DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 12 reinstated a woman's conviction for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity after a state high court's ruling established that there is nothing in the state's rules that require that an enterprise and a pattern of corrupt activity must be proven with separate evidence (State of Ohio v. Eva Christian, No. 25256, Ohio App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 452).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge properly found that a plaintiff's claim for pension benefits accrued by his late father is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and that the plaintiff lacks standing to maintain such an action, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 11 in a not precedential decision (Thomas E. Robinson Jr. v. Laneko Engineering Co. Inc., No. 15-2837, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2359).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Finding that adidas America Inc. is likely to prevail on its claim that Skechers USA Inc. infringes various adidas trade dress and the three-stripe logo, an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 12 granted a preliminary injunction (adidas America Inc. v. Skechers USA Inc., No. 15-1741, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17371.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17371).
CHICAGO - A man who was found guilty of 12 counts of commodity fraud and spoofing by creating computer programs to engage in fraudulent trading argues in a Feb. 12 filing in Illinois federal court that the government failed to establish fraud under the untested statutes on which his indictment and conviction were based (United States of America v. Michael Coscia, No. 1:14-cr-00551, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who sued Uber Technologies Inc. and Raiser LLC in California federal court over the ride-share service's "Safe Rides Fee" filed a stipulation of settlement on Feb. 11 stating that the defendants have agreed to pay $28.5 million to end the class action complaint and will rename the fee as well as change the advertising wording regarding safety (Matthew Philliben, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 14-5615, N.D. Calif.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - Despite a defendant's assertion of malicious intent, a plaintiff on Feb. 12 was granted permission by a California federal judge to voluntarily dismiss its copyright infringement claim (Leisure Concepts Inc. v. California Home Spas Inc., No. 14-388, E.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17775).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal court must dismiss a lawsuit filed by various tobacco companies challenging a guidance document issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because the document is not a final agency action and the plaintiffs have failed to show they will suffer any significant hardship if review is withheld, the FDA argues in a Feb. 10 reply in support of its dismissal motion (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 15-1590, D. D.C.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 12 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a property owner's fraud and other claims against various lenders, finding that the defendants were entitled to accelerate the loan payment (Nancy G. Clark v. Chase Bank USA, N.A, et al., No. 15-13366, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2427).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 11 partially dismissed claims asserted by a Luxembourg company and a Portuguese company in relation to their investment in a Venezuelan entity but ordered that Venezuela pay them $87.3 million in damages for breaches of two underlying bilateral investment treaties (Tenaris S.A., et al. v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/11/26, ICSID).
CLEVELAND - A man awarded $20 million for his wife's mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure from friction products told an Ohio appellate court Feb. 11 that the judge erred in granting a directed verdict on his punitive damages claim, completing briefing that has involved every-exposure testimony challenges, other evidentiary challenges and issues surrounding directed verdict (Mark Scwartz, et al. v. General Electric Corp., No. CA 15 102277, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Feb. 12 filed an answer and affirmative defenses in Ohio federal court related to one of the Ohio residents that is a plaintiff in the litigation for personal injuries related to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8). The company denies all allegations in the complaint and contends that the plaintiff failed to plead facts sufficient to state a valid claim for "abnormally dangerous or ultrahazardous activity" (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
LAS VEGAS - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Feb. 12, because an insurer has shown that the amount in controversy will exceed statutory limits (Kenya L. Kelly v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2169, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17710).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A majority of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Feb. 12 rejected an insured's argument that a commercial general liability insurance policy's employer's liability exclusion as it relates to a "leased worker" is unconscionable and against public policy, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a workplace injury (Westfield Insurance Company v. Astra Foods Inc., et al., No. 1392 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 84).
BALTIMORE - A mobile advisory consultant may testify about the secondary handset market for cell phone devices and the participation of retail resellers in it, a Maryland federal judge ruled Feb. 10; however, the expert may not opine on whether there have been breaches of contract (Sprint Nextel Corp. v. Simple Cell, Inc., No. 13-617, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16017).
NEW YORK - Citing the "overly complex, overly risky" nature of four participant-directed defined-contribution 401(k) retirement plans offered by Verizon Communications Inc., a participant in one of those plans on Feb. 11 filed a purported class action complaint against myriad defendants in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Melina N. Jacobs v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1082, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 12 affirmed a district court's striking of a sur-reply in an Avandia case and its grant of defense summary judgment (In Re Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2059, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2477).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 12 affirmed dismissal of an Avandia Missouri state consumer complaint, agreeing that the plaintiff suffered no injury and thus had no ascertainable loss (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2145, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2463).
NEW YORK - Pfizer Inc. on Feb. 16 announced that its Wyeth subsidiary has reached an agreement in principle to resolve federal allegations about the calculation of Medicaid rebates for its Protonix heartburn drug for $784.6 million.
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder on Feb. 11 filed a securities class action lawsuit against a financial products and services provider and certain of its executive officers in a federal court in Delaware, claiming that the defendants misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (George A. Menold v. Navient Corp., et al., No. 16-0075, D. Del.).
BOSTON - A federal jury in Massachusetts on Feb. 10 found in favor of Philip Morris U.S.A. Inc. in a class action filed by smokers seeking to have tobacco company pay for medical monitoring to detect early signs of tobacco-related diseases (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc. No. 1:06-cv-12234, D. Mass.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 10 denied the Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) request to apply the consultant corollary exception of the deliberative process privilege to a five-page draft of a letter that was shared with a Rutgers University professor who believes that global warming has spurred a phenomenon known as the "polar vortex," finding that the professor could not be likened to a government employee and that her opinion was not being sought to assist the office with forming a policy position (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 14-cv-01806, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15893).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Although a federal district court judge erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because the lead plaintiff properly pleaded scienter, the judge properly ruled that the lead plaintiff failed to plead loss causation in making its federal securities law claims, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in a Feb. 10 opinion (Rand-Heart of New York Inc., et al. v. James P. Dolan, et al, No. 15-1838, 8th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Court of Appeals on Feb. 11 held that a lower court erred in finding that an insurance policy's professional services exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims against insureds stemming from mortgage-backed securities investments, reversing and remanding the lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Carlyle Investment Management L.L.C., et al. v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-CV-659, D.C. App.; 2016 D.C. App. LEXIS 35).
NEW YORK - Potential recovery for asbestos-related injuries from a talcum powder manufacturer precludes a market-share liability claim against talc suppliers, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Feb. 9 (Keri LoGiudice and Joseph LoGiudice v. American Talc Co., et al., No. 190253/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).