ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Attacking two Corel Software LLC patents as invalid as obvious in light of various pieces of prior art, Microsoft Corp. on May 23 filed a total of four petitions for inter partes review (IPR) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (In re: Umbedacht, Nos. IPR2016-01083, -01084, -01085, -01086, PTAB).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two potential asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) agreed May 23 to stay the briefing in their appeal of the debtor's plan of reorganization pending a decision in Delaware federal court on EFH's request to dismiss the appeal as moot due to the plan becoming null and void (Michael Cunningham, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1218, D. Del.; Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1183, D. Del.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge properly granted defendant Amazon.com Inc. summary judgment on allegations the online merchant unfairly withheld copyright royalties owed to the author of four self-published books, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Joseph E. Carlin v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 15-2774, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9372).
SAN DIEGO - The family of former professional baseball player Tony Gwynn filed suit in California state court on May 23, claiming that smokeless tobacco led to the salivary gland cancer that caused his death (Alicia Gwynn et al. v. Altria Group Inc., et al., No. 37-2016-00017104, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on May 24 affirmed a trial court's series of orders requiring Greyhound Lines Inc. to comply with discovery requests for documents comprising communications with its third-party claims administrator, with the panel finding that the bus line failed to establish that the documents were protected by the attorney-client or work product privileges (Faithlee Brown, et al. v. Greyhound Lines Inc., et al., No. 1167 EDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 288).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on May 23 said he will hold a hearing June 22 to consider approving the recently filed disclosure statement for the revamped plan of reorganization of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC (GST) (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on May 23 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling denying an attorney's request for demurrer in a lawsuit where he is accused of soliciting Fire Insurance Exchange customers to submit fraudulent insurance claims following wildfires in 2007, 2008 and 2009, holding that the insurer's lawsuit is not subject to the prefiling requirements of California Civil Code Section 1714.10 (People of the State of California, ex rel. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. v. Robert B. Amidon, et al., No. B258556, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Calif. Unpub. LEXIS 3771).
ST. LOUIS - The exclusion of certain portions of an insured's expert's report did not unfairly prejudice the insured in his lawsuit against his insurer for hail storm damages, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 25 (Maria Amplatz v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-2645, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9540).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on May 24 excluded portions of defendants' police expert reports speaking to the reasonableness of the force and any testimony relating to such opinions as well as a plaintiff's police expert's report discussing the legality of an arrest and any related testimony (Jordan Chase Borgognoni v. City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, et al., No. 13-241, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67925).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 25 affirmed the dismissal of all Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims brought by a fired electric and gas company employee (Gerard Piscopo v. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, et al., No. 15-2819, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9556).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of claims against an independent auditor in a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in New York ruled May 24, because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead a material misrepresentation, falsity or scienter in making his federal securities law claims (In re Poseidon Concepts Securities Litigation, No. 13-1213, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68127).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal magistrate judge in Alabama on May 23 dismissed without prejudice Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Co.'s declaratory judgment action over its denial of a fire loss claim, ruling that the insurer attempted to engage in procedural fencing by filing suit after learning of the defendants' intent to pursue a parallel action in state court (Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Donald E. Butler, et al., No. 15-cv-01244-JEO, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66553).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead materiality or show that an online retailer had a duty to disclose that Overstock.com was a direct competitor in offering documents for the retailer's initial public offering (IPO) in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled May 24 (Gerald Dingee, et al. v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 15-6941, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68322).
SALT LAKE CITY - Insureds' failure to follow instructions in disconnecting a water tank, electrical wires and water lines prior to demolition work does not constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Utah federal judge ruled May 24, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ryan Stevens Construction Inc. and Ryan Stevens, No. 15-406, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68522).
SEATTLE - An Idaho federal court was justified in a finding of contempt by a prison operator that has failed to comply with the settlement in a class suit filed by prisoners alleging that inadequate staffing led to health and safety issues, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Joshua Kelly, et al. v. Timothy Wengler, et al., Nos. 13-35972 and 14-35199, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9681).
PHILADELPHIA - A majority of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 held that it lacks jurisdiction of an excess insurer's untimely appeal of a lower court's ruling dismissing an attorney from its lawsuit alleging that she was negligent in her representation of its insured in an underlying action that resulted in a $19 million award against the insured (State National Insurance Co. v. The County of Camden, et al., No. 14-4766, 3rd Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 25 found that there is a factual dispute concerning an insurer's adjustment of a claim for hail-damaged soybean crops, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer on the insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims (Bruhn Farms Joint Venture v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 15-2202, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9542).
NEW YORK - A federal appeals panel on May 23 affirmed a New York federal judge's dismissal of a class action against Citigroup Inc. brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act on the grounds that it is barred by the law's three-year statute of limitations (Steven Muehlgay, et al. v. Citigroup Inc., et al., No. 15-2461, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9349).
NEW ORLEANS - In a negligence lawsuit, a marine liability expert is limited to testifying on opinions raised in an original report, a Louisiana federal judge ruled May 23, finding that the second report is not based on newly discovered evidence (Joseph Walton v. Enterprise Marine Services, LLC, No. 14-2468, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67408).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 20 reversed certification of a class of homeowners in a Minneapolis neighborhood who have sued General Mills Inc. for environmental contamination, finding that the class lacks requisite commonality and cohesiveness (Karl Ebert, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9233).
CLEVELAND - An arbitrator must decide the arbitrability of a former Uber Technologies Inc.'s drivers wage and employment status allegations, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 23, finding that the driver failed to timely opt out of the arbitration provision of the services agreement to which he consented (LaDon Bruster v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-2653, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67523).
STOCKHOLM - A Swedish care company on May 23 announced that a tribunal in London has ordered two companies within its group to pay another entity $9,920,299 for improperly terminating an agreement to purchase a patient identification product.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A life insurance company told a federal court in Connecticut on May 23 that an arbitration panel's clarification of an arbitration award is valid and that the court should order a reinsurer to pay a certain amount to the insurer (General Re Life Corporation v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-01860, D. Conn.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on May 23 found that the circumstances surrounding the foreclosure of a property did not warrant the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and that claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims were time-barred (Elihah Walker, et al. v. SGB Corporation d/b/a West America Mortgage Co., No. 3:15-cv-00607, W.D. N.C., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67446).