SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Nov. 15 found that an employee's claims for violation of the California Labor Code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) were excluded from a mandatory arbitration provision, affirming a court's decision refusing to compel arbitration of the claims (Christopher Silva v. Fry's Electronics Inc., No. A146622, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7875).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 16 declined to review a lower court's vacating of a trial court finding that a $1 million default judgment claim against the state's insurance guarantor was time-barred (James Green v. Pennsylvania Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 256 WAL 2017, Pa. Sup., 2017 Pa. LEXIS 2995).
ATLANTA - A Georgia appellate panel on Nov. 16 reversed an order from a trial court denying summary judgment to a hospital in a premises liability suit after finding that a man who slipped on ice in the parking lot of the hospital did not show that the hospital had actual knowledge of the danger (St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta Inc. v. Gardner Sewell Hall, et al., No. A17A0824, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 569).
MOBILE, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Nov. 16 denied a processing plant's motion for summary judgment in a premises liability suit after finding that a man who injured himself after falling off of a platform properly alleged his premises liability claims and that there is a genuine issue of material fact over whether the danger was open and obvious (Kenneth W. Highfield v. Grede Ii LLC, et al., No. 16-0501, S.D. Ala. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189416).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Nov. 16 ruled that a group of plaintiffs asserting claims of personal injury from exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, benzene and other chemicals is not entitled to class certification (Opal Millman v. United Technologies Corporation, et al., No. 16-312, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189638).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency must respond to Sierra Club's petition asking the agency to object to a proposed operating permit for a power plant in Tennessee by Jan. 31, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled Nov. 17 in granting the group's motion for summary judgment (Sierra Club v. Scott Pruitt, No. 17-906, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190374).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's high court on Nov. 17 unanimously found that a lower court did not err in granting summary judgment to a hospital and one of its doctors because the statute of limitations had expired before the plaintiffs filed suit (Donna Parsons, et al. v. Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Hospital, et al., No. 16-1178, W.Va. Sup. App., 2017 W. Va. LEXIS 939).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 17 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to deny dismissal of a lawsuit brought by three environmental groups over discharges from a nuclear power plant's facility, holding that the groups have standing to bring their suit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Company, No. 16-23017-CIV-GAYLES/OTAZA-REYES, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190504).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of Facebook Inc. users saw their putative class claims against the social network operator dismissed for a third time Nov. 17, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiffs still failed to establish that Facebook breached a contractual duty when it purportedly tracked their online activities (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 turned away an inventor's challenge to a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that rejected - as anticipated - various claims of a patent application (In re: C. Douglass Thomas, No. 17-1100, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23135).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge's decision to dismiss a patent infringement complaint without prejudice following a plaintiff's delayed efforts to add a co-inventor was upheld by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 (Cobra International Inc. v. BCNY International Inc., et al., Nos. 16-2103, -2173, -2635, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23133).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two broadcasters were properly granted a summary judgment that their use of the name "Empire" is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 16 (Twentieth Century Fox Television, et al. v. Empire Distribution Inc., No. 16-55577, 9th Cir.).
HOUSTON - A resolution extending benefits to optional employees is valid and places an asbestos case brought on behalf of a former judge under the exclusivity provision of the workers' compensation system, a government entity told a Texas appeals court on Nov. 15 (Jefferson County, Texas v. Ellarene Farris, et al., No. 01-17-00493-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
RICHMOND, Va. - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy provider and its CEO have failed to show that the CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting to investors that the company had secured a contract renewal with a large customer because they have not shown that he knew his statements were misleading at the time he made them, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15 in affirming a federal judge's dismissal of the action (Maguire Financial LP, et al. v. PowerSecure International Inc., et al., No. 16-2163, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22968).
SEATTLE - An employer's use of a workweek average to arrive at the appropriate pay rate for employees doesn't violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it provides employees with wages that meet the minimum wage, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15, noting that whether the employees have a contract claim is beyond the scope of the interlocutory appeal (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-35425, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22967).
CHICAGO - The owner of assisted living facilities violates the Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting biometric data, one former employee alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 14 in the Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court (Jonnae Taylor, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 2017-CH-15152, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Nov. 16 returned a verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson in the first ever cosmetic-talc asbestos case taken to trial against the company, while also handing a defense verdict to the company that mined the raw talc, sources told Mealey Publications (Tina Herford, et al. v. AT&T Corp., et al., No. BC646315, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
HOUSTON - A Texas oil and gas exploration and production company on Nov. 17 said that enforcement proceedings to confirm a $2,026,126.32 international arbitral award have been completed and that it will receive payment of the total award.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 16 granted a disability insurer's motion to transfer a disability claimant's suit to New Jersey federal court after determining that New Jersey is the more convenient forum for the parties and for the witnesses (Ernest Tarasovsky v. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, No. 17-03464, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189926).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 15 dismissed a bad faith claim alleged against a homeowners insurer after determining that the insureds failed to prove that the insurer acted unreasonably by paying for only a portion of the insureds' kitchen floor following a flood at the insureds' home (Steven Barnwell et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4739, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188427).
NEW YORK - The New York Department of Investigation (DOI) on Nov. 15 issued a report indicating that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) failed to conduct mandatory safety inspections for lead paint during a four-year period beginning in 2013 but falsified reports to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stating that the NYCHA was in compliance with federal laws pertaining to those inspections.