BEAUFORT, S.C. - A woman seeking to represent a proposed class of homeowners claiming that a general contractor, Del Webb Communities Inc., and Pulte Homes Inc. are liable for damages stemming from improperly installed stucco says in an Oct. 13 motion filed in South Carolina federal court that her class should be certified because it is identical to a class that was certified in state court (Jacqueline L. Craft v. South Carolina State Plastering, LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Oct. 13 shot down all of an estate's challenges to a jury's verdict in favor of a nursing home on the estate's wrongful death claims, including the estate's argument that the trial court abused its discretion by limiting testimony from the estate's expert witness (Jerry Stamper v. Berea Area Development, LLC, d/b/a The Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, No. 2014-CA-000690-MR, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 764).
NEW YORK - The Ministry of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on Oct. 16 moved a New York federal court to dismiss a petition filed by a Canadian company that seeks to obtain payment from a trust held by a bank to satisfy a $1.2 billion arbitral award, arguing that the requested assets are immune from execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) (Crystallex International Corp. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, No. 1:17-cv-07024, S.D. N.Y.).
SEATTLE - A panel of the Division I Washington Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a city's motion for summary judgment in a premises liability suit after finding that a man who sprained his ankle walking in a lake did not show that a city knew about the hazard on which the man injured himself (Gregory Corwin v. The City of Kent, No. 75659-1-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 2393).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 remanded an insured's suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an auto insurer and the insured's insurance agent after determining that the agent was not fraudulently joined to defeat jurisdiction (Melinda Bradley-Williams v. Agency Insurance Company of Maryland Inc., et al., No. 17-3755, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169264).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 held that there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the record keeper of a retirement plan breached a fiduciary duty when it followed a retirement committee's instruction to freeze the assets in a tax savings retirement plan account, granting the record keeper's motion for summary judgment (Dr. Sujata Vyas v. Bhaskar Vyas, et al., No. 15-02152, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170029).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Iowa federal judge on Oct. 13 found that a participant in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) had standing to assert claims against the plan's trustee for violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, partially dismissing certain causes of action but allowing a claim that the trustee allegedly violated a fiduciary duty when it completed a transaction to proceed (Deborah Innis v. Bankers Trust Company of South Dakota, No. 4:16-cv-00650, S.D. Iowa).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss all of a borrower's claims against it for failure to state a claim but granted him leave to amend his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and negligence (Cristian Alvarado v. 360 Mortgage Group LLC, No. 17-cv-04655, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171042).
SEATTLE - Even though a patent infringement case was recently transferred from a California federal court, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 17 found that he would maintain jurisdiction over an inventor's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and refused to dismiss the claim (Elliot Kremerman v. Open Source Steel, LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-953, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171735).
HONOLULU - Although refusing to dismiss a copyright infringement case outright as a sanction for providing insufficient discovery responses, a Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 17 ordered a plaintiff to supplement the discovery responses, attend a status conference and be deposed, as well as pay all court reporter fees associated with the deposition (Keoni Payton v. Defend Inc., et al., No. 15-238, D. Hawaii, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171877).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class complaint against federal government officials on Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that unaccompanied immigrant minors, many of whom have been sexually abused or assaulted, are being denied access to abortions in violation of their rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Rochelle Garza, et al. v. Eric Hargan, et al., No. 17-2122, D. D.C.).
BALTIMORE - Bon Secours Health System Inc. (BSHSI) will contribute $14 million annually for the next seven years, for a total of $98 million, to seven defined-benefit plans operating as "church plans" to settle claims that it improperly operated the plans as exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and underfunded them, a class of participants claim in their motion for final approval of the settlement agreement and certification of settlement class filed Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Arlene Hodges, et al. v. Bon Secours Health System, Inc., et al., No. 16-1079, D. Md.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Jurors in the criminal proceedings against alleged co-conspirator to convicted former pharmaceutical company CEO Martin Shkreli's massive securities fraud scheme Evan Greebel should not be made aware of Shkreli's acquittal on conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges, federal prosecutors argued Oct. 16 in an opposition to Greebel's request to disclose the information (United States of America v. Evan Greebel, No. 15-cr-0637, E.D. N.Y.).
SALT LAKE CITY - An accident did not cause a worker's degenerative arthritis, an Utah appeals panel ruled Oct. 13, declining to disturb the denial of the worker's permanent partial disability (PPD) compensation under an insolvent insurer's policy (Raymond M. Snyder v. Labor Commission, et al., No. 20160822-CA, Utah App., 2017 Utah App. LEXIS 197).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Reinsurance facultative certificates covered defense expenses in excess of a liability cap, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Oct. 17, affirming that insurers were entitled to interest on certain proofs of loss for asbestos claims issued before 2013 (Century Indemnity Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., No. 1280 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 806).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 granted preliminary approval of a $16 million settlement to be paid by ADT LLC to end several class action suits accusing the home security system company of failing to disclose that its wireless systems are unencrypted and vulnerable to attack (Michael Edenborough v. ADT, LLC, No. 16-2233, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170896).
SAN FRANCISCO - It is too late in the litigation in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. and others to require Uber to turn over all of its source code for its self-driving vehicle technology, and a plaintiff's motion to compel Uber to turn over the source code is overly broad, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 16 in denying the motion (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170903).
PHILADELPHIA - A jury in Pennsylvania state court on Oct. 17 awarded a couple $15.5 million against a man who was negligent by driving a truck under the influence of alcohol and against the company he contracted for after finding that it was negligent for contracting with the driver (Isaac Espinoza, et al. v. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., et al. No. 2656, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay employees for all rest breaks lasting 20 minutes or less, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 13 (Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., et al., No. 16-2685, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19991).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge's decision to deny a preliminary injunction barring an infringement defendant from using the "HealthPrint" trademark was affirmed Oct. 17 by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that evidence of actual confusion is lacking in the case (Superior Consulting Services Inc. v. Shaklee Corporation, No. 17-11210, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20265).
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Cherokee Nation on Oct. 16 told the Actos multidistrict litigation court that its class action on behalf of all Native American tribes is being brought under federal laws and should remain in the MDL court and not be transferred to an Oklahoma federal court (In Re: Actos Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 11-md-2299, The Cherokee National, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., No. 15-1485, W.D. La.).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Third Division of the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 vacated a $72 million verdict in favor of the estate of a woman who died from ovarian cancer caused by years of using talcum powder made by Johnson & Johnson because the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction (Estate of Jacqueline Fox v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED104580, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 1043).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Oct. 17 scheduled arguments for the creation of a national prescription opiate multidistrict litigation (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, JPMDL).