LOS ANGELES - A homeowner filed a class action complaint on May 17 against a mortgage loan company and financial services company for engaging in an illegal kickback scheme involving reinsurance payments arising out of force-placed hazard insurance policies (Kathleen Angel Eisenberg v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 18-04157, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 21 ruled that a group of Pennsylvania residents had a valid negligence claim against the makers of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) related to groundwater contamination, but the judge said the plaintiffs did not sufficiently plead property damage (Larry Menkes, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 17-0573, E.D. Pa.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85113).
NEW ORLEANS - A shipyard on May 21 filed a notice of appeal in yet another case in which a judge remanded an asbestos action after finding allegations of negligent failure to warn about the presence of asbestos outside the federal officer removal statute (James A. Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-11770, E.D. La.).
NEW ORLEANS - A company's shell-dredging operations in Louisiana in 1973 keep a company in an asbestos action, a federal judge held May 18 in declining to impose a temporal limitation to the specific jurisdiction analysis (Robert Schindler v. Dravo Basic Materials Company Inc., No. 17-013013, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83922).
LOS ANGELES - A federal jury in California on May 17 issued a take-nothing judgment in favor of a chemical company that had been sued by the city of Pomona, Calif., which alleged that the company was liable for contaminating the city's drinking water with perchlorate (Pomona v. SQM North America Corporation, No. 11-167, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - In a May 18 ruling, a New York federal judge found that infringement allegations over an internet advertising patent were sufficiently meritless to justify an award of attorney fees, noting that the patent owner's exceptional conduct "pervaded" the litigation (TNS Media Research LLC v. TiVo Research and Analytics Inc., No. 11-4039, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84165).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Asserting violations of the New Jersey Product Liability Act (NJPLA), negligence and other torts, a New Jersey man who suffered burns when his vaping device exploded in the pockets of his pants filed suit in the Middlesex County Superior Court on May 18 (Jesse Kelly, Jr. v. I South Vape LLC, et al., No. MID-L-003092-18, N.J .Super., Middlesex Co.).
SAN DIEGO - In two orders issued May 21, a California federal judge refused to issue a request that the Register of Copyrights reconsider registrations issued to Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP for "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" ("Go!") and "Sneetches" but granted a defendant judgment on the pleadings with regard to Seuss' related allegations of trademark infringement (Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP v. ComicMix LLC, et al., No. 16-2779, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84986, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84985).
BALTIMORE - In a May 18 reply brief in Maryland federal court, Wikimedia Foundation defends its motion to compel documents to establish that its communications were intercepted by the National Security Agency's (NSA) upstream surveillance program, arguing that a statutory in camera review procedure defeats the government's assertion of the state secrets privilege (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md.).
CHICAGO - The absence of evidence of General Electric Co.'s asbestos-containing products in Illinois defeats specific personal jurisdiction, and the company's contacts with the state are not large enough to create general personal jurisdiction, a state appeals court held May 18 while declining to adopt jurisdiction by necessity (Arlin Campbell, et al. v. Acme Insulation Inc., et al., No. 1-17-3051, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 294).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 18 issued a decision in an arbitration filed by investors in mining concessions, rejecting an application made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia to annul a $48,619,578 award (Quiborax S.A., et al. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia, ARB/06/02, ICSID).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 vacated a court's decision ordering a Russian national to turn over assets held in a trust to assist in satisfying a $92 million arbitral award, finding that the order was premature because a Lichtenstein court is reviewing similar issues as those in the present case and has jurisdiction over the trust (Vitaly Ivanovich Smagin v. Ashot Yegiazaryan, ex rel., Nos. 16-55502, 16-56749, 17-56467, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13005).
CHICAGO - Attorneys representing Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. and counsel for the debtor's asbestos claimants will not get paid until progress is made in the nearly three-year-old case, an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge ruled May 17 (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
BEAUFORT, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina held that a roofing subcontractor can face a general contractor's third-party claim of gross negligence for moisture intrusion that occurred at a golf clubhouse and community clubhouse due to a lack of flashing because there is evidence that there is evidence that the subcontractor supplied roofing material and flashing (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575-RMG, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84502).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 17 certified a class of individuals who allege that they were in jail during the November 2016 election and were wrongfully kept from voting by the Allen County, Ind., sheriff (Demetrius Buroff, et al. v. David Gladieux, No. 17-124, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83887).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 21 reversed a judgment that allowed a trust to foreclose on a property, finding that the trust failed to give the borrowers proper notice of its intent to accelerate their loan before filing a foreclosure lawsuit (Wilmington Trust, et al. v. Angel Rob, et al., No. 17-50115, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13179).
NEW YORK - A stockholder sued General Electric Co. (GE) and its officers and directors in a New York federal court on May 17, alleging that their actions concerning their insurance and reinsurance business resulted in billions of dollars in damages to the company (Edward Tansey v. Jeffrey R. Immelt, et al., No. 18-04408, S.D. N.Y.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Granting a motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas on May 17 ruled that an insurer did not intentionally delay paying on a claim for coverage under a homeowners insurance policy and that insureds failed to show that the insurer's delay in payment caused injuries that were independent of their policy claim (Thomas G. Kezar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-389, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83157).
SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah appeals court panel on May 17 overturned two rulings by a lower court judge that excluded evidence and testimony about what materials are subject to cleanup as part of a city's sale of a parcel of land to a developer, holding that the trial court judge misapplied an earlier appeals court ruling in the case, as well as the Utah Rules of Evidence (Northgate Village Development LLC v. Orem City, No. 20160408-CA, Utah App., 2019 Utah App. LEXIS 98).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on May 18 issued a drug safety communication that the HIV drug dolutegravir, sold as Tivicay, Juluca and Trimeq, has been associated with neural tube birth defects in an African observational study.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on May 21 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an underlying consumer class action alleging that a shampoo manufacturer insured falsely advertised its hair products as "organic" does not trigger a covered disparagement claim under its insurance policy (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Vogue International, LLC, et al., No. A150921, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3467).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal appeals court panel in the District of Columbia on May 18 vacated a ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that placed an Indianapolis site on the National Priorities List (NPL) after finding that the agency ignored evidence and erroneously determined that two aquifers were connected (Genuine Parts Co. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-1416, 16-1418, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12901).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 denied review of a case by two whistleblowers who claimed that the former Solvay Pharmaceuticals engaged in off-label marketing of three drugs, including AndroGel, and caused the submission of false claims to federal health care programs (United States, ex rel. John King, et al. v. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated, No. 17-1370, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 upheld a federal judge in Louisiana's ruling finding that the failure to submit claim forms along with the required documentation to obtain compensation from the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP) rendered the claims untimely (In re Deepwater Horizon, No. 17-30544, 5th Cir.).