PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 14 granted summary judgment in favor of an employer in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a former employee finding that employee's severance agreement included a bar on participation in a class or collective action (Jonathan Kubischta, et al. v. Schlumberger Tech Corp., No. 15-1338, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91556).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 14 rejected an attorney insured's argument that a professional liability insurance policy is voidable for failing to comply with the requirements of New Jersey Rule of Court 1:21-1B(a)(4), denying the insured's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over client funds that were allegedly misappropriated by a legal assistant (Jill Cadre, et al. v. ProAssurance Casualty Co., No. 16-0103, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91925).
NEW ORLEANS - Neither a voluntary motion to dismiss pending when a defendant filed third-party claims nor a foreign entity's late removal warrants remand, a federal judge in Louisiana held July 14 in also declining to sever the claims, which he concluded are probably subject to dismissal (Earl T. Lindsay Jr., et al. v. Ports America Gulfport Inc., et al., No. 16-3054, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91649).
CHICAGO - The judge overseeing the National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athlete concussion injury multidistrict litigation on July 15 granted preliminary approval to the latest incarnation of a settlement between the parties and conditionally certified a settlement class and two subclasses (In Re: National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, No. 13-cv-9116, N.D. Ill.).
SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).
MARSHALL, Texas - A defendant failed to prove that a patent plaintiff litigated its case in an unreasonable manner or that the claims presented "stand out" from others pursuant to Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 ), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 18 (Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC v. ADS Security LP, No. 15-1431, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92845).
DENVER - A trial court erred in finding that no coverage is afforded for environmental contamination cleanup costs because the trial court failed to determine if the insurer was prejudiced by the insured's late notice of the claim, the Colorado Court of Appeals said July 14 (MarkWest Energy Partners L.P., v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 15-0770, Colo. App., Div. 1; 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 956).
SALEM, Ore. - A panel of the Oregon Supreme Court on July 14 reversed and remanded a Court of Appeals' decision finding that a challenge brought by two mining associations regarding a rule requiring them to obtain permits to conduct suction dredge mining was moot, holding that the appellate court should determine if the challenge is justiciable under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 14.175 (Eastern Oregon Mining Association, et al. v. Department of Environmental Quality, et al., No. SC063549, Ore. Sup.; 2016 Ore. LEXIS 463).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A group of former professional wrestlers who sustained long-term neurological injuries sued World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) and its chairman, Vince McMahon, in a Connecticut federal court on July 18, claiming that the entity failed to inform and protect them from the danger of repeated head injuries (Joseph M. Laurinaitis, a.k.a. Road Warrior Animal, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., et al., No. 16-1209, D. Conn.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York issued a summary order on July 14 ordering a reinsurer to pay its reinsured nearly $1 million in prejudgment interest on a nearly $6 million principal award regarding an asbestos-related settlement agreement between the reinsured and its insured (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 13-1178, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91413).
CHICAGO - In an admiralty case, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on July 14 excluded an expert from testifying that boat captains could have requested that gates again be closed as they were approaching the protection cells (In the matter of the complaint of Ingram Barge Co. as owner of the M/V Dale A. Heller and the IB9525, IN025300, IN085089, IN095041, IN096081, IN107057, and IN117513, petitioning for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-3453 c/w In the matter of American Commercial Lines, LLC, as owner and Inland Marine Service, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of the M/V Loyd Murphy for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-4292, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91411).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on July 14 granted an insurer's motion to amend judgment in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract suit, ruling that an insured failed to show that he was entitled to consequential damages (Andrew Cordova v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-1111, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143728).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 15 partially granted a motion for reconsideration on the issue of whether a deductible applies to defense costs in an environmental contamination dispute and said the insurers are free to file a motion to amend their complaint after the underlying suit is adjudicated to allege a claim pertaining to the care, custody or control exclusion in the business auto policies at issue (American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 15-03611, N.D. Calif.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Even though a primary pollution liability policy is not listed as underlying insurance to an umbrella policy, coverage for an underlying environmental contamination suit is still afforded under the umbrella policy, an Oklahoma federal judge said July 15 (BITCO General Insurance Corp. v. Marjo Operating Co. Inc., et al., No. 14-1220, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92083).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a California federal judge on July 15 found the primary proposed class in a dispute over the purported unauthorized sharing of users' address book information to be too broad to support class certification, he granted certification of a subclass of users of Apple Inc.'s devices who activated a particular application (app) designed by Path Inc. (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Path Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92403).
PHILADELPHIA - A power company that was sued by a group of Pennsylvania residents who contend that it is liable for their injuries, including cancer, that stem from exposure to radioactive materials filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15, arguing that it should let stand a lower court's summary judgment ruling in the company's favor because the plaintiffs lack admissible evidence of specific causation (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., No. 15-3506 [consolidated], 3rd Cir.).
SAN ANTONIO - Tesoro Corp., Par Hawaii Refining and their subsidiaries on July 18 said in a consent decree filed in Texas federal court that they would pay $425 million to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at six of their refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and Washington (United States of America v. Tesoro Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-722, W.D. Texas).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 affirmed a district court's decision to decertify a class of claimants that asserted a claim for breach of contract against lenders in relation to alleged late fees, finding that it had the authority to decertify the class after a jury verdict and that the plaintiffs failed to meet federal requirements for certifying a class (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 15-2054, 2nd Cir.; 2016 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12994).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 granted a petition for panel rehearing and/or clarification filed by the lead plaintiff in lawsuit accusing a retailer of wage violations but issued an accompanying order nearly identical to the one issued on May 19 in which it reversed a district court's denial of the employer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (L. Anderson v. Michaels Stores Inc., No. 14-56726, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13055 and 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13056).
BOSTON - A federal judge did not err when entering judgment in favor of defendant landowners accused of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 18, finding that a couple's citizen suit was unnecessary because the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) had addressed allegedly illegal discharges of contaminated storm water (Lois Paolino, et al. v. JF Realty LLC, et al., No. 15-1498, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13117).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on July 15 refused to dismiss an insurer's lawsuit against a landlord and the couple that sued the landlord in an underlying lawsuit regarding lead-based paint exposure, ruling that the insurer's declaratory judgment action must continue because the couple had not met the burden of having the case dismissed (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Stanley Rochkind, et al., No. 15-1546, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91087).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Tylenol multidistrict litigation on July 14 denied a defense motion to exclude a key study from the plaintiff's case in the first bellwether trial and excluded testimony by defense experts who criticized the reliability of the study (In Re: Tylenol [Acetaminophen] Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2436, No. 13-md-2436, E.D. Pa. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92334).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A South Carolina federal magistrate judge on July 14 recommended that 40 California cases be remanded from the Lipitor diabetes multidistrict litigation after finding that they are not mass actions under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and that the naming of drug distributor McKesson Corp. as a defendant has not been shown to be fraudulent misjoinder (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2502, No. 14-mn-2502, D. S.C.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 affirmed a district court's ruling in favor of the employers in a wage class suit brought by servers alleging violations of state and federal laws regarding their tips (Robert Schaefer, et al. v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 15-1058, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12985).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal magistrate judge in Delaware said July 13 that the bare-metal defense and causation standard in Mississippi requires granting judgment in favor of nine asbestos defendants (Robert Lee Winhauer Jr., et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 15-177, D. Del.).