WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on May 18 denied a Swedish investor's petition to confirm a $185,530,618 award, including costs and interests, finding that the award could not be enforced on an ex parte basis and that the investor must file a plenary action and properly serve the Republic of Romania (Viorel Micula v. Government of Romania, No. 1:14-cv-00600, D. D.C.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A conductor who was working on Amtrak Train No. 188 when it derailed in Philadelphia on May 12 filed suit in New Jersey state court May 18, seeking damages for his injuries (Emilio Fonseca, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. d/b/a Amtrak, No. N/A, N.J. Super. Essex Co.).
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals court on May 18 affirmed a $2.6 million verdict in which a jury found that an orthopedic device maker conspired with a surgeon to misrepresent to a spinal surgery patient that the device would "ensure" nerve safety (Brenda F. Kitrosser v. NuVasive, Inc., No. D064946, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3420).
GREEN BAY, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on May 15 denied a motion filed by the federal government for additional findings of fact to support the idea that cleanup costs for contamination at a portion of the Lower Fox River caused by NCR Corp. are not divisible, ruling that the evidence presented at trial and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' instructions on the issue demonstrate that the harm is divisible and that costs can be apportioned (United States of America v. NCR Corporation, et al., No. 10-C-910, E.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63926).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although leaving intact a California federal jury's determination that Apple Inc.'s design and utility patents were infringed by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Samsung Electronics America Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America LLC (Samsung, collectively), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 vacated a finding by jurors that Apple's asserted registered and unregistered iPhone trade dress is entitled to protection (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., Nos. 14-1335, 15-1029, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8096).
PASADENA, Calif. - Reversing a previous panel decision ordering YouTube LLC and Google Inc. to take down a controversial anti-Muslim film based on an actress' "heartfelt plea for personal protection," an en banc Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority on May 18 held that "a weak copyright claim cannot justify censorship in the guise of authorship" (Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google Inc., et al., No. 12-57302, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8105).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on May 18 to approve the recommended payment of $6.3 million in claims (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on May 18 granted Crane Co.'s motion to dismiss its indemnity action against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on the condition that the parties return all confidential documents (Crane Co. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 14-6509, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - Two suits were filed in Pennsylvania federal court May 18 alleging injuries resulting from the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia (Blair Berman v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 15-02741, E.D. Pa.; Iban, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 15-02744, E.D. Pa.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 signed a bill that preempts regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the city level, overriding the fracking ban that was passed last year in a referendum that was approved in the City of Denton.
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on May 14 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, concluding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's claim for subrogation was dismissed but that its claim for potential violation of state statutes could not be dismissed at this time (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14 Civ. 6228, S.D. N.Y).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 18 denied a denture cream plaintiff's request to review whether epidemiological studies are a precondition for an expert causation opinion (Marianne Chapman, et vir. v. Proctor & Gamble Distributing LLC, et al., No. 14-958, U.S. Sup.).
MACON, Ga. - The mere possibility that insureds could suffer future injury if their townhouse is damaged in the future is not enough to establish a justiciable controversy regarding coverage for diminished value, a Georgia federal judge said May 14 in denying the insureds' motion for class certification (John Thompson et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-32, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63113).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion on May 18 that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries' initial selection of plan investments without considering "the contours of the alleged breach of fiduciary duty" under trust law (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 13-550, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it concluded that Department of Veterans Affairs nurses seeking unpaid overtime pay must show that the overtime was officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 15 (Stephanie Mercier, et al. v. United States, No. 2014-5074, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8003).
CINCINNATI - The majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 14 determined that a disability insurer arbitrarily and capriciously denied a claim for "any occupation" long-term disability benefits because the insurer disregarded reliable medical evidence in support of the claimant's disability (Samuel Niswonger v. PNC Bank Corp. and Affiliates Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 13-4282, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8076).
NEW YORK - Defendants' request for a stay of asbestos litigation during formulation of a new case management order ignores their own hand in the current order and the "extreme prejudice" and harm plaintiffs and the court system face from a stay, asbestos plaintiffs told a New York justice on May 14 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/1988, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - A pathology report confirming that an in extremis asbestos plaintiff suffers from mesothelioma exempts out-of-town plaintiffs from traveling for deposition in New York City, the special master overseeing discovery disputes held May 15.
NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on May 13 dismissed with leave to amend a plaintiff's class action complaint, which includes state unfair competition law claims (UCL), accusing a supplement maker of falsely labeling a male enhancement supplement because it does not produce the promised effects (Ryan Vigil v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 15-79, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63506).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 14 granted in part and denied in part an insured's motion to stay an insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing professional liability coverage for lawsuits, arbitrations and other legal proceedings 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.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64145).
LUXEMBOURG - The European Court of Justice of the European Communities on May 13 issued its decision on the interpretation of European Union law in relation to a Russian company's appeal of a decision in Lithuania, which refused to enforce an arbitral award that was issued in its favor (Gazprom [Judgment], No.  C-536/13, EUECJ).
CHICAGO - Generic drug manufacturers on May 15 moved to dismiss claims against them in the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation, arguing that all the plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal law (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).