FRESNO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 29 recommending approval of a $3.1 million settlement to resolve claims stemming from contamination at a site, after concluding that the agreement was fair and reasonable (Enns Pontiac, Buick & GMC Truck, et al. v. Orella Flores, et al., No. 07-cv-1043-LJO-BAM, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121344).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal court's decision to dismiss a homeowner's complaint against a bank and a law firm in relation to the foreclosure of his home, finding that he failed to properly serve the complaint and for failure to state a claim (Ronald Fitzpatrick v. The Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 14-10051, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16595).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Washington federal judge properly rejected allegations that Amazon.com Inc. is vicariously liable for copyright infringement by participants in the "Amazon Associates" program, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 (Sandy Routt v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 13-35237, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 29 denied an environmental group's challenge to the State of Wisconsin's decision in 2011 to reissue a permit to Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP under Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA), finding that modifications to the facility completed in 2004 did not affect the amount of emissions allowable under the state's regulations (Clean Water Action Council of Northeastern Wisconsin v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-3388, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16870).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Aug. 27 ruled that a group of landowners who had entered into leases that allowed hydraulic fracturing on their land were released from those contracts because partial lease forfeiture or cancellation is an appropriate equitable remedy for undrilled or unexploited acreage (Michael DeRosa, et al. v. Hess Ohio Resources LLC, No. 13-0472, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119587).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly ordered a retrial on damages following a $1.3 billion jury award for copyright infringement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 (Oracle Corp. v. SAP AG, et al., No. 12-16944, 9th Cir.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla - A judge in Florida's 17th Judicial Circuit Court ordered a mistrial Aug. 29 in a suit brought by a Florida woman alleging that her laryngeal and lung cancers were caused by years of smoking cigarettes (Mary Cooper, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. CACE08026350X, Fla. Cir., 17th Cir., Broward Co.).
MIAMI - A jury in Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County on Aug. 29 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay $25 million in punitive damages to the family of a man who alleged that his lung cancer resulted from smoking cigarettes manufactured by Reynolds for more than 45 years (Sherri Hubbird v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2012-18904-CA-01, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).
LOS ANGELES - Supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc. dupes customers into buying its Greek yogurt products by vastly understating on the product labels how much sugar the yogurt contains, in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), according to a consumer class action complaint filed Aug. 26 in federal court (Chas Jackson, et al. v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., No. 14-6705, C.D. Calif.).
WESTPORT, Conn. - An American energy firm on Aug. 28 announced that it has filed legal proceedings in Pakistan in relation to interim orders issued by a tribunal for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Aug. 28 announced that the Republic of Somalia has commenced arbitration against the Republic of Kenya in relation to an Indian Ocean maritime boundary dispute.
LOWELL, Mass. - A Massachusetts state court jury on Aug. 29 returned a defense verdict for Boston Scientific Corp. after 2-1/2 days of deliberations in the state's second bellwether pelvic mesh trial (Maria Cardenas v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. MICV2012-02912, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 26 remanded a case to state court, concluding that federal jurisdiction did not apply to a man's soil contamination lawsuit against a group of hydraulic fracturing companies (Henry J. Ellender Heirs v. ExxonMobil Corporation, No. 14-711, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 119055).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Aug. 26 denied a motion to dismiss a cost-recovery case related to soil contamination from underground storage tanks on grounds that the plaintiff had pleaded sufficient facts to show that it was entitled to indemnification for remediation expenses (Greyhound Lines Inc. v. Viad Corporation, No. 13-2305, D. Ariz.).
LOS ANGELES - Sallie Mae Inc.'s objections to electronic discovery requests by a group of students in a fraud lawsuit were without merit, a California appeals panel found Aug. 27, affirming an award of attorney fees to the students related to their opposition to Sallie Mae's motion to quash their subpoena (Daniel Vasquez, et al. v. California School of Culinary Arts Inc., et al., No. B250600, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6051).
JACKSON, Miss. - A lawsuit brought by an exonerated criminal defendant over testimony that a doctor insured gave as an expert witness is not covered under the doctor's medical malpractice insurance policy, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Aug. 28 (Dr. Steven Hayne v. The Doctors Company, et al., No. 2013-CA-00252-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2014 Miss. LEXIS 432).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California General Assembly on Aug. 27 passed a bill that would establish procedures to reduce gas pipeline leaks throughout the state.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury in the 17th Judicial District Court for Broward County, Fla., on Aug. 28 found R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group partially responsible for the smoking-related diseases, but not the death, of a longtime smoker, awarding his family $2.75 million in damages for pain and suffering and $373,436.55 in medical expenses (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud., Broward Co.).
MIAMI - A jury in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Aug. 28 returned an $8.5 million punitive damages verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a suit filed by the family of a longtime smoker who alleged that his death from lung cancer was the result of his smoking (Robert A. Wilcox v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2010-45462-CA-01, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud., Miami-Dade Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 vacated a Texas federal judge's decision to dismiss a patent case with prejudice, after deeming the dismissal an abuse of discretion (Ki Ventures LLC v. CTA Digital Inc., No. 14-1187, Fed. Cir.).