NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel majority on April 26 reversed a lower court decision and held that a dispute should be heard in court and not, as the lower court had found, arbitrated in London (Garthon Business Inc., et al. v. Kirill Ace Stein, et al., No. 653715-16521NB 16521NA 16521N, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 NY Slip Op 03102; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2991).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland appeals panel on April 27 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that a mother who sued her landlord alleging that her son had been poisoned by lead paint in their rental property failed to provide the landlord with notice (William Harris, by and through his mother Natonia Ratchford v. Housing Authority of Baltimore City, No. 43, Sept. Term 2015; 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 40).
CLEVELAND - An insured filed a notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27, challenging a number of rulings entered in favor of its insurer in a dispute arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 1:10-cv-02871-SO, N.D. Ohio).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A computer consultant may not testify on search engine optimization (SEO) in a trademark infringement case, a Kansas federal judge held April 27 (Marten Transport, Ltd. v. PlattForm Advertising, Inc., No. 14-2464, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56279).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An expert may not testify in a civil rights lawsuit that the use of deadly force by police officers "was excessive and was not objectively reasonable under the circumstances," a Tennessee federal judge ruled April 27 (Sterling Askew and Sylvia Askew v. City of Memphis, et al., No. 14-02080, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55918).
DETROIT - Claims by a Native American tribe that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by overbilling the tribe for services rendered as third-party administrator for tribal members' health care claims survived a motion to dismiss April 27 when a federal judge in Michigan found that the tribe alleged sufficient facts to establish a right to relief on its ERISA claims (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 15-13708, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55866).
TRENTON, N.J. - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a shareholder failed to plead any material misstatements or omissions in making his claims against a drug company and certain of its current and former executive officers, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 26 (In re Amarin Corp. PLC Securities Litigation, No. 13-6663, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55568).
TRENTON, N.J. - Summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because insureds' claims are barred pursuant to the anti-concurrent causation clause in their homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 27 (Jerome Keelen, et al. v. QBE Insurance Corp., No. 13-6941, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55895).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on April 27 entered a defense verdict for a company that makes a body wax in a suit brought by a woman who was burned when the tube the wax was in exploded and wax landed on her after she took it out of the microwave (Kelsey Ouelette v. Coty U.S. LLC, No. 3:14-CV-0712, M.D. Pa.).
BOSTON - A class suit by individuals who signed up to participate in an obstacle course event but then were unable to after the location of the event changed with just a week's notice and were denied refunds of their registration fees belongs in state, not federal, court, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 26 (Lisa C. Pazol, et al. v. Tough Mudder Incorporated, et al., No. 15-1640, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7519).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 29 reversed a lower court's final judgment in favor of insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute to the extent that it awarded money damages for subsurface repairs without requiring the insureds to enter into a contract for those repairs, further reversing the court's prejudgment interest award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Migdalia Cabrera, et al., No. 2D14-4337, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6529).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa Court of Appeals panel on April 27 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling awarding $120,990.46 to a landowner over an improperly installed pond, holding that the property did not benefit from the pond and that the owner sustained damages as a result of the pond's inability to retain water (Reilly Construction Co. Inc. v. Bachelder Inc., No. 15-1192, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 411).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury hit respirator manufacturer American Optical Corp. with a $32 million verdict April 26, including $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Sources told Mealey Publications that it is the first punitive damages award against the company related to its respirators (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. BC588866, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 28 knocked a $25 million asbestos verdict against a brake grinder manufacture down to $9 million but otherwise rejected challenges to the verdict, according to documents filed with the court (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DALLAS - In a complaint filed April 25 in Texas federal court, three blind law students allege that a company specializing in bar exam preparation materials has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing a website and other materials that are fully accessible to visually impaired individuals and by not responding to requests for reasonable accommodations (Claire Stanley, et al. v. BarBri Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-01113, N.D. Texas).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on April 26 granted in part a motion for spoliation sanctions filed by Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., John Manville Inc. and Icynene Corp., finding that a man's removal of at least 10 rolls of floor covering before a home inspection to examine levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) gasses allegedly emitted by the defendants' spray polyurethane foam (SPF) constituted destruction of evidence (Richard Breyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) routinely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) by obtaining and using job applicants' records in a manner that violates federal and state law, a Philadelphia man who was an unsuccessful job applicant alleges in his class complaint filed against SEPTA in Pennsylvania federal court on April 27 (Frank Long, et al. v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, No. 16-1991, E.D. Pa.).
Cardiovascular medical device makers Abbott Laboratories and St. Jude Medical Inc. announced April 28 that they have agreed to a $25 billion merger.
CHICAGO - Participants in a "massively underfunded" multiemployer defined benefit pension plan filed suit April 25 against the plan's trustees in Illinois federal court, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Doris Campbell, et al. v. Charles A. Whobrey, et al., No. 16-4631, N.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of April 26 filings in California federal court, the putative class representatives in a suit over a breach of Anthem Inc.'s network opposed motions to dismiss by Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS), arguing that they have sufficiently pleaded facts to support breach and negligence claims and have satisfied standing requirements (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02617, N.D. Calif.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts to undo an examiner's May 2014 final rejection on obviousness grounds of various claims of a patented troughing idler for belt conveyors were unsuccessful on April 27, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instead upheld the examiner's findings (Ex parte Hansen Manufacturing Corp., No. 2016-00248, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a 46-page ruling issued April 28, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) indicated that it will review the patentability of an invention that claims repositioning of market information on a graphical user interface (GUI) and electronic trading (IBG LLC and Interactive Brokers LLC v. Trading Technologies International Inc., No. CBM2016-0009, PTAB).