NEWARK, N.J. - Maritime law governs cases arising from dry dock work, and the bare metal defense bars the negligence and strict liability claims, a federal judge in New Jersey held June 24 (Kenneth T. Shearer and Barbara Shearer v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 13-5887, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81828).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge did not err in invalidating various claims of a reissue patent for obviousness-type double patenting, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 23 (G.D. Searle LLC and Pfizer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. v. Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., No. 14-1476, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10537).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Trial got under way in Florida state court on June 23 with opening statements in a suit alleging that a woman's death from lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases was caused by her addiction to cigarettes (John McCoy, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-025806 (19), Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
ATLANTA - Kidney dialysis clinic operator DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve a False Claims Act complaint that it wasted two drugs to bill federal health care programs for more money, the U.S. Justice Department announced June 24 (United States of America, ex rel. Alon J. Vainer, M.D., et al. v. DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., No. 07-2509, N.D. Ga.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on June 24 reinstated a condominium association's construction defects lawsuit against a number of subcontractors whose allegedly negligent work resulted in water infiltration and mold, finding that the association's lawsuit was timely and that the trial court judge erred in denying its request to file an amended complaint (Tower Crossing Condominium Association v. Prate Installations Inc., et al., No. 1-13-2920, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1394).
NEW YORK - A teacher who was denied tenure after three years of probation may proceed with racial discrimination claims, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 24, partially vacating a district court's summary judgment ruling for the principal and school district (Rickey L. Tolbert v. Richard Smith and Rochester City School District, No. 14-1012, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10656).
PHILADELPHIA - A group of 16 plaintiffs on June 23 asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania all suits stemming from the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia (In re Amtrak Train Derailment in Philadelphia, PA, on May 12, 2015, No. N/A, JPMDL)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s structure suggests the availability of tax subsidies in the federal exchange, and Congress could not have intended the state insurance market "death spirals" likely to result from barring such subsidies, a divided U.S. Supreme Court held June 25 (David King, et al. v. Sylvia Mathew Burwell, et al., No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A recent ruling upholding a $9 million punitive damages verdict in an Engle progeny case should be a factor in deciding whether an earlier order vacating an award of $20.76 million in punitive damages should be reconsidered, a Florida woman argues in a June 23 brief in a Florida federal court (Judith Berger v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 3:09-cv-14157-WGY-HTS, M.D. Fla.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 23 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured has properly shown that her bad faith claim does not "fall within the purview" of Pennsylvania's Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (Kerry Odgers v. Progressive Northern Insurance Co., No. 15-329, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80981).
NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because the lead plaintiff failed to properly plead scienter and failed to show that a number of his claims were subject to equitable tolling, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 23 (In re Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 14-2581, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10530).
LOS ANGELES - The putative class plaintiffs in a suit alleging that e-cigarette manufacturer NJOY Inc. misrepresented the health effects of using its products lack standing, NJOY told a federal judge June 22, opposing a motion for class certification (In re NJOY Inc. Consumer Class Action, No. 14-00428-MMM, consolidated with No. 14-00427-MMM, C.D. Calif.).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A federal judge in Arkansas on June 19 denied a motion to sequence class and merits discovery in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that staying discovery will lead to "further delays and complications" in the litigation (City of Pontiac General Employees' Retirement System v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 12-5162, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79392).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Three welders seeking unpaid wages failed to demonstrate that their proposed class should be certified, a split Kentucky Court of Appeals panel ruled June 19 (Richard Powell, et al. v. James Marine, Inc., et al., No. 2014-CA-001580-ME, Ky. App.; 2015 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 457).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on June 19 granted in part and denied in part a motion to stay a class wage suit brought against a pizza chain pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bouaphakeo v. Tyson Foods, Inc. (765 F.3d 791 [8th Cir. 2014]) (William Timothy Perrin, et al. v. Papa John's International, Inc., et al., No. 09-1335, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79543).
PHILADELPHIA - A man's omission in his bankruptcy filing of an asbestos action under an eight-year stay does not evidence bad faith, but the trustee still gets the first shot at prosecuting the since-reinstated claim, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held June 23 (Willard E. Bartel, administrator for James T. McQueen v. Charles Kurz & Company Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 11-30511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81387).
SEATTLE - An asbestos wrongful death action requires that a viable underlying claim exist at the time of the death, a divided Washington appeals court held June 22 (Judy R. Deggs, et al. v. Asbestos Corp. Limited, et al., Nos. 71297-7-1, 71550-0-1, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 1324).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court must weigh whether a premises owner owes a duty to protect household members from asbestos exposures and whether but-for or substantial-factor causation applies in multiple toxic exposure cases after receiving certified questions from a federal judge on June 22 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80404).
PASADENA, Calif. - In a June 23 unpublished per curiam opinion, a panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision granting class action status in a case accusing a dietary supplement manufacturer of misleading consumers in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) as to the effectiveness of its product, saying the decision did not support a determination that all class members received the same alleged misrepresentation (Arleen Cabral v. Supple, No. 13-55943, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10612).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 19 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the organizations responsible for sending faxed advertisements that allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Physicians Healthsource, Inc., et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 12-2132, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79712).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Because an administrative record fully supports a disability insurer's termination of long-term disability benefits, a Michigan federal judge on June 23 upheld the insurer's decision to terminate benefits (Kathy Hall v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 14-08, W.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80995).
ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on June 23 found that there are fact issues regarding the reasonableness of a $6 million settlement in an unsolicited fax ads transmission dispute, reversing and remanding a coverage dispute over the settlement (Stonecrafters Inc. v. Wholesale Life Insurance Brokerage Inc., et al., No. 2-14-0728, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1390).