ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 7 found that the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (FIRA) passed by Congress in 2012 does not reinstate coverage for a canceled flood insurance policy, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a lawsuit seeking coverage for homes destroyed by Missouri River flooding (Lyle & Alice Hodde, et al. v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, No. 15-1081, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4280).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's order compelling the production of communications held by Queen's University at Kingston with its non-attorney patent agents was ordered withdrawn March 7 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Queen's University at Kingston, No. 15-145, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4259).
CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation on March 7 reconsidered his prior preemption ruling and said plaintiffs may pursue their claims for fraud based on off-label promotion of the drugs (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., E. Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its March 7 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment a petition for certiorari by Apple Inc. in a lawsuit in which the technology giant was found guilty of violating the Sherman Act by conspiring with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books (e-books) (Apple Inc. v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-565, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted preliminary approval of a settlement in a securities class action lawsuit against a company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement meets all statutory requirements for settlement (In re Vocera Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-3567, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of breach of contract, bad faith and detrimental reliance claims in a dispute over whether an agreement between The City of New Orleans and a municipal bonds insurer obligated the insurer to retain its credit worthiness (New Orleans City v. Ambac Assurance Corp., et al., No. 15-30532, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3960).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A trial judge did not err in excluding a liability expert from testifying as to breach of duty and to causation in an employee's lawsuit filed under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S. Code Section 51 et seq. (2012), a Kansas appeals panel affirmed March 4 because the expert failed to provide specific examples of what an employer did wrong or could have done better (Jay E. Smart v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 113,809, Kan. App.; 2016 Kan. App. LEXIS 16).
FRESNO, Calif. - Having previously excluded an expert's report and testimony as to dollar figures of his aggregate damages analysis for rest break premiums, meal period premiums and underpaid meal premium classes for damages pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7, a California federal magistrate judge on March 2 precluded plaintiffs from eliciting testimony from the defendant's expert as to the damage estimates (Sandrika Medlock, et al. v. Taco Bell Corp., et al., No. 07-01314, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26350).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 3 denied eight motions to exclude various experts regarding liability and cleanup practices in environmental lawsuits between a town, county, water authority and General Electric Co. (GE) (Town of Halfmoon and County of Saratoga v. General Electric Co., No. 09-228; Saratoga County Water Authority v. General Electric Co., No. 11-6, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26888).
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - A mechanical engineer may testify in a products liability lawsuit on the technological feasibility of incorporating flesh detection technology, a Vermont federal judge ruled March 2; however, the engineer may not offer expert testimony regarding the cost of incorporating that technology (Roger Cote v. Robert Bosch Tool Corp., No. 14-202, D. Vt.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27484).
LOS ANGELES - Dismissal of the sole subject matter jurisdiction defendant and equitable factors require remand of an asbestos case so a state court can address a second defendant's pending dismissal motion, a federal judge in California held March 3 (Carmen Villanueva v. 3M Co., et al., No. 16-183, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27404).
INDIANAPOLIS - A 3-2 majority of the Indiana Supreme Court on March 2 struck down the state's 10-year statute of repose in asbestos products liability cases, finding that the statute unconstitutionally created disparate treatment of those injured by asbestos (Larry Myers and Loa Myers v. Crouse-Hinds, Division of Cooper Industries Inc.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose, No. 49S00-1502-MI-119, General Electric Co. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49S00-1501-MI-35, Owens-Illinois Inc. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49SS00-1501-MI-36, Ind. Sup.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Complaints about a plaintiff's alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional asbestos exposures involves perjury claims subject to a one-year limitations period, not fraud, a Kentucky court held in affirming dismissal March 4 (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Delores Ann Robertson, et al., No. 2013-CA-001546-MR, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 175).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court panel on March 3 found nothing "speculative or illogical" about "every exposure" testimony on which a $2 million asbestos verdict was built (Nickole Davis, as personal representative etc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. B256793, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 169).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 3 granted a motion to stay a reinsurance dispute pending a jurisdictional decision in a parallel case in another federal court (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-5528, E.D. Pa.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware judge on March 2 denied an insured's motion for reargument, rejecting the insured's argument that the excess policies' trigger clauses were not properly interpreted by the court (Motors Liquidation Co. DIP Lenders Trust v. Allianz Insurance Co., No. N11C-12-022 PRW, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2016 Del. Super. LEXIS 110).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 2 upheld a trial court's finding that a discount retailer's failure to accommodate a pregnant worker's lifting restrictions did not constitute disability discrimination or violate New Hampshire law (Nicole Lang v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., No. 15-1543, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3909).
LOS ANGELES - Allegations that Joseph 'Joey' Travolta, older brother of actor John Travolta, infringed a copyrighted written curriculum and program guide were rejected March 4 by a California federal judge (Dr. Alisa Wolf and Actors for Autism v. Joseph 'Joey' Travolta et al., No. 14-938, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28007).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on March 2 approved an "unprecedented" $940 million settlement of Native American tribes' 25-year-old class claims that the United States government underpaid tribes and tribal contractors to operate Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) programs (Ramah Navajo Chapter, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 90-957, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27624).
PITTSBURGH - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on March 3 recommended transferring a woman's lawsuit against the maker of an allegedly defective manufactured home and the company that installed it to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, ruling that she is not a resident of the forum where the case was removed to and that the injuries alleged in the suit occurred in the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Wendy Hench v. CMH Homes Inc., et al., No. 15-1227, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28016).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 7 turned away an appeal that posed the question of whether automobiles and other "useful items" are entitled to copyright protection (Mark Towle v. DC Comics, No. 15-943, U.S. Sup.).