LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 22 held that a plaintiff's breach of contract claim against her disability insurer, which is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), entitled her to take limited discovery from the insurer because there was a potential evaluator/payor conflict of interest (Nicole Myers v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 14-948, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37411).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on March 23 permitted a group of plaintiffs alleging personal injuries to amend their complaint against Exxon Mobil Corp. and granted a motion to intervene sought by former employees of the plant from which chemicals were allegedly spilled (Tonga Nolan v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 13-439, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38303).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on March 24 said it has issued a draft guidance that would require makers of generic opioid drugs to develop abuse-deterrent formulations.
SAN FRANCISCO - A defendant won partial judgment on the pleadings March 22, when a California federal judge agreed that an amendment that eliminated the ability of pension plan participants to "age into" a subsidized early retirement benefit "appear to be the types of changes contemplated and authorized" by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) (Juan R. Reyes v. Bakery and Confectionary Union and Industry International Pension Fund, No. 14-5596, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37221).
ATLANTA - Allegations that Tyler Perry committed copyright infringement with his movie "Good Deeds" were turned away on a motion for judgment on the pleadings March 24 by a Georgia federal judge (Terri V. Strickland v. Tyler Perry, No. 15-3400, N.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38328).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Connecticut on March 24 that a magistrate judge's ruling that the reinsurer should post a prepleading security in a million-dollar reinsurance dispute is erroneous (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
PHILADELPHIA - Allegations of faulty workmanship in performance of a contract do not constitute an "occurrence" under commercial insurance policies and umbrella excess policies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 23, finding that an insurer has no duty to indemnify pre-tender defense costs and has no duty to provide an ongoing defense (Lenick Construction, Inc. v. Selective Way Insurance Co., No. 14-2701, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38119).
TUCSON, Ariz. - A trial judge did not err in allowing a toolmark expert's testimony that was based in part on the use of three-dimensional imaging software and "confocal microscopic analysis" in a first-degree murder case, an Arizona appeals panel ruled March 23 (The State of Arizona v. Bryan Peter Foshay, No. 2 CA-CR 2014-0252, Ariz. App., Div. 2; 2016 Ariz. App. LEXIS 39).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 23 granted a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiffs have met all statutory requirements for certification of the investor class (In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, No. 13-3851, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37970).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on March 22 denied an insurer's motion for reconsideration in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer failed to show that reconsideration was necessary (Carol McKeen v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-0396, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37379).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pharmaceutical company Novartis AG will pay $25 million to settle claims that it violated provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engaging in "pay-to-prescribe" scheme to increase sales of its products in China, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission administrative proceeding order filed March 23 (In the Matter of Novartis AG, No. 3-17177, SEC).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on March 22 ruled that a woman who won $1.6 million against E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Co. for injuries due to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) is entitled to post-judgment interest (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK - A federal judge and a New Jersey state court judge on March 24 ordered parties in the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) litigation to appear at an April 5 joint conference with authority to discuss settlement of the litigation (In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2434, No. 13-md-2434, S.D. N.Y., In Re: Mirena Litigation, No. 297, Master Docket No. BER-L-4098-13, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) on March 24 petitioned the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "to take immediate action" and revise the federal rule pertaining to lead and copper in drinking water pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Respironics Inc. will pay $34.8 million to resolve civil allegations that it paid kickbacks to medical equipment suppliers to sell the defendant's sleep apnea masks, the U.S. Justice Department announced March 23 (United States, ex rel. Dr. Gibran Ameer v. Philips Electronics North America, et al., No. 14-2077, D. S.C.).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper because shareholders failed to plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled March 21 (In re DNTW Chartered Accountants Securities Litigation, No. 13-4632, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36661).
JACKSON, Miss. - In a March 22 brief in Mississippi federal court, Google Inc. argues that its subpoena to depose the general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) should not be quashed, asserting that neither the attorney-client privilege nor the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects lobbying, which goes to the heart of Google's lawsuit against Mississippi's attorney general (AG) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
BALTIMORE - An expert failed to provide sufficient evidence as to the methodology used in opining about the cause of an accident and alleged defects in a trailer's jack, a Maryland federal judge ruled March 22, granting motions to exclude and summary judgment to the defendant in a products liability lawsuit (Stephen McKerrow v. Buyers Products Co., No. 14-2865, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36590).
NEW ORLEANS - Survivor claims sound in strict liability and require vacating remand of an asbestos action and consideration of whether a ship yard has a colorable federal defense, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 22 (Lorita M. Savoie, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-30514, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5328).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 22 denied a health supplement maker's motion for summary judgment in a class action arising over the advertising and sale of a glucosamine-based supplement (Dragan Vasic, et al. v. Patenthealth LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-849, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37305).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal appellate court on March 21 that it does not object to its reinsured's motion to dismiss an appeal, noting that the only issue remaining regarding their asbestos-related reinsurance dispute is prejudgment interest (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 16-484, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent dispute over vacuum toilets commonly used on commercial aircraft was properly rejected on summary judgment, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded March 23 (MAG Aerospace Industries Inc. v. B/E Aerospace Inc., Nos. 15-1370, -1426, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer sufficiently asserts claims for subrogation and strict product liability against the manufacturer of allegedly faulty wood plastic composite decking, a California federal judge ruled March 22, declining to dismiss the claims (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Danco Builders, et al., No. 15-03945, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37196).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 22 granted the U.S. government's motion to intervene and stay proceedings in the Securities and Exchange Commission's securities fraud lawsuit against alleged Ponzi scheme operator Martin Shkreli and former Retrophin Inc. outside counsel Evan Greebel, ruling that a complete stay is appropriate pending resolution of the government's criminal proceedings against the defendants (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Martin Shkreli, et al., No. 15-7175, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36734).