SEATTLE - A federal district court partially erred in dismissing a shareholder class action lawsuit against a health care company and its CEO over their alleged misrepresentations made with regard to its breast cancer screening products because the lead plaintiff has shown that certain of the defendants' statements were false and/or material in violation of federal securities laws, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 18 in partially reversing the lower court's ruling (In re Atossa Genetics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-35933, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15658).
PHILADELPHIA - In a consolidated appeal of disputes involving the brand-name drugs Lipitor and Effexor XR, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 deemed antitrust allegations stemming from reverse payment patent settlement agreements plausible under the standards set in FTC v. Actavis, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2233 (2013), and King Drug Co. of Florence v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 791 F.3d 388, 394 (3d Cir. 2015) (In re: Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 14-4202, -4203, -4204, -4205, -4206, -4602, -4632, 15-1184, -1185, -1186, -1187, -1274, -1323 and 15-134, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6346).
CINCINNATI - A management company that was hired to turn around a nursing home suffering from health and safety violations, but failed to do so, is not liable for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act violation claims brought by a class of employees because it was not the employer, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 18 (Debi McKinney, et al. v. Carlton Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Inc., et al., No. 16-3895, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15647).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 17 refused to disqualify an insured's counsel in a lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage, finding that the defendants failed to show that there was an implied attorney-client relationship between the attorney and one of the defendants (The Residences at Bay Point Condominium Assoc., Inc. v. Chernoff Diamond & Co., LLC, et. al., No. 16-5190, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131332).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Aug. 17 granted a motion filed by a maker of ultrasound devices and technology for confirmation of a final arbitral award, ordering a medical systems company to pay it $2,738,185 in fees and costs (Verasonics Inc. v. Alpinion Medical Systems Co., Ltd., No. 14-1820, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76694).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 18 ruled that a man can pursue certain claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and its state law equivalent over a debt collector's debt verification letter and publication of a foreclosure notice (Timothy A. Thebert v. Potestivo & Associates, P.C., et al., No. 16-cv-14341, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132503).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 17 partially denied two insurers' motions for summary judgment on the applicability of their policies' pollution exclusions after determining that a question of fact exists as to whether the leakage of heating oil from an underground storage tank constitutes "traditional environmental pollution" that is precluded under the exclusion (Nimrod Benjamin, et al., v. State Farm Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-4123, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131078).
NEW ORLEANS - Reversing a $550,000 judgment in favor of Yahoo! Inc., a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 21 found instead that Yahoo owed $4.4 million for breaching the cancellation terms of its contract with a promotions firm related to an online NCAA contest (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 15-11254, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15845).
TRENTON, N.J. - An insurance company's lawsuit accusing a mail order pharmacy of submitting fraudulent claims is timely, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Aug. 17, finding that the last claim submitted to the company was within the six-year statute of limitations (Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey v. Focus Express Mail Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 17-571, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131013).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Supreme Court on Aug. 17 refused to reconsider its ruling that an insurer has a duty to defend underlying claims arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning because the efficient proximate cause of the loss was the negligent installation of a hot water heater, which is a covered occurrence under the policy (Zhaoyun Xia, et al. v. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 92436-8, Wash. Sup., 2017 Wash. LEXIS 839).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Four months after preliminarily approving settlement of a class action that accused Facebook Inc. of privacy violations related to its scanning of users' private messages (PMs) for advertisement purposes, a California federal judge on Aug. 18 granted the plaintiffs' motion for final judgment, deeming proposed incentive and attorney fee awards to be reasonable (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132624).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in deeming Oracle Corp. a non-infringer of a patented system and method of accessing data in a relational database, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Thought Inc. v. Oracle Corporation, No. 16-2369, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15812).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 18 ruled that a trial court did not abuse its discretion when it certified a general class and two subclasses of Texas prisoners suing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and two officials for allegedly failing to properly cool prison housing areas (Marvin Ray Yates, et al. v. Bryan Collier, et al., No. 16-20505, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15847).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 vacated and remanded a district court's ruling in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the lower court must consider whether the "sudden and accidental" exception to the policies' pollution exclusion applies to afford coverage for the underlying asbestos claims (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15706).
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi federal jury on Aug. 18 returned a defense verdict in the third Xarelto bleeding trial, finding that defendants Janssen Research & Development LLC and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. did not fail to adequately warn the plaintiff's doctor about the safe use of the anticoagulant and did not defectively design the drug (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-md-2592, Dora Minto v. Janssen Research & Development, LLC, et al., No. 15-3469, E.D. La.).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Aug. 21 awarded a woman who said Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer a total of $417 million in damages (Eva Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, No. JCCP4872, Calif. Super. Los Angeles Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 16 granted in part NL Industries Inc.'s motion to exclude testimony from two experts for an environmental group accusing the company of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that portions of each expert's testimony was unreliable (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131754).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio man who paid for and received a pair of $27 speakers from an online marketplace failed to establish that the site's juxtaposition of a higher, crossed-out price constituted unjust enrichment, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 16, also affirming dismissal of a putative consumer sales practice claim for failure to allege actual damages (Max Gerboc v. ContextLogic Inc., No. 16-4734, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15378).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A man's testimony that he encountered dust when loading a company's asbestos-containing cement pipe onto his flat-bed truck, even where potentially questionable, sufficiently identifies the product and creates genuine issues of material fact, a Delaware judge held Aug. 17 (Jack E. Trousdale, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. N15C-08-186 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - A ship builder on Aug. 17 appealed a federal judge's conclusion that remand was warranted because the U.S. Navy's mandate that ships contain asbestos-containing insulation aboard warships did not prevent the company from warning employees of the dangers or from implementing adequate safety programs (George K. Mayeaux Jr. v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 16-16813, E.D. La.).