WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it concluded that Department of Veterans Affairs nurses seeking unpaid overtime pay must show that the overtime was officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 15 (Stephanie Mercier, et al. v. United States, No. 2014-5074, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8003).
COVINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky federal judge overseeing the Darvon/Darvocet/propoxyphene multidistrict litigation on May 15 for the second time suggested that seven cases be remanded to California state court because there are no class action implications, no fraudulent joinder of nondiverse defendants and no federal question (In Re: Darvocet, Darvon, and Propoxyphene Products Liability Litigation, No. 11-2226, E.D. Ky., Northern Div. at Covington; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63704).
NEW YORK - Defendants' request for a stay of asbestos litigation during formulation of a new case management order ignores their own hand in the current order and the "extreme prejudice" and harm plaintiffs and the court system face from a stay, asbestos plaintiffs told a New York justice on May 14 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/1988, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 denied a denture cream plaintiff's request to review whether epidemiological studies are a precondition for an expert causation opinion (Marianne Chapman, et vir. v. Proctor & Gamble Distributing LLC, et al., No. 14-958, U.S. Sup.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas state court judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to the builder of a woman's custom home was affirmed May 14 by a state appellate panel, which found that the plaintiff did not sufficiently support her argument that the defendant company was estopped from raising the statute of limitation defense (Maria Perez-Montes v. Live Oak Construction Inc., No. 13-13-00674-CV-, Texas App.; 13th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 4864).
MACON, Ga. - The mere possibility that insureds could suffer future injury if their townhouse is damaged in the future is not enough to establish a justiciable controversy regarding coverage for diminished value, a Georgia federal judge said May 14 in denying the insureds' motion for class certification (John Thompson et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-32, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63113).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey legislator on May 13 sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey renewing his call for a criminal investigation into the train derailment that spilled vinyl chloride into the Mantua Creek in 2012 (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter filed May 15, the U.S. government defendants in a lawsuit regarding the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) advised the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of a recent ruling in which the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found "no reasonable expectation of privacy in telephone metadata" (Larry Elliott Klayman, et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama, et al., No. 14-5004, 14-5005, 14-5016, 14-5017, D.C. Cir.).
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on May 14 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, concluding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's claim for subrogation was dismissed but that its claim for potential violation of state statutes could not be dismissed at this time (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14 Civ. 6228, S.D. N.Y).
CHICAGO - An insured is precluded from relitigating its right to a defense by its commercial general liability insurer in an underlying faulty workmanship lawsuit, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 15, finding that a previous lawsuit decided that the insured provided untimely notice that prejudiced the insurer (QBE Insurance Corp. v. Barrier Corp., No. 14-9512, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63801).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 15 vacated an earlier decision awarding partial summary judgment to the installer of structural insulated panels (SIPs) on a roof, after finding that the plaintiff presented new evidence to establish a claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) that his home sustained water intrusion as a result of the deficient installation of the panels (Gary Gadley v. Jerry Ellis, et al., No. 13-17, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63914).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 14 affirmed a federal judge in Texas' ruling awarding summary judgment to Home Depot and CitiBank, finding that the judge did not err in finding that a woman's claims that the defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices (DTPA) when she purchased 20-year shingles rather than 30-year shingles were untimely (Raquel Viduarri v. Home Depot, et al., No. 14-41938, 5th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - The majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 14 determined that a disability insurer arbitrarily and capriciously denied a claim for "any occupation" long-term disability benefits because the insurer disregarded reliable medical evidence in support of the claimant's disability (Samuel Niswonger v. PNC Bank Corp. and Affiliates Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 13-4282, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8076).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 vacated a $7,120 sanction entered against a former physician accused of trademark infringement (American Board of Surgery Inc. v. Keith A. Lasko, et al., No. 14-1785, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8031).
NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 denied review in the last pending "failure-to-update-warnings" preemption appeal by generic drug manufacturers (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., et al. v. Paul E. Hassett, No. 14-705, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 agreed to hear the appeal filed in a lawsuit against a company allegedly responsible for instructing or allowing a third-party vendor to send unsolicited text messages on behalf of the U.S. Navy (Campbell-Ewald Company v. Jose Gomez, No. 14-857, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 denied certiorari in a case in which a former maker of lead-based paint had argued that Wisconsin's risk-contribution theory violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution "by eliminating any meaningful causation requirement" (American Cyanamid Company v. Ernest Gibson, No. 14-0849, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion on May 18 that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries' initial selection of plan investments without considering "the contours of the alleged breach of fiduciary duty" under trust law (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 13-550, U.S. Sup.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on May 13 dismissed with leave to amend a plaintiff's class action complaint, which includes state unfair competition law claims (UCL), accusing a supplement maker of falsely labeling a male enhancement supplement because it does not produce the promised effects (Ryan Vigil v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 15-79, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63506).
ST. LOUIS - An insurer was prejudiced by an insured's delay in filing its notice of loss with regard to alleged defective workmanship in a roof, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed May 14 (8865 North Cove v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-4086, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7938).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire federal judge on May 14 denied summary judgment in a Medtronic Xomed Inc. shunt case, finding that the plaintiffs' expert and fact witnesses are admissible, at least for now (Celeste Wood, et al. v. Medtronic Xomed Inc., No. 13-90, D. N.H.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63300).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on May 14 ruled that some of HESI's experts needed to disclose to the plaintiffs what is referred to as "testifying expert considered materials" (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63223).
ST. LOUIS - The federal judge in Missouri presiding over a lawsuit in which a resident contends that he suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to radioactive material related to the Manhattan Engineering Project near the St. Louis Airport issued a discovery order on May 13 to resolve a longstanding dispute over the production of documents (Scott D. McClurg, et al. v. MI Holdings Inc., et al., No. 12-361 [consolidated], E.D. Mo.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which was sued by plaintiffs alleging personal injury and wrongful death in connection with a spill of perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C-8), on May 15 filed 33 answers to individual plaintiffs - which followed a boilerplate format - contending that they are barred from obtaining relief due to a prior class action settlement (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).