim should be resolved (Shukri Sakkab, et al. v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., No. 13-55184, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17071).
ATLANTA - In a Sept. 25 brief supporting a motion to dismiss claims brought against it by a putative class of financial institutions (FI plaintiffs) related to a 2014 breach of its network, Home Depot Inc. argued to a Georgia court that the banks need to take responsibility for their role in the losses they claim to have incurred as a result of the breach (In re: The Home Depot Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02583, N.D. Ga.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 25 granted approval of a $2.8 million settlement in a class complaint brought by independent contractors who deliver furniture and provide installation services in New Jersey for Macy's Inc. and HomeDeliveryLink Inc. (Henry Badia, et al. v. HomeDeliveryLink, Inc., et al., Nos. 12-6920 and 12-7097, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129033).
SAN DIEGO - Dismissal of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured is first required to bring his claims to arbitration under the arbitration provision of the insurance policy, a federal judge in California ruled on Sept. 25 (David Peffer v. Philadelphia Indemnity Co., No. 14-2980, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129531).