MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota appellate panel on Aug. 22 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling granting in part a homeowners association's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) finding that a developer could be liable for damages attributed to architectural defects in a building and reversed the portion of the judge's ruling denying the association's argument that the developer could also be liable for construction defects (650 North Main Association v. Frauenshuh Inc., et al., No. A15-1547, Minn. App., 2016 Minn. App. LEXIS 64).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Aug. 23 said a claim involving the failure of a drug maker to provide a medication guide for the heart drug amiodarone is not preempted under state law and that the plaintiffs can bring a negligence per se claim (Judy Marvin, et al. v. Zydus Pharmaceuticals [USA] Inc., et al., No 15-749, W.D. Wis.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 23 granted five defendants' motion to dismiss claims against them in a second amended class action complaint against 12 banks and their affiliates under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries or "parties in interest" (Doris Sue Allen, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 1:15cv4285, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112407).
BOSTON - The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing the fungal meningitis multidistrict litigation on Aug. 24 approved a Medicare lien settlement agreement even though the U.S. Justice Department is still considering whether to approve the pact (In Re: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2419, No. 13-md-2419, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 23 affirmed a lower court ruling that an arbitration provision by DNA testing company 23andMe Inc. is not unconscionable under California law (David Tompkins, et al. v. 23andMe, Inc., No. 14-16405, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15443).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 23 affirmed a woman's conviction on counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, holding that instructions provided to the jury were not confusing (United States of America v. Carmen Gonzalez, No. 13-15878, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15477).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Aug. 19 that another insurer has no right to intervene in a reinsurance dispute with the intention of challenging a motion to seal certain discovery documents (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - An insurer filed its opposition to a motion to intervene in a reinsurance arbitration dispute in a federal court in New York on Aug. 23, arguing that granting the intervention would undermine the purpose of arbitrating instead of litigating the underlying claims (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00374, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An employer may not condition employment on the requirement that an employee sign an agreement barring employees from coming together to file legal action over work-related claims, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 22, finding that the clause violates National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Section 7 (Stephen Morris, et al. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, et al., No. 13-16599, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An aircraft adhesives defendant lost its battle to stay an asbestos case and expedited hearing of its challenge to a remand order on Aug. 22, when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals discharged its order to show cause, denied the defendant's motion and sent the case to the merits panel (Velma Searcy v. 3M Co. and Hexcel Corp., No. 16-56034, 9th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 22 affirmed a disability insurer's denial of a long-term disability (LTD) claim on the basis that the claimant's lawsuit was not filed within the plan's contractual limitations period (Jeff Schmitz v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, No. 14-3701, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15319).
CINCINNATI - The majority of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 19 determined that remanding a disability retirement claim to the plan administrator was not an abuse of discretion because the remand remained within the purview of an earlier mandate issued by the Sixth Circuit (Kyle D. Kennard v. Means Industries Inc., No. 15-1872, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15308).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Rep. Todd Stephens on Aug. 22 issued a press release calling on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to sue the U.S. Navy in an effort to force it to clean up water systems in Montgomery County, Pa., which the representative says are contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from a Naval Air Station.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions that an Aventis Pharma S.A. patent is invalid as obvious under 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were rejected Aug. 23 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which turned away a petition for inter partes review by Mylan Inc. (Mylan Inc. v. Aventis Pharma S.A., No. IPR2016-00627, PTAB).
FRESNO, Calif. - An insurance company's motion for default judgment in a suit where it seeks to rescind a commercial insurance property policy issued to a man who claims that a warehouse he owned was robbed should be granted, a federal magistrate judge in California recommended Aug. 22, noting that state law requires insureds to provide truthful information on a policy application (United States Specialty Insurance Company v. Hussein Saleh, d/b/a 3 Hermanos Warehouses, No. 16-cv-00632-DAD-MJS, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111769).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 22 denied a motion for class certification filed by the plaintiff in a complaint over alleged unsolicited faxes and, in the same order, denied a motion for stay filed by the defendants as moot (True Health Chiropractic Inc., et al. v. McKesson Corporation, et al., No. 13-2219, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111657).
SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by Oracle Corp. to recoup attorney fees it incurred defending patent infringement allegations - and to have those fees assessed against counsel for the plaintiff under the vexatious litigation statute - were unsuccessful on Aug. 22, when a California federal judge disagreed that the case qualifies as "exceptional" under 35 U.S. Code Section 285 (Thought Inc. v. Oracle Corporation, No. 12-5601, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111661).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).
ABINGDON, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on Aug. 22 denied a motion to stay filed by a doctor who was found guilty of health care fraud, finding that her sentence should not be suspended pending her appeal because it does not raise substantial issues of law (United States of America v. Beth Palin, et al., No. 14-cr-23, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111225).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing in October on a request by Honeywell International Inc. for access to asbestos claimants' data in nine Chapter 11 cases, including W.R. Grace & Co.'s bankruptcy proceedings, and in the meantime will contact a retired judge about appointing her to referee the dispute, according to an Aug. 23 docket entry (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut Appellate Court in an opinion scheduled for Aug. 30 release reversed and remanded a judgment in favor of a woman who sued a hospital claiming that a doctor's negligence during surgery caused her to develop an infection after surgery because there was not enough evidence showing that the doctor directly worked for the hospital (Vivian Gagliano, et al. v. Advanced Specialty Care, et al., No. AC 37413, Conn. App.; 2016 Conn. App. LEXIS 337).
RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Aug. 22 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss third-party claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit but held that dismissal of the third parties' statutory bad faith claim is proper because such claims may not be brought by third parties under Nevada law (Troy and Paula Burley and Paul Ackerman and Judy Ackerman, as trustees of the Ackerman Family Trust, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No.15-0272, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111477).