LOS ANGELES - After finding that a borrower failed to submit any facts to support his claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a California federal judge on Feb. 16 granted a lender and loan servicer's motion to dismiss the complaint and declined to exercise jurisdiction of his California law claims (Keith Turner v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 17-7521, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27067).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 held that a consumer who claims that a tax preparation company, its franchisee and other entities manipulated tax returns and submitted them to the Internal Revenue Service without tax payers' consent has sufficiently alleged a theory of direct fraud by the franchisor and its subsidiary (Luis Lomeli v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., et al., No 17-02899, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27087).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. were denied discovery of certain privilege logs listing governmental communications over their proposed merger from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Feb. 20, when a District of Columbia federal judge found that the companies failed to establish evidence of the DOJ's selective enforcement of antitrust claims against them to justify such discovery (United States v. AT&T Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-02511, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27004).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 refused to dismiss a carwash customer's class action claims for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws, finding that a carwash owner's failure to disclose that its customers who declined to be signed up for a monthly service would automatically be signed up anyway was misleading and deceptive (Dan DeForest, et al. v. Pepper Tree Inc., et al., No. 17-02092, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26937).
PITTSBURGH - Two insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. are the only parties to object to the company's plan of reorganization, and the objections are more like "caveats" that should be resolved in time for the plan confirmation hearing, the insurers said Feb. 20 in an objection and a joinder filed in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A refinery company filed a notice of appeal on Feb. 20, indicating its intent to challenge an asbestos renal cancer verdict that left it liable for $133,072.23 (John M. Silva v. Albay Construction Co., et al., No. CGC-15-276384, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN DIEGO - A supplement maker's claim that clinical study results on Lipozene were derived from a "major university study" were false, according to a Feb. 21 ruling by a California federal judge, because the study was not affiliated with a university (Obesity Research Institute LLC v. Fiber Research International LLC, No. 15-595, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28025).
BOSTON - A panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court on Feb. 21 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a complaint in a medical malpractice suit in which a woman claimed that she was injured because of a botched surgery after finding that the statute of limitations to file the suit had expired (Julia Melanson, et al. v. David J. Swierzewski, No. 17-P-722, Mass. App., 2018 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 167).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 20 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs showed that the chemical company defendants have a duty to businesses within the area of contamination that have suffered economic losses as a result of the tainted aquifer (R.M. Bacon LLC v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 17-0441, N.D. N.Y.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26299).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 20 granted final approval to a settlement by a Florida casino to issue $15 or $30 settlement checks to fan club members to end a class complaint alleging that the casino charged excessive fees to those members who placed a winning buy bet in certain machines while playing craps (Daniel A. Brna, et al. v. Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., et al., No. 17-60144, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26662).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 20 vacated and remanded a case in which a veteran argues that he was injured by exposure to Agent Orange, saying she "cannot understand" why the Board of Veterans Appeals determined that there was no credible evidence that the plaintiff was exposed to the herbicide (Marc Kessler v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-3699, Vet. Clms.; 2018 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 181).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 20 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an armored car company's insurer has no duty to compensate a freight carrier and its insurer for the loss of a gold jewelry shipment that was transported by its insured (AXA Winterthur Insurance Co. v Transvalue, Inc., et al., No. 4132, 650507/11, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1154).
CHICAGO - Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. on Feb. 21 modified its plan of liquidation and disclosure statement to answer questions by three insurers whose $9.78 million settlement offer was rejected by the debtor and who filed the only objection to the disclosure statement in the Illinois federal bankruptcy court case (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
ATLANTA - A panel of the First Division Georgia Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 reversed a trial court order denying summary judgment to a store and its landlord in a premises liability suit after finding that a woman who was hit by a car knew about the danger of stepping in front of a moving car (Cherokee Main Street LLC v. Pamela J. Ragan, No. A17A1819, TJX Companies Inc. v. Pamela J. Ragan, No. A18A0025, Ga. App., 1st Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 74).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner who sued Google LLC over alleged misrepresentations about click fraud in its AdWords program, saw his claims of false advertising and unfair competition dismissed a second time Feb. 20, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff failed to plead the necessary economic injury to support his claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27111).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 20 denied the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's motion to stay proceedings in a suit over whether it failed to comply with its requirement under the Clean Water Act to approve or disapprove water quality standards submitted by the state, finding that nine environmental groups would be prejudiced by the delay (Riverkeeper Inc., et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-CV-4916, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26960).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that canceled all 79 patent claims as obvious was affirmed Feb. 20 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, marking a win for Google LLC and Motorola Mobility LLC (Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 16-1249, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4016).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - No confusion exists among the courts on the standard for evaluating punitive damages awards, and the one Crane Co. seeks in attempting to overturn a $10 million asbestos award is both self-serving and short-sighted, a woman told the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 20 (Crane Co. v. Jeanette G. Poage, No. 17-900, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The whistleblower anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 does not extend to individuals who report a securities law violation but do not report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 21 in narrowing the statute's definition of a whistleblower (Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Paul Somers, No. 16-1276, U.S. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - Two claimants allege in a Feb. 16 complaint filed in the New Jersey federal court that they are entitled to benefits from the New Jersey Property Liability Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) for injuries arising from a motor vehicle accident involving an unidentified motor vehicle owner and operator (Porfirio Torres, et al. v. New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 18-02290, D. N.J.).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 15 dismissed breach of implied warranty claims brought by three of four leading plaintiffs in a class action suit over allegedly faulty composite decking that prematurely swells and cracks, finding that the claims were untimely because they accrued at the time the plaintiffs discovered the defects (Anthony Pagliaroni, et al. v. Mastic Home Exteriors Inc., et al., No. 12-10164-DJC, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 250096).