LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 19 granted a motion requesting remand of a consolidated class complaint accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of various wage violations, finding that Wal-Mart failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and filed an untimely removal (Polo Garcia, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 15-5337, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127476).
PHILADELPHIA - Registering to do business in Pennsylvania provides consent to personal jurisdiction in the state even in light of recent Supreme Court precedent, a federal judge in Philadelphia held Sept. 20 in a case alleging ovarian cancer arising from exposure to talc (Nancy Bors v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 16-2866, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128259).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A federal judge in Puerto Rico on Sept. 19 granted a motion to remand claims for damages related to the alleged impairment of an exclusive distribution agreement, finding that a company validly pleaded a tortious interference claim and that the court could not exercise federal question jurisdiction under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Air-Con Inc. v. Daikin Applied Latin America LLC, et al., No. 15-2683, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128863).
LOS ANGELES - A California woman filed suit against her former employer, Trader Joe's Co., and 50 unnamed Does in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Sept. 19 alleging that her firing on Oct. 6, 2015, was solely based on her sexual orientation (Sandra Holm v. Trader Joe's Company, et al., No. BC634605, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer in a Sept. 19 brief asks a federal court in New York to reconsider its discovery rulings that the reinsurer says require it to produce reserve information while not requiring its reinsured to produce the same category of documentation (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA - A man purportedly associated with a reinsurer sued for allegedly avoiding payment obligations tells a federal court in Georgia in a Sept. 21 brief that claims against him should be dismissed because the court does not hold personal jurisdiction over him (Canal Insurance Company, et al. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company, Ltd, et al., No. 15-cv-3331, N.D. Ga.).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 19 held that coverage for an underlying qui tam action is available under a professional liability insurance policy's billing errors endorsement up to the $25,000 sublimit of liability, rejecting the insureds' argument that they are owed $2 million under another endorsement (My Left Foot Children's Therapy, et al. v. Certain Underwriter's at Lloyd's London subscribing to policy No. HAH15-0632, No. 15-01746, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128062).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 19 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that a property owner's request for preliminary injunction be denied, finding that the property owner failed to show that he would suffer any irreparable caused by the denial (Russell R. Loveless, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 3:13-CV-01546, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127430).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Working Group (EWG) on Sept. 20 released a report indicating that its analysis of federal data from drinking water tests shows that more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states are drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium - also known as chromium-6 - a known carcinogen.
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on Sept. 20 affirmed a trial court's ruling that excluded an expert's testimony because the evidence about which he would have testified was not presented to a medical review panel before trial as required by law in medical malpractice suits in Indiana (Rita Horn, et al. v. Cesar Antonio Jara, M.D., et al., No. 64A03-1512-CT-2251, Ind. App.; 2016 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1075).
GREEN BAY, Wis. - An employer's changes to its health insurance plan that require employees to undergo a health risk assessment (HRA) or pay an additional amount per year is permissible because it is voluntary under 42 U.S. Code Section 12112(d)(4)(B), a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Sept. 19; however, the judge further ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may proceed with retaliation claims it is bringing on behalf of a terminated worker who alleges that she was fired after speaking out against the changes (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-1019, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127292).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 19 denied an investor's motion for relief from a previous dismissal order, ruling that the investor's newly discovered evidence was in fact available to the public months before the initial complaint in the action was filed (Steven P. Messner v. USA Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-5427, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127041).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 21 found that Johnson & Johnson did not provide enough evidence that claims against it were brought in bad faith to warrant removal and remanded the case to Missouri state court, allowing for trial to begin on Sept. 26, where a jury will determine if the talc used in Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused ovarian cancer (Tiffany Hogans, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01470-JCH, E.D. Mo.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dismissal of claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because reinsurers have failed to state a claim for relief against the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. (FCIC) regarding its modification of the methodology that sets crop premiums, a federal judge in Washington ruled Sept. 20 (ACE American Insurance Co., et al. v. Federal Crop Insurance Corp., et al., No. 14-1992, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128123).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 19 that a Georgia federal judge did not err in dismissing a former Delta Air Lines Inc. employee's Employee Retirement Income Security Act complaint for failure to state a claim (Barry Steven Slakman v. Administrative Committee of Delta Air Lines Inc., No. 16-10572, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17049).
SAN FRANCISCO - A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case, with the majority saying that a plan administrator's decision in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits was not illogical, implausible or without support (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17146).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 vacated a Texas federal judge's denial of enhanced damages in a patent infringement dispute (WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., Nos. 2013-1527, 2014-1121, -1526, -1528, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17215).
BILLINGS, Mont. - ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. on Sept. 21 agreed to pay $12 million to the federal government and State of Montana to compensate for natural resources damages to the Yellowstone River that occurred following an oil spill in July 2011 (United States of America, et al. v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, No. 16-cv-143, D. Mont.).
PHOENIX - Saying Arizona does not recognize foreseeability in its duty analysis, a panel of the state's appellate court on Sept. 20 declined to impose a duty on a premise owner for a man's take-home asbestos exposures (Mary Quiroz, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0083, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2016 Ariz. App. LEXIS 218).
BOSTON - The judge presiding over a federal criminal case in Massachusetts stemming from the fungal meningitis outbreak on Sept. 21 denied a motion by five defendants to dismiss a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration (United States of America v. Barry Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128933).
DETROIT - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Sept. 21 issued notice that another glyphosate injury case has been added to the list of cases in the Roundup Products Liability Litigation MDL (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Saying that bellwether trials and global settlement talks for Depakote birth defect cases have failed, an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 21 vacated the next three bellwether trial dates and said she will instead pursue joint trials for the 698 plaintiffs (In Re: Depakote, Rhealyn Alexander, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., No. 12-52, S.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 16 granted preliminary approval of a $486 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit between shareholders and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable (In re Pfizer Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 04-9866, S.D. N.Y.).