WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 1 amicus curiae brief, a writers and journalists organization tells the U.S. Supreme Court that a recent Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling finding no infringement in Google Inc.'s "Google Books" project "threatens to undo the balance set forth by Congress in the fair use section of the Copyright Act" (The Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 15-849, U.S. Sup.).
GREENWICH, Conn. - A group of investors on Feb. 1 served the Republic of Peru with a notice of intent to commence arbitration under a promotion trade treaty, seeking payment in relation to their investment in Peruvian agrarian reform bonds.
ST LOUIS - A Missouri jury awarded $4.1 million to the widow of man who contracted mesothelioma after asbestos exposure as an electrician, holding the lone remaining defendant 5 percent liable, sources told Mealey Publications Feb. 1 (Jean Urbach v. The Okonite Co., No. 1122-CC-10636, Mo. Cir., St. Louis Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 2 denied a disability claimant's motion for summary judgment on the basis that the claimant did not meet the plan's definition of total disability as he has the ability to perform a sedentary job for at least 25 hours a week (Yuri Sirko v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-21, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11993).
PITTSBURGH - Because there is significant medical evidence supporting a disability plan's denial of a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits related to Lyme disease, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 1 denied the claimant's motion for summary judgment and granted the plan's motion for summary judgment (Elizabeth L. Ryan v. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 14-1048, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11518).
MADISON, Wis. - Because a disability insurer's decision to deny long-term disability benefits based on the plan's pre-existing condition was not substantially justified, a federal judge in Wisconsin on Jan. 29 denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment and remanded the suit for further administrative proceedings (Robert Kaiser v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., d/b/a Mutual of Omaha, et al., No. 14-762, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10648).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The failure of a couple to cite the proper statute section in a letter of intent to sue a railway company for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) as a result of an oil spill that discharged more than 11,000 barrels of oil onto their property warranted the dismissal of their claims under the act, a federal judge in Alabama ruled Feb. 2 (David W. Grayson, et al. v. Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-01661-LSC, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12054).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal magistrate judge's decision to deny a prevailing patent infringement defendant an award of attorney fees even after remand was affirmed Feb. 2 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Site Update Solutions LLC v. Newegg Inc., et al., No. 15-1448, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1641).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge properly invalidated four patents covering the pain-relieving drug OxyContin following a three-week bench trial in 2013, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 1 (Purdue Pharma LP v. Epic Pharma LLC, et al., No. 14-1294, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part a federal district court's ruling in a securities class action lawsuit, holding that a pension fund properly pleaded scienter and loss causation in making certain claims pursuant to federal securities law (Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund v. CVB Financial Corp., et al., No. 13-56838, 9th Cir.).
DETROIT - A putative class on Jan. 31 filed a lawsuit in Michigan federal court against state officials who the class contends are liable for damages for acts that "unilaterally" resulted in contaminating the drinking water in Flint, Mich., with lead (Beatrice Boler, et al. v. Darnell Earley, et al., No. 16-10323, E.D. Mich.).
ARLINGTON, Va. - Morgan Stanley will pay almost $63 million to settle claims in five different lawsuits filed in various state and federal courts brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) alleging that Morgan Stanley and its related entities misrepresented the investment quality of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) it sold to three failed banks, according to a Feb. 2 FDIC announcement.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Special Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over claims that a nonprofit insured committed criminal acts in prosecuting a lawsuit against the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (The Fund For Animals, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company Of Pittsburgh, PA., No. 2598, Md. App.; 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 13).
KANSAS CITY, MO. - After deliberating less than a day, a Missouri state court jury on Feb. 2 found that pelvic mesh defendants Boston Scientific Corp. and C.R. Bard Inc. are not liable for injuries alleged by a plaintiff who was implanted with devices made by both companies (Eve Sherrer v. Truman Medical Center Inc., et al., No. 1216-CA27879, Mo. Cir., Jackson Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Data storage firm Seagate Technology LLC was hit with a putative class complaint Feb. 1 in California federal court, as a South Dakota man alleged unfair competition, false advertising and breach of warranty related to purportedly defective hard disk drives (Christopher A. Nelson v. Seagate Technology LLC, No. 5:15-cv-00523, N.D. Calif.).
INDIANAPOLIS - A provider of online content and services filed a trademark infringement suit against a competitor in Indiana federal court on Jan. 29, asserting that the defendant's use of the trademark "Verge" violated its common-law and federal rights in the mark (Indy Founders LLC v. Vox Media Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-00265, S.D. Ind.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Jan. 28 denied a disability insurer's motion to deny class certification after determining that the motion is premature because the complaint does not show that class certification would never be appropriate (Angela DeLeon v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-7419, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11639).
PHILADELPHIA - Adherence to government specifications are enough for removal, and a defendant need not show the military rejected asbestos-related warnings, an aircraft manufacturer tells the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 28 brief (Steven Papp, et al. v. Fore-Kast Sales Company Inc., et al., No. 15-2851, 3rd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Plaintiffs are trying to circumvent the decades-long deferral of punitive damages in the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation under which the parties prepared for trial, Crane Co. told a federal judge Feb. 2 (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, et al., No. 10-3202, E.D. Pa.).
ATLANTA - A product manufacturer cannot be liable for the asbestos exposure of household members who never used, worked near or even encountered the products in question, CertainTeed Corp. tells the Georgia Supreme Court in a Feb. 1 brief urging it to reject imposition of such a duty (CertainTeed Corp. v. Marcella Fletcher, No. S15G1903, Ga. Sup.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 28 granted a shoe retailer's motion to dismiss claims asserted against it by a purchaser for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws, finding that she failed to show that the retailer's comparative prices were deceptive (Marilyn Sperling v. DSW Inc., et al., No. 15-1366, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11012).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 1 dismissed without prejudice a woman's claim that Prempro hormone replacement therapy caused her to develop breast cancer (Maggie Tsavaris v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 15-21826, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11465).
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 29 filed its decision to affirm a district court's dismissal of various federal claims asserted by borrowers in relation to the refinancing of their property, finding that their claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) were time-barred (Khamsing Sitthidet, et al. v. First Horizon Home Loans, et al., No. 12-35551, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1611).