SAN FRANCISCO - Seeking to reverse a trial court judge's finding that an Internet-based rebroadcaster of copyrighted television shows might be entitled to a compulsory license under copyright law, a group of U.S. television networks on Jan. 27 filed an appellant brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the rebroadcaster is not entitled to such a license because it does not meet the definition of a "cable company" (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. Aereokiller LLC, et al., No. 15-56420, 9th Cir.).
SEATTLE - The City of Seattle sued Monsanto Co., Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC in Washington federal court on Jan. 25 complaining that the defendants' manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has contaminated storm water that runs off into the Duwamish River, which runs through the heart of the city (City of Seattle v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 16-cv-00107, W.D. Wash.).
CHICAGO - Genuine issues of material fact exist regarding a premises owner's control over work at its facility and whether the work constituted maintenance or improvements to real property barred by the state's statute of repose, a federal judge in Wisconsin held Jan. 22 (Beverly Ahnert, et al. v. Brand Insulation Inc., et al., No. 13-1456, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 427).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Jan. 26 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by the manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping and remanded the suit sua sponte, after finding that the state's Right to Repair Act (RORA) does not allow class action claims (Roy Victor Boyko, et al. v. Terveno LP, et al., No. 15cv2088, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8998).
DAYTON, Ohio - A disability insurer did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying a claim for long-term disability benefits because the insurer provided a reasonable explanation for its denial and the claimant's diagnosis of multiple sclerosis did not mean he could not perform the material duties of his occupation as an attorney, an Ohio federal judge said Jan. 26 (Curtis F. Slaton Esq. v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 14-269, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9079).
MILWAUKEE - The federal judge in Wisconsin presiding over eight lead paint poisoning lawsuits on Jan. 26 issued a comprehensive ruling denying the defendants' motion for certification of her decision on personal jurisdiction for the purpose of an interlocutory appeal, saying that the best way to advance the litigation is to proceed to discovery (Glenn Burton Jr. v. American Cyanamid Company, et al., No. 07-0303; Ravon Owens v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0441; Ernest Gibson v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0864; Brionn Stokes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0865; Cesar Sifuentes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 10-0075; Maniya Allen v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11-0055, Deziree Valoe v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11- 0425; Dijonae Trammell v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 14-1423, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9596).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A settlement agreement and release, entered into by numerous parties involved in an environmental contamination coverage suit in 1989, included two battery plants that the insured formerly operated in New Jersey, a Michigan federal judge said Jan. 27 (Employers Insurance of Wausau v. McGraw-Edison Co., et al., No. 86-48, W.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9130).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Jan. 26 upheld a summary judgment ruling for an employer in a contract dispute but reversed the award of attorney fees, finding that the trial court improperly applied an outdated version of California Labor Code Section 218.5 (USS-POSCO Industries v. Floyd Case, Nos. A140457 and A142145, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 49).
JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Jan. 25 granted a workers' compensation insurer's motion for summary judgment in a discrimination and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff has failed to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding his claims of racial discrimination against the insurer (Johneveric T. Powell v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 14-115, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8176).
ATLANTA - Although an insured established a fortuitous loss covered by an all-risk marine insurance policy, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 vacated a trial court's finding that an exclusion on which an insurer relied to avoid coverage was ambiguous (Great Lakes Reinsurance [UK] PLC v. Kan-Do, Inc. and Kan-Do Marine Research & Products, Inc., No. 15-11939, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1166).
LIMA, Ohio - Asbestosis refers to a specific disease and not asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, an Ohio appeals court held Jan. 25 in affirming a widow's right to participate in the state's workers' compensation system (Fayrene Dennis, surviving spouse of Johnny Dennis v. General Motors Corp., et al., No. 4-15-09, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 215).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 26 granted an amended motion filed jointly by the parties in a wage-and-hour class suit filed by workers who were paid on a per-task basis to modify the July order approving a $585,507 settlement (Christopher Otey, et al. v. CrowdFlower, Inc., et al., No. 12-5524, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9049).
SAN FRANCISCO - Drivers who filed a class complaint against Lyft Inc., which provides drive-sharing services, alleging various wage violations filed a motion Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking preliminary approval of a $12.25 million settlement (Patrick Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 13-4065, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 rejected an insurance broker's plea to reverse a lower court's dismissal of all claims against its co-defendant insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (The Residences at Bay Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, d/b/a Travelers Indemnity and Affiliates, et al., No. 14-3981, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1284).
CHARLESTON, W. VA. - A class action alleging that Boston Scientific Corp. used "counterfeit" Chinese polypropylene to make its Advantage pelvic mesh devices starting in 2012 was stayed Jan. 26 while the plaintiff takes her allegation up with the Food and Drug Administration (Teresa L. Stevens v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., No. 16-265, S.D. W. Va.).
DETROIT - The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups on Jan. 27 filed a lawsuit in Michigan federal court, alleging that state and local officials failed to comply with the federal law that requires cities to deliver safe drinking water to the public and showed "complete disregard" for the residents of Flint, Mich., in letting the lead water crisis in that city to develop (Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Khouri, et al., No. 16-10277, E.D. Mich.).
MADISON, Wis. - A challenge by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) of an insurer's denial of payment was rejected on summary judgment Jan. 25 by a Wisconsin federal judge in light of an anti-assignment provision in the parties' contract; the same day, UWHCA's state law claims against defendants Aetna Life Insurance Co., Aetna Health and Life Insurance Co. and Aetna Health Insurance Co. (Aetna, collectively) were dismissed in a related case as preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-779, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8093; University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-286, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8091).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 25 in two separate rulings granted preliminary approval of a $900,000 settlement by the trustees of two RadioShack 401(k) plans and partially dismissed the claims against the RadioShack directors and members of the administrative committee in a consolidated complaint brought by plan participants who allege that the defendants violated ERISA and their duty of loyalty by keeping the employee stock options plans (ESOPs) invested in RadioShack stock even as the company was declining into bankruptcy (In Re 2014 RadioShack ERISA Litigation, No. 14-959, N.D. Texas).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 25 partially granted a motion to strike class claims for violation of the California Labor Code and the unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a former employee of technology entities, allowing his representative claim for violation of the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and injunctive relief to proceed (Howard Rosenstein, individually and on behalf of himself and others similarly situated v. Pratt and Whitney, et al., No. 15cv2183, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8442).
MARSHALL, Texas - A dispute over five patents relating to the digital labeling of websites will remain in Texas, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 25 (Emmanuel Gonzalez v. New Life Ventures Inc., No. 14-907, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8040).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A jury empaneled before U.S. Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware sided squarely with a medical device maker on Jan. 26, deeming two patents infringed, rejecting a defense assertion of patent invalidity and awarding the plaintiff $37.5 million in damages (Greatbatch Ltd. v. AVX Corporation, et al., No. 13-723, D. Del.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 22 denied a disability claimant's motion to amend a judgment and motion for attorney fees after determining that both motions were misplaced as the claimant did not prevail on his claims against the disability insurer (Elgin Cox v. Allin Corporation Plan, et al., No. 12-5880, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8371).
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 were rejected Jan. 25 by a California federal judge, who denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings by a defendant (Cave Consulting Group v. Truven Health Analytics Inc., No. 15-2177, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8395).