BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 22 overruled a railroad roundhouse operator's argument that the statute of limitations barred the government's cost recovery claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that the tolling period did not begin to run until the U.S. Army issued a record of decision (ROD) in September 2015 stating that removal actions at a portion of the Fort Devens Superfund site in Ayers, Mass., were complete (United States of America v. Boston and Maine Corporation v. Town of Ayer, Mass., No. 13-10087-IT, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129726).
PHILADELPHIA - A split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 affirmed that a Pennsylvania federal judge properly certified a class of franchisees suing one of the largest commercial cleaning franchisors over their employment classification, saying the claims in this case are "susceptible to class-wide determination" (Darryl Williams, et al. v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, et al., No. 15-2049, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17223).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 again denied a defendant's motion seeking stay remand of an asbestos case now set for trial later this year while it challenges the order returning the case to state court (Velma Searcy v. 3M Co. and Hexcel Corp., No. 16-56034, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Sept. 22 said it has amended its practice note provided to parties and arbitral tribunals on the conduct of arbitration.
NEW YORK - The government of the United Mexican States on Sept. 21 moved for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in support of an exploration company's petition for rehearing in a case in which the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently confirmed a $400 million award against it (Corporacion Mexicana De Mantenimiento Intergral, S. De R.L. De C.V. v. Pemex-Exploracion Y, No. 13-4022, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Sept. 22 that an arbitration award should be confirmed because a reinsured has not shown that an arbitration umpire was biased (Yosemite Insurance Company v. Nationwide Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-05290, S.D. N.Y.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Sept. 20 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to dismiss a breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement and intentional and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against it, finding that the claims are preempted by federal law (D&S Remodelers Inc. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Services LLC, et al., No. 15-59, M.D. Tenn., Nashville Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128135).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 20 affirmed a Texas federal court's award of $3,728,613.91 in a wage-and-hour suit brought by truck drivers (Nicole Olibas, et al. v. John Barclay, et al., Reginald E. Williams, et al. v. Native Oilfield Services, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-10919, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17359).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 22 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, eBay Inc. and others allege that a graphic user interface (GUI) patent is invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 103 (eBay Inc., et al., v. Global Equity Management Pty. Ltd., No. IPR2016-01828, PTAB).
TRENTON, N.J. - Counterclaims of contributory copyright infringement were rejected Sept. 22 by a New Jersey federal judge as barred by the economic loss doctrine because the allegations giving rise to the counterclaim are not "separate and distinct" from a related breach of contract counterclaim (Air Express International d/b/a DHL Global Forwarding Corporation v. LOG-NET Inc., No. 12-1732, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129409).
TULSA, Okla. - An insurer is entitled to judgment on the pleadings on claims that it failed to properly provide a defense for insureds under the terms of a homeowners insurance policy because the insureds conceded that they were not entitled to a defense for the claims made against them, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Sept. 20 (Delilah M. Paul, et al. v. CSAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-712, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127165).
HOUSTON - An insured is not entitled to coverage under a one-year casualty insurance policy for losses as the result of a burglary because the insured failed to pay the premium by the required deadline, failed to disclose that he has filed similar claims under the terms of a previous policy and failed to properly maintain his business's security system, a federal judge in Texas ruled Sept. 22 (Perfit Vision, et al. v. Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-408, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129865).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims asserted against banks, finding that a borrower's causes of action for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) were time-barred and that certain claims were also already resolved in a foreclosure case (Rose M. Jacques v. Chase Bank USA, N.A., et al., No. 16-1318, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17172).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 21 issued a summary judgment ruling that leaves for a January jury trial the question of whether a Florida plaintiffs law firm breached its contract with an Ohio plaintiffs' law firm and owes it $1.3 million in referral fees for Prempro (hormone replacement therapy, or HRT) cases (Misny & Associates Co. v. Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, No. 15-681, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129239).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two federal legislators on Sept. 22 introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) aimed at improving drinking water standards, specifically with regard to the amount of lead in the water, by increasing compliance among local water utilities while fostering "greater community right to know about drinking water quality."
DETROIT - A group of Michigan residents on Sept. 22 filed an omnibus response in a lawsuit regarding the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., contending that although employees of the state have yet to be indicted for the lead water crisis in Flint, there are "more than enough questions of fact, internal contradictions, and criminal falsehoods" to warrant denial of their motion to dismiss (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The federal government's enforcement of War Production Board Limitation Order L-208(Rule L-208) during World War II at the Lava Cap Mine does not make it an operator under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 21 in granting the government's motion for summary judgment on a defendant's counterclaim for contribution (United States of America, et al. v. Sterling Centrecorp Inc., et al., No. 08-cv-02556, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128371).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 21 issued a stay of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's decision that a pension plan operated by Dignity Health was not subject to the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and does not qualify for ERISA's church plan exemption because it was not established by a church or by a convention or association of churches (Dignity Health, et al. v. Starla Rollins, No. 16-258, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 19 denied an investor's motion for relief from a previous dismissal order, ruling that the investor's newly discovered evidence was in fact available to the public months before the initial complaint in the action was filed (Steven P. Messner v. USA Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-5427, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127041).
PHOENIX - Saying Arizona does not recognize foreseeability in its duty analysis, a panel of the state's appellate court on Sept. 20 declined to impose a duty on a premise owner for a man's take-home asbestos exposures (Mary Quiroz, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0083, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2016 Ariz. App. LEXIS 218).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer in a Sept. 19 brief asks a federal court in New York to reconsider its discovery rulings that the reinsurer says require it to produce reserve information while not requiring its reinsured to produce the same category of documentation (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 19 granted a motion requesting remand of a consolidated class complaint accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of various wage violations, finding that Wal-Mart failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and filed an untimely removal (Polo Garcia, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 15-5337, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127476).
PHILADELPHIA - Registering to do business in Pennsylvania provides consent to personal jurisdiction in the state even in light of recent Supreme Court precedent, a federal judge in Philadelphia held Sept. 20 in a case alleging ovarian cancer arising from exposure to talc (Nancy Bors v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 16-2866, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128259).