MINNEAPOLIS - Asbestos plaintiffs appealing a summary judgment ruling must respond to defendants' claim that the time to appeal began with the original judgment, not an amended one, making the appeal four days too late, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 11 (Marlin P. Filipek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 17-3363, 8th Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California jury on Dec. 11 added $4.6 million in punitive damages after finding two talc companies liable for $17.5 million in compensatory damages for a man's asbestos-related mesothelioma (Booker v. Vanderbilt Minerals, No. RG15796166, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 12 found that a cruise line worker's negligence claims against her employer must be arbitrated in the Bahamas pursuant to the terms of her employment agreement, but remanded claims against another cruise line and her coworker to a state court, because they were not signatories to the arbitration agreement (Michelle Haasbroek v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 17-cv-22370, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204025).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A study published in the journal "Science Advances" on Dec. 13 concludes that there is evidence that there are negative effects of in utero exposure to hydraulic fracturing sites when they are located within 1.86 miles of a mother's residence based on the detection of nonmethane hydrocarbons, which cause personal injury - especially to fetuses.
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 11 entered summary judgment on behalf of a producer of Colombian television and its distributor, amid allegations that a defendant created a website to stream the plaintiffs' copyrighted content in the United States without permission (Caracol Television S.A., et al. v. TVmiaInternational Corp., et al., No. 16-23486, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204575).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that the widow of a borrower, who obtained a reverse mortgage on a property that was later foreclosed on, sufficiently pleaded her claims for elder abuse and breach of contract, a California appeals court on Dec. 11 reversed a trial court's decision dismissing her claims against two lenders (Mary Aden v. OneWest Bank, N.A., et al., No. A146242, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 12 granted summary judgment to two airlines after finding that an expert report presented by a woman who injured herself while walking on a plane is not sufficient under the Federal Rules of Evidence and that the hazard the woman injured herself on was open and obvious (Valentina Rodriguez v. British Airways PLC, et al., No. 17-CV-03691, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204217).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 11 sentenced the former owner and operator of a health care agency to 115 months in prison and ordered him to pay $15.1 million in restitution for his role in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare (United States of America v. Yunesky Fornaris, No 17cr20163, S.D. Fla.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - In preparation for the issuance of a final award in a treaty dispute over real estate investments in Crimea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Dec. 13 announced that it has posed certain questions to the investors and the Russian Federation in relation to responsibility and quantum (Lugzor LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-29, PCA).
NEW ORLEANS - A subcontractor's insurer had a duty to defend an additional insured in a construction defects lawsuit, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals ruled Dec. 12, affirming in part and reversing in part awards issued in favor of the additional insured (Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc. v. Oklahoma Surety Co., No. 16-20195, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25048).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A panel of the Second Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on Dec. 13 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant summary judgment to hotel in a suit where a woman who injured herself in her room's bathroom after being scared at seeing an infestation of ants because the woman could not prove that the hotel knew or should have known about the infestation (Deborah Kennedy v. Red River Entertainment of Shreveport LLC, No. 51,760-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 2317).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Dec. 12 refused to dismiss an insured's statutory and common-law bad faith claims after determining that the insurer's conduct before, during and after an appraisal proceeding conducted to determine the value of the insured's claim for property damages caused by a hailstorm is relevant to the insured's allegations of bad faith conduct (Hometown Community Association Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 17-777, D. Col., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203675).
CHICAGO - After finding that a former homeowner's right to file a lawsuit in relation to rescission under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) had expired years before he filed his case against a bank, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 affirmed a decision to dismiss his claims as untimely (James Fendon v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 17-1718, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25036).
AMARILLO, Texas - A trial court judge in Texas erred when dismissing a couple's construction defects and breach of contract suit against a builder for want of prosecution without providing proper notice, a state appeals court panel ruled Dec. 11 (Patrick Pence, et al. v. S&D Builders LLC, et al., No. 07-16-00005-CV, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11501).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. veterans who were present at the 1966 cleanup of plutonium dust in Palomares, Spain, moved Dec. 11 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that they were improperly denied service-connected disability compensation based on exposure to ionizing radiation (Victor B. Skaar v. David J. Shulkin, M.D., No. 17-2574, Vet. Clms.).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Evidence related to a man's prior acts of setting fire to three residences and one automobile to collect insurance proceeds should be admitted during his trial on similar claims, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Dec. 13, finding that the information has probative value as to whether he committed the act as part of a common scheme or plan (United States of America v. Steven Allen Pritchard, No. 16-CR-00028, W. D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204958).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two sons of the late concert promoter Bill Graham were properly ordered by a California federal judge to reimburse the attorney fees incurred by four copyright infringement defendants, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Alexander Graham-Sult, et al., v. Nicholas Clainos, et al., Nos. 15-17204, 16-16768, - 17083, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25187).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 11 upheld a ruling compelling arbitration in a class complaint brought by wireless customers who allege that AT&T Mobility LLC purposely slows data for "unlimited" customers, finding that there is no state action in the case and awarding costs to AT&T (Marcus A. Roberts, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 16-16915, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24946).
BOSTON - Medtronic Inc. has agreed to pay $12 million to five states to resolve allegations that it engaged in deceptive marketing of the company's Infuse bone graft, according to a consent judgment entered Dec. 13 in the Suffolk County, Mass., Superior Court (Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., et al., No. 17-4030D, Mass. Super., Suffolk Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - An insured's assignee whose lungs were damaged by the inhalation of an excess amount of chlorine in the insured hotel's hot tub waived the right to argue that Oklahoma law, rather than Texas law, should be applied because the assignee failed to argue that the application of Texas law was a manifest injustice, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 13 in affirming the district court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Wesley Howard v. Maxum Indemnity Co., No. 16-11746, 5th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 11 reply brief seeking reversal of an injunction preventing it from blocking a data analytics firm from scraping user information from its site, LinkedIn Corp. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the plaintiff's activities violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), while contending that its blocking measures do not violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-16783, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 8 partially granted conditional certification in a class complaint brought by a restaurant franchise assistant manager (AM) who alleges that she and others were misclassified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Illinois wage laws but granted a motion to dismiss by one of the franchisee defendants and gave the lead plaintiff one month to amend her complaint to show that that the defendant was her employer (Chamora Ivery, et al. v. RMH Franchise Corp., et al., No. 17-1619, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202270).