HARRISBURG, Pa. - An oil and gas exploration company on Sept. 3 appealed an order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that found the company liable for contaminating groundwater as a result of its drilling operations. The company argues that the order is "arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, not in accordance with law, and violates [the company's] constitutional rights" (Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. v. Department of Environmental Protection, No. 2015-131, Pa. EHB).
NEW YORK - A copyright dispute over electronic textbooks and instruction solution manuals that were reproduced and distributed online without authorization should yield a $5 million award and a permanent injunction, a New York federal magistrate judge recommended Sept. 3 (Cengage Learning Inc. et al. v. Mike Shi et al., No. 13-7772, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119322).
SEATTLE - In a Sept. 3 motion filed in its unfair billing case against Amazon.com Inc. in Washington federal court, the Federal Trade Commission seeks a protective order to prevent Amazon from using the discovery process to obtain documents about competitor Apple Inc. related to a similar, but separate FTC proceeding against Apple (Federal Trade Commission v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 2:14-cv-01038, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Sept. 4 that a pair of reinsurers owe it more than $800,000 under reinsurance agreements dating from the 1980s (TIG Insurance Company v. Randall & Quilter Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-07024, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 4 denied a motion by comedian William H. "Bill" Cosby Jr. to take discovery to determine if the counsel and plaintiff from a prior sexual assault case violated a court order by releasing a confidential transcript from that case to the media (Tamara Green, et al. v. William H. Cosby Jr., No. 2:15-cv-00144, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118216).
DENVER - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to the correct date of loss for hail damage to a condominium building and whether the insurer's refusal to pay replacement cost value (RCV) benefits under the policy rendered the insured financially unable to complete repairs on the damaged roofs and if repair or replacement has occurred, a Colorado federal magistrate judge found Sept. 8 (Madison Park Townhouses Homeowners Association v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-01915, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119090).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A declaratory judgment copyright defendant must produce documents relating to the publication and first sale of products not at issue in the litigation, if they were included in the same copyright registrations as those products that are at issue, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 8 (Classic Touch Decor Inc. v. Michael Aram Inc., No. 15-453, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119249).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that a pet food ingredient supplier lacked sufficient connection to California to support claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a Missouri federal judge on Sept. 8 dismissed a pet food maker's third-party UCL claims but allowed certain claims for negligence and indemnity to proceed (Nestle Purina Petcare Co. v. The Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd., No. 4:14 CV 859, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118992).
ABERDEEN, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Sept. 8 refused to dismiss a property owner's complaint against several banks in relation to her mortgage, finding that they did not challenge her claims and that the complaint stated a plausible claim for relief (Elizabeth Lefford v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 1:15-CV-60, N.D. Miss.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119230).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - The U.S. government's expert can testify on child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS) in a sexual abuse case, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 8, finding the expert credible and her report reliable (United States of America v. Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., No. 14-23, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119204).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 8 denied a motion by two oil companies that say a woman who claims THAT her husband's death was caused by exposure to benzene for which the companies are liable should post an appeal bond in the amount of $37,376.97 under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) 7 as she appeals to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Yolande Burst v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 14-109, E.D. La.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois physician on Sept. 8 pleaded guilty in federal court to claims that he wrongfully certified Medicare patients as confined to their homes to allow health care agencies to submit unnecessary claims for in-home treatment (United States of America v. Arthur Davida, No. 15 CR 534, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - The "Tiffany" trademark is valid and was infringed by Costco Wholesale Corp., a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 8, granting Tiffany and Co. summary judgment (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California fire protection district did not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to compensate firefighters for the time they spend traveling to pick up their required gear, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 4, upholding a trial court's decision (Steve Balestrieri, et al. v. Menlo Park Fire Protection District, No. 12-15975, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15785).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A water company that is one of several defendants sued for a spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into West Virginia's Elk River on Sept. 4 filed a brief in West Virginia federal court, arguing that the court should not remand the chemical spill lawsuit, which is also related to a bankruptcy lawsuit filed by one of the defendants (Desimone Hospitality Services LLC v. West Virginia-American Water Company, No.14-14845, S.D. W.Va.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Sept. 3 granted an insurer's motion to stay proceedings pending the outcome of an arbitration process in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims against the insurer are subject to the policy's arbitration provision (Joan Kirkland, et al. v. Pan-American Life Insurance Co., No. 14-2536, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117827).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 4 denied a woman's motion for summary judgment in a suit accusing her and her husband of purposefully failing to disclose on a homeowners insurance policy application that the husband had been twice convicted of a felony, finding that genuine issues exist as to whether the woman read the application before signing it and whether she intentionally made the misrepresentation (American National Property and Casualty Company v. Paul Moore, et al., No. 14-cv-10340, S.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118186).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California judge properly granted a defendant summary judgment because both the man and the manufacturer presented equally ambiguous evidence in a bystander exposure case, a state appeals court held Sept. 8 (James Shiffer, et al. v. CBS Corp., No. A139388, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 788).
RALEIGH, N.C. - An expert's report is admissible to determine the class members in a proposed class action against Dish Network LLC regarding violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a North Carolina federal judge ruled Sept. 8, finding that the expert is qualified and that her report and opinions rest on a reliable foundation (Thomas H. Krakauer v. Dish Network, LLC, No. 14-333, M.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118858).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge granted summary judgment on Sept. 8 to the City of Minneapolis on insurers' claims for trespass, federal and state law takings and violation of the equal protection clause regarding insurance payments made for water damage to a condominium building and units (American Family Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance v. City of Minneapolis, No. 14-1428, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119060).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 3 affirmed a ruling that dismissed a borrower's claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and denied his request to amend his complaint against several banks to include additional claims, finding that the request to amend was untimely and would delay proceedings (Derek Quinn v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, et al., No. 14-11799, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15663).
CINCINNATI - An employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it terminated an employee one day after he was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 3 (John Yarberry v. Gregg Appliances, Inc., No. 14-3960, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15879).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision finding that a car dealership violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when leaders made statements threatening to punish union-supporting employees and then fired one employee linked to the union organizing efforts (AutoNation, Inc., et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 14-2991 and 14-3361, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15771).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 4 affirmed dismissal of a New York man's putative class action alleging that Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC violated the Video Protection Privacy Act (VPPA) by unlawfully retaining and disclosing his personally identifiable information (PII), holding that the act does not provide for a private right of action for unlawful disclosure (Daniel Rodriguez v. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, et al., No. 12-17391, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15782).
TORONTO - The Canada Supreme Court on Sept. 4 ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs in the Lago Agrio contamination lawsuit against Chevron Corp. could seek enforcement of the $18.5 billion judgment they won in Ontario Court (Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje, No. 35682, 2015 SCC 42).