SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted an employee's motion to remand her class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and various labor codes, finding that her employer failed to show that the amount in controversy would exceed $5 million under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jasmine Miller v. A-1 Express Delivery Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06251, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15795).
LONDON - A U.K. oil and gas company on Feb. 7 said an international arbitral tribunal has issued an award on its treaty claims against Ukraine, awarding it $11.8 million in damages related to royalties and production taxes its subsidiary paid.
MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 3 granted a French energy company's motion to compel arbitration in Germany of claims asserted by numerous insurers in relation to a failed engine (Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, et al. v. Converteam SAS, a foreign corporation now known as GE Energy Conversion France SAS, Corp., No. 16-00378, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15331).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation "does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the" Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).
HOUSTON - In a strict products liability lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 declined to exclude testimonies from fire investigators because the expert opinions rely on acceptable methodology (Harris Caprock Communications Inc. v. Trippe Manufacturing Co. d/b/a Tripp Lite d/b/a Tripp Lite Holdings Inc., No. 15-0130, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16857).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class complaint against all 32 National Football League teams, dismissing claims of violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiracy brought by a class of retired players and the estates of deceased players who claim that the teams they played for caused them injury by giving them medication rather than allowing them to rest and fully heal from their injuries (Etopia Evans, et al. v. Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, et al., No. 16-01030, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15803).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners' motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings hit record highs in 2016, up more than 40 percent of the average from 1997-2015, according to a report released Jan. 31 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania in a reinsurance dispute over asbestos-related claims granted on Feb. 2 an insurer's unopposed motion for the issuance of a protective order regarding confidential information (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A judge erred in allowing an electrical engineer's testimony that a Ford Motor Co. vehicle was reasonably unsafe and that alternative designs existed because he did not perform his gatekeeping duties with regard to the testimony, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 1, finding that without other expert testimony, a couple cannot prove their product liability case under West Virginia law (Howard E. Nease and Nancy Nease v. Ford Motor Co., No. 15-1950, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1781).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in allowing a damages expert's testimony on lost profits following the discovery of a fault in bulk containers used to transport and store a chemical agent for crude oil, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 1, upholding a jury award of $7.2 million in damages to the manufacturer of the bulk container (Packgen v. Berry Plastics Corp. and Covalence Specialty Coatings LLC, No. 16-1348, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1793).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Finding merit to objections of two members of a consumer class action over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 remanded a settlement of that suit, finding that a trial court "failed to articulate its analysis of the numerous disputed issues of law and fact regarding the propriety of class certification" (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1767).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 31 denied appeals from a company in a suit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that it lacked jurisdiction to review three rulings on motions seeking discovery from a nonparty company based in England (P.H. Glatfelter Co. v. Windward Prospects Ltd., Nos. 15-3847, 16-1197, 16-1310, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1707).
NEW ORLEANS - Producing an unprepared corporate witness who failed to answer almost 100 noticed matters despite months of preparation time was akin to offering no witness at all, a federal judge in Louisiana held Jan. 31 in ordering a new deposition and imposing costs and fees (Martha Denmon Storer, et al. v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., et al., No. 14-2488, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13349).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 31 motion in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeks summary judgment of a suit in which three news organizations allege Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) violations, with the bureau asserting that it withheld certain details related to the unlocking of a terrorist's smart phone out of national security concerns and to protect trade secrets of the vendor that unlocked the device (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accusing NFL Enterprises LLC and individual teams of conspiring to suppress the wages of cheerleaders while the salaries for the football players have "skyrocketed" (Jane Doe, et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A proposed $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a class action over the tracking cookie practices of Google Inc. was approved by a Delaware federal judge Feb. 2, with requests for awards of attorney fees and incentive awards being granted and a lone objection to the settlement being overruled (In Re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 1:12-md-02358, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 1 released its award in an arbitration commenced by a U.K. investor in relation to a contract for the construction of highway bridges and overpasses, ordering Turkmenistan to pay the company $2,892,400 in damages and costs, plus interest (Garanti Koza LLP v. Turkmenistan, No. ARB/11/20, ICSID).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on Jan. 27 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation and denied pension plans' motion to dismiss an amended class action complaint alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying the factual record must be developed before a summary judgment motion could be considered (Ivette M. Martinez-Gonzalez, et al. v. Catholic Schools of the Archioceses of San Juan Pension Plan, et al., No. 16-2077, D. Puerto Rico, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11903).
PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a member of a gym expressly consented to receiving text messages and that he lacked standing to assert violations of California business and professions codes, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 30 affirmed a summary judgment ruling for the owners of the gym and its marketing firm (Bradley Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness Group LLC, et al., No. 14-55980, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1591).
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - A Canadian uranium producer on Feb. 1 announced that a Tokyo company has issued a termination notice of a contract for the supply of uranium for nuclear power plants and that it will pursue its legal rights and remedies, including possible arbitration.
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 27 found that a putative class complaint against a video game manufacturer under an Illinois biometrics law failed because the lead plaintiffs did not establish a concrete injury-in-fact from the in-game facial scans with which they voluntarily participated (Ricardo Vigil, et al. v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., No. 1:15-cv-08211, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12295).
NEWARK, N.J. - Three pediatric medical practices on Jan. 27 asked a New Jersey federal court to approve a $61.5 million cash settlement of claims alleging that drug maker Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and a subsidiary engaged in anti-competitive behavior by bundling its Menactra quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) with other pediatric vaccines to keep another meningitis vaccine from cutting into Sanofi's 100 percent market share (Adriana M. Castro, M.D., P.A., et al. v. Sanofi Pasteur Inc., No. 11-7178, D. N.J.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal magistrate judge on Jan. 27 determined that an in camera review of a memo produced by an insurer involved in an asbestos coverage dispute must be conducted to determine if the memo contains any privileged information (ITT Corp. and Goulds Pump Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., No. 12-38, D. Conn.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 26 refused to dismiss a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that a participant in an employer profit-sharing and 401(k) plan's complaint provided sufficient facts to plausibly state these claims (Charlene F. McDonald, et al. v. Edward D. Jones & Co., et al., No. 4:16 CV 1346, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10820).