NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 18 held that a fraud scheme involving an email did not constitute computer fraud under a crime protection insurance policy, vacating a lower court's $1.4 million judgment against the insurer (Apache Corp. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 15-20499, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18748).
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. government intervened in a putative consumer class action in California federal court Oct. 17, filing a memorandum defending the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in response to a question raised by defendant Facebook Inc. related to allegations that the social network violated the act by sending text notifications without user consent (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A group of residents on Oct. 14 filed a brief in a Tennessee federal court arguing that it should certify a class action against CSX Transportation Inc. and another railroad company related to a spill of toxic chemicals that resulted from a train derailment based on the need to evacuate the residential area surrounding the site (Charles Tipton, et al. v. CSX Transportation Inc., et al., No. 15-311, E.D. Tenn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 17 denied a petition by 36 denture cream plaintiffs asking the high court to settle what they say is a conflict between the high court's expert testimony ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 ) and Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (Ellenie Steele, et al. v. Proctor & Gamble Distributing LLC, et al., No. 16-338, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Oct. 13 that a Massachusetts-based skilled nursing facility and its director of long-term care have agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations that they submitted inflated claims to Medicare.
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 13 allowed three counts in a putative class action complaint alleging that Deutsche Bank entities mismanaged their 401(k) plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to proceed, saying that the plaintiffs' breach of fiduciary duty claim plausibly alleges that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties to act in the best interest of the plan and with due care by failing to remove excessively costly proprietary mutual funds (Ramon Moreno, et al. v. Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp., et al., No. 1:15cv9936, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142601).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 17 denied a commercial property's insurer motion to intervene in a copyright infringement dispute, finding that the insurer lacks a substantial interest in the case and that the insurance action would not share questions of law or fact with the copyright lawsuit (Design Basics LLC v. A.J. Bokar Building Company Inc. d/b/a Willow Wood Homes, No. 16-669, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143464).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Having found that American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care initiative is not an industry standard and does not impose an independent duty of care on a chemical distributor, a West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 13 excluded expert testimony on the initiative from both the distributor and plaintiffs accusing it of contaminating their water supply (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Company Inc., et al., No. 14-01374, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141865).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 17 denied insureds' motion to remand a declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying complaint alleging violations under the West Virginia's Human Rights Act (WVHRA) but granted the insurer's motion to realign the underlying claimant as a plaintiff in the coverage dispute (Grand China Buffett & Grill, Inc., et al. v. State Auto Property and Casualty Co., et al., No 16-159, N.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143173).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 13 denied a motion to divide a certified class into subclasses filed by inmates who claim that they were denied proper dental care while incarcerated (John Smentek, et al. v. Sheriff of Cook County, et al., No. 09-529, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141759).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 granted final approval to a settlement under which Gucci America Inc. will provide certain consumers with vouchers good for a free item or discount to settle claims that it improperly collected personal information from customers paying with a credit card (Jessica Manner, et al. v. Gucci America, Inc., No. 15-45, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142770).
NEW YORK - A New Jersey cocoa trading house on Oct. 14 filed a notice of appeal with the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking to appeal an order granting a petition to vacate a $2,606,626 arbitral award issued against a cooperative made up of Peruvian farmers (Cooperativa Agraria Industrial Naranjillo Ltda. V. Transmar Commodity Group Ltd., No. 16-3356, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129969).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Oct. 14 ordered arguments for Dec. 1 on a plaintiffs' motion to centralize 12 federal lawsuits alleging that the C-Qur hernia patch made by Atrium Medical Corp. is defective (In Re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2753, JPMDL).
DETROIT - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning car navigational methods, a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 14 that damages experts failed to present a reliable methodology for a conjoint study to assist a jury in determining what portion of Garmin International Inc.'s profits could be attributed to the incremental value that the four patented features added to the overall value of the accused devices (Visteon Global Technologies Inc. and Visteon Technologies LLC v. Garmin International Inc., No. 10-10578, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142395).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Oct. 14 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a borrower's fourth amended complaint and a claim for fraud related to her mortgage, finding that she failed to allege how any fraud on the part of the lender occurred (Dana Y. Coward v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 14-16378, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18541).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Oct. 14 scheduled arguments for the creation of an Invokana multidistrict litigation to take place Dec. 1 in North Carolina (In Re: Invokana [Canagliflozin] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2750, JMPDL).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 14 granted a property insurer's motion to enforce a mandate ordering a lower court to enter final judgment in its favor in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. v. Maricela Cespedes, No. 2D12-4575, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 15238).
SEATTLE - An insured has failed to show that an insurer acted in bad faith in handling a claim for coverage pursuant to an automobile insurance policy because the insured has failed to first show that there was any breach of the insurance contract, a federal judge in Washington ruled Oct. 13 (Kristopher Crowthers v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 16-606, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142123).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts federal judge properly construed various disputed terms of two patents relating to three-dimensional scaffolding for growing cells in vitro to produce organ tissue, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 13 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, et al. v. Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc., et. al., No. 15-1881, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18426).