NEW YORK - An environmental group on Oct. 12 filed a brief in New York federal court seeking a summary judgment ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly missing a deadline to propose final regulations for perchlorate in drinking water pursuant to Congress' instructions in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-1251, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 11 that four companies have agreed to pay $3.5 million for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of releases of hazardous pollutants at two oil- and chemical-processing facilities in Texas.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In several petitions for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Oct. 11, Apple Inc. attacked the validity of a patent covering digital emulation (Petition for Inter Partes Review of U.S. patent No. 6,470,399, No. IPR2016-01839, PTAB).
SALT LAKE CITY - A declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of noninfringement and invalidity with regard to two utility patents was partly dismissed Oct. 12 by a Utah federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (The Beer Barrel LLC v. Deep Wood Brew Products LLC, et al., No. 16-440, D. Utah.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141495).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana federal judge on Oct. 11 denied a disability claimant's motion to remand a suit to Montana state court on the basis that jurisdiction in federal court is proper and none of the relevant factors weighs in favor of remanding the suit (Philip Cardan v. New York Life Insurance Co., No. 16-102, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140731).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 12 granted a reinsurer's motion to dismiss in an asbestos coverage suit on the basis that the California federal court lacks jurisdiction over the reinsurer whose headquarters are based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (The American Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 16-3044, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141467).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge, in a decision filed Oct. 11, certified a class of participants who filed a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against a mutual insurance company for allegedly using premiums it obtained through payments made by them for health care coverage to enrich itself, saying that the plaintiffs satisfied all of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 requirements for certification and that a class action is superior to all other methods of adjudicating the action (Susan Priddy, et al. v. Health Care Services Corp., No. 14-3360, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140414).
ST. LOUIS - A motor carrier that requires its truck drivers with body mass indexes (BMIs) of 35 or greater to undergo tests to determine whether they had obstructive sleep apnea is not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 12 (Robert J. Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation, No. 16-1371, 8th Cir. 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18374).
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A New Jersey state court judge on Oct. 12 dismissed with prejudice 102 Accutane bowel injury cases because prescribing physicians in the 11-year-old litigation are deceased or cannot be located to testify that a different warning would have changed their decision to prescribe the acne drug (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 271, N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 11 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion by Acting U.S. Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn to participate in upcoming oral arguments over what the appropriate sanctions are when a private qui tam lawsuit plaintiff violates a seal order under the False Claims Act (FCA) (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6149).
DETROIT - A college professor may testify to the cause of damage from winter conditions to two golf courses he examined but not to a third, which he did not, a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 11 (Bloomfield Hills Country Club, et al. v. The Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-11290, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140449).
NEW ORLEANS - Studies conducted in a more confined environment than the workplace in question are admissible because such evidence need not fit the facts of the case precisely under Daubert, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 11 in largely declining to reject an asbestos expert's testimony (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La.).
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a state court lawsuit against The Cutler Group, doing business as The David Cutler Group, on Oct. 6, claiming that defects in homes built by the company caused water infiltration that resulted in damages such as rot, mold and decay (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. The Cutler Group Inc., d/b/a The David Cutler Group, No. 16-23891, Pa. Comm. Pls., Montgomery Co.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by several petitioners that a bi-directional communications system patent owned by Sony Corp. is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were turned away Oct. 7 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ARRIS International PLC, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2016-00828, PTAB).
HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 7 found that genuine issues of fact exist as to whether a company and its owners violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and certain employment laws, refusing to grant summary judgment on claims asserted against it in relation to an underlying purchase agreement (HTK Hawaii Inc. v. Kevin Sun, et al., No. 15-00114, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140151).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A nonprofit organization seeking to stop alleged activities that involve the ritual killing of chickens on Oct. 7 filed its response to an order to show cause as to why its claims in a California federal court should not be dismissed, arguing that it has standing to sue under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, et al., No. 16-01810, C.D. Calif.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The termination of a claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits was reasonable based on the evidence considered by the disability plan prior to terminating benefits, an Arkansas federal judge said Oct. 7 (Evelyn Thompson v. ConAgra Foods Inc., et al., No. 14-41, E.D. Ark.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140149).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Oct. 10 moved in Ohio federal court to bifurcate the next bellwether trial regarding alleged injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) into two distinct phases, one for compensatory liability and damages and the other for punitive liability and damages (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Oct. 7 reversed a summary judgment ruling in a premises liability case in favor of a barbecue restaurant franchisor and remanded it to district court for further proceedings, saying that a restaurant knew, or should have known, about a slick floor that allegedly caused a patron's injuries (Gerald Kostecka v. Smokey Mo's Franchise LLC, No. 03-15-00295-cv, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 10980).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding no error in a Florida federal judge's determination of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 affirmed dismissal of a dispute over a fraud detection patent (FairWarning IP LLC v. Iatric Systems Inc., No. 15-1985, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18313).
NEW YORK - Although rejecting a New York federal judge's determination that incorporation of Abbott and Costello's iconic "Who's on First" comedy routine into a Broadway play was a fair use, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 nonetheless affirmed dismissal of the case after finding that plaintiffs failed to assert the existence of a plausible copyright interest (TCA Television Corp., et al., v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 16-134, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18333).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 11 denied a group of tobacco companies' petition for writ of certiorari to review a case involving the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between a group of tobacco companies and states over whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts state law (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 15-1299, U.S. Sup.).