LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Without Expert Testimony, Judge Grants Judgment On Product Liability Claims

    HARTFORD, Conn. - Finding that a plaintiff's expert is not qualified to testify about "handheld circular saw safety, the efficacy or necessity of riving knives on such products, or the sufficiency of warning labels" to support design defect and failure-to-warn claims, a Connecticut federal judge on March 20 granted summary judgment to the manufacturer of a circular saw (Eustathios Karavitis v. Makita U.S.A. Inc., No. 14-00913, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39830).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate Judge Allows Testimony On Claimed Process In Patent Infringement Suit

    TYLER, Texas - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may provide opinions "based on his technical knowledge and expertise" as to the technical advantages of a claimed process of forming circuitry used in controlling liquid crystal displays (LCDs), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 22 (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41040).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - English Oil Company Commences Treaty Arbitration Against Italy

    LONDON - An English exploration company on March 23 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the Republic of Italy, asserting that it breached the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Consolidates 11 Asbestos Cases Into 4 Trial Groups

    NEW YORK - Rejecting both plaintiffs' larger proposed trial groups and concern of prejudice by defendants, a New York justice in an opinion posted March 21 found that 11 cases' similarities warranted four trial groups and two separate trials (Walter Cunningham, et al. v. Aerco Intl., et al., No. 190136/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Overrules Objections In Foreclosure-Related Action Against Lenders

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on March 22 overruled objections submitted by lenders and a borrower to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that some claims related to a foreclosure be allowed to proceed but noted that some of the objections would be better adjudicated on summary judgment (Steven Thomason v. One West Bank, FSB, et al., No. 2:12cv604, M.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41122).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Grants Partial Judgment In Trademark Case

    ALBANY, N.Y. - Citing evidence that a defendant acted outside the scope of its licensing agreement with a plaintiff, as well as evidence that the defendant used a trademark identical to that of a plaintiff, a New York federal judge on March 22 granted partial summary judgment in a dispute over sports protective eyewear (Halo Optical Products Inc. v. Liberty Sport Inc., No. 14-282, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41084).

    Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Dismisses Appeal In Coverage Dispute Over Trademark Claims

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 dismissed an insured's appeal in an advertising injury coverage dispute after a lower federal court determined on remand that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case (Vogue International, LLC, d.b.a. Vogue International v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-56394, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5011).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Maryland Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Wrongful Death Suit

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland Court of Special Appeals panel on March 21 affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the parent and grandparent corporation of a hospital in a wrongful death suit because under Maryland law, parent and grandparent corporations are not responsible for establishing hospital protocols (Kimberley Hughes Johnson v. University of Maryland and Medical System Corporation, et al., No. 396, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 299).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Without Expert Testimony, Judge Grants Judgment On Product Liability Claims

    HARTFORD, Conn. - Finding that a plaintiff's expert is not qualified to testify about "handheld circular saw safety, the efficacy or necessity of riving knives on such products, or the sufficiency of warning labels" to support design defect and failure-to-warn claims, a Connecticut federal judge on March 20 granted summary judgment to the manufacturer of a circular saw (Eustathios Karavitis v. Makita U.S.A. Inc., No. 14-00913, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39830).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Insurance Groups' Emergency Injunction Motion Over DOL Fiduciary Rule Denied

    DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 20 denied a coalition of insurance associations' emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal of a ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not exceeded its authority in formulating its new "fiduciary rule" and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that the plaintiffs have not met their burden to satisfy four factors required to obtain an injunction pending appeal (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Edward Hugler, Acting Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1476, consolidated with 3:16-cv-1530, 3:16-cv-1537, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39806).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: SEC Proxy Statement For Acquisition Deal Was Misleading, Material

    PORTLAND, Ore. - Dismissal of a securities class action against a company and its board of directors for allegedly omitting key information in the Securities and Exchange Commission proxy statement for a proposed acquisition deal in an effort to have the company's stock sell for a lesser price is not proper because lead plaintiffs have shown that the proxy statement was both misleading and material, a federal judge in Oregon ruled March 20 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Elia Azar, et al. v. Blount International Inc., et al., No. 16-483, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39493).

    Mealey's Insurance - Excess Insurer Had No Duty To Indemnify Construction Defect Suit, Judge Finds

    DENVER - An excess insurer had no duty to indemnify two insureds for a construction defect case because the primary policy was not yet exhausted, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 20, dismissing a reimbursement lawsuit filed by two other insurers seeking monies for the defect case's settlement (Zurich American Insurance Co. and American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co. v. Acadia Insurance Co., No. 14-01273, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39579).

    Mealey's Insurance - Issues Of Fact Exist On Cause Of Collapse And Insured's Knowledge, Federal Judge Says

    PEORIA, Ill. - Because questions of fact exist regarding the cause of the collapse of a building's second floor and the insured's knowledge of the condition of the building, an Illinois federal judge on March 21 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment (WAMFAM5 Inc. v. Nova Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-1195, C.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40159).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge Allows Testimony On Claimed Process In Patent Infringement Suit

    TYLER, Texas - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may provide opinions "based on his technical knowledge and expertise" as to the technical advantages of a claimed process of forming circuitry used in controlling liquid crystal displays (LCDs), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 22 (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41040).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Partial Summary Judgment Granted In Apple IPhone Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - NLRB Rules In-N-Out Burger Can't Make Workers Remove Union, Wage-Related Buttons

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In-N-Out Burger Inc. violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it prohibited employees from wearing unauthorized buttons or insignia that referenced union activity and wages, the National Labor Relations Board ruled March 21 (In-N-Out Burger, Inc. and Mid-South Organizing Committee, Nos. 16-CA-156147 and 16-CA-163251, NLRB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Affirms: No Live Controversy In Patent, Trade Secret Row

    NEW ORLEANS - A dismissal with prejudice of a complaint seeking a declaration of patent noninfringement and that no trade secrets were misappropriated was correct, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 20 in a dispute over gas-to-liquid (GTL) conversion technology (Sasol North America Inc., et al. v. GTLPetrol LLC, No. 16-20122, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5107).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 3rd Circuit Affirms Contempt Judgment For Refusal To Decrypt Devices

    PHILADELPHIA - A child pornography suspect was correctly found to be in contempt when he refused to comply with a court order requiring him to provide law enforcement with access to external hard drives, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 20, finding that the defendant's rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were not violated (United States of America v. Apple Mac Pro Computer, et al., No. 15-3537, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4874).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Some Flint Water Defendants: Local Controversy Exception Applies To Class Action

    DETROIT - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in that city filed a brief in Michigan federal court on March 21, arguing that the lawsuit meets the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and, therefore, the court should deny a motion filed by another group of defendants asking it to alter its judgment with regard to exercising its jurisdiction over state law claims (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).

    Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Affirms $6.1M Judgment In Favor Of Insured In Dispute With Excess Insurer

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 affirmed a lower federal court's $6,080,568 judgment in favor of an insured in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its excess general liability insurer arising from an underlying patent infringement dispute (Teleflex Medical Incorporated v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-56366, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4996).

    Mealey's Insurance - Lawsuit Fails To Trigger Professional Liability Coverage, 7th Circuit Affirms

    CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an underlying lawsuit against an insured does not assert a claim that plausibly falls under her professional liability insurance policy, rejecting an appeal by a homeowners insurer seeking reimbursement of underlying defense costs from the professional liability insurer (Madison Mutual Insurance Co. v. Diamond State Ins Co., No. 15-3292, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5006).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 3rd Circuit Overturns Merck's Preemption Win In Fosamax Cases

    PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 22 reversed a federal judge in New Jersey's ruling awarding summary judgment to the maker of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, finding that the manufacturer was unable to produce evidence showing that the Food and Drug Administration would not have approved a stronger warning on the drug's label regarding the risk of femoral fracture (In re Fosamax [Alendronate Sodium] Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-1900, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5075).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Former NECC Head Found Not Guilty Of Murder In Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

    BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal jury on March 22 found the former head of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) not guilty of murder in connection with a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated compounded drugs, but found him guilty of racketeering and fraud (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Insolvent Insurer's Suit Over ACA Payments

    ST. LOUIS - An insolvent insurer's suit against the government over its handling of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk corridor and how it offset debts properly belongs before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a federal judge in Iowa said March 17 in finding that she lacked jurisdiction and entering judgment (Nick Gerhart, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 16-151, S.D. Iowa, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37620).

    Mealey's Bankruptcy - N.Y. Justice: Wisconsin Dissolution Law Bars Suit Against Special Electric

    NEW YORK - An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin's two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190219/2016, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 900, In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Bertle Stromholm, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190177/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).