NORFOLK, Va. - A federal jury in Virginia awarded $2.5 million Jan. 22 to the widow of a man who was killed when a lawn mower manufactured by Ryobi Technologies Inc. exploded and caught fire (Stephen E. Bilenky, et al. v. Ryobi Technologies Inc., et al., No. 2:13cv345, E.D. Va.).
BOSTON - The presence of a few uninjured members in a class does not prevent certification, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21, affirming the certification of the class of indirect purchasers of Nexium in a pay-for-delay lawsuit over the heartburn drug (In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, Astrazeneca AB, et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund, et al., Nos. 14-1521 & 14-1522, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 968).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 21 found no abuse of discretion in a trial court's decision to not hold a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786 ) over the admissibility of expert testimony regarding cell-site data in an armed robbery case, finding that a hearing was unnecessary in light of admission of the expert's testimony in a similar case (United States of America v. Daniel Rodriguez, et al., No. 13-15110, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 840).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in granting defendant Cisco Systems Inc. summary judgment on allegations of breach of contract, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21 (XpertUniverse Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 14-1281, Fed. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A police detective who was demoted after actions that were perceived as involvement in a political campaign cannot prove First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution retaliation without evidence to show that he actually exercised those rights, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 22, citing Fogarty v. Boles (121 F.3d 886, 888 [3d Cir. 1997]) (Jeffrey J. Heffernan v. City of Paterson, et al., No. 14-1610, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 967).
NEW YORK - The average amount of securities class action settlements dropped 38 to 61 percent in 2014, "depending on which types of class actions are considered," according to an annual report released Jan. 20 by NERA Economic Consulting.
SAN DIEGO - A trial court wrongfully precluded an insured from arguing that unallocated settlement proceeds are not an offset to contract damages or are allocated to the tort damages in an insurance coverage lawsuit regarding an underlying construction defects case, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 22 (McMillin Companies LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. D063586, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 53).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal jury in Florida awarded $17,287,448 Jan. 21 to a woman who alleged that her 54 years of smoking caused her to develop peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which led to amputation of her legs (Donna Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 3:09-10687, M.D. Fla.).
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - An Arizona federal judge on Jan. 16 dismissed a self-funded employee welfare benefit plan's subrogation lawsuit against the estate of a plan participant regarding settlement proceeds in an underlying wrongful death action because the participant's children did not incur health care expenses for which another party is responsible (MedCath Incorporated Employee Health Care Plan v. Dustin Stratton, et al., No. 14-08099, D. Ariz.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5514).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 21 concluded that Pennsylvania law governs the scope of any duty to defend that a professional liability insurer owed to its insured for an underlying lawsuit that resulted in a $1.65 million settlement against the insured (FLS US Holdings Inc., et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No. 13-2511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6544).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several asbestos plaintiffs' law firms and attorneys deny allegations by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC that they schemed to defraud Garlock in tort system cases and say that complaints filed against them by Garlock should be dismissed because Garlock knew of the exposure evidence the law firms and attorneys allegedly withheld, according to answers to the complaints filed Jan. 21 in North Carolina federal court (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Waters & Kraus, LLP, et al., No. 14-130; Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Belluck & Fox, LLP, et al., No. 14-118; Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Shein Law Center, Ltd., et al., No. 14-137; and Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, APLC, et al., No. 14-116; W.D. N.C.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by New Jersey residents seeking $10 million in punitive damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Jan. 20 ruled that the plaintiffs' attorney who released publicly a document obtained in discovery will not be sanctioned (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Finding that the plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. had "not cured the enumerated defects" identified in a previous ruling, a New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 20 again granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, this time without leave to amend (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2443, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6205).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL players concussion multidistrict litigation on Jan. 20 to compel the players to turn over a full list of health care professionals and to sign a medical records authorization form provided by the league (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A disability insurer's denial of a claim for long-term benefits based on the policy's pre-existing exclusion was reasonable, an Alabama federal judge said Jan. 21, noting that the evidence clearly supports the insurer's denial (Sidney Law v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 13-2267, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6404).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on Jan. 20 mostly denied motions by the City of Milwaukee and several detectives to exclude testimony of an expert on police practices, finding that it would be relevant and helpful related to charges by a man wrongly convicted of murder (William Damon Avery, et al. v. City of Milwaukee, et al., No. 2:11-cv-00408, E.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6108).
SINGAPORE - A Singapore high court judge on Jan. 20 granted an application filed by the government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) to have a dispute referred to the high court, finding that a bilateral investment treaty between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Singapore does not apply to an investment dispute filed by a Macau gaming company (The Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic v. Sanum Investments Ltd., No.  SGHC 15, Singapore High).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A citizens group that bills itself as a watchdog that is dedicated to holding E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. accountable for the promises the company made to the communities that have been contaminated by perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C-8) on Jan. 22 released documents that show that DuPont has paid the law firm in charge of the medical monitoring fund more than $9.37 million, but the group argues that the fund has disbursed only $50,000.
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina appellate panel on Jan. 20 reversed and remanded a lower court decision and held that the state's insurance guaranty association is obligated to accept claims against the predecessor of an insolvent insurer (Wayne Goodwin, as North Carolina insurance commissioner v. CAGC Insurance Co., No. COA14-445, N.C. App.; 2015 N.C. App. LEXIS 25).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge did not abuse her discretion in denying a trademark infringement plaintiff a preliminary injunction, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 21 (New Wave Innovations Inc. v. James McClimond, et al., No. 14-11466, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 852).