NEW YORK - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 15 filed a religious bias lawsuit against United Parcel Service Inc. in New York federal court, accusing the company of unlawfully discriminating against a class of male applicants and employees who have beards or long hair as part of their religious observance (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 15-4141, E.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - Evidence of a company's revenue alone provided a jury too small a picture of the company's actual health, a California appeals court panel held July 15 in reversing $32,500,000 in punitive damages in an asbestos case. The court affirmed the jury's award of $2 million in noneconomic damages to each of the decedent's three daughters (Patricia Soto, et al. v. BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc., No. B252995, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).
HOUSTON - After finding that a consultant would be prejudiced by having to arbitrate his claims in India, a Texas federal judge on July 13 denied a motion to compel arbitration under a consulting agreement (Growtech Partners, et al. v. Accenture LLP, et al., No. 14-3307, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91511).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A copyright infringement plaintiff has 30 additional days to engage in discovery with Kohl's Department Stores Inc. in connection with a thumbnail image of a reindeer figurine, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled July 15 (Hua-Cheng Pan v. Kohl's Department Stores Inc., No. 12-1063, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92001).
LOS ANGELES - A recent decision by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the standard of proof in false advertising actions does not provide a basis for dismissing a suit alleging that the manufacturer of infant formula made false representations and engaged in misleading practices in the marketing of its product, a federal judge in California ruled July 14 (Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co., et al., No. 15-200, C.D. Calif.).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana federal magistrate judge on July 14 ruled that several statements made by a liability expert for a man claiming that he was arrested without probable cause are inadmissible for several reasons, including that they are legal conclusions or they constitute speculation or subjective belief (Anthony Chaney v. Daniel Wadsworth, et al., No. 14-177, D. Mont.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91897).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida-based compounding pharmacy has agreed to pay $8,441,107 to resolve allegations that it knowingly billed the federal government for "improper and medically unnecessary compounding pain prescriptions," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida announced July 15.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Interstate Power & Light Co., a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, on July 15 agreed to pay a $1.1 million civil penalty for violating the Clean Air Act and spend $6 million to upgrade emissions technologies at seven of its coal-fired power plants in Iowa to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide (United States of America, et al. v. Interstate Power and Light Company, No. 15-0061, N.D. Iowa).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A prior settlement agreement with a third party bars strict liability and negligence claims against two tobacco companies arising from the lung cancer death of a longtime smoker, a Florida appeals court ruled July 15 (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Beatrice Skolnick, No. 4D13-4696, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After hearing arguments regarding an award of sanctions against the attorneys in a patent litigation that has spanned more than 13 years and four appeals, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 affirmed a district court's assessment of almost $200,000 in sanctions against the attorneys related to discovery abuses surrounding their client's false deposition testimony (Alexander S. Orenshteyn, et al. v. Citrix Systems Inc., No. 15-1056, Fed. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen Inc. asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals July 14 for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in support of a group of former National Football League players seeking reversal of the approval of a class action settlement of brain-injury claims against the league (In re: NFL Players Concussion Injury Litigation, Nos. 15-2206, et al., 3rd Cir.).
ATLANTA - The appeal of a smoker's widow from a jury verdict that found Philip Morris USA Inc. partially liable for her husband's death but resulted in no award of damages is fatally flawed because it asserts an argument that was not raised in post-trial motions, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 15 (Barbara Reider v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 14-11494, 11th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - A 2-1 panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 16 that it does not have jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine to review BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s appeal of a federal judge in Louisiana's decision to bar the company and plaintiffs from viewing information related to a claim submitted to the Business and Economic Loss settlement program until after an eligibility ruling has been reached by the claims administrator (In re: Deepwater Horizon, No. 14-30823, 5th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the union representing professional football players, asked a federal judge July 13 to dismiss two consolidated suits alleging that it "turned a blind eye" to information about the health risks associated with concussions and subconcussive injuries (Christian Ballard, et al. v. National Football League Players Association, et al., No. 14-1267, E.D. Mo.; Neil Smith, et al. v. National Football League Players Association, et al., No. 14-1559, E.D. Mo.).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on July 15 overturned a trial judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to Nationwide General Insurance Co. on its claim that it is not required to pay no-fault claims submitted by two medical service providers, ruling that the insurer failed to present sufficient evidence that three automobile accidents that spurred the claims were staged in furtherance of a fraud scheme (Nationwide General Insurance Company v. Linwood Bates III, et al., No. 2014-01986, N.Y. Sup, App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5990).
AUSTIN, Texas - Efforts by Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS) LLC to quash a subpoena by Rembrandt Secure Computing LP in Rembrandt's patent lawsuit against Apple Inc. were largely successful on July 15 (Rembrandt Secure Computing LP v. Apple Inc. et al., No. 15-438, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91756).
SHERMAN, Texas - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a corporate entity not named as an insured for underlying negligence claims arising from the defective construction of a barn, a Texas federal magistrate judge held July 15 (Essex Insurance Co. v. Michael A. Brandon, et al., No. 14-421, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91729).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Finding it clear that the computer hard drives of a man accused of illegal online file sharing are relevant to the copyright infringement claim against him, an Ohio federal judge on July 14 ordered production of the drives for examination under a protective order shielding any portions of the drives designated as confidential by the defendant (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 2:14-cv-00821, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91263).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 found no error in a federal judge in Florida's decision to sentence a pharmacy owner to 144 months in prison, ruling that the judge did not err when finding that the defendant's fraudulent billing of prescription medication to Medicare resulted in an intended loss of $2.5 million to the government and that the evidence supported the defendant's conviction for conspiracy to commit health care fraud (United States of America v. Guido Halayn De La Torre, No. 13-15179, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12179).
LOS ANGELES - Evidence of a company's revenue alone provided a jury too small a picture of the company's actual health, a California appeals court panel held July 15 in reversing $32.5 million in punitive damages in an asbestos case. The court affirmed the jury's award of $2 million in noneconomic damages to each of the decedent's three daughters (Patricia Soto, et al. v. BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc., No. B252995, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).
BOSTON - A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employee filed a class complaint on July 14 in Massachusetts federal court accusing the retailer of unlawfully depriving health benefits to the spouses of employees who are in same-sex marriages (Jacqueline A. Cote, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15-12945, D. Mass.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on July 14 declined to reconsider his affirmation of a bankruptcy court's grant of summary judgment to Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. on a corporate property owner's bid for relief from the bankruptcy stay to pursue state and federal environmental claims against Flintkote (8 E. Frederick Place LLC v. The Flintkote Co., et al., No. 12-1176, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91005).
LOS ANGELES - In a pair of July 10 in chambers orders, a California federal magistrate judge found deposition-related violations by two lawyer placement firms embroiled in a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit, awarding sanctions to each (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).