RICHMOND, Va. - Allegations that the creator of a cloud computing environment committed computer fraud when it copied and transferred data to former employees of a company it once contracted with are preempted by the Copyright Act, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (OpenRisk LLC v. MicroStrategy Services Corp., No. 16-1852, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22736).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Nov. 13 affirmed defense summary judgment in two Risperdal gynecomastia cases, ruling that the plaintiffs reasonably should have known that their alleged injuries were caused by the drug before they filed suit a minimum of six years too late (Jonathan Saksek v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 576 EDA 2015, Joshua Winter v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 590 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4163).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals court panel on Nov. 13 reversed a Risperdal gynecomastia defense verdict, finding that the trial court erred in not treating physician assistant's testimony as that of a causation expert (W.C. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 2451 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 909).
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Nov. 13 began deliberating in a multiplaintiff DePuy Pinnacle hip trial after nine weeks of testimony (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 11-md-02244, Ramon Alicea, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics., Inc., et al., No. 15-03489, Uriel Barzel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1245, Karen Kirschner v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1526, Hazel Miura v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-4119, Michael A. Stevens v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1776, Eugene Stevens Jr. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Texas).
DETROIT - Two employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Nov. 10 moved in Michigan federal court to strike portions of an amended complaint filed by residents of the city of Flint, Mich., contending that the plaintiffs "inaccurately allege that Defendants have been charged with involuntary manslaughter" in connection with the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
DENVER - The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 13 unanimously held that a trial court erred when it gave the jury in a product liability suit against Ford Motor Co. an instruction allowing the jurors to use the consumer expectation test to determine if a driver's car seat was unreasonably dangerous because in this case, the court should have instructed the jury on the risk-benefit test (Forrest Walker v. Ford Motor Company, No. 15SC899, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 988).
ATLANTA - Insurers in a Nov. 9 brief oppose a request from a reinsurer and its shareholders to extend the discovery period and expert report deadlines in a dispute in a Georgia federal court over allegedly fraudulent transfers of reinsurance funds (Canal Insurance Co., et al. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company Ltd., et al., No. 15-03331, N.D. Ga.).
BOSTON - A settlor's contributions to a 401(k) plan are not a defense to claims that the plan trustee breached its fiduciary duties by engaging in prohibited transactions, AARP and the National Employment Lawyers Association argue in an amicus curiae brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of plan participants in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action suit (John Brotherston, et al. v. Putnam Investments LLC, et al., No. 17-1711, 1st Cir.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State law amendments in 2013 providing for secret ex parte interviews of a medical malpractice claimant's physicians violate the Florida Constitution's guarantees of privacy and court access, a Florida Supreme Court majority ruled Nov. 9, finding that including the interviews as part of the mandated presuit informal discovery process required claimants to waive their privacy rights to avail themselves of the courts (Emma Gayle Weaver v. Stephen C. Myers, M.D., et al. No. SC15-1538, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 2282).
PHILADELPHIA - Three of four doctors offering expert opinions in a wrongful death action can testify that an accident on a U.S. military base caused a man's injuries and subsequent death from taking too many pain medications for the injuries, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Nov. 8, finding the causation opinions reliable enough to be admitted (Robert S. Evans v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-1839, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185563).
TYLER, Texas - The 12th District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 determined that a trial court erred in granting an insured's motion to compel because the documents sought by the insured are not relevant to the contract claim and will not be relevant unless and until the extracontractual claims are tried (In re: Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-17-00266, Texas App., 12th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10428).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The owner of a patent covering the short bowel syndrome (SBS) drug Gattex argued before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in deeming various claims obvious under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103 (In re: NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 17-1392, Fed. Cir.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A majority of a Texas appellate panel on Nov. 9 reversed a trial court's decision to dismiss a sexual assault civil action against a doctor after finding that a woman who claims that she was sexually assaulted while taking her children in for treatment did not need to file an expert report with her complaint (T.C. v. Ahmad Abo Kayass, No. 02-16-00248-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10539).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Nov. 9 ordered that a medical malpractice suit be remanded to a trial court and that partial summary judgment be ordered in favor of a hospital after finding that the hospital did not waive its immunity by purchasing insurance because the insurance did not cover a doctor who was contracted to work for the hospital (Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County v. Darrell Menapace, No. S-17-0055, Wyo. Sup., 2017 Wyo. LEXIS 137).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 8 trimmed a single claim from a class complaint accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC (VCNA) and Volvo Cars USA LLC (VCUSA) of misrepresenting the average mileage its hybrid sport utility vehicle could achieve on a single charge, finding that most of the claims that had previously been dismissed based on mootness and then reinstated by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals survived the defendant's alternative motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Xavier Laurens, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., No. 16-4507, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184992).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An insurance company must provide coverage for two contractors under two commercial general liability policies because the language in the policies does not exclude coverage for their work as home builders rather than as roofers, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Nov. 9 in denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment (James River Insurance Company v. 5 Star Integrity Roofing & Exteriors, LLC, et al., No. CIV-16-950-M, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185945).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations by Amgen Inc. and Amgen Manufacturing Limited (Amgen, collectively) that proposed biosimilar versions of two Amgen pegfilgrastim and filgastim products would infringe a patented method of refolding recombinant proteins expressed in non-mammalian cells, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (Amgen Inc., et al. v. Apotex Inc., et al., No. 17-1010, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22638).
RICHMOND, Va. - An employer acted within its rights and did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when it amended a deferred compensation plan's applicable crediting rate, affecting all, even retired, plan participants, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 8 (Jeffrey Plotnick, et al. v. Computer Sciences Corporation Deferred Compensation Plan for Key Executives, et al., No. 16-1606, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22500).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 denied the government of Belize's petition for writ of certiorari in which it sought review of an appeals court's ruling that affirmed the enforcement of an $18,470,881 arbitral award (Government of Belize v. Belize Bank Limited, No. 17-252, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 refused to grant certiorari in a case in which borrowers sought review of an appeals court's ruling to affirm the dismissal of their claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as barred by a foreclosure case in a state court (Kathleen J. Todd, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-348, U.S. Sup.).