HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals court on April 17 reissued and published an opinion affirming that a couple lacks evidence of exposure to asbestos from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining Inc., No. 1006 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 186).
MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin presiding over a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act lawsuit on April 16 ruled that expert witnesses for Northern States Power Co. can rely on deposition testimony from four deceased Ashland, Wis., residents to support their opinions, holding that any inconsistencies in the deposition testimony can be addressed during cross-examination (Northern States Power Company v. City of Ashland, Wisconsin, et al., No. 12-cv-602, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50022).
CHICAGO - A psychiatrist whose long-term disability benefits were discontinued by his insurer failed to properly raise any objections to the opinions of his insurer's expert witnesses, an Illinois federal judge found April 17, denying the insured's motions to exclude (Naseem M. Chaudhry, M.D. v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-05838, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49350).
LOS ANGELES - Three California residents on April 16 filed a class complaint against their former employer, American Apparel Inc., alleging that the clothing company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), the California WARN Act and California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., when it executed a mass layoff earlier in the month without 60 days' notice (Carlos Hirschberg, et al. v. American Apparel, Inc., et al., No. 15-2827, C.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Independent contractors who deliver furniture and provide installation services in New Jersey for Macy's Inc. and Home Delivery Link Inc. moved April 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to settle their wage claims for $2.8 million (Henry Badia, et al. v. Home Delivery Link, Inc., et al., No. 12-6920, D. N.J.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals court on April 17 affirmed a $4.8 million asbestos verdict, finding no need to offset the awards with settlements reached with nonparty defendants, rejecting the sophisticated user doctrine and finding that the judge properly excluded Crane Co.'s memory expert (Thomas Amato and Jean Amato v. Bell & Gossett, et al., No. 2344 EDA 2013, Charlotte Vinciguerra, et al. v. Bayer Cropscience Inc., No. 2388 EDA 2013, Pa. Super.; 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 189; 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 189).
ST. LOUIS - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri on April 17 announced that a federal judge in Missouri sentenced a podiatrist to 12 months and one day in prison for his role in submitting false documents and reimbursement claims to Medicare.
PHILADELPHIA - A dismissed graduate student's expert witness may testify as to her lost future earnings, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 16, finding a sufficient factual basis to the expert's report and denying a university's motion to exclude it (Amber Gordon v. La Salle University, No. 2:14-cv-03056, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50050).
CHICAGO - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced that a federal judge in Illinois on April 17 sentenced the owner of two home health care companies who pleaded guilty to submitting more than $20 million in fraudulent bills to Medicare to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay $23.3 million in restitution (United States of America v. Jacinto "John" Gabriel Jr., No. 11-cr-00054, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 15 denied an insurer's motion for reconsideration on the basis that the insurer failed to offer any new evidence or point to any changes in controlling law that would support reviewing the federal court's earlier decision in favor of a reinsurer (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-06577, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50236).
PHILADELPHIA - Negligence and strict liability claims involve an employer's duty to provide a safe workspace under Pennsylvania law and would not require interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement, the federal judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held April 15 in remanding the case (Rita G. Stellar, et al. v. Allied Signal Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 14-5083, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50066).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 15 upheld in part and vacated in part a permanent injunction issued in a class complaint brought against the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and the sheriff alleging a widespread policy of racially profiling Latino drivers and passengers (Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Joseph M. Arpaio, et al., Nos. 13-16285 and 13-17238, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6110).
CHICAGO - The Coca-Cola Co. properly won summary judgment on allegations that it infringed the "Naturally Zero" trademark when using "Zero" in connection with various diet soft drinks, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 (Mirza N. Baig v. The Coca-Cola Co., No. 14-3328, 7th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 declined review of the conviction of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Director Rajat K. Gupta on criminal charges stemming from his role in a massive insider trading scheme (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-cr-0907, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri state court jury on April 17 returned a defense verdict in a Zoloft birth defect trial said by the parties to be the first trial of its kind in the nation (Kristyn Pesante, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 122-CCO-2441-01, Mo. Cir., St. Louis City.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on April 17 refused a company's request for discovery in an arbitration with the Panama Canal Authority in relation to a canal expansion project, finding that the statutory requirements of 28 U.S. Code Section 1782 were not met (In re Application of Grupo Unidos Por El Canal, S.A., No. 14-mc-00226, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50910).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A private military contractor sued by residents of Ecuador for allegedly causing personal injuries as a result of spraying herbicides on April 17 filed a brief contending that the plaintiffs' nuisance claim is contrary to the law of the District of Columbia and that they cannot establish battery or intentional infliction of emotional distress (Venancia Aguasanta Arias, et al. v. DynCorp, No. 01-01908, and Nestor Ermogenes Arroyo Quinteros, et al. v. DynCorp, No. 07-01042, D. D.C. [consolidated]).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trademark examiner and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board properly rejected an application for "Nopalea" for nutritional supplements containing nopal juice on grounds that the mark is descriptive, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 17 (In re: TriVita Inc., No. 14-1383, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6301).