SAN FRANCISCO - Volkswagen AG and its related entities have agreed to pay $14.7 billion to resolve allegations that the manufacturer installed emissions software in its 2.0 liter vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions tests, according to a consent decree filed in California federal court on June 28 (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 let stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals divided opinion that rejected the breach of prudence claims asserted by participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) (Raymond M. Pfeil, et al. v. State Street Bank and Trust Company, No. 15-1199, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 denied rehearing in an appeal brought by teachers who objected to agency-fee requirements for non-union workers employed by public entities and sought to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. (431 U.S. 209 ) (Rebecca Friedrichs, et al. v. California Teachers Association, et al., No. 14-915, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - New York's high court on June 28 refused to decide if a trial judge erred in consolidating two asbestos cases for trial, saying the defendant did not adequately preserve the issue for appeal (In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation; Ruby E. Konstantin, individually and as executrix of the estate of Dave John Konstantin v. 630 Third Ave. Associates, et al., No. 85, N.Y. App.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A couple mistakenly argues that the mere presence of a company's product at a jobsite can support an $8 million asbestos verdict, Kaiser Gypsum Corp. argues in a June 22 brief seeking to overturn the verdict (David P. Hoff, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. 15CV23996, Ore. Cir., Multnomah Co.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge granted judgment in favor of an insurer on June 27 in a lawsuit seeking recovery of more than $5 million in missing bank cash (Known Litigation Holdings, LLC v. Navigators Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-269, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82675).
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A man accused of violating federal child pornography laws saw his motions to suppress evidence gained via tracking software and to compel that software's source code denied by a Virginia federal judge on June 23, who held that the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained the warrant to use the software in accordance with the guidelines of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (United States of America v. Edward Joseph Matish III, No. 4:16-cr-00016 E.D. Va.).
WAUSAU, Wis. - Allegations of an insider sale that left the seller insolvent support the conclusion that the transaction was done to avoid asbestos liabilities, a Wisconsin appeals court held in reversing summary judgment on June 23 (Penny L. Springer v. Nohl Electric Products Corp., et al., No. 2010CV622, Wis. App., Dist. IV; 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 383).
CLEVELAND - An insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit against its insured regarding coverage for underlying breach of contract claims may proceed, an Ohio federal judge ruled June 22, declining to dismiss or stay the action pending resolution of the underlying lawsuit (Acuity v. Midwest Curtainwalls, Inc., No. 16-55, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81370).
GREENEVILLE, S.C. - Efforts by Blackberry Ltd. to stay allegations that it infringed four patents while the outcome of an inter partes review (IPR) is appealed to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed June 24 (Zipit Wireless Inc. v. Blackberry Ltd., No. 13-2959, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82255).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on June 23 vacated and remanded a ruling that denied a veteran benefits for his chloracne that he claimed was the result of exposure to Agent Orange. The judge ruled that there needed to be a "critical examination" of the justification of the decision (David J. Lytle v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-2288, U.S. App. Vet. Clms. 2016 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 939).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia Republican Party delegate filed a class complaint on June 24 in a Virginia federal court, seeking emergency injunctive relief from Virginia law to allow him and other delegates, both Democrats and Republicans, to vote their consciences at the parties' July national conventions (Carroll Boston Correll, Jr., et al. v. Mark R. Herring, et al., No. 16-467, E.D. Va.).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on June 22 to approve his recommendation of a $28 million settlement of certain asbestos-related bodily injury claims with one of the insolvent insurer's insureds (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
CHICAGO - Nearly two months after agreeing to award additional attorney fees in a settled class suit against Southwest Airlines Co. over its decision to stop honoring drink vouchers, an Illinois federal judge on June 22 granted a motion for reconsideration and vacated the fee award to provide the class with notice of the request for additional fees (In re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation, No. 11-8176, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80834).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - An expert's proposed opinions concerning the labeling and intended use of a defendant's products, the compounds found in bloodroot and the dangers of escharotic agents are relevant and not unduly prejudicial, a Kentucky federal judge ruled June 22, allowing the expert to provide testimony on behalf of the U.S. government's lawsuit for violations under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S. Code Section 301 (United States of America v. Samuel A. Girod, No. 15-CR-87, E.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81047).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal magistrate judge on June 23 barred expert testimony on blood samples in an estate executor's lawsuit against a clinical laboratory services provider and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) with regard to libel and slander claims based upon a false HIV test that resulted in the end of a boxer's career (Patricia Harding Morrison v. Quest Diagnostics Inc., et al., No. 14-01207, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82689).
CINCINNATI - A Tennessee federal judge's decision to award prevailing party attorney fees to a copyright infringement defendant was affirmed June 22 by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which rejected a plaintiff's appeal as nothing more than a "rehash" of arguments that failed in a district court (Taryn Murphy, et al. v. Sergey Lazarev, No. 15-6100, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11633).
NEW YORK - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying environmental contamination suit because the contamination at issue was not "sudden and accidental" as required by the policy, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 23 in reversing a district court's judgment against the insurer (The Narragansett Electric Co. v. Century Indemnity Co., et al., Nos. 15-1137, 15-1397, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11647).
LONDON - A Japanese mobile service provider on June 24 announced that a London tribunal has ordered an Indian telecommunications company to pay it $1.17 billion for breach of a shareholders agreement.
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 24 reversed part of a lower court's final judgment that requires an insurer to pay $100,000 for subsurface repairs of sinkhole damage before its insureds execute a contract with a third party for those repairs, also reversing the lower court's award of prejudgment interest on the subsurface damages award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Edgardo Nunez, et al., No. 2D14-3712, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 9693).
PHILADELPHIA - Although it mostly affirmed the dismissal of class claims against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. related to the purported collection of children's personal information via the Nickelodeon network's websites, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 found that an intrusion upon seclusion claim against Viacom was sufficiently alleged, vacating dismissal of the claim and remanding for further proceedings (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).