NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 22 granted a Chinese company's petition to confirm an award that was issued by a Hong Kong tribunal, ordering a British Virgin Islands entity to pay $476,700,190.49 in damages and interest (GE Transportation [Shenyang] Co. Ltd. v. A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd., No. 15-6194, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81367).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on June 21 said an Ohio Common Pleas Court judge has no legal authority to block efforts by Kentucky state court plaintiffs to collect ex-plaintiffs' attorney Stanley M. Chesley's share of a $42 million judgment in a fen-phen case (The State ex rel. Ford v. Ruehlman, Judge, No. 2016 Ohio 3529, Ohio Sup.; 2016 Ohio LEXIS 1677).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 21 approved an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of a settlement worth at least $126 million in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc. on behalf of patients denied coverage for the prescription drug Harvoni (Eugene Oakes, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., No. 16-80028, SD. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. has agreed to pay $415 million to settle claims that it engaged in a scheme whereby it misused customer cash to generate profits for Merrill Lynch and failed to "safeguard customer securities from the claims of its creditors" in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 23 (In the Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., et al., No. 3-17312, SEC).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 23 affirmed by an equally divided court a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that retailer Dollar General Corp. can be sued in tribal court by an Indian youth who says he was sexually molested by the manager of a Dollar General store on tribal land because the company consented to the tribe's jurisdiction by hiring the youth as an intern (Dollar General Corp., et al. v. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, et al., No. 13-1496, U.S. Sup.).
PITTSBURGH - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiff in the action has properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission, scienter and loss causation, the lead plaintiff argues in a June 20 opposition brief filed in Pennsylvania federal court (James Martin v. GNC Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1522, W.D. Pa.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 17 held that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against copyright claims because the underlying complaint fails to allege any unauthorized use of an adult entertainment company's copyrighted advertising materials, slogan or title in the insureds' advertising (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-89, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79535).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on June 21 held that an insured did not "own" its lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme within the meaning of a commercial crime insurance policy (Cooper Industries, Ltd., et al v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh Pa., No. 12-01591, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80342).
BEIRUT - A co-owner of a ship building group on June 22 announced that he has commenced international arbitration against the Hellenic Republic (Greece), asserting claims for violation of a bilateral investment treaty.
LONDON - After finding that a soybean supplier's application was untimely and that it actively participated in litigation in Indonesia that it claimed was filed in breach of an arbitration agreement, an England and Wales justice on June 20 denied its request for anti-suit injunction (ADM Asia-Pacific Trading Pte. Ltd., et al. v. PT Budi Semesta Satria, No.  EWHC 1427 [Comm], England and Wales High, Comm.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on June 17 issued an order to show cause, asking for input on a proposed order giving the liquidator of an insolvent insurer the authority to enter into an early access agreement with certain states' insurance guaranty associations (In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Professional Liability Insurance Company of America, No. 400986/2010, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 17 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Samsung Electronics America Inc. (SEA) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SEC) of continuing to manufacture and sell defective washing machines despite knowing that the rods were insufficient to hold the drums in place inside the machine (Charlene Kay Ray, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., et al., No. 15-8540, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79260).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on June 21 ordered a prison to provide drinking water to inmates that conforms to the maximum contaminant levels (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for arsenic in response to a motion for preliminary judgment filed by inmates who had contended that the water contained as much as 4-1/2 times the levels of arsenic permitted by the EPA Keith Cole v. Brad Livingston, No. 14-1698, S.D. Texas, Houston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80345).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court did not err when it ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may proceed with its claims alleging a "pattern or practice" of discrimination by an employer in its hiring practices under Sections 706 and 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17, rejecting the employer's claim that such claims may be brought only for equitable relief and only under Section 707 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-20078, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11031).
NEW YORK - After finding that a Brazilian insurer was bound by the terms of an arbitration clause contained in an agreement for the sale of power generation equipment, a New York federal judge on June 20 confirmed an award issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in favor of two Brazilian companies (Alstom Brasil Energia E Transporte Ltda, et al. v. Mitsui Sumitomo Securos S.A., No. 15-8221, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80151).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A disability insurer's decision to terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits is supported by the evidence, a Michigan federal judge said June 17 after determining that the claimant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his depression prevented him from performing the duties of his occupation (Les A. Gilewski v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-238, W.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79056).
McALLEN, Texas - An insurer's prompt payment of an appraisal award in a homeowners insurance dispute estops the insureds from bringing a claim for breach of contract, and as a result, their extracontractual claims are inactionable under Texas law, a federal judge in Texas ruled June 20 (Daniel Gutierrez, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-430, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79665).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on June 21 found that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. were not responsible for the death of a woman whose husband and daughter claimed that she died from smoking cigarettes made by both companies (Leisa Mooney, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 2011-CA-40815, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 20 ruled that a settlement agreement in which a water service company will pay $110,000 to the man who sued multiple parties seeking recovery and remediation costs associated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination had been reached in good faith (Viola Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-cv-01257, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80087).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Washington appeals panel on June 21 affirmed a woman's conviction for first-degree arson, holding that the trial court judge did not erroneously admit a photograph of a gasoline can and that the evidence sufficiently supported her conviction (State of Washington v. Maria H. Hernandez Martinez, No. 33109-1-III, Wash. App., Div. 3; 2016 Wash. App. LEXIS 1457).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - When assigning the relevant filing date of a continuation application for purposes of determining patent validity, the application satisfies 35 U.S. Code Section 120 when both legal acts - filing and patenting - occur on the same day, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 21 (Immersion Corporation v. HTC Corporation, No. 15-1574, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11176).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 21 affirmed a lower court order dismissing a complaint alleging that Philip Morris USA Inc. violated the terms of a contract by overcharging military exchanges for cigarettes because the transactions "creating an inference of fraud were publicly disclosed" (United States, Ex Rel. Anthony Oliver v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 15-7049, D.C. Cir.).