RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 18 declined to enforce arbitration agreements distributed by a gentlemen's club to its exotic dancers after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed (Alexis Degidio, et al. v. Crazy Horse Saloon and Restaurant Inc., et al., No. 17-1145, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1178).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 19 granted the majority of an insurer's motion for summary judgment as to claims for fraud and declaratory relief asserted against it by an insured who sought coverage for vehicle theft, but allowed part of his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract to proceed, finding that issues of triable fact exist as to whether the coverage claim was denied based solely on his inability to produce cell phone records that were not available (Christopher T. Monroe v. Geico General Insurance Company, No. 5:14-cv-05174, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9106).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal magistrate judge on Jan. 19 determined that an insurer is required to produce documents related to its knowledge of any lead paint conditions at its insured's buildings prior to the date on which the insured's insurance application and endorsement became effective (CX Reinsurance Company Limited, f/k/a CNA Reinsurance Company Limited v. Devon S. Johnson, No. 15-3132, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8594).
SAN FRANCISCO - McDonald's Corp. and McDonald's U.S.A. LLC (collectively, McDonald's) are not joint employers under California's wage-and-hour law as they don't meet any one of the three tests sent out in Martinez v. Combs, 231 P.3d 259 (Cal. 2010), McDonald's argues in its appellee brief filed on Jan. 9 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 held that a directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance policy's professional services exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for claims in an underlying Facebook IPO class action lawsuit, affirming a lower court's ruling against an excess errors and omissions (E&O) insurer seeking coverage from the D&O insurer (Beazley Insurance Co. Inc. v. Ace American Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-2812, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1372).
NEW ORLEANS - Claims that a shipyard mishandled the asbestos the U.S. Navy mandated it use allege negligence and escape removal under the federal office removal statute, a federal judge in Louisiana held Jan. 19 (Melancon v. Lamorak Ins. Co., No. 17-12367, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8765).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A challenge to 16 claims of a wrinkle reduction patent was unsuccessful Jan. 19, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board turned away assertions of obviousness (Ulthera Inc. v. Dermafocus LLC, No, IPR2016-01459, PTAB).
TAMPA, Fla. - After a zoo and its owners failed to submit timely discovery responses in relation to allegations that they violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a Florida federal judge on Jan. 19 partially granted a motion filed by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals Inc. (PETA) for sanctions (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Dad City's Wild Things, No. 16-2899, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8761).
TRENTON, N.J. - A Michigan state road agency cannot reopen the liquidation of Integrity Insurance Co. to recover payouts from car accident claims, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed Jan. 19, finding that the liquidation was properly finalized (In the matter of the liquidation of Integrity Insurance Co., No. A-3285-15T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 134).
SAN FRANCISCO - McDonald's Corp. and McDonald's U.S.A. LLC (collectively, McDonald's) are not joint employers under California's wage-and-hour law as they don't meet any one of the three tests sent out in Martinez v. Combs, 231 P.3d 259 (Cal. 2010), McDonald's argues in its appellee brief filed on Jan. 19 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A district court erred in dismissing claims filed by a group of University of Pennsylvania Matching Plan participants and beneficiaries against the University of Pennsylvania and the university's vice president of human resources because the participants alleged facts showing that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by failing to monitor the plan's fees, the participants argue in a Jan. 19 brief to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jennifer Sweda, et al. v. The University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 17-3244, 3rd Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS - An insurance company breached its duty to defend an architecture firm from a lawsuit arising from construction defects that resulted from a subcontractor's negligence, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Jan. 19, holding that the damages were not excluded from coverage under the business risk doctrine and a products-completed operations hazard clause (Westfield Insurance Company v. Miller Architects & Builders Inc., No. 17-400, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8539).
BILLINGS, Mont. - The government cannot introduce evidence regarding the extent of damages, injuries and insurance payments that resulted from a December 2012 explosion that was caused when a trucking company was hauling natural gas condensate, a federal judge in Montana ruled Jan. 22, finding that the evidence has little probative value (United States of America v. Woody's Trucking LLC, et al., No. CR 17-138, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9749).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 19 granted preliminary approval of a $75 million cash settlement reached between eight of the 12 class representatives and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) in a lawsuit accusing JPMC of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging retirement savings funds (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 12-2548, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Noting a request for additional negotiation time by a group of plaintiffs opposing rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a California federal judge on Jan. 22 allowed the plaintiffs and the U.S. government to take several days to try to agree on potential narrowing of the scope of a discovery order requiring the government to complete the administrative record with documents it asserts are privileged (The Regents of the University of California, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 3:17-cv-05211, N.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI - After finding that a borrower failed to raise any new arguments on appeal, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 18 affirmed a district court's decision finding no evidence to support a claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action asserted against a loan servicer (Tiffany Wiggins v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 17-1228, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1153).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 rejected assertions by a patent defendant that a Texas federal judge erred in ordering jurors to take back their invalidity holding, while also rejecting claims by the patent owner that the same judge erred in granting a summary judgment of noninfringement of another patent before trial (Flexuspine Inc. v. Globus Medical Inc., No. 17-1188, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1280).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ex parte re-examination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that resulted in the rejection of seven claims of the patented immunosuppressive drug Remicade was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 23, upholding findings of obviousness-type double patenting (In re: Janssen Biotech Inc., et al., No. 17-1257, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An attorney may brief and argue an appeal of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges (ALJs) are constitutional officers pursuant to the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 18 (Raymond J. Lucia, et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-130, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 issued an order inviting the solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the petitioner is requesting that the high court decide under which section of Employee Retirement Income Security Act a claim for breach of fiduciary duty may be filed (Jennifer Strang v. Ford Motor Company General Retirement Plan, et al., No. 17-528, U.S. Sup.).