SANTA ANA, Calif. - Allergan plc and subsidiary SkinMedica on Feb. 16 said they settled a purported class action lawsuit alleging that certain "cosmeceuticals" contain undeclared and unapproved human growth factors (Josette Ruhnke, et al. v. SkinMedica, Inc., et al., No. 14-420, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Feb. 20 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by a health insurer that argued that the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not apply the proper actual or imminent harm standing in determining class members' standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution related to the exposure of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a 2014 data breach (CareFirst Inc., et al. v. Chantal Attias, et al., No. 17-641, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 1356).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 granted a motion for leave to dispense with preparation of joint index filed by petitioners in an appeal of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges (ALJs) are constitutional officers pursuant to the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution (Raymond J. Lucia, et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-130, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 16 granted a motion for divided argument by the respondents in an appeal over mandatory public-sector agency fees for employees who choose not to join a union and also granted a motion by the solicitor general for leave to participate in the oral arguments scheduled to occur on Feb. 26 (Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al., No. 16-1466, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari that was filed by corporations that were intervenors on the side of the Federal Communications Commission in proceedings below and that challenged a decision by a split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel that held that the FCC's 2006 Solicited Fax Rule was unlawful to the extent that it required opt-out notices on solicited faxes and vacated an FCC order filed in response to a request for a declaratory ruling filed by a generic drug company that was the defendant in a $150 million class complaint (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley, et al. v. Anda, Inc., et al., No. 17-351, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Lawyers took deposition comments from a medical claims reviewer out of context to create trial and media leverage, Aetna Inc. says in a Feb. 14 response to an announcement that California would investigate the insurer's claims processing.
PHILADELPHIA - A trial court judge erred when denying a corrugated stainless steel tube (CSST) manufacturer's motion for a new products liability trial because the jury was improperly instructed on whether the product was unreasonably dangerous, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held Feb. 16 in reversing a $1 million verdict against the company (Terence D. Tincher, et al. v. Omega Flex Inc., No. 1285 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 117).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Feb. 15 remanded for a second time West Virginia's lawsuit against drug distributor McKesson Corp. for allegedly violating state law by not flagging suspicious shipments of opioid drugs (West Virginia, et al. v. McKesson Corporation, No. 17-3555, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in which borrowers sought review of an appeals court ruling finding that their notice of rescission under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was untimely (Alan G. Keiran, et al. v. Home Capital Inc., et al., No. 17-672, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employer challenging a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's decision finding that it violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it suspended contributions to one out of four union trust funds and implemented its company medical plan for returning strikers (Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 17-531, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by 137 residents of a Pennsylvania town who say that illegal releases of radioactive materials from a nearby plant caused their cancers and the deaths of their family members and that a federal appeals court erred in ruling on the admissibility of expert testimony in their case (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-907, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Foot Locker Inc. asking the high court to decide whether a class of pension plan participants could be certified in a case alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when Foot Locker failed to disclose a temporary freezing of benefits after the Foot Locker Retirement Plan was transitioned to a cash-balance plan (Foot Locker, Inc., et al. v. Geoffrey Osberg, et al., No. 17-690, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied an excess insurer's petition for writ of certiorari challenging a California appeals court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration of a coverage dispute with a school district over sexual abuse claims (Safety National Casualty Corp. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. 17-921, U.S. Sup.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court on Feb. 20 vacated a ruling finding jurisdiction in Oklahoma over a Texas-based asbestos defendant and the resulting $6 million verdict and remanded the case for further consideration in light of recent precedent on the issue. In its petition, the drywall materials company had portrayed the Oklahoma court's ruling as "indefensible" and argued that it evidenced the state's continuing disregard for Supreme Court precedent (Murco Wall Products Inc. v. Michael D. Galier, No. 17-733, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 issued a per curiam decision in an appeal over retiree's health care benefits and reversed a ruling by a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority for the retirees, referencing a dissenting opinion that called the decision "Yard-Man [UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (6th Cir. 1983)] re-born, re-built, and re-purposed for new adventures" (CNH Industrial N.V., et al. v. Jack Reese, et al., No. 17-515, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is necessary because the Ninth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals has yet to adopt the "fraudulent misjoinder" standard established by the 11th Circuit, which an insurer argues is the basis for the action's removal to federal court in the first place, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 13 in remanding the action to state court (Maria I. Delgado v. Primerica Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-3744, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23615).
NEW YORK - A life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, unlawfully increased the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition, among other reasons, plaintiffs allege in a Feb. 13 class action filed in a New York federal court (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 17 approved in a minute order a settlement between Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and the joint scheme administrator for two insolvent British insurers, setting claim values for the debtors in the insurers' run-off proceedings (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision to allow a plaintiff's expert to testify and reinstated the full $2 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court erred by reducing the award based on comparative fault (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Robert A. Gore Sr., No. 4D15-3892, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2274).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in its administration and management of its retirement plan (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 16-6284, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23540).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 denied a retirement plan's administrative and investment committees' petition for permission to appeal the grant of class certification in a breach of fiduciary duty case in which the investors claim that the defendants selected company-affiliated mutual funds as plan investments rather than other better-performing mutual funds, finding that immediate appeal is unwarranted (Marya J. Leber v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., No. 07-9329, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A biomechanical engineer is not precluded from testifying in a personal injury action over a car crash just because his opinions were stricken in another recent auto accident case, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 14 in denying a bid by the injured driver to exclude the expert's testimony (Craig Thomas v. YRC Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-6105, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24384).
MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to wade into an asbestos action on Feb. 14, accepting a case in which the lower court found that a man's failure to recall specific worksites was not fatal to his action (Russell Robertson, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 2015AP2486, Wis. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Recent Third Circuit precedent muddies the bare-metal defense, but ultimately does not save a man's case alleging exposure to third-party asbestos parts added to Crane Co. valves, the company argues in a supplemental brief filed with a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 15 (Dwight Kenneth Gaston v. Aurora Pump Co., et al., No. 16-579, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An English mining company on Feb. 16 said it has filed a reply to Indonesia's opposition to a case in which the company seeks to annul an award issued by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which dismissed its treaty claims related to a coal mining project (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).