SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 24 granted a disability claimant's motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the evidence does not support the disability insurer's termination of benefits after paying the claimant benefits for almost eight years (Nancy Hart v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 15-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79970).
SEATTLE - A couple must file supplemental briefs explaining why dismissal of a complete diversity defeating defendant is possible and providing a better explanation of a second defendant's corporate structure, a federal judge overseeing an asbestos action in Washington state held May 24 (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corporation LTD., et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79813).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Nevada federal judge's decision to award Halo Electronics Inc. prejudgment interest in a patent dispute is not appealable, because a final judgment has not yet been entered in the case, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 26 (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., No. 16-2006, Fed. Cir.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement to be paid by an industrial service company to end claims that it improperly classified directional drillers as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime wages and meal and rest period premiums (Marc McCulloch, et al. v. Baker Hughes Inteq Drilling Fluids, Inc., et al., No. 16-157, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78367).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24, considering a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, vacated a trial court's order denying enforcement of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative subpoena issued as part of the investigation of a gender bias claim because the district court based its ruling on an incorrect view of the legal standard governing relevance and remanded for further proceedings (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. McLane Company, Inc., No. 13-15126, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9027).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 23 approved a $39 million settlement deal under which ConocoPhillips, a defendant in the multidistrict litigation for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), will be released from the litigation (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 08-0312, S.D. N.Y.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to settle an opioid marketing lawsuit filed by Orange and Santa Clara counties for $1.6 million and marketing restrictions, Santa Clara County announced May 24 in a press release (State of California, et al. v. Purdue Pharma LP, et al., No. 2014-00725287, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - Evidence presented at trial and past jury awards in mesothelioma cases support raising a jury's noneconomic damages award to $1.5 million from $500,000, a Louisiana appeals court held May 24 (Frank S. Romano Sr. and Lynn Rome Romano v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 2016-CA-0954, La. App., 4th Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 961).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 25 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a food marketing and distribution company insured's notice of an underlying lawsuit brought by its former employee was untimely (Food Market Merchandising Inc. v. Scottsdale Indemnity Co., 16-3427, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9089).
TRENTON, N.J. - A majority of the Supreme Court of New Jersey on May 25 reversed an appeals court's ruling that held that an insured is owed $207,961.28 for debris removal in addition to $1 million in flood coverage under a surplus lines insurance policy, reinstating a lower court's partial summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Oxford Realty Group Cedar v. Travelers Excess and Surplus Lines Co., No. A-85-15, 077617, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 570).
SEATTLE - A couple alleging asbestos exposures in Canada lacks specific or general jurisdiction for a suit in Washington state against a defunct automobile parts seller, a federal judge held May 23 (Matthew Hodjera and Sylvia Hodjera v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 17-48, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK - A pension fund has properly pleaded a majority of its federal securities law claims alleging that a company, certain of its officers and directors and the underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO) concealed from investors that the company was expected to see a tax increase that would substantially affect revenue, a federal judge in New York ruled May 23 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (Yi Xiang, et al. v. Inovalon Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-4923, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78207).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 affirmed a district court's finding that a disability claimant waived his rights to contest the termination of his disability benefits because the claimant signed a waiver of all rights, including his rights to contest the termination of his disability claim, as part of a settlement with his former employer for wrongful termination claims (Thomas A. Gonda v. The Permanente Medical Group Inc., et al., No. 15-16484, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8888).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 22 granted final approval of a $1.75 million settlement to be paid by Coach Inc. and Coach Services Inc. (collectively, Coach) to end multiple class wage-and-hour claims, including one brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Mary Lou Ayala, et al. v. Coach, Inc., et al., No. 14-2031, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77652).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 22 dismissed an investor's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and securities laws, finding that he failed to show that he was fraudulently induced into investing in the development of a nightclub (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77643).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal jury's finding in May 2016 that Google Inc.'s incorporation of the Java structure, sequence and organization (SSO) in its Android operating system was a fair use was proper and should not be disturbed, Google told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) was hit with a putative class complaint in California federal court May 22, with one of its mass transit passengers claiming that the organization's smartphone application surreptitiously collects the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers associated with users' phones, as well as their precise locations, in violation of state and federal law (Pamela Moreno v. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, et al., No. 4:17-cv-02911, N.D. Calif.).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Citing the existence of "many deficiencies" in a complaint for contributory copyright infringement, an Indiana federal judge on May 22 dismissed the action in a dispute over the "Transitioning Into Responsible Students" (TIRS) educational program (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. Bart Peterson, et al., No. 16-193, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77007).
ST. LOUIS - A class complaint accusing Welch Foods Inc. and the company that produces, markets and distributes Welch's Fruit Snacks of underfilling the boxes of snacks belongs in state court because the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) amount in controversy is not met, a Missouri federal judge ruled May 22 (Kristen Grisham v. Welch Foods, Inc., et al., No. 17-3, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77303).
HOUSTON - A psychiatrist in Texas was found guilty by a federal jury on May 23 of five counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud for his role in a $158 million fraud scheme that involved submitting fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program (PHP) services (United States of America v. Riyaz Mazkouri, No. 16cr213, S.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES - A trademark and copyright dispute over the phrase "Life is Beautiful" rejected on summary judgment due to a lack of similarity and a plaintiff's unclean hands yielded a $922,309 attorney fee award on May 23 by a California federal judge (Amusement Art LLC v. Life is Beautiful LLC, et al., No. 14-8290, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79135).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary duty rule regarding investment advice will take effect June 9, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a May 23 op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal.