LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Jury Renders Defense Verdict In Hot Wax Suit

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on April 27 entered a defense verdict for a company that makes a body wax in a suit brought by a woman who was burned when the tube the wax was in exploded and wax landed on her after she took it out of the microwave (Kelsey Ouelette v. Coty U.S. LLC, No. 3:14-CV-0712, M.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 1st Circuit Sends Tough Mudder Location Change Class Suit Back To State Court

    BOSTON - A class suit by individuals who signed up to participate in an obstacle course event but then were unable to after the location of the event changed with just a week's notice and were denied refunds of their registration fees belongs in state, not federal, court, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 26 (Lisa C. Pazol, et al. v. Tough Mudder Incorporated, et al., No. 15-1640, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7519).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Court Should Have Required Insureds To Enter Subsurface Repair Contract

    LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 29 reversed a lower court's final judgment in favor of insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute to the extent that it awarded money damages for subsurface repairs without requiring the insureds to enter into a contract for those repairs, further reversing the court's prejudgment interest award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Migdalia Cabrera, et al., No. 2D14-4337, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6529).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Iowa Appeals Court Affirms Damages Award For Pond That Cannot Retain Water

    DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa Court of Appeals panel on April 27 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling awarding $120,990.46 to a landowner over an improperly installed pond, holding that the property did not benefit from the pond and that the owner sustained damages as a result of the pond's inability to retain water (Reilly Construction Co. Inc. v. Bachelder Inc., No. 15-1192, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 411).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Adds $10M In Punitives To $22.8M Asbestos Verdict Against Respirator Maker

    LOS ANGELES - A California jury hit respirator manufacturer American Optical Corp. with a $32 million verdict April 26, including $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Sources told Mealey Publications that it is the first punitive damages award against the company related to its respirators (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. BC588866, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Affirms, But Reduces To $9M, Hennessy Asbestos Verdict

    NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 28 knocked a $25 million asbestos verdict against a brake grinder manufacture down to $9 million but otherwise rejected challenges to the verdict, according to documents filed with the court (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Blind Law Students Allege Bar Review Course Site Not Accessible Under ADA

    DALLAS - In a complaint filed April 25 in Texas federal court, three blind law students allege that a company specializing in bar exam preparation materials has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing a website and other materials that are fully accessible to visually impaired individuals and by not responding to requests for reasonable accommodations (Claire Stanley, et al. v. BarBri Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-01113, N.D. Texas).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge: Plaintiff's Removal Of Floor Covering Warrants Adverse Inference

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on April 26 granted in part a motion for spoliation sanctions filed by Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., John Manville Inc. and Icynene Corp., finding that a man's removal of at least 10 rolls of floor covering before a home inspection to examine levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) gasses allegedly emitted by the defendants' spray polyurethane foam (SPF) constituted destruction of evidence (Richard Breyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Man Files Class Complaint Against SEPTA Over Job Applicant Checks

    PHILADELPHIA - The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) routinely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) by obtaining and using job applicants' records in a manner that violates federal and state law, a Philadelphia man who was an unsuccessful job applicant alleges in his class complaint filed against SEPTA in Pennsylvania federal court on April 27 (Frank Long, et al. v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, No. 16-1991, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Abbott, St. Jude Announce $25B Merger Of Cardiovascular Medical Device Businesses

    Cardiovascular medical device makers Abbott Laboratories and St. Jude Medical Inc. announced April 28 that they have agreed to a $25 billion merger.

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plan Participants Seek Forced Consideration Of Pension Proposal

    CHICAGO - Participants in a "massively underfunded" multiemployer defined benefit pension plan filed suit April 25 against the plan's trustees in Illinois federal court, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Doris Campbell, et al. v. Charles A. Whobrey, et al., No. 16-4631, N.D. Ill.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Man Files Class Complaint Against SEPTA Over Job Applicant Checks

    PHILADELPHIA - The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) routinely violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) by obtaining and using job applicants' records in a manner that violates federal and state law, a Philadelphia man who was an unsuccessful job applicant alleges in his class complaint filed against SEPTA in Pennsylvania federal court on April 27 (Frank Long, et al. v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, No. 16-1991, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Blind Law Students Allege Bar Review Course Site Not Accessible Under ADA

    DALLAS - In a complaint filed April 25 in Texas federal court, three blind law students allege that a company specializing in bar exam preparation materials has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing a website and other materials that are fully accessible to visually impaired individuals and by not responding to requests for reasonable accommodations (Claire Stanley, et al. v. BarBri Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-01113, N.D. Texas).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Insureds Oppose Motions By Anthem, Blue Cross To Dismiss Data Breach Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of April 26 filings in California federal court, the putative class representatives in a suit over a breach of Anthem Inc.'s network opposed motions to dismiss by Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS), arguing that they have sufficiently pleaded facts to support breach and negligence claims and have satisfied standing requirements (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02617, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Magistrate Judge: Plaintiff's Removal Of Floor Covering Warrants Adverse Inference

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on April 26 granted in part a motion for spoliation sanctions filed by Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., John Manville Inc. and Icynene Corp., finding that a man's removal of at least 10 rolls of floor covering before a home inspection to examine levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) gasses allegedly emitted by the defendants' spray polyurethane foam (SPF) constituted destruction of evidence (Richard Breyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Board Affirms Final Rejection Of Machinery Patent As Obvious

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts to undo an examiner's May 2014 final rejection on obviousness grounds of various claims of a patented troughing idler for belt conveyors were unsuccessful on April 27, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instead upheld the examiner's findings (Ex parte Hansen Manufacturing Corp., No. 2016-00248, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Institutes Review Of Commodities Trading Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a 46-page ruling issued April 28, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) indicated that it will review the patentability of an invention that claims repositioning of market information on a graphical user interface (GUI) and electronic trading (IBG LLC and Interactive Brokers LLC v. Trading Technologies International Inc., No. CBM2016-0009, PTAB).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Says That Because Arbitration Award Was Not Vacated, It Must Be Confirmed

    PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 26 granted a platinum recovery company's motion to confirm an arbitration award issued in London regarding certain advances and loans the platinum recovery company made to a spent automotive catalytic converter collector (Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, et al. v. A-1 Specialized Services and Supplies, Inc., et al., No.; 13-cv-02930, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Virginia Federal Judge Confirms 3 Awards Totaling $16.5 Million

    NORFOLK, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on April 26 confirmed three arbitration awards totaling more than $16.5 million from the International Commercial Arbitration Court at The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (ICAC) (Research and Development Center "teploenergetika" v. EP International LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-362, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55843).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs In C8 Case Seek DuPont's Financial Information Related To Dow Merger

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio residents who are suing E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Co. alleging that they have been injured as a result of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) filed a brief in an Ohio federal court on April 27, contending that it should compel the company to provide "relevant and discoverable financial information" related to a company that DuPont spun off, as well as related to its merger with Dow Chemical Co. (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insureds' Bad Faith Claim For Defects Coverage Is Not Time-Barred, Judge Holds

    BALTIMORE - Aa fact finder could conclude that insureds did not discover or know the facts underlying their bad faith claim until much later than the settlement and judgment resolving underlying construction defect claims, an Arizona federal judge ruled April 25, finding that the bad faith claim is not time-barred under a two-year statute of limitations (D.R. Horton Inc., et al. v. Maryland Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-02507, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55443).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Avandia Plaintiffs Must Show Cause For Remaining Common Benefits Fee Reserve

    PHILADELPHIA - The Plaintiffs Advisory Committee and the plaintiffs' law firm of Girardi Keese of Los Angeles were ordered by the Avandia multidistrict litigation judge on April 26 to show cause why either is entitled to receive the remaining common benefit assessment reserve for Girardi Keese settlements (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Expert Reports Do Not Trigger Federal Question Jurisdiction

    ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on April 26 remanded a lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general against the owner of a landfill where there is an underground trash fire occurring, ruling that expert reports filed in association with the lawsuit do not trigger federal question jurisdiction simply because they mention the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's control over radiologically impacted materials (RIM) (United States of America, ex rel. Attorney General Chris Koster, et al. v. Republic Services Inc., et al., No. 15CV1506 RLW, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55273).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Orders Insurers To Reimburse, Advance Legal Costs To Former FIFA Official

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on April 27 ordered directors and officers liability insurers to immediately reimburse and advance legal costs to a former official of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in connection with his indictment, extradition and defense in an underlying criminal action (Eduardo Li v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., No. 15-06099, E.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Upholds Invalidity Findings Under Issue Preclusion Doctrine

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing its companion ruling issued the same day in U.S. Ethernet Innovations LLC v. Acer Inc. (No. 2015-1640, 1641 [Fed. Cir.]) (the Acer appeal), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 turned away an appeal of a Texas federal judge's holding of patent invalidity on the basis of issue preclusion (U.S. Ethernet Innovations LLC v. Texas Instruments Inc., No. 15-1510, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7398.).