ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appellate panel on Jan. 16 affirmed the dismissal of a medical malpractice suit against a doctor and the practice he worked, ruling that the trial court did not err in finding that the plaintiff's expert affidavit did not sufficiently show a chain of causation (Ludwig P. Sansom v. Jack W. Gordon, et al., No. A17-0721, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. LEIS 38).
NEWARK, N.J. - Statements made by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a pet food company and certain of its executive officers in 2015 investor earnings calls were not forward-looking or protected by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), and the lead plaintiff has shown that the defendants knew that their statements were false when they made them, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 12 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Gary Curran v. Freshpet Inc., et al., No. 16-2263, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5833).
BILLINGS, Mont. - A federal judge in Montana on Jan. 16 denied a motion to dismiss a 14-count indictment filed by a transportation company and its owner accused of concealing from their insurer that they were transporting explosives, finding that the allegations in the indictment sufficiently support conviction (United States of America v. Woody's Trucking LLC, et al., No. CR 17-138, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6816).
NEW YORK - It is unclear whether a federal district court properly applied the correct standard in determining that defendants in a securities class action lawsuit failed to properly rebut the presumption of reliance by a preponderance of the evidence as required pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 12 in vacating and remanding the lower court's grant of class certification (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 16-0250, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 810).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 affirmed the guilty verdicts and six-year prison sentence for a woman who kept illegal Mexicans in her home, where she abused them and forced them to perform slave labor, after finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing an expert to testify about "trauma bonds" between abusers and victims (United States of America v. Olga Sandra Murra, No. 17-10117, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 906).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Citing overlapping issues with an underlying state court declaratory judgment action, a North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 12 dismissed a coverage dispute between commercial general liability insurers with regard to a duty to defend a mutual insured and additional insureds in construction defects cases (Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-253, W.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5655).
SAN FRANCISCO - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart favors men in pay, promotions and other opportunities, and leadership fosters an environment where women are marginalized and demeaned, one female attorney and nonequity shareholder of the firm alleges in her class and collective action complaint seeking more than $300 million, filed Jan. 12 in a California federal court (Dawn Knepper, et al. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., No. 18-303, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari by Wisconsin's Labor and Industry Review Commission seeking to overturn a decision by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that found that a magistrate judge lacks authority to enter final judgment when the unserved defendant has not consented to a magistrate judge's exercise of authority (Labor and Industry Review Commission of the State of Wisconsin v. Tracey Coleman, No. 17-579, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 650).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Health insurer Blue Shield of California and a class of people who claim that the company improperly denied coverage for mental health services reached a $7 million agreement resolving the case on Jan. 15 (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No. 16-2848, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92573).
ST. LOUIS - An expert witness for a minor asserting medical malpractice claims cannot offer an opinion that injuries to the minor limit the youth's ability to stand or walk to "perhaps as much as a maximum of four hours per day" because it is only speculation, though the expert's other testimony is admissible, a Missouri federal judge ruled Jan. 12 (J.B. v. Missouri Baptist Hospital of Sullivan, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01394, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5785).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 11 granted a construction company's motion to reconsider a ruling denying its motion to dismiss, finding that the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (SCWCC) should determine if an insurance policy issued to the company was in place at the time a man's claim was filed (Owners Insurance Company v. Warren Mechanical LLC, No. 16-cv-0668-DCN, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5187).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 16 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Delaware federal judge erred in basing her decision to deny a patent assignee and licensee injunctive relief on an erroneous claim construction that excluded various accused L'Oreal USA Inc. products (Liqwd Inc., et al., v. L'Oreal USA Inc., et al., No. 17-2295, Fed. Cir.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a liquor liability insurance policy's assault and battery exclusion relieves the insurer of its duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit that resulted in a $3.5 million consent judgment against its bar owner insured (Jane Doe v. Hudson Specialty Insurance Company, No. 17-11642, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 784).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a University of Kentucky professor who alleges that during his removal as chair of a university department, he was denied liberty and property without due process of law (Richard A. Crosby, PhD v. Eli Capilouto, et al., No. 17-723, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 746).
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. filed an answer in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup in California federal court on Jan. 16 denying that exposure to the herbicide "did or could have caused" non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as alleged by a specific plaintiff (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Kevin McNew v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 17-6858, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A data and metrics provider for the media, advertising and marketing industries will pay $110 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former officers and directors violated federal securities law by engaging in a massive accounting fraud, lead plaintiffs claim in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement and stipulation of settlement filed Jan. 12 in New York federal court (Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association, et al. v. comScore Inc., et al., No. 16-1820, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a retiree seeking reinstatement of terminated health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (George W. Mathias v. United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, et al., No. 17-740, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 denied a motion to stay a certified class action seeking wages for time spent going through bag checks and unreimbursed business expenses pending decisions by the California Supreme Court in two cases concerning wages, finding "a fair possibility" of harm to class members with a stay (Jimmy Greer, et al. v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., et al., No. 15-1063, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4711).
NEW YORK - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company and certain of its current and former executive officers failed to plead any material misrepresentation or omissions or scienter to support his federal securities law claim that the defendants concealed that the company's former CEO neglected his responsibilities to the company while secretly exercising control over another company that did significant business with the energy company, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Jeffrey Fries v. Northern Oil & Gas Inc., et al., No. 16-6543, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5307).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In two putative class actions, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 12 that insurers are not entitled to a protective order regarding submission of a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6079).
BOSTON - In what it deemed a case of first impression, a divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 found that a trademark licensee retains only the right to seek prepetition damages following a Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession's rejection of the underlying license agreement (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 16-9016, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 870).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Changes by Foot Locker Inc. and Foot Locker Retirement Plan (collectively, Foot Locker) to a pension plan were concealed from employees, and a trial court did not err when it found that the misconduct constituted equitable fraud and violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a plan participant argues in his opposition brief filed Jan. 10 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Foot Locker, Inc., et al. v. Geoffrey Osberg, et al., No. 17-690, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 rejected appellants' argument that whether the injuries they suffered were the result of an "assault and battery" under a commercial general liability insurance policy is a question of fact for a jury, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (The Burlington Insurance Company v. Rosa De La Puente, et al., Nos. 16-16899 and 16-16986, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 891).
RICHMOND, Va. - Adopting an asbestos plaintiff's timeliness argument in opposing removal requires the court to impermissibly determine a boilermaker's subjective knowledge, a federal judge in Maryland held in denying remand on Jan. 10 (Janya Sawyer, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 16-1530 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4991).
BATON ROUGE, La. - The clock for removing an asbestos case began with the receipt of the deposition transcript, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Jan. 11 in adopting a bright-line test (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-30523, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 741).