SAN FRANCISCO - A month after a hearing in California federal court at which Facebook Inc. sought dismissal of a lawsuit alleging privacy violations in its photo "Tag Suggestions" feature, the putative class plaintiffs on April 5 filed a statement of a recent Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that found a purported online contract to be invalid based on a website operator's failure to provide "reasonable notice" of a user's assent to the contract's terms (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A property management firm alleging bad faith for its insurer's denial of coverage under its policy's errors and omissions (E&O) provision saw some of its related discovery requests denied April 5 by an Alabama federal judge, who deemed the requests too broad and burdensome (Graham & Company LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 2:14-cv-02148, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45662).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on April 5 to enforce its earlier order confirming an arbitration award and direct an international insurer to pay the reinsurer more than $460,000 in fees and costs incurred in a different, but allegedly related, litigation (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on April 6 dismissed an insured's claims for bad faith and violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that Maryland law "does not recognize first party tort actions against insurers for failure to settle insurance claims" (Joe Gladney v. American Western Home Insurance Co., No. 15-1559, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46310).
BOSTON - Dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its current and former executive officers is proper, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled April 5, because shareholders failed to plead an actionable misstatement or omission and failed to plead scienter (William Kader v. Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 14-14318, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46025).
SAN DIEGO - In an opinion filed April 5, a California federal judge granted partial summary judgment to a hair dryer manufacturer in a class action alleging that one of its products is defective and causes fires (Cynthia L. Czuchaj, et al. v. Conair Corp., No 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46693).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on April 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer did not act in bad faith in handling a claim under a financial services liability insurance policy because the insurer engaged in a "robust analysis" through a law firm before denying the claim (James Morden, et al. v. XL Specialty Insurance, No. 14-0224, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42601).
NEWARK, N.J. - Lawyers and a company accused of destroying evidence of and misrepresenting the presence of asbestos in talc must face fraud and conspiracy claims, a federal judge in New Jersey held April 5 in denying several motions to dismiss (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on April 7 issued a verdict for a defendant tobacco company, finding that the deceased husband of a Florida woman died because of his addiction to cigarettes and not because of the particular brand of cigarettes he smoked (Patsy Davis v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2010-045478-CA-01. Fla. Cir., 11th Cir., Dade Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nine federal lawsuits alleging breach-of-warranty claims against Genentech Inc. for allegedly shorting vials of the breast cancer drug Herceptin were centralized April 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (In Re: Genentech Herceptin [Trastuzumab] Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2700, JPMDL).
CINCINNATI - An eyeglass company being sued for its advertising practices by a class of consumers properly removed the state case to federal court more than six months after the amended complaint was filed pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 6 (Elliott Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., No. 16-3167, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6266).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a case that returned to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals following what it deemed "an unusual set of circumstances," a divided appellate panel on April 7 found that a Florida federal judge abused his discretion in denying patent plaintiff Rembrandt Vision Technologies LP a new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (60)(b)(3) (Rembrandt Vision Technologies LP v. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., No. 15-1079, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6332).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - In an April 8 letter in New York federal court, the U.S. government confirmed that it still seeks an order requiring Apple Inc. to help it gain access to a locked iPhone seized from a drug trafficking suspect (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 5 granted the request of a Delaware company to annul the damages and costs sections of a $28.6 million award in its favor against the Republic of Guatemala because an ICSID tribunal denied its request for compensation for future losses (TECO Guatemala Holdings LLC v. Republic of Guatemala, No. ARB/10/23, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Twenty-nine federal lawsuits alleging that Viagra increased the risk of melanoma were centralized April 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In Re: Viagra [Sildenafil Citrate] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2691, JPMDL).
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on April 7 returned a defense verdict in favor of Abbott Laboratories Inc. in a False Claims Act lawsuit in which the company was accused to off-label promotion of its biliary stents for use in the vascular system (United State of America, ex rel. Kevin Colquitt v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., No. 06-1769, N.D. Texas).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC has come to a settlement with the plaintiff in the third bellwether trial against it, its attorneys say in an April 7 letter to the faulty ignition switch multidistrict judge (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Nadia Yingling v. General Motors LLC, No. 3:14-cv-00116. S.D. N.Y.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on April 5 held that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether an employment practices liability insurer's investigation of an unlawful discharge claim was reasonable, sufficient and/or properly conducted, allowing part of a claim that the insurer violated Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA) and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) to proceed (Teri Tucker v. American International Group Inc., et al., No. 09-1499, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46676).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Evidence of a conflicted company struggling with evolving knowledge about asbestos and mesothelioma cannot support a punitive damage claim, a federal judge in North Carolina held March 4 while permitting two other claims (Susan Elizabeth Smith, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc., et al., No. 14-943, M.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45100).
SAN FRANCISCO - For the second time, a band saw its claims against YouTube Inc. related to its removal of the band's music video from its video-sharing website dismissed by a California federal judge, who found that the band failed to plead sufficient facts to support its conspiracy, libel and fraud claims (Song fi Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 3:14-cv-05080, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45547).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 6 found that blunt wraps used to wrap homemade cigars are not subject to taxation because they are not legally considered "loose tobacco" under Florida law, reversing an assessment against a company that sold blunts in the state between 2009 and 2011 (Brandy's Products Inc. v. Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, No. 1D15-3101, Fla. App. 1st Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 5244).
SAN FRANCISCO - Because a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is only "tangentially related" to the administration of a disability plan, a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress alleged against a disability insurer is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a California federal judge said April 4 (John Kresich v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.,, No. 15-5801, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45503).
WASHINGTON D.C. - A panel of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on April 5 found that a case brought by a man seeking a permanent injunction from criminal or civil penalties under a federal anti-trafficking law for the third time is moot because the U.S. Justice Department has said it will not charge him for his past conduct (Robert Gordon v. Loretta E. Lynch, In Her Official Capacity as Attorney General of The United States, et al. No 15-5113. D.C. Cir. ;2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6175).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on April 6 sentenced a BP Exploration & Production Inc. supervisor who was on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to 10 months of probation for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), the U.S. Department of Justice announced (United States of America v. Robert Kaluza, No. 12-cr-00265, E.D. La.).