ATLANTA - A dispute over the "SCAR" and "SCAR-Stock" trademarks, as they are used in the firearms industry, was resolved Aug. 20 by a Georgia federal judge in favor of a Belgium-based weapons manufacturer (FN Herstal S.A. v. Clyde Armory Inc., No. 12-102, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109993).
MADISON, Wis. - Efforts by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) to depose in-house counsel for Apple Inc. and to force Apple's production of certain privileged documents in a patent case were partly granted by a Wisconsin federal judge on Aug. 20 (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110059).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 19 consolidated for oral argument motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in two adversary cases that ask the same question: whether the protective injunction in W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 case bars asbestos personal injury claimants in Libby, Mont., from pursuing negligence and bad faith claims against the former debtors' insurers (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139 [Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766], [Ralph Hutt and Carl Osborn v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 14-50867], D. Del. Bkcy.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A medical doctor's familiarity with different fibers qualifies him to testify as an expert in an asbestos case, and Illinois precedent does not bar him even if he plans to testify that every exposure to asbestos leads to disease, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 20 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782).
LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's proposal that liability be used to calculate offsets for pre-verdict settlements "is completely at odds" with state precedent, a California appeals panel held Aug. 20 in also affirming 50-50 split of asbestos settlement proceeds between personal injury and any future wrongful death action and denying offsets for potential asbestos bankruptcy recoveries (James Hellam v. Crane Co., No. A140326, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 720).
NEW ORLEANS - Defendants' evidence that the U.S. Navy issued detailed and specific guidance over the design, construction and labeling of products it procured meets the broad standard for removal under the federal officer statute, defendants told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 (Debra Dummitt Meyers and Ronald Palmero v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., No. 15-30528, 5th Cir.).
SAN ANTONIO - A trial judge erred in granting summary judgment to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on negligent and defective design claims in a products liability case, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 19, finding that the judge also erred in excluding the testimony of a tire expert that served to show support for the claims (Rosa Obregon Perez, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 04-14-00620, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8689).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of an insured subcontractor's construction defects triggered an insurer's duty to defend a general contractor as an additional insured, an Oregon appeals panel affirmed Aug. 19, finding that the insurer breached its duty to defend (West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., et al., No. 381, Ore. App.; 2015 Ore. App. LEXIS 993).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri power plant failed to show that it was the statutory employer of a repairman and thus entitled to the protection of the workers' compensation exclusivity after the worker was injured while performing a repair, a Missouri appellate panel ruled Aug. 18, reversing a trial court's decision (James E. Eaker v. Kansas City Power & Light Company, No. WD77851, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 822).
MEDFORD, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Aug. 20 awarded $1,029,814 in attorney fees against an insurer in an executive and organization liability insurance coverage dispute (Daryl J. Kollman, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 04-3106, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109966).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge said Aug. 18 that he granted a directed verdict in a Cymbalta withdrawal trial because the plaintiff failed to present evidence that a stronger warning would have prompted her prescribing physicians to not to prescribe the drug or that the plaintiff to have refused the drug (Erin Hexum, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 13-2701, C.D. Calif.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Aug. 19 denied judgment as a matter of law or a new trial to Ethicon Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson in the first bellwether trial in the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation, preserving a $3.27 million verdict (Jo Huskey, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 12-5201, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109454).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Aug. 20 affirmed a $4.2 million Topamax birth defect verdict, a ruling that turned on whether the trial judge violated Virginia law in his instructions on the causation standard (April Czimmer v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 459 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 20 overruled a 2003 decision regarding anti-assignment clauses in insurance policies and said California Insurance Code Section 520 allows a company to assign its rights under insurance policies to successors without an insurer's consent if the assignment occurs after the loss for which coverage is sought (Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. S205889, Calif. Sup.).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge's findings that two method patents are invalid under Section 101 of the Patent Act is preclusive in a related action, he ruled Aug. 19 (Tranxition Inc. v. Novell Inc., No. 12-1404, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109273).
MIAMI - Air bag litigation plaintiffs on Aug. 17 fired back at Takata Corp. and seven auto manufacturers who moved in July to dismiss both tracks of the multidistrict litigation (In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-02599-CIV-Moreno, MDL No. 5-2599, S.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by 23 former players for the Kansas City Chiefs to remand their dispute with the team to a Missouri state court should be denied, the team told the judge overseeing brain-injury multidistrict litigation on Aug. 17 (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, No. 12-md-2323, E.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 affirmed the conviction of a man for the sexual abuse of minors, finding that an expert's testimony was reliable and helpful to the jury (United States of America v. Billy Charley Young, No. 14-10160, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14559).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Aug. 18 held that it is up to an arbitration panel to determine which of two arbitration clauses in a reinsurance contract applies to a dispute over, among other things, a commutation value (American United Life Insurance Company v. Travelers Indemnity Company, et al., No. 14-cv-01339, D. Conn.).
ATLANTA - Because no employment relationship existed between a health insurance provider and a security firm, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 17 found that the security firm's employment practices liability (EPL) policy did not provide coverage for the settlement of an underlying data-theft class action lawsuit (Carolina Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Red Coats Inc., d/b/a Admiral Security Services Inc., No. 14-12002, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14421).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge in New Jersey presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents who sued a group of railroad company defendants seeking damages related to a vinyl chloride spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek on Aug. 18 dismissed two of the defendants from the case (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
JACKSON, Tenn. - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit alleging bodily injuries as a result of mold in a rented home because an exception to the mold exclusion provides that the exclusion does not apply to fungi contained in a good or product intended for human consumption, a Tennessee federal judge said Aug. 19 (Acuity, a mutual insurance company v. Reed & Associates of Tennessee LLC et al., No. 15-2140, W.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109412).