DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 20 upheld a defendant's conviction of first-degree murder in connection with a death, finding that recent scientific developments have not discredited compositional bullet lead analysis (CBLA), which was used in expert testimony (Glendale More Jr. v. State of Iowa, No. 14-1623, Iowa Sup.; 2016 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 60).
LOS ANGELES - An intermediary's general knowledge about the dangers of asbestos does not save a company from a $5 million verdict over its brokering of the sale of highly hazardous crocidolite asbestos fibers, the California Supreme Court held May 23 (William Webb and Jacqueline Webb v. Special Electric Company Inc., No. S209927, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 45-day statute of limitations for a constructive discharge claim doesn't begin until after an employee resigns, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 (Marvin Green v. Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, No. 14-613, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 3484).
PHILADELPHIA - The bare-metal defense applies to maritime negligence failure-to-warn claims, the federal judge overseeing the asbestos multidistrict litigation held May 19 in response to a decision of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John B. DeVries, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-474, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 17 granted a Brazilian insurer's motion to stay enforcement of the confirmation of a number of reinsurance arbitration awards while the confirmations are pending appeal (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - An insurer brought up in a federal court in New York on May 17 the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' recent decision in the NFL "Deflategate" case, claiming that party-appointed arbitrators are not meant to be neutral but only disinterested (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00374, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - Recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case law requires the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation reconsider his ruling granting three defendants summary judgment on maritime negligence claims arising in a renal cancer case, plaintiffs argue in May 19 motions (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A study published in the May 18 issue of the medical journal Neurology found a signal for increased risk of major birth defects after first-trimester exposure to the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.
CHICAGO - A group of lead plaintiffs argue in a May 18 brief that their putative class claims related to the breach of a digital smart toys maker's website should not be dismissed, telling an Illinois federal court that they properly alleged contractual claims based on the defendant's failure to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) secure (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
OXFORD, Miss. - After finding that a bank gave proper notice to a borrower when it took over a loan, a Mississippi federal judge on May 18 found that claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Mississippi law failed (Bertha Berkley v. Midfirst Bank, et al., No. 3:15-CV-110, N.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66116).
HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on May 17 affirmed final summary judgment to a grocery store chain in a slip-and-fall action, finding that the plaintiff customer failed to present evidence that a mat and a plastic extension cord cover near a cash register posed an unreasonable risk of harm (Maria Resendiz v. Seller Bros. Inc., No. 1-15-00331-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., Houston; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5178).
DAYTON, Ohio - An assertion of authorship of the copyrighted poem "Footprints" by a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis was levied nearly three decades too late, an Ohio federal magistrate judge concluded May 19 (Bruce Anthony Lewis v. Carolyn Carty, et al., No. 16-189, S.D. Ohio.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65492).
MINNEAPOLIS - In what she described as a "vigorously litigated" trademark case, a Minnesota federal judge on May 19 denied an infringement defendant's request for just over $400,000 in attorney fees (Mountain Marketing Group LLC, et al. v. Heimerl & Lammers LLC, No. 14-846, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65607).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on May 18 said it is investigating interim safety results from an ongoing clinical trial that found an increase in leg and foot amputation in patients treated with the diabetes drug Invokana.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 granted a request by the Republic of the Congo to voluntarily dismiss its appeal and to relieve its counsel in its challenge to a default judgment entered against it in a case filed by Commissions Import Export S.A. (Commisimpex) in relation to the confirmation of a $249,959,433.50 arbitration award (Commissions Import Export S.A. v. Republic of the Congo, et al., 1:13-cv-00713, D.C. Cir.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on May 17 issued a report and recommendation in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, recommending that the district court deny an insurer's motion to dismiss so that it may file a motion for summary judgment and recommending that the insured in the action file a more definite statement regarding her bad faith claim (Sarah Long v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-2428, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65575).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 18 denied a motion to dismiss State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.'s amended lawsuit accusing a medical practice of submitting fraudulent bills, holding that the company need not prove that it justifiably relied on the bills (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Leonard Stavropolskiy, P.T., D.C., et al., No. 15-cv-5929, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65234).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on May 18 denied a whistle-blower's motion for a new trial in his False Claims Act case alleging that Abbott Laboratories Inc. promoted its biliary stents for off-label use in the vascular system (United States of America, ex rel. Kevin Colquitt v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., No. 06-1769, N.D. Texas).
LINCOLN, Neb. - A trial judge did not err in allowing an expert opinion from a sexual assault nurse examiner regarding a victim's alleged bruises into evidence at trial, a Nebraska appeals panel ruled May 17, upholding a conviction of first-degree sexual assault (State of Nebraska v. Dwan D. Harden, No. A-15-536, Neb. App.; 2016 Neb. App. LEXIS 99).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no commercial insurance coverage for surface water damage to a leather goods retailer insured's merchandise following a rainstorm (Lucky Leather, Inc. v. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, et al., No. 14-55019, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9018)
NEW YORK - A federal appeals panel on May 19 ruled that a New York federal judge did not err in dismissing New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) claims brought by a cancer victim who was fired by a medical center when she exhausted her leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (Mirelle Vangas, et al. v. Montefiore Medical Center, et al., Nos. 15-1514, 15-1562, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9124).