SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 3 refused to dismiss a consumer's claims regarding the mislabeling of margarine as a healthy product, finding that at the very least he established standing to assert claims that the alleged mislabeling violated various laws, including California's unfair competition law (UCL), based on a financial injury (Troy Backus, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated, v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 16-00454, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136999).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Oct. 3 released their decision to reject a third attempt by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to disqualify an arbitrator, finding nothing to support a finding that he manifestly lacks the ability to be impartial in hearing the case (Fabrica De Vidrios Los Andres C.A., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/12/21, ICSID).
ATLANTA - A Georgia appellate panel on Oct. 4 reversed summary judgment granted to a hospital after ruling that the trial court erred in finding that a woman who was injured getting out of a wheelchair in a hospital had to file an expert affidavit with her negligence claim against the hospital (Caroline Byrom v. Douglas Hospital Inc., No. A16A0937, Ga. App., 3rd Div.; 2016 Ga. App. LEXIS 543).
BOSTON - A group of health organizations on Oct. 4 filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in federal court in Massachusetts claiming that the agency has not come up with a new graphic warning label for cigarette boxes and advertisements as it is required to do by law (American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration, No. 1:16-cv-11985, D. Mass.).
MADISON, Wis. - An expert's opinion that cumulative exposures to asbestos lead to mesothelioma does not differ noticeably from the type of "every exposure" testimony excluded by the court, and the plaintiff cannot otherwise demonstrate exposure or causation, a federal judge held Sept. 30 in granting judgment after a bench trial (Gary Suoja, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 99-475, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135421).
PORTLAND, Maine - Email statements made by a deceased man are not hearsay and are admissible in a case of mail fraud and retaliation, a Maine federal judge ruled Sept. 30, also refusing to exclude an expert's testimony that the man died from his own ingestion of a lethal amount of potassium cyanide (United States of America v. Sidney P. Kilmartin, No. 14-00129, D. Maine; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135299).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 30 ruled that the City of Cincinnati's requirements for the award of construction contracts for water works jobs are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because they impact the uniformity of the structure and administrative practice for ERISA plans and create "an impediment to uniform benefit administration" (Allied Construction Industries v. City of Cincinnati, No. 1:14cv450, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S Dis. LEXIS 135758).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 denied a motion to certify a class of beneficiaries of employer-sponsored Prudential Insurance Company of America life insurance policies, saying that the plaintiffs have failed to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement (Clark R. Huffman, et al. v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 2:10-cv-05135, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135349).
BOSTON - The trial of two defendants facing murder and other federal charges in connection with the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak associated with the New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECC) was reset Oct. 4 to Jan. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 3 ruled that Lion's Choice franchisee Valley Beef LLC's continued operation of its franchise after the termination of its franchise agreement constitutes a violation of the franchise agreement and a violation of Lion' Choice's trademarks and copyrights (LC Franchisor LLC, et al. v. Valley Beef LLC, No. 4:15-cv-00383, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136790).
SAN ANTONIO - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage under a term accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy because no genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether an insured's diabetes contributed to an amputation after stepping on a nail, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 3 (Randy Price v. Dearborn National Life Insurance Co., No. 15-0369, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137289).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 3 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by FCA US LLC, formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler), letting stand a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that had vacated the denial of an intervenor's motion to unseal documents related to an injunction motion in a consumer class action (FCA US LLC [f/k/a Chrysler Group LLC] v. The Center for Auto Safety, No. 15-1211, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 4644).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Former gypsum plaster and wallboard manufacturer Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. filed a Chapter 11 petition Sept. 30 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court along with cement company affiliate Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. (HPCI) to resolve thousands of asbestos personal injury claims filed against the debtors (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., at al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding no contradictory reasoning in an award that dismissed a Greek company and bank's investment-related claims against the Hellenic Republic for lack of jurisdiction, an ad hoc committee for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Sept. 30 released a decision in which it refused to partially annul the award (Postova banka, a.s. and Istrokapital SE v. Hellenic Republic, No. ARB/13/8, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Plaintiffs in 89 federal lawsuits who allege that they suffered permanent hair loss from the chemotherapy drug Taxotere on Oct. 4 had their cases centralized in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, JPMDL).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the Boston Scientific Corp. (BSC) pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Oct. 3 denied the defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial in a consolidated trial that resulted in $14.75 million in compensatory and punitive damages for three women (Carol Sue Campbell, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 12-8633, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136669).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Oct. 4 dismissed indictments against two pharmacists in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak because the judge said their role in checking shipments of two compounded drugs marked for fictitious patients was incidental to alleged violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) (United States of America v. Kathy S. Chin, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).
PHOENIX - Lifting a stay and unsealing documents in a securities class action lawsuit against a solar energy panel manufacturer and certain officers and directors is not proper because the parties seeking to intervene, lift the stay and unseal the documents - investors in a related shareholder derivative lawsuit - would be permitted to "conduct discovery in aid of their demand futility argument," which has been denied twice in that action, a federal judge in Arizona ruled Sept. 30 (Mark Smilovits, et al. v. First Solar Inc., et al., No. 12-0555, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135704).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 declined review of an appeal of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's ruling affirming a state court order in a securities class action lawsuit that determined that a jury instruction improperly stated the law governing a federal securities fraud claim (Richard I. Fried v. Stiefel Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 15-1458, U.S. Sup.).
MIAMI - Efforts by 32 models to obtain, through discovery, the membership list of a defendant "swingers" club were unsuccessful on Oct. 3, when a Florida federal magistrate judge concluded that it remains unclear whether the requested information would assist the plaintiffs in determining the amount of damages available to them on their allegation that the club violated the Lanham Act (Jaime Faith Edmondson, et al. v. Velvet Lifestyles LLC, No. 15-24442, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136866).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Sept. 30 denied the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance's motion to quash a subpoena related to the denial of a woman's mental health treatments, saying a confidentiality provision in the state Health Care Quality Act is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Rachel B. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 14-cv-01153, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135547).
ORLANDO, Fla. - D.R. Horton Inc. must respond to a subcontractor's request for information regarding other lawsuits the builder has been named a party in over allegedly defective stucco, after a federal magistrate judge in Florida on Oct. 3 ruled that the information is relevant (D.R. Horton Inc. v. H&H Stucco & Stone Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-2063-Orl-40TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136603).
NEW YORK - In a personal injury lawsuit, an employer must provide information concerning its expert witnesses' past compensation in previous cases, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 29, granting in part motions to exclude (Daniel Whalen v. CSX Transportation Inc., No. 13-3784, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135061).
NEW ORLEANS - A sharply divided en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 30 affirmed certification of a class of individuals who signed up to sell utility contracts to others but now seek to recover the money they lost, alleging that they were part of a fraudulent pyramid scheme (Juan Ramon Torres, et al. v. S.G.E. Management, L.L.C., et al., No. 14-20128, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17746).