CHICAGO - In a July 19 ruling, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed discovery sanctions against an attorney in a "porno-trolling collective" for what it called egregious and obstructive behavior in failing to comply with a trial court's sanctions awards against it in the wake of a dismissed file-sharing lawsuit (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13195).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge erred in finding that a Finland-based patent infringement defendant lacked sufficient minimum contacts with Delaware to support specific jurisdiction there, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 20 (Polar Electro Oy v. Suunto Oy, No. 15-1930, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13221).
DETROIT - Enbridge Energy L.P. and a number of its subsidiaries agreed July 19 to spend $110 million for a series of measures to prevent pipeline spills, pay a $62 million civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations, and reimburse the government for $5 million it spent to cleanup contamination from pipeline spills in Marshall, Mich., and Romeoville, Ill., in 2010, according to a recent docket entry in a Michigan federal court (United States of America v. Enbridge Energy L.P., et al., No. 16-cv-914, W.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although a California federal judge properly denied a motion for attorney fees by four prevailing patent infringement defendants, she improperly exercised supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims of breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting and unfair competition because the federal and state law claims share no common nucleus of operative facts, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (AngioScore Inc. v. TriReme Medical LLC, et al., Nos. 16-1126, - 1142, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A discovery guide created by the U.S. Department of Justice and used by federal prosecutors qualifies as attorney work product, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 19, affirming a trial court's finding that the DOJ did not need to produce the manual in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys, et al., No. 15-5051, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13141).
BOSTON - Two former Acclarent Inc. executives on July 20 were acquitted of 14 felony counts of marketing a medical device for off-label uses but were convicted of 10 misdemeanor counts for the same conduct, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a press release (United States of America v. William Facteau, et al., No. 15-cr-10076, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 18 granted preliminary approval of a $23.5 million settlement between shareholders and a semiconductor company and others in a securities class action lawsuit, appointing shareholders as class counsel and approving the proposed settlement class (Keith Thomas, et al. v. MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A defendant's "befuddlement" over the conclusion that it destroyed evidence ignores the differing stories the defendant told throughout the litigation, a widow told a federal judge in California July 18 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
BALTIMORE - State law issues predominate in an asbestos action where the only federal issues arise from third-party complaints, a federal judge in Maryland held July 18 in severing the original action and remanding it (Wayne Oliver v. Campbell McCormick Inc., No. 16-1057, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92756)
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 15 to approve a settlement between a homeowner and the receivership estate of an insolvent insurer of the homeowner's fire damage claim (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on July 18 terminated as moot a reinsurer's motion to amend its pleadings to withdraw its Bellefonte-based defenses and claims (Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A German-based software development firm filed suit against the U.S. government July 15 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking almost $600 million in damages for the U.S. Navy's copyright infringement, which the firm says occurred when the Navy far exceeded a limited license it had previously been granted to use the firm's virtual reality software (Bitmanagement Software GmbH v. The United States of America, No. 1:16-cv-00840, Fed. Clms.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of trademark infringement by adidas America Inc. and adidas AG will proceed in Oregon federal court, an Oregon federal judge ruled July 19 (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Athletic Propulsion Labs LLC, No. 16-415, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92770).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 20 released a declarative decision, stating that tribunals appointed in an investment dispute filed by a resource company against the People's Republic of Bangladesh and others have exclusive jurisdiction over the cases and that the respondents must take steps to make the Bangladesh courts aware of ICSID's jurisdiction over the case (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
BOSTON - A trial court did not err in excluding expert testimony that a defendant's personality was inconsistent with the profile of a sex abuser, a Massachusetts appeals panel ruled July 15 (Commonwealth v. Ryan Coates, No. 14-P-1547, Mass. App.; 2016 Mass. App. LEXIS 86).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 15 agreed to adopt a disability claimant's proposed additional findings; however, the judge said the judgment in favor of a disability insurer will stand because the claimant still did not prove that he was continuously disabled under the policy at issue (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92538).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of an insured's negligent work that caused a collapse do not constitute covered "property damage" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 15 (New Jersey-American Water Co., Inc. v. Watchung Square Associates, LLC and Fidelity Corp. v. Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc. and Frank Ferraro v. Salvatore Davino, et al. and Travelers Insurance Co., et al., Nos. A3436-13T1 & A-3445-13T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1639).
TAMPA, Fla. - Window and sliding-glass-door manufacturers may proceed on their "bad-faith failure to settle" and "negligent failure to settle" claims against their insurer for failing to indemnify them for underlying settlements arising out of alleged defective windows, a Florida federal judge ruled July 18 (MI Windows & Doors, LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92973).
DETROIT - A group of plaintiffs who sued various Michigan authorities, as well as an engineering planning firm that acted as a consultant to the City of Flint, Mich., when it switched its water source to the Flint River, filed a brief in Michigan federal court July 15, contending that their lead-contaminated drinking water lawsuit should not be dismissed because it is not barred by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Frances Gilcreast, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, No. 16-11173, E.D. Mich.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on July 18 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the lead-contaminated water lawsuit brought against them by residents of Flint, Mich., should be dismissed because they are entitled to "absolute immunity" on all claims (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).