SCRANTON, Pa. - The owner of 19 Pennsylvania restaurants may not appeal the rejection of its motion seeking to dismiss a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim brought by servers challenging the inclusion of expediters in the tip pool, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 6 (Matthew Ford, et al. v. Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group, Inc., No. 14-227, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108041).
BALTIMORE - After finding that U.S. general maritime law afforded a seaman causes of action against various shipping entities for unseaworthiness and negligence and that an arbiter's decision failed to address their accountability for maintenance and cure, a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 7 granted the seaman's petition to vacate the Philippine arbitration award (Potenciano L. Aggarao Jr. v. Mol Ship Management Co., Ltd., et al., No. 09-3106, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108692).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In light of evidence that a law firm and the adult entertainment firm that it purports to represent initiated a lawsuit and sought discovery related to Doe downloading defendants in bad faith, a Minnesota Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 4 upheld sanctions against them in the form of attorney fees (Guava LLC, et al. v. Spencer Merkel, et al., No. A13-2064, Minn. App.; 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 829).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Trial got under way Aug. 8 before Judge John Murphy of the Florida 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County with the plaintiff's opening statement in a suit by the family of a longtime smoker alleging that his death in March 2013 was caused by smoking cigarettes (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 affirmed dismissal of two plaintiffs' claims challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s individual mandate on privacy grounds, challenging a new Medicare payment advisory board as unconstitutional and challenging preemption of Arizona's Health Care Freedom Act as preempted by the ACA (Nick Coons, et al. v. Jacob L. Lew, et al., No. 13-15324, 9th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer is not responsible for penalty interest on the first $2 million paid to settle underlying lawsuits related to defective knee implants, further holding that the insurer is not entitled to a credit from its insured or another insurer for the amount it paid that was over and above the policy limits (Stryker Corp., et al. v. XL Insurance America, Nos. 13-1992, 13-1993, 13-1994, 6th Cir.).
DENVER - The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on Aug. 7 voted unanimously to withdraw its lawsuit against the City of Longmont, Colo., challenging the city's ordinance setting tough restrictions on hydraulic fracturing within the city's limits. The decision to drop the lawsuit came at the request of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is forming a task force to address fracking issues in the state (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, et al. v. City of Longmont, Colo., et al., No. 2012cv702, Colo. Dist., Boulder Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A man alleging that an insurance company violated California motor vehicle laws by not changing the title to a salvaged auto so it can be inspected and driven cannot use discovery to determine if a claim under the state unfair competition law (UCL) will allow him to meet the amount-in-controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction, a federal magistrate judge held Aug. 5 in dismissing the man's lawsuit (Manuel Quiroz, Jr. v. Praetorian Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-1652, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108389).
SALEM, Ore. - A trial judge correctly entered a garnishment judgment of $433,958.16 against a commercial general liability insurer for the unpaid amount of a homeowners association's judgment against an insured in an underlying construction defects case, an Oregon appeals panel affirmed Aug. 6; however, the panel reversed the attorney fee award (FountainCourt Homeowners' Association and FountainCourt Condominium Owners' Association v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. A147420, Ore. App.; 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1062).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to dismiss a class complaint over royalties for mineral interests, finding that the defendants failed to prove a lack of jurisdiction (Kevin Jeter, et al. v. Wild West Gas, LLC, et al., No. 12-411, N.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108894).
MIAMI - Absent a showing that an arrestee's cell phone contained evidence that was likely to be destroyed, a Florida appeals panel on Aug.6 held that credit card evidence obtained from the phone by arresting officers without a warrant was improperly admitted and should have been suppressed (Viervens Saint-Hilaire v. The State of Florida, No. 3D12-1730, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 12039).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A pro se plaintiff prevailed on appeal to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Aug. 7, winning remand of a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that dismissed his opposition to a trademark application for "Nightlife Television" (Michael J. Cutino v. Nightlife Media Inc., No. 13-1541, Fed. Cir.).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Although an insured's complaint states a bad faith claim that is plausible on its face, the bad faith allegations are vague enough to make a response by the defendant insurer difficult, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Aug. 5 (Henry Carlson Co. v. Arch Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-4133, D. S.D., Southern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106993).
SEATTLE - There is no substantial ground for difference of opinion involving a controlling issue of law regarding attorney fees in a coverage dispute for a construction defects case, a Washington federal judge held Aug. 6, denying a motion for interlocutory appeal (Century Surety Co. v. Belmont Seattle LLC, No. 12-823, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108500).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Discovery is necessary to determine when damages from allegedly defective windows manifested under insurance policies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 7 in an amended memorandum, also finding that an insured failed to plead sufficient damages to trigger excess and umbrella policies (Sapa Extrusions Inc. f/k/a Alcoa Extrusions Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2827, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108528).
PASADENA, Calif. - Homeowners' wrongful foreclosure claims against mortgage lenders, including a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the assignment of their home loan obligation to a securitized investment trust was void because it did not comply with the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA) governing the trust fail because the allegation is not plausible, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 6 (Paul Junod and Patricia Junod v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al., No. 12-55712, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15142).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Aug. 4 issued an order to show cause why the liquidation of Galaxy Insurance Co. should not be closed (In the Matter of Galaxy Insurance Co., No. 407611/94, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN DIEGO - General Motors LLC (GM) on Aug. 5 removed to federal court a suit filed by Orange County, Calif., alleging that the automaker concealed defects in its vehicles to avoid recalls (The People of the State of California, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 8:14-cv-01238-AG [RNBx] S.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Aug. 4 that a federal judge applied the wrong causation standard to claims by participants in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s 401(k) plan that the plan fiduciaries are monetarily liable for breaching their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act based on the removal of Nabisco stock from the plan following a spin-off (Richard G. Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, et al., No. 13-1360, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14924).
NEW YORK - The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Aug. 7 announced that it has published a statistical report, which shows New York as the most favored seat for ICC cases in the United States in 2013.
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 4 dismissed a bank's breach of contract claims related to representations and warranties made by a loan company in relation to the quality of mortgage loans, finding that the case was barred by a six-year statute of limitations (Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 13-6482, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106710).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly found no genuine issue of material fact that Lockheed Martin does not infringe two patents relating to a method for counting particles in gases or fluids and measuring their size, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 6 (Aleksandr Yufa v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, No. 14-1256, Fed. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that insureds failed to submit a timely proof of loss for their additional flood loss claim, a Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 6 granted the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute (Veola Banks v. State Farm Insurance Company and National Flood Insurance Program, No. 13-5655, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108282).