PHILADELPHIA - A medical expert opined that a woman's fatal disease arose from take-home exposures, but he never linked her specific exposures to the disease as required by the asbestos multidistrict litigation guidelines, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held in affirming dismissal of the case on Dec. 17 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [No. VI], Angie Smiddy, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., No. 13-4423, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23735).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A woman's request for a new trial fails because she made a tactical decision to forgo such relief after a defendant violated an evidence order, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 16 (Carol Holloway v. Sprinkmann Sons Corp. of Illinois, No. 4-13-1118, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Any evidence gleaned from deposing an asbestos trust representative would be cumulative of and more easily obtained through the trust's governing documents, a Rhode Island judge held Dec. 16 (Maureen Gallagher, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5269, Constance Podedworny, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5268, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174226).
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Department of Justice (DoJ) on Dec. 18 announced the establishment of an advisory committee, as a means of promoting Hong Kong as a leading center for international arbitration.
MADISON, Wis. - Efforts by Apple Inc. to defend itself from patent infringement allegations by claiming inequitable conduct by a patent owner were rejected Dec. 17 by a Wisconsin federal judge (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of the federal judges overseeing the class action multidistrict litigation filed by Ohio residents who contend that E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. is liable for wrongful death and other injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid on Dec. 17 denied the company's motion for partial summary judgment, finding that DuPont has contractually agreed to a finding of general causation (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, S.D. Ohio).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 15 denied requests filed by a gold mining company and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to correct alleged errors in a $740.3 million award issued in relation to the expropriation of a mining project (Gold Reserve Inc. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB[AF]/09/1, ICSID).
MIAMI - In a Dec. 15 ruling, a Florida federal judge denied a series of expert testimony challenges under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) in a copyright infringement lawsuit over a Spanish-language soap opera, finding that the parties' objections went to the weight of the experts' testimony and not to its admissibility (LaTele Television C.A. v. Telemundo Communications Group LLC, et al., No. 1:12-cv-22539, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172864).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on Dec. 17 ruled that a creditor who contends that a bankrupt company was guilty of contaminating groundwater in California by releasing volatile organic compounds was not entitled to relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay to pursue litigation in California (Orange County Water District v. The Fairchild Corp. [In Re: The Fairchild Corp.], No. 09-10899, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174022).
BATON ROUGE, La. - The federal judge presiding over a chemical exposure case in Louisiana on Dec. 17 denied a motion filed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. seeking to limit the testimony of plaintiffs' experts, which the company sought to limit on grounds of relevance (Jeffrey M. Simoneaux v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, No. 12-219, M.D. La.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal grand jury in the Southern District of West Virginia on Dec. 17 indicted Freedom Industries Inc. and six former officials over a spill that discharged 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) into the Elk River in January 2014, according to a filing in federal court (United States of America v. Freedom Industries Inc., et al., No. 14-cr-00275, S.D. W.Va.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 affirmed the dismissal of a property owner's complaint against a bank, but reversed the dismissal of his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Steven Thomason v. One West Bank, et al., No. 13-11987, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23565).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirming an examiner's refusal to reject various claims of two patents as anticipated or obvious was partly upheld Dec. 17 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (CSR PLC v. Skullcandy Inc., Nos. 14-1108, -1109, -1138, Fed. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge did not err in concluding that when a package or label contains an advertising claim and unambiguously defines a claim term, the packaging's definition of the claim term applies to the claim's explicit message, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 17 (Groupe SEB USA Inc. v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC, No. 14-2767, 3rd Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that statements allegedly made by a homeowner in relation to mold and water damage to her property were not admissible, a Missouri federal judge on Dec. 16 denied an insurer's request to amend its counterclaim to include a cause of action for fraudulent misrepresentation (Victoria Cento v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-85, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173170).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 15 denied a motion for reconsideration filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that they have failed to show how two Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decisions would change the outcome in the instant action (In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173088).