BOSTON - A Massachusetts appeals panel held on April 26 that a seafood-processing facility insured has a reasonable expectation of proving that unexplained damage to scallops was caused by an occurrence pursuant to a commercial general liability insurance policy, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. vs. Raw Seafoods, Inc., No. 15-1554, Mass. App., 2017 Mass. App. LEXIS 49).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri man who sued Monsanto Co. for allegedly causing his non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) through the manufacturing and distribution of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, on April 25 filed a brief in Missouri federal court arguing that the district court should reconsider the stay it issued pending a determination on transfer to the multidistrict litigation because the case does not need to be transferred (Steve Salvaggio, et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 17-1113, E.D. Mo.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama did not err in admitting expert testimony that all significant asbestos exposures contribute to mesothelioma nor in concluding that an employer can be liable for exposing household members to asbestos, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 26 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-S-1930, N.D. Ala., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130741).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 26 affirmed a federal judge in Mississippi's ruling that a homeowners policy issued by State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. was void, ruling that the judge did not err when finding that the couple's misrepresentation over ownership of the property was material (State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Cedric Flowers, et al, No. 16-60310, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7400).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The merits of a July 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that barred an abbreviated biologic license applicant from marketing Zarxio - biosimilar to the bone marrow stimulant Neupogen - for 180 days in light of the applicant's premature notice of commercial marketing was debated April 26 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc., et al., No. 15-1039 and 15-1195, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Even though a fired employee's Facebook post was vulgar and offensive, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 found that it constituted protected, union-related speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), leading the panel to grant a petition to enforce by the National Labor Relations Board, which found the man's firing to be retaliatory in violation of the act (National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty LLC, No. 15-1841, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6974).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - BNSF Railway Co. is not subject to general personal jurisdiction in Montana because it is not at home in that state, the attorney representing BNSF argued on April 25 before the U.S. Supreme Court in the appeal of two personal injury cases that were consolidated by the Montana Supreme Court (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - Plaintiffs leading a proposed class action suit over air-conditioning units manufactured by Daikin Industries Ltd. that have evaporator coils that are allegedly defective filed a notice of appeal in California federal court on April 24 stating that they will ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a ruling dismissing their lawsuit (Joanna Park-Kim, et al. v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-9523-CAS, C.D. Calif.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court erred in concluding that because a man's asbestos exposure occurred prior to marriage, his widow cannot pursue a statutory loss of consortium claim, the woman told the Florida Supreme Court April 21 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. SC17-714, Fla. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Google Inc. prevailed April 24 when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with the software giant that various claims of a patented method for detecting fraudulent clicks on web advertisements are obvious or claim patent-ineligible subject matter (Google Inc. v. Patrick Zuili, No. CBM2016-00008, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented system and method relating to a method of prompting action between interconnected devices on April 24 was targeted for inter partes review (IPR) by Yahoo Inc. in a new filing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Yahoo Inc. v. Intent IQ Inc., No. IPR2017-01299, PTAB).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 certified a class of more than 68,000 Illinois residents who were mailed collection letters that allegedly failed to include disclosures as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Renetrice R. Pierre, et al. v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., No. 16-2895, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61107).
DETROIT - After holding that a mortgagee's claims for violation of Michigan law applied only to landlord-tenant relationships and that his claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) failed, a Michigan federal judge on April 25 granted summary judgment in favor of a mortgage lending service and a finance corporation on all of his claims and dismissed the case (John Tierney v. HSBC Consumer Lending Mortgage Services Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-11379, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62157).
NEW YORK - A judge in New York federal court on April 25 vacated a default judgment against an oil company that was a third-party defendant in a groundwater contamination lawsuit on grounds that there was "excusable neglect" with regard to its failure to answer the complaint and appear in court (White Plains Housing Authority v. Getty Properties Corp. and Getty Properties Corp., et al. v. Marianina Oil Corp., No. 13-6282, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62705).
NEWARK, N.J. - After an appeals court revived a putative class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the theft of laptops containing policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII), an insurer on April 21 filed a renewed dismissal motion in New Jersey federal court, arguing that statute governs actions of credit-reporting agencies, not health insurance providers (In Re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation, No. 2:13-CV-07418, D. N.J.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 21 granted an insurer's motion to remand after determining that removal was improper because complete diversity of citizenship may not exist as there is a possibility that several defendants in the construction defects suit, originally filed in California state court, are citizens of California (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. Maison Reeves Homeowners Association, et al., No. 17-1704, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61241).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 24 severed a petition filed under California military law from a complaint in which an officer in the California Army National Guard (CAARNG) asserted claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in relation to the servicing of his student loans, finding that the military law petition should be severed from the federal case (Christian Wellisch v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, et al., No. 17-cv-00213, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62095).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge on April 21 dismissed two class complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing an online university of knowingly misrepresenting how long it took to complete its doctoral program, finding that they are barred under the first-filed rule and that only a class complaint in an Ohio federal court alleging substantially similar claims may proceed (Jennifer Wright, et al. v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4037, Aaron Bleess v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4402, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61331).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In an April 21 brief in California federal court, Experian Information Solutions Inc. opposes a motion to compel by the plaintiffs in a putative data breach class action, contending that a forensic consultant's report on the breach constitutes legal advice that is exempt from discovery under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine (In Re Experian Data Breach Litigation, No. 8:15-cv-01592, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The former owner of a Chilean newspaper, who asserted claims against the Republic of Chile for damages in the amount of $422 million that were dismissed, on April 21 filed an application to terminate cases in which he requested that the award be interpreted and a case seeking rectification of the award (Victor Pey Casado and Foundation Presidente Allende v. Republic of Chile, No. ARB/98/2, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 25 registered an application filed by a German company to partially annul an award issued in an arbitration commenced against the Argentine Republic in a dispute over a concession for the construction of a toll road and bridges in Argentina (Hochtief AG v. The Argentine Republic, No. ARB/07/31, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 remanded a suit in which the United States alleged that several tobacco companies misled the public about the harmfulness of cigarettes to a district court with instructions to alter preambles the lower court had instructed tobacco companies to attach to a corrective statement about the harmfulness of smoking to cigarette packages and on websites of cigarette companies (United States of America, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 16-5101, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7225).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC should be confirmed because it meets all federal bankruptcy law requirements and is the best option for asbestos personal injury claimants, 95 percent of whom voted to accept the plan, the debtor says in its April 21 pre-confirmation hearing brief (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).