NEWARK, N.J. - Discovery into underlying asbestos claims is not warranted in a class action alleging that a talc company destroyed evidence relevant to asbestos claims because the case involves the scheme to protect the company from liability, not the tort actions, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 9 granted preliminary approval of a $165 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and certain underwriters of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) alleged to have taken part in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the underwriting standards they used in the offering documents for a series of MBS (New Jersey Health Fund v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, et al., No. 08-5310, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - An expert who believes that Newton's Third Law, every action has an equal or opposite reaction, caused a rubber mallet used as part of an amusement park game to strike a man in the face is reliable and should not be precluded from admission, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled May 8 (Jonathon Crowley, et al. v. Six Flags Great Adventure, et al., No. 14-cv-2433-BRM-TJB, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69703).
NEWARK, N.J. - A dispute among several companies, including former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc., over who should pay for the cleanup of a 26-acre polluted industrial site in New Jersey does not belong in federal bankruptcy court, a federal judge ruled May 5 in agreeing to remand the case to state court (G-I Holdings Inc., et al. v. Ashland Inc., et al., No. 17-0077, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on May 4 unanimously affirmed a trial court's finding that a chiropractor and attorney who promoted a scheme that encouraged the creation of medical practices that were operated by doctors with a limited scope of practice violated the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA), overruling an appellate court's decision that there was not enough evidence to support such a finding (Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Northfield Medical Center, P.C., et al., No. A-27 September Term 2015, 076069, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 431).
NEWARK, N.J. - Two lawsuits stemming from contamination at a site formerly owned by Aluminum Corporation of America, A.P. (Alcoa) were consolidated for discovery purposes by a federal judge in New Jersey on May 3 because the judge found that the suits shared common issues of fact and because consolidation would benefit judicial economy (Borough of Edgewater v. Waterside Construction, LLC, et al., No. 14-5060, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67976).
TRENTON, N.J. - Purchasers of cedar shingles that allegedly cup and curl due to water retention asked a federal judge in New Jersey on May 3 to stay proceedings pending their appeal of a March 28 decision denying their motion for class certification and striking testimony from an expert (Ilene Stern, et al. v. Maibec, Inc., No. 11-3951, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel on May 1 rejected a tool manufacturer insured's argument that its insurance broker breached a duty to provide additional flood quotes for its Harrison, N.J., commercial facilities, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the broker in a dispute arising from Superstorm Sandy flood damage (C.S. Osborne & Co., Inc. v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. A-2182-15T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1051).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on May 1 declined to decide a request by former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc. to enforce its reorganization plan injunction to bar indemnification claims for cleanup of a polluted industrial site, saying G-I's appeal of a remand order in the dispute deprives her of jurisdiction (In re: G-I Holdings, Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1194).
NEWARK, N.J. - Class counsel's failure to comply with basic discovery obligations requires imposing sanctions and an order mandating compliance, a company accused of hiding and destroying evidence of asbestos-contamination of its talc 25-years ago told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 1. Meanwhile, the parties continue to battle over whether third-party attorneys and firms must turn over evidence relating to the underlying asbestos tort claims (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on May 1 limited the testimony of a robbery defendant's expert on eyewitness identification so that the expert's testimony will assist, not impinge upon, the jury's fact-finding role (United States of America v. Gregory A. Jones, No. 16-516, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65721).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey federal judge's conclusion that a patent was not invalid because a 2011 statute changed the relevant standard for a commercial offer for sale was reversed May 1 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., Nos. 16-1284, -1787, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7650).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 28 affirmed a man's conviction and order to pay $3.8 million in restitution for violating the Anti-Kickback Act when bidding for work to clean up a Superfund site in New Jersey, holding that the evidence presented by the government was sufficient to support the jury's verdict and that the judge did not err when calculating the restitution amount (United States of America v. John A. Bennett, No. 16-3405, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7615).
TRENTON, N.J. - Ten years after its first trial and seven after its second, a New Jersey appeals court panel on May 2 sent an Accutane bowel injury case back for a new trial, saying that intervening Alabama case law requires that defendant Hoffman-La Roche Inc. not be limited on how many experts it can present and the prescribing dermatologist must be asked if a different warning about the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) would change her decision to prescribe (Andrew McCarrell v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc., et al., No. A-4481-12T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
NEWARK, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division created a "bright-line" rule April 27 that forbids expert witnesses from presenting an opinion in a civil personal injury case heard by a jury on the concepts of symptom magnification and malingering in an attempt to impeach a party's credibility (Alexandra Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. A-4137-14T3, N.J. Super. App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 56).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 26 denied a motion by generic drug maker Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. to dismiss a False Claims Act lawsuit in which two pharmacists accuse the company of inflating wholesale drug prices (United States of America ex rel. Azam Rahimi, et al. v. Zydus Pharmaceuticals [USA], Inc., et al., No. 15-6536, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63401).
NEWARK, N.J. - After an appeals court revived a putative class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the theft of laptops containing policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII), an insurer on April 21 filed a renewed dismissal motion in New Jersey federal court, arguing that statute governs actions of credit-reporting agencies, not health insurance providers (In Re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation, No. 2:13-CV-07418, D. N.J.).