LOS ANGELES - In an April 27 reply brief supporting its motion for contempt and sanctions in a trademark and unfair competition lawsuit, the operator of an attorney recruiting website argues that the operator of a competing site failed to provide meaningful or complete discovery responses and depositions in contravention of a court order (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Three veterans groups on April 27 filed a complaint in a Connecticut federal court seeking to compel the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to comply with their request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) pertaining to information about contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, which the group maintains has put nearly 1 million soldiers and civilians at risk for various injuries including bladder cancer, leukemia, kidney cancer, and liver cancer (The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, et al. v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, No. 16-647, D. Conn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman who says she received "multiple" unsolicited text messages from Facebook Inc. that were intended for the prior holder of her cell phone number, filed a putative class complaint against the social network operator April 26 in California federal court, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an April 26 brief in California federal court, Google Inc. argues that the claims brought against it by 710 individual plaintiffs, related to Google's purported scanning of their emails, constitute an inappropriate "end run around" the proper filing processes and an effort to circumvent the class action guidelines of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23 (Ryan Corley, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00473, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Two travel company employees who allege in a class complaint that they were denied minimum and overtime wages while escorting groups from New York to a casino in Pennsylvania failed to establish personal jurisdiction as to the companies that own the casino and adjacent retail complex, a New York federal judge ruled April 28 (Lin Wai Mao, et al. v. Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, et al., No. 15-6252, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56742).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held April 26 that an insurer owes coverage under the technology and professional services liability and content liability provisions of an insurance policy for underlying claims against the insured involving an online teaching program (Educational Impact, et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-04510, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55653).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 26 dismissed a lawsuit against Whole Foods Market Inc., ruling that the plaintiffs failed to allege that the company made affirmative misrepresentations or actionable omissions regarding the advertising of its meat products (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, et al. v. Whole Foods Market California Inc., et al., No. 15-4301, N.D. Calif.).
DENVER - Allegations by a pro se plaintiff that a dispute over life insurance benefits paid by The Prudential Insurance Co. was improperly removed from state court were rejected April 27 by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (David Speer v. The Prudential Insurance Company, No. 15-6183, 10th Cir.).
NEW YORK - In an April 28 brief, several investors urge the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a New York federal court decision recognizing a $185,530,618 award issued in their favor by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (Ioan Micula, et al. v. Government of Romania, No. 15-3109-cv, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel majority on April 26 reversed a lower court decision and held that a dispute should be heard in court and not, as the lower court had found, arbitrated in London (Garthon Business Inc., et al. v. Kirill Ace Stein, et al., No. 653715-16521NB 16521NA 16521N, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 NY Slip Op 03102; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2991).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland appeals panel on April 27 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that a mother who sued her landlord alleging that her son had been poisoned by lead paint in their rental property failed to provide the landlord with notice (William Harris, by and through his mother Natonia Ratchford v. Housing Authority of Baltimore City, No. 43, Sept. Term 2015; 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 40).
CLEVELAND - An insured filed a notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27, challenging a number of rulings entered in favor of its insurer in a dispute arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 1:10-cv-02871-SO, N.D. Ohio).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A computer consultant may not testify on search engine optimization (SEO) in a trademark infringement case, a Kansas federal judge held April 27 (Marten Transport, Ltd. v. PlattForm Advertising, Inc., No. 14-2464, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56279).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An expert may not testify in a civil rights lawsuit that the use of deadly force by police officers "was excessive and was not objectively reasonable under the circumstances," a Tennessee federal judge ruled April 27 (Sterling Askew and Sylvia Askew v. City of Memphis, et al., No. 14-02080, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55918).
DETROIT - Claims by a Native American tribe that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by overbilling the tribe for services rendered as third-party administrator for tribal members' health care claims survived a motion to dismiss April 27 when a federal judge in Michigan found that the tribe alleged sufficient facts to establish a right to relief on its ERISA claims (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 15-13708, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55866).
TRENTON, N.J. - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a shareholder failed to plead any material misstatements or omissions in making his claims against a drug company and certain of its current and former executive officers, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 26 (In re Amarin Corp. PLC Securities Litigation, No. 13-6663, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55568).
TRENTON, N.J. - Summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because insureds' claims are barred pursuant to the anti-concurrent causation clause in their homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 27 (Jerome Keelen, et al. v. QBE Insurance Corp., No. 13-6941, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55895).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on April 27 entered a defense verdict for a company that makes a body wax in a suit brought by a woman who was burned when the tube the wax was in exploded and wax landed on her after she took it out of the microwave (Kelsey Ouelette v. Coty U.S. LLC, No. 3:14-CV-0712, M.D. Pa.).
BOSTON - A class suit by individuals who signed up to participate in an obstacle course event but then were unable to after the location of the event changed with just a week's notice and were denied refunds of their registration fees belongs in state, not federal, court, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 26 (Lisa C. Pazol, et al. v. Tough Mudder Incorporated, et al., No. 15-1640, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7519).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 29 reversed a lower court's final judgment in favor of insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute to the extent that it awarded money damages for subsurface repairs without requiring the insureds to enter into a contract for those repairs, further reversing the court's prejudgment interest award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Migdalia Cabrera, et al., No. 2D14-4337, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6529).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa Court of Appeals panel on April 27 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling awarding $120,990.46 to a landowner over an improperly installed pond, holding that the property did not benefit from the pond and that the owner sustained damages as a result of the pond's inability to retain water (Reilly Construction Co. Inc. v. Bachelder Inc., No. 15-1192, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 411).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury hit respirator manufacturer American Optical Corp. with a $32 million verdict April 26, including $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Sources told Mealey Publications that it is the first punitive damages award against the company related to its respirators (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. BC588866, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 28 knocked a $25 million asbestos verdict against a brake grinder manufacture down to $9 million but otherwise rejected challenges to the verdict, according to documents filed with the court (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DALLAS - In a complaint filed April 25 in Texas federal court, three blind law students allege that a company specializing in bar exam preparation materials has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing a website and other materials that are fully accessible to visually impaired individuals and by not responding to requests for reasonable accommodations (Claire Stanley, et al. v. BarBri Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-01113, N.D. Texas).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on April 26 granted in part a motion for spoliation sanctions filed by Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., John Manville Inc. and Icynene Corp., finding that a man's removal of at least 10 rolls of floor covering before a home inspection to examine levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) gasses allegedly emitted by the defendants' spray polyurethane foam (SPF) constituted destruction of evidence (Richard Breyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).