FLORENCE, S.C. - Plaintiff experts may testify on the cause and origin of a fire in a products liability design defect case, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Aug. 10, denying a motion to exclude the testimony (Kelly Marshall v. Lowe's Home Centers, LLC and GHP Group Inc., No. 14-04585, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105317).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A man's conflicting testimony and other evidence falls short of establishing sufficient evidence of regular exposure to asbestos from a brake manufacturer and air compressor manufacturer, a federal magistrate judge held in recommending the court grant summary judgment on Aug. 9 (Robert Lee Winhauer Jr., et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 15-177, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104467).
CALGARY, Alberta - A Canadian woman on Aug. 18 filed suit in the Court of Queen's Bench for Alberta against Niantic Inc., the developer of the mobile game Pokemon Go, asserting that her property has become a "Pokestop" in the game against her wishes, leading the game's players to invade her privacy (Barbra-Lyn Schaeffer v. Niantic Inc., No. 1601-01491, Queen's Bench, Alberta).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A request by a patent infringement defendant to transfer its dispute with a competitor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas should be denied, a Delaware federal magistrate judge recommended Aug. 11 (Smith International Inc. v. Baker Hughes Inc., No. 16-56, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105481).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of reply briefs filed Aug. 10 in California federal court, Google Inc. seeks to support its pending motions for summary judgment in a putative privacy class action over its Google Wallet feature and to exclude the lead plaintiff's expert's testimony on damages (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-04080, N.D. Calif.).
DETROIT - While a subrogated insurer's gross negligence claim was not barred by a waiver-of-a subrogation clause, a Michigan appeals panel held Aug. 9 that the insurer failed to assert more than an ordinary negligence claim against a contractor and subcontractor for the faulty installation of a sprinkler system (Lexington Insurance Co. v. The Alan Group and Condor Piping Inc., No. 326921, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 1486).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arguments will be heard Sept. 29 on the centralization of federal lawsuits in which breast cancer patients allege that the chemotherapy drug Taxotere causes permanent hair loss, according to an Aug. 11 hearing order of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The centralization of 28 federal lawsuits alleging injuries from the Essure birth control device will be argued Sept. 29, according to an Aug. 11 hearing order for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (In Re: Essure Birth Control Device Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2739, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) will hear arguments on Sept. 29 on a request by plaintiffs and defendants to centralize federal lawsuits alleging that Abilify causes compulsive gambling, according to an Aug. 11 panel order (In Re: Abilify [Aripiprazole] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2734, JPMDL).
FLORENCE, S.C. - Plaintiff experts may testify on the cause and origin of a fire in a products liability design defect case, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Aug. 10, denying a motion to exclude the testimony (Kelly Marshall v. Lowe's Home Centers LLC and GHP Group Inc., No. 14-04585, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105317).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 9 denied an Engle progeny plaintiff's motion seeking to reinstate $20 million in punitive damages because the issue the plaintiff raised on appeal is better suited for the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule on (Judith Berger v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:09-cv-14157, M.D. Fla.).
LYNCHBURG, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Aug. 10 granted a health insurer's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it unlawfully ignored requests to provide plan documents and breached co-fiduciary duties owed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it is barred by res judicata (W.A. Griffin v. Areva Inc., No. 6:16-cv-00029, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105887).
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit has failed to plead an actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Likar Rok v. Identiv Inc., et al., No. 15-5775, N.D. Calif.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Aug. 10 affirmed a $1.3 million verdict against two tobacco companies in an Engle progeny suit, saying the state law tort claims pursuant to the original Engle findings do not prohibit states from selling cigarettes (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. James Harris Lourie, No 2D14-5403, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a company that sells renewable energy and certain of its executive officers has failed to cure each of the scienter pleading deficiencies in making his claims under federal securities law that resulted in three previous dismissal rulings, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 9 in dismissing the third amended complaint with prejudice (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
NEW ORLEANS - A commercial general liability insurance policy's "tract housing" precludes coverage to a group of homeowners who settled a construction defect lawsuit with its insured and then sought payment, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 10 (Jay Broughton, et al. v. Castlepoint National Insurance Co., formerly known as SUA Insurance Co. & Jennifer Trevino, et al. v. Castlepoint National Insurance Co., formerly known as SUA Insurance Co., No. 15-20708, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14746).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed that a union pension fund's denial of a former business representative's attempt to have board services payments included in his pension benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the payments were not "salary payments" as defined by the pension plan (William Rabinak v. United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Fund, No. 15-1717, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14738).
MIAMI - A German corporation known for selling water pipes and hookahs on Aug. 9 filed suit in federal court in Florida against a hookah company for allegedly selling counterfeit products (ROOR v. Hookah, Tobacco and Sun Inc., No. 0:16-cv-61902, S.D. Fla.).
SEATTLE - A turbine manufacturer's alleged distribution of asbestos-containing gaskets puts it outside the reach of Alaska's statute of repose, as does it and a premises owner's alleged knowledge about the dangers of asbestos, a Washington appeals court held Aug. 9 in reversing dismissal for the two companies (Larry Hoffman and Judith Hoffman v. General Electric Co., Ketchikan Pulp Co., et al., No. 47439-5-II, Wash. App., Div. 2; 2016 Wash. App. LEXIS 1903).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented electronic cigarette is not entitled to the filing date of a parent patent pursuant to rulings by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in ICU Medical, Inc. v. Alaris Medical Systems, Inc. (558 F.3d 1368 [Fed. Cir. 2009]), Research Corp. Techs. v. Microsoft Corp. (627 F.3d at 871-872 [Fed. Cir. 2010]) and Anascape v. Nintendo of America Inc. (601 F.3d at 1334, 1340 [Fed. Cir. 2010]), according to an Aug. 5 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company v. Fontem Holdings I BV, No. IPR2016-01532, PTAB).
TRENTON, N.J. - Environmental groups that have sued NL Industries Inc. alleging lead contamination filed a brief in New Jersey federal court on Aug. 9, contending that when the district court granted summary judgment dismissal to some of the defendants, it made "clear legal and factual errors that warrant reconsideration" (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).
DETROIT - A 2-1 panel of a Michigan appeals court on Aug. 9 reluctantly reversed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a man and a hospital seeking coverage from Allstate Insurance Co. for injuries the man sustained as a result of an automobile accident, holding that it was bound by the ruling in Bazzi v. Sentinel Ins. Co. (2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 1153 [Mich. App. 2016]) to find that the innocent third-party doctrine is not viable (Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital LLC, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 323425, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 1500).