WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arguments will be heard Dec. 1 by a federal judicial panel on centralizing six cases in which plaintiffs allege that they were sold sperm that came from a convicted felon with schizophrenia who did not go to college, according to an Oct. 14 order (In Re: Xytex Corporation Sperm Donor Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2751, JPMDL).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 determined that a district court did not err in finding that a refinery owner seeking help with environmental cleanup costs was not covered under its parent company's policy because the refinery owner was not listed as an insured and did not show that the policy intended to provide coverage to any third-party beneficiaries (AIG Specialty Insurance Company, f/k/a Chartis Specialty Insurance Company v. Tesoro Corporation, No. 15-50953, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18613).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 17 denied a petition by 36 denture cream plaintiffs asking the high court to settle what they say is a conflict between the high court's expert testimony ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 ) and Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (Ellenie Steele, et al. v. Proctor & Gamble Distributing LLC, et al., No. 16-338, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 12 granted several motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a semiconductor producer and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead the elements of its securities fraud claims as required (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141567).
MINNEAPOLIS - A former Wells Fargo & Co. employee and participant in its 401(k) plan on Oct. 14 filed a class action complaint under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act against the company, former and current executives and investment committee members, alleging that they breached their fiduciary duty by, among other things, retaining common stock of Wells Fargo as an investment option in the plan when a reasonable fiduciary using the "care, skill prudence, and diligence . . . that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters" would have done otherwise (Lynette Fletcher, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 0:16-cv-03495, D. Minn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman cannot hold a manufacturer liable for third-party asbestos-containing parts and has not shown that any alleged exposure constitutes a substantial factor in her decedent's disease, a boiler maker told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal Oct. 12 (Geraldine Hilt, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, FKA Foster Wheeler Corp., No. 15-17301, 9th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed invention relating to seismic streaming was properly rejected by a patent examiner as obvious in light of various prior art, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed Oct. 14 (Ex parte Husom, et al., No. 2014-009474, PTAB).
OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the defendants being sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer and counterclaim in Oklahoma federal court on Oct. 14, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that it is entitled to immunity under the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al., and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 14 ruled in favor of brokers and insurers in an attorney insured's lawsuit alleging that their collective failure to furnish the requested lawyers professional liability insurance policy left him with a gap in coverage, rejecting the insured's argument that the "reasonable expectations" doctrine applied (Philip A. Downey v. First Indemnity Insurance, et al., No. 13-4545, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142689).
NEW YORK - A boilermaker pointed to alleged holes in a take-home asbestos case but never introduced evidence demonstrating why the plaintiff could not have suffered exposure when his draftsman engineer father worked around its products, a New York appeals court held Oct. 13 (Mark Ricci v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190224/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6641).
NEW YORK - In an Oct. 13 motion for rehearing, the U.S. government tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a panel ruling improperly deemed unenforceable a warrant seeking emails stored in a Microsoft Inc. server in Ireland because the provisions of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), under which the warrant was issued, cannot apply extraterritorially (In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp.[Microsoft v. United States], No. 14-2985, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 14 denied a man's motion to set aside or correct his 97-month sentence for health care fraud, ruling that his attorney acted competently in reading the plea agreement (Leonid Kaplan v. United States of America, No. 15-2437-cr, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18485).
BOSTON - GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) on Oct. 13 asked the Zofran birth defect multidistrict litigation court to dismiss 27 cases in which plaintiffs allege injuries from taking one of the drug's generic versions (In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2657, No. 15-md-2657, D. Mass.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 13 issued updated warnings regarding the Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera) infections associated with the use of the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System (3T) in patients in the United States who have undergone cardiothoracic surgeries.
BALTIMORE - No coverage is afforded for an underlying suit alleging bodily injuries as a result of exposure to lead-based paint because the underlying complaint does not allege that the plaintiff was diagnosed with a lead level above the safe level during the term of the policies at issue, a Maryland federal judge said Oct. 14 (CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd. v. Daniel Mathew Heggie Jr. et al., No. 15-1674, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142845).
ROANOKE, Va. - Expert testimony is relevant under Federal Rules of Evidence 401 and 402 because the expert's use of police policies was one factor in forming his opinion, a Virginia federal judge ruled Oct. 12, also finding that the testimony should not be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, provided that the testimony does not equate policy violations with constitutional violations (Michael E. Wyatt v. Johnny Owens, et al., No. 14-00492, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140878).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 granted final approval of a $5.2 million settlement to be paid by Power Home Remodeling Group LLC to end a class complaint accusing the company of placing repeated automated sales calls to the cells phones of more than 1.1 million people in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Teofilo Vasco v. Power Home Remodeling Group LLC, No. 15-4623, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141044).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bench trial held by a Texas federal judge correctly ended in findings that patents covering the testosterone gel Fortesta are not invalid as anticipated or obvious, as well as a ruling that the marketing of generic Fortesta would infringe the same patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 14 (Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al. v. Actavis Laboratories UT Inc., No. 16-1146, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18490).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred in affirming a federal jury's verdict against a French company for issuing a series of misrepresentations regarding liquidity in violation of federal securities law, and rehearing is necessary because the ruling is in conflict with U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the company argues in an Oct. 11 motion for rehearing and rehearing en banc (In re Vivendi S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 15-180, 2nd Cir.).
DETROIT - A group of defendants in a putative class action filed by residents of Flint, Mich., contending that various state officials are liable for injuries that have stemmed from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water moved in Michigan federal court to have the case dismissed on grounds that they are covered by sovereign immunity and federal law pertaining to drinking water "provides a comprehensive remedial scheme which precludes all claims" (Lawrence Washington, Jr., et al. v. Governor Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16- 11247, E.D. Mich.).
LIMA, Ohio - Reversing a lower court in part, an Ohio appeals court on Oct. 11 held that the court erred in finding that an audit request in an underlying copyright infringement dispute was not a "claim" under an insurance policy (Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, No. 10-15-19, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119).
PHILADELPHIA - In a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a company's employee in its marketing department is unqualified due to a lack of technical knowledge to testify on issues such as "branding, trademark confusion, customer reactions, business ethics, or trademark law," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 12, excluding the testimony (Alpha Pro Tech Inc. v. VWR International LLC, No. 12-1615, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141030).