SEATTLE - Amazon.com Inc. filed a motion Feb. 2 for partial summary judgment of a request for injunctive relief by the Federal Trade Commission in a lawsuit over the online retailer's billing practices for purchases associated with certain apps and games (in-app purchases), with Amazon arguing that no such relief is needed for practices that it ceased prior to the lawsuit's filing (Federal Trade Commission v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 2:14-cv-01038, W.D. Wash.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 2 denied an amended motion for class certification filed in in a lawsuit brought by consumers who allege that deceptive advertising by a maker of electronic cigarettes led them to believe that they were safer than smoking traditional cigarettes (In Re: NJOY Inc. Consumer Class Action Litigation, No. 14-00428, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - An insurer on Feb. 2 removed to a New York federal a suit in which the insurer was sued by its reinsurer for allegedly failing to disclose knowledge that the underlying insured used asbestos in its manufacturing process (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. Allianz Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-00794, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 2 remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against an insurer and an insurance adjuster over denied coverage for property damage sustained by a water leak (Be Wicked, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 16-549, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13106).
RENO, Nev. - In a pair of opposition briefs filed Feb. 3 in Nevada federal court, the plaintiffs in a putative class action pertaining to a breach of Zappos.com Inc.'s servers defend the sufficiency of their negligence and deceptive trade practices claims that the online retailer seeks to dismiss (In Re Zappos.com Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:12-cv-00325, D. Nev.).
SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured has failed to state any factual allegations to support her claims (Cathy Broxterman v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-661, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11824).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Damages from an insured's defective work that resulted in water intrusion are precluded under a "your work" exclusion, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 3, finding that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify the insured (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Elite Homes, Inc., et al., No. 14-1182, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12910).
COLUMBUS, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 2 denied motions by Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Honeywell International for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) or a new trial in a case in which a couple was awarded $4.8 million for injuries the woman sustained when her Volkswagen Passat crashed and turned over after suddenly accelerating (Cheryl Bullock and Kevin Bullock v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al., No 4:13-CV-37 [CDL], M.D. Ga., Columbus Div.).
MINNEAPOLIS - An insured cannot establish coverage over a $7 million settlement because it followed an occurrence that led to property damage, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Feb. 2, also finding that material fact issues preclude the insured from establishing a right to coverage over all of the repairs as consequential damages flowing from the underlying property damage (Ryan Companies US Inc. v. Everest National Insurance Co., No. 14-3207, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12400).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 3 closed a third-party payer case involving the alleged off-label sales of the pain drug Actiq after the last remaining plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal with prejudice (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Cephalon, Inc., No. 07-4492, E.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Despite the Washington Supreme Court's definition of collapse being different than one used by a district court, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 3 affirmed the entry of summary judgment to an insurer (Queen Anne Park Homeowners Association v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-36021, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 3 reversed a trial court's grant of summary judgment for employers in a racial discrimination suit filed by a white construction worker (Terry Deets v. Massman Construction Company, et al., No. 15-1411, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1770).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 3 granted defendant Corin Group PLC summary judgment in a metal-on-metal hip case after finding that the plaintiff lacked evidence of a manufacturing defect (Kyle M. Swisher v. Stryker Corporation, et al., No. 14-28, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12727).
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on Feb. 2 ruled that a trial court abused its discretion by refusing to appoint a computer forensic expert in a child pornography case when the defendant presented information demonstrating that there is a connection between the facts of the case and the need for a defense expert (People of the State of Michigan v. Thomas Joseph Agar, No. 321243, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 190).
ATLANTA - Less than two weeks after announcing that it would revisit its April holding that strict liability and negligence claims asserted in Engle progeny suits are preempted by federal law, an en banc 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 vacated its Jan. 21 rehearing order in light of a recusal by Chief Circuit Judge Ed Carnes (Earl E. Graham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Faye Dale Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 2 granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement between shareholders and a pharmaceutical company and certain of its current and former officers and directors who are alleged to have misrepresented several stock transactions and "improper practices" in violation of federal securities law (In re Retrophin Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-8376, S.D. N.Y.).
RICHMOND, Va. - Unlawful debt collection class allegations against a company associated with tribal payday lender Western Sky Financial are not subject to arbitration because the arbitration agreement at issue impermissibly attempts to sidestep state and federal law in favor of tribal jurisdiction and, therefore, is invalid and unenforceable, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 2 in reversing a federal judge's ruling (James Hayes, et al. v. Delbert Services Corporation, Nos. 15-1170 and 15-1217, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1747).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge held Feb. 3 that an insurer is liable for the expenses that its insured paid in defending an underlying patent infringement action minus any "additional expenses" that would not have been incurred but for the presence of three other defendants, further finding that once the insured demonstrates prima facie proof of a particular expense, it is the insurer's burden to show that it was an "additional expense" that should be allocated and exempted (High Point Design LLC v. LM Insurance Corp., et al., No. 14-cv-7878, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12690).
MINNEAPOLIS - An association and a general contractor did not waive work product protection by providing documents to their testifying expert in an insurance coverage dispute involving allegations of defective construction and management of a housing development project, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Feb. 1 (James River Insurance Co. v. The Interlachen Propertyowners Association and Kuepers Construction, Inc., No. 14-3434, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12318).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 1 granted summary judgment for television companies on claims and counterclaims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement, finding that their use of the name "Empire" for a television series is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Twentieth Century Fox Television, et al., v. Empire Distribution Inc., No. 15-2158, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13013).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Jan. 31 awarded a disability claimant more than $40,000 in attorney fees because the claimant successfully proved that the insurer must reinstate her "own occupation" benefits (Sherry F. Robertson v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 14-1572, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12590).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge's recommendation that a request for attorney fees in a patent case should be denied was adopted in full Feb. 2 by U.S. Judge Anne C. Conway of the Middle District of Florida (Sweepstakes Patent Company v. Chase Burns, et al., No. 14-151, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12158).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 1 granted dismissal of the negligence claims in a suit over injuries sustained by a woman while she was getting off a moving chair lift at ski resort, agreeing with the defendant that the state's Premises Liability Act provides the sole grounds for relief (Carolyn S. Raup v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., No. 15-641, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11499).