NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 17 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a company has properly pleaded its claims against a majority of the defendants in the action (Jorgensen & Co. v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59108).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a federal judge's grant of summary judgment to the makers of a rifle because the product defect suit against them was time-barred by the Texas Statute of Repose (Edward Burdett v. Remington Arms Company LLC, et al., No. 16-11216, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6745).
TAMPA, Fla - An insured's bad faith claim is based on his insurer's alleged breach of its fiduciary duty to him and is, thus, subject to a four-year statute of limitations, a federal judge in Florida ruled April 18 in granting the insurer' motion to dismiss (Waldermar Baranowski v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-301, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5885).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal magistrate judge in Oregon on April 18 recommending denying Monsanto Co.'s motion to dismiss product liability claims brought by the Port of Portland, over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination, finding that the plaintiff does not clearly state when it discovered the injury (Port of Portland v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 17-15, D. Ore.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 18 issued an opinion finding that a class complaint over the legitimacy of a university's online-only program belongs in federal, not state, court and then dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding that it was time-barred (Brice Bradford, et al. v. The George Washington University, No. 16-858, D. D. C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58590).
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a case in which a group of residents sued Tronox Inc. contending that they had been harmed as a result of exposure to wood treated with creosote at the company's plant in Pennsylvania (Avoca Plaintiffs v. Kerr-McGee Corporation; In Re: Tronox Inc., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on April 19 affirmed a $55 million verdict in a product liability suit in which a man claimed that he became a quadriplegic because the seat belt he was wearing during a car crash did not protect him (American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Carlos Martinez, et al., No. 445 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 271).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 rejected insureds' argument that an insurer acted in bad faith by unreasonably delaying an appraisal and by failing to conduct an adequate claim investigation, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Hayes Family Trust, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty, No. 15-6231, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6713).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 17 ruled against insurers in a lawsuit seeking indemnification from them for claims stemming from Bear Stearns' settlement of Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) regulatory proceedings and private litigation over claims that it facilitated customers' deceptive market timing and late trading activities (J.P. Morgan Securities, et al. v. Vigilant Insurance, et al., No. 600979/2009, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1381).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Audio products and electronic systems manufacturer Harman International Industries Inc. will pay more than $28 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former executive officers concealed issues with the company's line of personal navigation devices (PND) in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed April 19 in the District of Columbia federal court (In re Harman International Industries Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-1757, D. D.C.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 affirmed a district court's ruling that a disability insurer did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying a claim for disability life insurance benefits because the disability life insurance benefit was not in the disability plan that was effective when the claimant became disabled (James B. Sumpter v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-2012, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6552).
CLEVELAND - Ohio's Supreme Court on April 19 agreed to wade into a dispute over the admissibility of expert causation testimony in an asbestos case, according to its docket (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 103377, Ohio Sup.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal jury on April 14 entered an almost $8 million verdict against a company that supplied pomegranate seeds contaminated with hepatitis A after determining that the plaintiffs proved that the company was the source of the contaminated seeds (Townsend Farms Inc. v. Goknur Gida Maddeleri Enerji Imalat Ithalat Ihracat Ticaret ve Sanayi A.S. et al., No. 15-837, C.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An expert did not offer any developed damages theory relating to International Business Machines Corp.'s (IBM) use of its website, and there were "serious methodological and reliability problems" in his assumptions, a Delaware federal judge held April 17, excluding testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 13-2072, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58394).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A company being sued by a North Carolina man who contends that he contracted cancer as a result of groundwater contamination for which the man says the company is liable on April 17 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court, arguing that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs cannot show causation (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 14-48, W.D. N.C.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 mostly granted a satellite phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging "click fraud" brought by a competitor, finding claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and related state law insufficiently pleaded (Satmodo LLC v. Whenever Communications LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00192, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57719).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 17 unsealed a two-week-old order certifying a class of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) employees who invested in any of its stable value funds during 2009 and 2010, saying he found evidence of a possible causal link between alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and the underperformance of the funds (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 1:12-cv-2548, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A group of New Jersey residents on April 16 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court contending that their complaint against a refining company alleging contamination from heavy metals asserts valid claims (Juan Duarte, et al. v. United States Metal Refining Company, No. 17-1624, D. N.J.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 17 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with a patent examiner that 20 claims of a patented system and method for detecting and nullifying the effects of computer viruses do not pass muster under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (Ex parte Intellectual Ventures I LLC, No. 2017-000054, PTAB).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A disability claimant is entitled to more than $40,000 in attorney fees because the claimant achieved some success on the merits as her claim for benefits was remanded to the plan administrator, a Connecticut federal judge said April 14 (Jennifer Dwinnell v. Federal Express Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1439, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57828).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 dismissed a borrower's complaint asserting causes of action for wrongful foreclosure and violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) after he failed to litigate the case or follow a previous order of the court (Hans D'Oleire v. Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., et al.,No. 3:16-cv-02520, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57717).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A fertilizer company's discovery requests in a subpoena of the owner of a competitor in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit seek irrelevant information and create an undue burden on the owner, a federal magistrate judge in Iowa ruled April 17 in granting the owner's motion to quash (Nachurs Alpine Solutions Corp., f/k/a Na-Churs Plant Food Co., v. Nutra-Flo Co., et al., No. 15-4015, N.D. Iowa, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58094).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on April 17 ordered the United States to pay the parents of a child who developed brain damage following delivery $33.8 million after finding it responsible for the negligence of a doctor who was employed by a federally funded clinic (Marla Dixon, et al. v. United States of America, No. 15-23502, S.D. Fla.).