NEW YORK - Nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster's Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 in order to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employee alleges in a class action complaint filed May 8 in federal court in New York (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15 CV 3608, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - In response to a joint motion by the parties in a consolidated class action brought by former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. related to the company's recent data breach, a California federal judge on April 28 submitted the matter to private mediation (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Louisiana federal judge's decision to treble a jury's damage award in a patent case was vacated April 29 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in light of the panel's rejection of the jury's determination of willful infringement (Innovention Toys LLC v. MGA Entertainment Inc. et al., No. 14-1731, Fed. Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., the movie studio behind the hit horror film "Cabin in the Woods," was accused of copyright infringement on April 13 in California federal court (Peter Gallagher v. Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. et al., No. 15-2739, C.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge must resolve a pending motion for findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52 before a trademark infringement plaintiff may appeal an adverse jury verdict, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 6 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp. v. Karaoke Kandy Store Inc., et al., No. 13-4105, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5473).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge properly found that plaintiff Sandshaker Lounge and Package Store LLC had no protectable rights in the "bushwacker" trademark because it is "a generic term for a chocolaty frozen drink containing rum and coffee liqueur," the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 19 (Sandshaker Lounge and Package Store LLC v. Quietwater Entertainment Inc., No. 14-14481, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4419).
ATLANTA - Finding that a commercial general liability insurer failed to demonstrate the existence of a mutual mistake, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 affirmed a lower federal court's refusal to reform the policy to include "restaurant and bars" and "assault and battery sublimit" endorsements (Essex Insurance Co. v. Tina Marie Entertainment LLC, d/b/a Scene Premium Night Club, No. 14-11861, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2277).
LOS ANGELES - Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. on Feb. 9 filed motions to dismiss seven putative class actions brought against it in California federal court by former employees asserting negligence by the entertainment giant related to a recent breach of its computer network that compromised the employees' personal identifying information (PII) (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI - Meal periods during which casino security guards remain on site and monitor their radios in case of an emergency are not compensable, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 7 (Angelia Ruffin, et al. v. MotorCity Casino, d/b/a Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C., No. 14-1444, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 236).
LOS ANGELES - Two former employees filed a putative class complaint against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in California federal court Dec. 15, asserting that the entertainment giant was negligent in its cyber security, which led to the recent breach of Sony's computer network and the compromising of the personal identifying information (PII) of thousands of past and present employees (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 14, ruling on pretrial motions, ordered the employers of adult entertainers to pay more than $10.8 million in damages for various violations of federal and state wage laws (Sabrina Hart, et al. v. Rick's Cabaret International, Inc., et al., No. 09-3043, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160264).
GREENBELT, Md. - Despite a downloading defendant's claims that an adult entertainment firm used its copyright infringement complaint as a means of extorting settlements, a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 27 granted the plaintiff firm's motion for voluntary dismissal and denied the defendant's summary judgment motion, finding that the defendant's "interests are well-served" by a dismissal with prejudice (Metro Media Entertainment LLC v. Richard Steinruck, No. 8:12-cv-00347, D. Md.).
CHICAGO - Upholding a trial court's dismissal of a software firm's trademark claims based on the use of a similarly named fictitious program within a Batman motion picture, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 14 deemed the claims to be implausible and without any evidence of likelihood of confusion (Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., No. 13-2337, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15609).
CHICAGO - An adult entertainment company's failure to provide details of its payment agreement with an investigations firm, which identified a John Doe defendant as an alleged infringer, was not inadvertent, an Illinois federal magistrate held Aug. 12, granting the Doe's motion for sanctions for failure to comply with the court's discovery order (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:13-cv-06312, N.D. Ill.).
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).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 10 ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement was met and denied a motion requesting that he remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by employees of a family restaurant and fun center chain (Franchesca Ford, et al. v. CEC Entertainment, Inc., et al., No. 14-1420, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94059).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 4 found that an adult entertainment firm chose "to air its laundry for strategic reason" in a motion for a protective order in a copyright infringement case against an alleged file sharer, leading the judge to mostly deny the firm's motion to seal in favor of "the public's presumptive right of access" to court records (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:13-cv-06312, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75718).