LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 2 Former Wrestlers' Fraud Claims Against WWE Will Continue, Federal Judge Says

    HARTFORD, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on July 21 denied World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s (WWE) motion to reconsider a previous order in which she allowed fraud by omission claims brought by two former professional wrestlers to proceed to trial because the wrestlers properly alleged harm caused by the WWE (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Indian Cigarette Maker Wins Partial Victory On New York State's Claims

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A Native American cigarette manufacturer was awarded summary judgment July 21 in New York federal court on most federal cigarette tax claims filed against it by the State of New York but lost summary judgment on state law claims for failure to sell unstamped cigarettes to licensed stamping agents and failure to file annual manufacturing compliance certifications (State of New York v. Mountain Tobacco Company, d/b/a King Mountain Tobacco Company, Inc., No. 12-cv-6276, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95329).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Accidental Pistol Discharge Class Suit Is Settled For Millions

    MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on July 22 granted final approval of a class settlement, estimated to have a value ranging from $29.9 million to $73.6 million, ending a suit filed against the companies that manufactured and sold eight models of pistols that are alleged to have a defect that causes them to fire unintentionally (Chris P. Carter, et al. v. Forjas Taurus S.A., et al., No. 13-24583, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96054).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Partly Vacates Ruling In Favor Of Apple In Patent Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's determination that Apple Inc. was entitled to a summary judgment that it did not infringe various claims of four patents was erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 22 (Unwired Planet LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1725, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13364).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal, Finds Equitable Tolling Does Not Apply

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss a claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) as barred by a statute of limitations because equitable tolling did not apply (Mark McQuinn, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., as successor to in interest to Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 14-56038, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13434).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Panel Affirms Judgment For Defendant, Finds Workers' Comp Act Applies

    AUSTIN, Texas - The exclusive remedy provision of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) barred a man's premises liability claims against a general contractor for injuries he sustained while working as a subcontractor on a construction site, a Texas appellate panel ruled July 22, affirming summary judgment for the general contractor (Matthew Eric Kershner v. Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC, No. 03-15-00529-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7801).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Complaint: Digital Millennium Copyright Act Provisions Violate 1st Amendment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A complaint filed July 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia targets the "anti-circumvention" and "anti-trafficking" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), stating that they chill "protected and noninfringing speech that relies on copyrighted works" without providing speakers with the traditional safeguard of "the fair use doctrine" in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Matthew Green, et al. v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., No. 1:16-cv-01492, D. D.C.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Fails To Show All Claims Barred By Contractual Liability Exclusion

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 22 held that an insurer has failed to satisfy its burden of establishing that all claims alleged in underlying class actions are excluded from coverage under a "products/completed operations liability and professional liability" insurance policy's contractual liability exclusion, denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over lawsuits arising from the insured's service of providing consumers with genetic data from saliva testing (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. 23andMe, Inc., No. 14-03286, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96079).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Panel Affirms Judgment For Defendant, Finds Workers' Comp Act Applies

    AUSTIN, Texas - The exclusive remedy provision of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) barred a man's premises liability claims against a general contractor for injuries he sustained while working as a subcontractor on a construction site, a Texas appellate panel ruled July 22, affirming summary judgment for the general contractor (Matthew Eric Kershner v. Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC, No. 03-15-00529-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7801).

    Mealey's Insurance - South Dakota Majority Reverses No Coverage Ruling For Cattle Killed In Winter Storm

    PIERRE, S.D. - A majority of the South Dakota Supreme Court on July 20 reversed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify its insureds for their loss of 93 cattle during winter storm Atlas, finding that the insurance policy's drowning provision is ambiguous (Richard Papousek v. De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company of South Dakota, No. 27658, S.D. Sup.; 2016 S.D. LEXIS 93).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Appeals Court Finds 2nd Suit Over Roof Involved Same Primary Right

    SAN FRANCISCO - A couple's second lawsuit against the sellers of a home with a leaky roof, the contractors who installed the roof and the contractor who attempted to repair the roof contained the same primary right as an earlier suit that was dismissed by a state court judge, a California appeals panel ruled July 22 in affirming a ruling sustaining defendants' motions for demurrer and summary judgment (Alan Kizor, et al v. Blackwood Associates Inc., et al., No. A144672, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5442).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Faulty Workmanship Bars Insurance Claim For Damages From Collapse

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A faulty workmanship exclusion precludes coverage for collapse damages caused by an insured's actions related to the excavation of a basement coupled with the failure to install underpinning to secure the building's foundation, a Virginia federal judge ruled July 21, finding that the ensuing loss exception fails to restore coverage because no independent and covered peril contributed to the collapse other than the insured's excluded conduct (Taja Investments LLC, et al. v. Peerless Insurance Co. a/k/a Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-01647, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95760).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Allows Expert Testimony On Project Survey, Alleged Improper Plans

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal claims judge on July 21 allowed expert testimony on the topographical survey for a project showing that it was incomplete and that the project plans and specifications were improperly copied from a prior project (Magnus Pacific Corp. v. The United States, No. 13-859 C, Fed. Clms.; 2016 U.S. Claims LEXIS 974).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms: Defendant Had Right To Use 'Crazy Horse' Mark

    SAN FRANCISCO - Finding no genuine dispute of material fact as to the validity of a trademark co-existence agreement or as to the validity of a later assignment of rights under that agreement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 upheld a Nevada federal judge's decision to grant an infringement defendant summary judgment (Russell Road Food and Beverage LLC v. Frank Spencer et al., No. 14-16096, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13384).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Nebraska High Court Won't Adopt Mode-Of-Operation Rule For Premises Liability

    LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Supreme Court on July 22 affirmed summary judgment for a grocery store in a slip-and-fall case, declining to adopt the plaintiff's suggestion that the state should adopt the mode-of-operation rule in addressing premises liability claims (Susan L. Edwards v. Hy-Vee, Inc., No. S-15-682, Neb. Sup.; 294 Neb. 237; 2016 Neb. LEXIS 107).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Acclarent Pays $18M For Off-Label Marketing Of Sinus Device

    BOSTON - With a criminal trial against two company executives just concluded, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts on July 22 revealed that medical device maker Acclarent Inc. paid $18 million to settle lawsuits that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs through the off-label marketing of its Stratus nasal device (United States of America, ex rel. Melayna Lokosky v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 11-11217, United States of America, ex rel. WW. Young, III v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 12-12314, United States of America, ex rel. John Doe v. Acclarent, Inc., et al., No. 13-10205, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Panel Vacates 2 $9M Accutane Verdicts, Orders New Trial

    TRENTON, N.J. - A panel of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on July 22 vacated two $9 million Accutane bowel injury verdicts and remanded them for a new trial after finding that the trial court improperly allowed evidence of subsequent remedial action by defendant Hoffman-La Roche Inc. (Kathleen Rossitto v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. A-1236-13T1, Riley Dean Wilkinson v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. A-1237-13T1, N.J. Sup., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1714).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Refuses To Remand Case, Finds Arbitration Clause Could Provide Defense

    DALLAS - After finding that it is possible that an arbitration clause falling under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards could provide a defense to claims asserted by two entities against former employees, a Texas federal judge on July 21 refused to remand the case to state court (Valtech Solutions Inc., et al. v. Deborah Davenport, et al., No. 3:15-CV-3361, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95098).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Drug Maker Agrees To Pay $95M To Settle Federal Securities Law Claims

    LOS ANGELES - A drug maker will pay $95 million to settle claims that it misrepresented certain safety concerns with two of its products in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed July 21 in California federal court (In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-2536, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Drug Maker Agrees To Pay $95M To Settle Federal Securities Law Claims

    LOS ANGELES - A drug maker will pay $95 million to settle claims that it misrepresented certain safety concerns with two of its products in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed July 21 in California federal court (In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-2536, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Affirms Pandora Privacy Suit Dismissal Per Michigan High Court Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Pandora Media Inc. did not constitute a customer of Pandora's online streaming service per Michigan's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc. No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13333).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Grants Leave To Amend Cause Of Action In Petition To Confirm

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 20 dismissed a petition to confirm an arbitral award, finding that the claimant invoked the wrong cause of action, but granted him leave to refile to properly invoke 9 U.S. Code Section 207 (Xiangkai Xu v. China Sunergy [US] Clean Tech Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-04823-HRL, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94906).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Remand Case, Finds Arbitration Clause Could Provide Defense

    DALLAS - After finding that it is possible that an arbitration clause falling under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards could provide a defense to claims asserted by two entities against former employees, a Texas federal judge on July 21 refused to remand the case to state court (Valtech Solutions Inc., et al. v. Deborah Davenport, et al., No. 3:15-CV-3361, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95098).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Textron: Plaintiffs Fail To State Claim For Groundwater Contamination

    GREENVILLE, Miss. - The company being sued by a group of residents seeking damages for personal injuries and groundwater contamination caused by hexavalent chromium and trichloroethylene (TCE) on July 20 filed its answer in Mississippi federal court contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Biogen Says Government Is Probing Its Drug Prices, Rebates, Buyer Assist Efforts

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Biotechnology company Biogen Inc. said July 21 that it received civil investigative demands on July 1 from the federal government for documents and information relating to the company's treatment of "certain service agreements with wholesalers when calculating and reporting Average Manufacturing Prices in connection with the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program."