WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that an Indian tribe's sovereign immunity bars a man's class action claims that the tribe violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) by printing identifying information on his credit card receipts will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20 declined to hear the man's challenge to the decision (Jeremy Meyers v. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, No. 16-745, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 affirmed a district court's judgment in favor of two banks, finding that a nonjudicial foreclosure of a property was not barred by a four-year statute of limitations (John Porterfield, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase, N.A., No. 16-50215, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4705).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on March 16 reversed a lower court's denial of a professional liability insurer's motion for summary judgment and its entry of a declaratory judgment in favor of the insured's estate in a coverage dispute erupting from an underlying malpractice claim (Admiral Insurance Co. v. Joseph Banasiak, No. 45A05-1604-PL-859, Ind. App., 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 127).
MARSHALL, Texas - Although a urologist's testimony on the inefficacy of natural and herbal remedies was barred in a patent infringement case over a drug's marketing, a Texas federal judge on March 17 allowed the urologist to testify as to the drug's marketing (Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep GbR v. Eli Lilly and Co., No. 15-1202, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38512).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not abuse her discretion in determining that a failed patent case by Bayer Cropscience AG was exceptional, thereby triggering an award of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded March 17 (Bayer Cropscience AG v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, No. 15-1854, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4723).
ATLANTA - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a third party's proposed jury instructions in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because the proposed instructions were not necessary "to correctly state the law," an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 17 in affirming (Douglas Stalley v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-14816, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4734).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 17 that it has awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Mich.
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri woman on March 17 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court, alleging that the company committed scientific fraud and is liable for her development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which was the result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Linda Crane v. Monsanto Co., No. 17-982, E.D. Mo.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia erred in finding that a physical therapist assistant's retaliation claim against his employer should be dismissed, finding that they were not subject to the False Claims Act's (FCA) first-to-file rule, a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled March 16, but affirmed the dismissal of his qui tam claims under the statute (United States of America, ex rel. Patrick Gerard Carson v. Manor Care, Inc., a./k/a Manor Care, Inc., et al., No. 16-1035, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4617).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a 7-1 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 rejected findings by a divided en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the equitable defense of laches remains available even when a claim for damages is brought within the six-year limitations period set forth in Section 286 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag and SCA Personal Care, Inc. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, et al., No. 15-927, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Section 3345(b)(1) of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) prevents any acting office for an office under this section from serving as a nominee and acting official, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 21 (National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., doing business as Southwest Ambulance, No. 15-1251, U.S. Sup.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. F070761, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
TYLER, Texas - A judge did not err in allowing a physician's testimony that a woman involved in a car accident needed "neurotomies, stem cell injections, and topical cream," a Texas appeals panel held March 15, because it was reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Jeremy Oney and Horizon Cable Service Inc. v. William Crist and Heather Crist, No. 12-16-00045-CV, Texas App., 12th Dist.; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2216).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A licensed mechanical and biomedical engineer relied on a sufficient methodology and factual basis to testify in support of proving that an accident scenario "is physically possible," a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 15, declining to exclude the testimony in a personal injury lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. (Yolanda Dennis v. Ernest Collins II, et al., No. 15-2410, W.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37614).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on March 16 found several state officials not liable for violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in the seizure of an organization's electronic records as part of an investigation, finding the relevant warrants to have been issued in compliance with the statute and deeming the officials entitled to immunity under the act (The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Inc. v. Francis Schmitz, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00539, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36796).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 16 found that an English insurer's removal of a former machinist's asbestos-related claims from a state court was appropriate, finding that the dispute could relate to an underlying arbitration agreement contained in an insurance policy (James Edward O'Connor v. Maritime Management Corp., et al., No. 16-16201, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37798).
MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on March 15 granted a rehabilitator's petition and set aside an earlier final order closing a rehabilitation in error and ordered that the rehabilitation proceeding be reopened (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Affirmative Insurance Company of Michigan, No. 15-898-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).
NEW YORK - The clerk of a federal court in New York on March 16 issued a certificate of default against a holding company that is allegedly responsible for obligations under certain facultative reinsurance contracts (Roger A. Sevigny, the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Hampshire, as Liquidator of The Home Insurance Company v. Trygvesta Forsikring A/S, as successor in interest to Skandinavia Insurance Company Ltd., Trygvesta Forsikring A/S v. Cerberus Holding Company, LLC., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Supreme Court on March 15 upheld the certification of a defendant class represented by the secretary of the State of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department and comprising individuals who have used or will use the water of two South Dakota lakes in a lawsuit filed by landowners whose property around the lakes was partially submerged in 1993 and who have claimed that the public has no right to access the water and ice over top of their property (Thad Duerre, et al. v. Kelly R. Hepler, et al., No. 27885, S.D. Sup., 2017 S.D. LEXIS 29).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's ruling as to an insurer's breach of contract and equitable claims in a dispute over professional liability insurance coverage (Charla Aldous, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Company, No. 16-10537, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4707).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on March 16 ordered the rehabilitation of a pair of insolvent insurers, noting that the insurers' directors had consented to the rehabilitation (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel., Jennifer Hammer, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance v .Public Service Insurance Company, an Illinois domestic stock insurance company, et al., No. 2017-CH-03790, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).