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).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that litigation pending before Peruvian courts is outside the scope of its jurisdiction, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 23 released its decision refusing to stay litigation filed by the Peru Ministry of Energy and Mines (Bear Creek Mining Corp. v. Republic of Peru, No. ARB/14/21, ICSID).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division panel on June 23 ruled that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when granting RC Cape May Holdings LLC's application to renew its permit to operate a coal- and oil-powered steam electric-generating facility in June 2013, holding that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would require the company to construct a new cooling tower were not implemented until 2014 (In re: New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Number NJ0000544 Final Consolidated Renewal Permit Action, No. A-5840-12T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1514).
ST. LOUIS - There are issues of material fact regarding whether an insurer could comply with its contractual obligation to provide the replacement cost "for equivalent construction and use on the same premises," a Missouri appeals panel ruled June 23, finding that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the insurer (Deborah J. Alessi v. Mid-Century Insurance Company Inc., No. ED102261, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 679).
NEWARK, N.J. - After finding that a claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was time-barred and that it lacked jurisdiction over Truth in Lending Act (TILA) claims, a New Jersey federal judge on June 22 granted a bank's motion to dismiss (Loretta Thomas, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-871, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80863).
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).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After requesting and receiving supplemental briefs on the impact of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International (134 S. Ct. 2347 ), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 23 affirmed a California federal judge's dismissal of patent claims on 35 U.S. Code Section 101 grounds (Internet Patents Corporation v. Active Network Inc. et al., Nos. 14-1048, -1061, -1062, -1063, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10536).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia federal judge correctly granted myriad defendants summary judgment on copyright infringement allegations, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 23 (Humphreys & Partners Architects L.P. v. Lessard Design Inc., et al., No. 14-2030, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10566).
ST. LOUIS - A federal appeals panel on June 23 affirmed dismissal of an Aredia jaw injury case because the deceased plaintiff's widow failed to have a state probate court name her as personal representative of the estate (Jeanine Rapa, et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 14-3612, 8th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A pollution liability insurer has no duty to reimburse $241,392.87 to a commercial general liability insurer for costs incurred in defending underlying lawsuits arising out of damages from construction work, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 23, finding that the pollution liability policy was excess and did not apply until the primary coverage was exhausted (Gemini Insurance Co. v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. 13-16643, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10616).
NEW ORLEANS - China New Building Materials Group (CNBM Group), its subsidiaries and United Suntech Craft Inc. on June 22 moved to dismiss in the multidistrict litigation court in Louisiana lawsuits involving damage allegedly caused by Chinese-manufactured drywall, arguing that they are immune from liability under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (In re: Chinese Manufactured Drywall products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, Case No. 09-md-2047, E.D. La.).
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).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on June 23 appointed a special master to administer a master settlement agreement between a plaintiff law firm and Coviden LP in a pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation (In Re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2187, No. 10-md-2187, S.D. W.Va.).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Federal Express Co. (FedEx) worker suing for unpaid wages failed to prove that her claims brought on behalf of two proposed classes could be decided on a classwide basis, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 22, affirming the trial court's decision (Yvette Green, et al. v. Federal Express Corporation, No. 13-56093, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10500).
INDIANAPOLIS - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Indiana ruled June 18, because the lead plaintiff's securities fraud claims "are simply too vague and attenuated to withstand the heightened pleading requirements" (Eva and Harold Baron, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., et al., No. 13-2032, S.D. Ind.).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) asked the federal judge overseeing the multidistrict ignition-switch litigation June 18 to issue an order requiring that pretrial discovery be used solely for litigation purposes, arguing that one of plaintiffs' co-lead counsel has used discovery material to "garner sensational press coverage" of the litigation (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 18 affirmed dismissal of a putative class action of borrowers against a bank and related entities, rejecting their claims that they were entitled to equitable tolling based on a previous state court action that involved the same claims against the bank (Deanthony Thomas, et al. v. US Bank NA ND, et al., No. 14-2265, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10239).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 18 rejected an insurer's argument that a now-deceased plaintiff's deposition testimony should be excluded after determining that the insurer, which was not present when the depositions were held, was represented by the presence of its predecessor in interest at the depositions (Sally Gros Vedros, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., et al., No. 11-1198, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79219).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A defendant in a trade secrets and computer fraud lawsuit related to online automotive training courses failed to support its objections to discovery sought by the plaintiff, a Kansas federal judge ruled June 19, granting the plaintiff's motion to compel (U Incorporated v. ShipMate Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-02287, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79694).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 19 declined to stay remand of an asbestos case, saying the shipyard defendant lacked sufficient evidence of a causal nexus or the existence of a colorable federal contractor defense to warrant such a move (Mary Jane Wilde v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-30476, 5th Cir.).
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - After finding that no foreclosure proceedings have been filed and that certain claims asserted by borrowers were premature and unlikely to succeed on the merits, an Idaho federal judge on June 19 refused to grant a temporary restraining order barring lenders from pursuing a trustee's sale (Eamonn J. Anderson, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 2:15-CV-00198, D. Idaho; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80135).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reversing course, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 23 affirmed a final judgment of infringement entered by a Texas federal judge in a dispute over patented electronic ballasts (Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Universal Lighting Technologies Inc., No. 12-1014, Fed. Cir.).