NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 partially granted and partially denied motions to exclude filed by the automaker and the plaintiff in the fifth bellwether trial by saying that the automaker will be allowed to present testimony about the results of a blood test that indicates that the plaintiff may have had alcohol in her system when her car crashed (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Pursuant to California law, an arbitrator is the appropriate party to decide whether an arbitration agreement allows arbitration on a classwide basis, a divided California Supreme Court ruled July 28, holding that the question is a procedural matter, not a gateway question of arbitrability (Timothy Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., et al., No. S220812, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 6246).
LAS VEGAS - Doctors may testify that by not instructing a patient to discontinue Probenecid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the government and one of its Veterans Affairs doctors reduced a substantial chance for a more favorable recovery, a Nevada federal judge ruled July 28, denying a request to exclude the testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit (Rosa Carrion, as surviving spouse and heir of Jose Carrion, deceased v. United States of America and Dr. William Dodge, No. 13-00419, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99519).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 29 allowed two separate but related putative class actions filed on behalf of Domino's pizza delivery drivers against their Domino's franchise employers to proceed, although limited to one class that signed an arbitration agreement and one class that did not (Atila Adolfo Tigges, et al. v. AM Pizza Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-10136, and Tylor Reeves, et al. v. PMLRA Pizza, et al., No. 1:16-cv-10474, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100366).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Century Indemnity Co. moved in a federal court in New York on July 28 to intervene in an asbestos reinsurance billing dispute for the purpose of opposing a reinsured's motion to seal certain documents (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A second affidavit from an insurance company's property product manager did not resolve questions concerning the materiality of misrepresentations that were made on a policy holder's application, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled July 28 in denying Century Surety Co.'s second motion for summary judgment (Century Surety Company v. Bassam Nafel, et al., No. 14-CV-00101-JWD-EWD, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98620).
ST. LOUIS - An attorney representing a party objecting to the proposed settlement in a product defects class action must provide responsive discovery documents related to his representation of objecting class members in other suits, a Missouri federal judge ruled July 27 in denying the attorney's motion to quash a subpoena, finding the requested documents to be relevant and amply protected from unnecessary disclosure.(In Re: Jonathan E. Fortman, No. 4:16-mc-00421, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97911).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on July 28 granted summary judgment and dismissed all 1,377 Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) multidistrict litigation cases, saying the plaintiffs cannot prove without an expert that the device can move about the body after insertion and that the plaintiffs cannot rely on lay understanding by jurors or infer admission by defendant Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. (In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2434, No. 13-mc-2434, S.D. N.Y.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiffs have pleaded falsity, materiality and scienter in making their federal securities law claims by arguing that a research manufacturing company and certain of its current and former executive officers concealed issues relating to a power failure at one of the company's laboratories, a federal judge in New York ruled July 26 (John Gauquie v. Albany Molecular Research Inc., et al., No. 14-6637, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97295).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a group of consumers who allege that a designer makes inferior quality products for its outlets stores and advertises them as being boutique quality pleaded their class action claims with the required particularity, a California federal judge on July 26 refused to dismiss their causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising and other claims (Gaylia Pickles, et al. v. Kate Spade and Company, No. 15-cv-05329, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98187).
MUMBAI, India - An Indian telecommunications company on July 28 issued a statement in response to a recent order issued by an English court in relation to the payment of a $1.17 billion arbitral award issued against it for breach of a shareholders agreement.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A district court had no jurisdiction to rule on a class complaint filed by two consumers accusing two retailers of violating District of Columbia consumer protection laws when they requested customers' ZIP codes in connection with credit card purchases, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (Whitney Hancock, et al. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., No. 14-7047, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13548).
NEW YORK - Shareholders on July 25 filed a notice of appeal in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and its former CEO, seeking Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals review of a federal judge's ruling dismissing the action for failure to plead an actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation (In re Sanofi Securities Litigation, No. 16-2573, 2nd Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because alleged false and misleading statements made by a quick-service restaurant chain, several of its executive officers and directors and others in a 2015 press release were forward-looking and protected under the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) or were mere puffery and were nonactionable, a federal judge in California ruled July 25 (Daniel Turocy v. El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1343, C.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings climbed to higher than historical averages in the first half of 2016, up 27 percent from the semiannual average observed between 1997 and 2015, according to a semiannual report released July 26 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research.
BUCHAREST, Romania - Two investors on July 27 said they have sent a notice of investment arbitration to the government of Romania in relation to the seizure of assets of its Romanian subsidiaries by the government.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 25 denied a motion to remand a class complaint over the disclosure of employee information to a scammer, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds the minimum necessary for removal pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Beverly Porras, et al. v. Sprouts Farmers Market, LLC, et al., No. 16-1005, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96805).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 25 denied a motion to decertify a class of workers suing over their employer's rounding practices based on a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Corbin v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership (821 F.3d 1069 [9th Cir. 2016]) (Naomi Tapia, et al. v. Zale Delaware Inc., No. 13-1565, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96801).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that Venezuela submitted no new information in its sixth proposal to disqualify and arbitrator, two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 26 denied its request to disqualify the arbitrator in the case (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/07/30, ICSID).
MINNEAPOLIS - Experts may testify on heat age testing using the "dome" method and opinions relying on certain indirect evidence in a patent infringement lawsuit, a Minnesota federal judge ruled July 22, also denying summary judgment to defendants on claims of noninfringement, invalidity and no lost profits (3M Innovative Properties Co. and 3M Co. v. GDC, Inc. and Monadnock Non-Wovens, LLC, No. 13-1287, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96253).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of consumers who purchased laptops that were preinstalled with purported malware filed a motion for class certification in California federal court on July 22 of their unlawful access, consumer protection and related claims against the computer manufacturer and the software developer (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A company claiming to be the owner of an insurer being sued by Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London over an arbitration award moved to intervene in the proceedings in a federal court in New York on July 22 (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW ORLEANS - An expert may testify that a scaffolding should have been erected to provide workers a safe platform to work from as they attempted to catch leaking oil from a pipe, a Louisiana federal judge ruled July 21, finding that he will be in a better position at trial to assess whether the expert in fact reaches improper legal conclusions (Darrel J. Singleton, Jr., et al. v. Fieldwood Energy, LLC, et al., No. 15-5558, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95427).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 22 dismissed, with leave to amend, a class complaint accusing Dooney & Bourke Inc. (D&B) of falsely inflating "original" prices on its merchandise sold in outlet stores (Monica Rael, et al. v. Dooney & Bourke, Inc., et al., No. 16-371, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96175).