PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge applied the wrong standard and relied on evidence outside the record in concluding that asbestos-insulated train pipes constituted a complete system "integral" to a locomotives operation, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 16 (Peggy R. Hassell, et al. v. Resco Holdings LLC; and ACF Industries LLC, and Thyssenkrupp Budd Co., No. 14-1715, 14-1804, 3rd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 denied certiorari to Exxon Mobil Corp. (EMC) in its dispute with the State of New Hampshire regarding cleanup costs for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), refusing to hear the company's argument that it had been deprived of due process (Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. v. State of New Hampshire, No. 15-933, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The jurisdictional test established by Section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 does not preempt certain federal securities law claims from being brought in state court, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on May 16 in affirming a federal circuit court's ruling in a fraudulent naked short-selling scheme (Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., et al. v. Greg Manning, et al., No. 14-1132, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A U.S. Supreme Court majority on May 16 reversed a ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals related to class claims against an online data aggregator under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), finding that although the appeals court considered whether a lead plaintiff alleged an injury in fact that was sufficiently particularized to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the court did not properly weight the claims' concreteness under the act (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 3046).
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky state court judge on May 11 granted a motion by a the Boston Globe newspaper to unseal discovery from the state's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma L.P., the maker of OxyContin brand oxycodone (Commonwealth of Kentucky, et al. v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al., No. 07-CI-1303, Ky. Cir., Pike Co.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred in reversing and remanding a federal district court's class certification ruling because the panel's ruling is in conflict with the law of several federal circuit courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, shareholders argue in a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc filed May 10 (IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-3178, 8th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on May 10 named an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against Fitbit Inc. and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the investor group meets all statutory requirements for appointment as lead plaintiff (Brian H. Robb v. Fitbit Inc., et al., No. 16-0151, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62457).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal magistrate judge on May 11 granted conditional class certification in a case where a former employee of a McDonald's restaurant franchisee alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Kailey N. Ford v. Carnegie Management Services Inc., No. 2:16-cv-18, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62276).
LOS ANGELES - Under California law, the sophisticated user doctrine focuses on the end user's knowledge of a danger, not an intermediary's knowledge, a federal judge said May 10 while also rejecting defendants' government contractor defense (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61847).
GOTEBORG, Sweden - A Swedish maritime company on May 13 announced that it has agreed to pay $9.25 million in settlement of a dispute over the grounding of a vessel in the Hudson River in the United States.
MILWAUKEE - A group of plaintiffs who sued paint companies they allege are responsible for poisoning injuries from lead-based paint on May 9 moved in Wisconsin federal court to partially consolidate their cases pursuant to a federal procedural rule that allows for such a move in cases involving a common question of law or fact (Glenn Burton Jr. v. American Cyanamid Company, et al., No. 07-0303; Ravon Owens v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0441; Ernest Gibson v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0864; Brionn Stokes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0865; Cesar Sifuentes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 10-0075; Maniya Allen v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11-0055, Deziree Valoe v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11- 0425; Dijonae Trammell v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 14-1423, E.D. Wis.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut investment expert has sufficiently stated his libel and defamation claims against two defendants that were purportedly involved in an online smear campaign against him, a Connecticut federal judge ruled May 10, denying a motion to dismiss (Gregory Imbruce v. Teri Buhl, et al., No. 3:15-cv-00554, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61533).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a petition for inter partes review filed May 11 with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. takes aim at a patent directed to the allocation of frequency channels, called "subcarriers," to subscribers (Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. v. Adaptix Inc., No. IPR2016-01030, PTAB).
MADISON, Wis. - An insurer argues in a May 12 brief in a federal court in Wisconsin that its reinsurer should be ordered to follow a reinsurance agreement's process for choosing an arbitration umpire (Employers Insurance of Wausau f/d/a Employers Insurance of Wausau a Mutual Company v. Continental Casualty Company, No. 16-cv-00205, W.D. Wis.).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A defendant was not constitutionally entitled to present his desired expert testimony regarding suggestive interview techniques, and a trial court did not err in excluding it, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled May 10, also finding that the defendant failed to establish that his expert's testimony constituted relevant evidence (State of Wisconsin v. Daniel L. Schmidt, No. 2015AP457, Wis. App.; 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 284).
SARASOTA, Fla. - A Florida jury on May 12 awarded a widower $30,000 in punitive damages a day after finding that the deceased relied to her detriment on statements made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. which ultimately led to her death, bringing the total award to $12,030,000 (George Dion v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 13CA5673, Fla. Cir., 12th Jud. Cir., Sarasota Co.).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on May 10 granted defendant Bank of America Group Benefits Program's motion for summary judgment in an action alleging that it improperly denied the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) benefits under the terms of the Bank of America Benefits Program, a plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority v. Bank of America Group Benefits Program, No. 15-cv-280, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61614).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on May 12 accepted a federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation in a shareholder derivative lawsuit and rejected a shareholder's objections to the report, ruling that it properly pleads the In re Caremark International Inc. Derivative Litigation "should have known" standard in stating that the shareholder failed to plead demand futility (KBC Asset Management NV v. Kevin J. McNamara, et al., No. 13-1854, D. Del.).
TROY, Mich. - A trial court did not err in admitting gunshot residue evidence because the evidence, both of the gunshot residue particles and of the one-component and two-component particles, was reliable, a Michigan appeals panel held May 10 (People of the State of Michigan v. Andy James Brown, No. 323887, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 926).
SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon Court of Appeals panel on May 11 found no error in a woman's conviction for seven counts of making false health care claims and a trial court judge's decision to enhance her sentencing on the basis that the theft convictions did not arise out of the same conduct or criminal episode (State of Oregon v. Vera Andreyevna Spynu, No. A156548, Ore. App.; 2016 Ore. App. LEXIS 574).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 10 referred a case by a couple who are accusing three credit-reporting agencies (CRAs) and their lender of falsely reporting multiple late payment to arbitration; the order came just one day after the judge dismissed the couple's defamation claims, as well as part of their claims brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (Beatrice Cicala v. Trans Union, LLC, et al., No. 15-6790, Joseph Cicala v. Trans Union, LLC, et al., No. 15-6801, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61212).