WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court on May 14 agreed to review a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that maritime law permits holding a manufacturer liable for third-party asbestos-containing replacement parts (Air and Liquid Systems Corp, et al. v. Roberta G. DeVries, et al., No. 17-1104, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 14 agreed to hear an appeal over the payment of employment taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) on a railroad's payment to a worker for time lost from work due to work-related injuries (BNSF Railway Company v. Michael D. Loos, No. 17-1042, U.S. Sup.).
GREENVILLE, Miss. - Residents who allege that a group of companies are liable for groundwater contamination on May 10 filed a brief in Mississippi federal court contending that it should exclude all reports and opinions of the EPA Region 4 that are included in the companies' disclosure of expert witnesses (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).
ATLANTA - Concluding that a debit card firm's loss due to fraud did not result directly from computer fraud, even though computers were used by the fraudsters, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 ruled that there was no coverage for the firm's resulting loss under its computer fraud insurance policy (HI Technology Corp., et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 17-11712, 11th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a May 9 substitute opening brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Montana man asserts that a recent ruling by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not alter controlling authority that supports his putative class complaint alleging that repeated, unwanted text messages from Facebook Inc. were sent using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and, thus, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Noah Duguid v. Facebook Inc., No. 17-15320, 9th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Although a California federal judge found that the named plaintiffs in a suit over purported touchscreen defects in two iPhone models had standing to pursue their claims against Apple Inc., the judge on May 8 ruled that they failed to establish predominance under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, leading her to deny their motion for class certification (Thomas Davidson, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 5:16-cv-04942, N.D. Calif.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A coastal services professor designated as an expert for an environmental group claiming that a contractor's road construction project is violating the Clean Water Act by disposing of excessive amounts of sediment in the Biloxi Back Bay can offer limited testimony regarding how the sediment flows from the project to the waterway, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled May 9, finding that the some of his opinions were based on inadequate data (Gulf Restoration Network v. Oscar Renda Contracting Inc., No. 17CV130-LG-RHW, S.D. Miss., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77907).
MIAMI - In a May 10 order, a Florida federal judge agreed with a plaintiff that a defense expert's conclusions regarding whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) properly issued the "Royal Palm" trademark are "problematic," particularly in light of the expert's status as an attorney (Royal Palm Properties LLC v. Pink Palm Properties LLC, No. 17-80476, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78685).
ORLANDO, Fla. - An expert's opinion that a company's trademark infringement cost the trademark holder more than $4 million in gross sales is admissible, although another analysis by the expert that yielded an $8 million loss is not because the method used to reach the higher amount is not reliable, a Florida federal judge determined May 9 (Superior Consulting Services, Inc. v. Shaklee Corporation, et al., No. 6:16-cv-2001, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77840).
NORFOLK, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on May 9 issued two separate opinions, one granting conditional certification and the second partially granting dismissal in a complaint brought by a former Virginia school district computer specialist who alleges that a decision to force all specialists to reapply for their jobs discriminated against older employees (Joseph H. Andreana et al. v. Virginia Beach City Public Schools, et al., No. 17-574, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78799, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78801).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In two putative class actions filed in a California federal court over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a reinsurer and its affiliates on May 9 moved to compel production of documents in response to subpoenas served on an insurance agency (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - While some factors weigh in favor of applying Massachusetts law to an asbestos wrongful death action, the fact that the injury occurred in Maine, a state where the defendant enjoyed a longstanding relationship, warrants applying the latter state's laws, a federal judge in Massachusetts held May 9 (Ruth Burleigh, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 16-11030, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77891).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 8 denied a disability claimant's motion to dismiss a disability insurer's breach of contract counterclaim after determining that the insurer was included as a released party in a separation agreement signed by the claimant and his employer and, therefore, has standing to enforce the terms of the separation agreement (Roger Michael Thomas v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 17-4522, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77732).
SEATTLE - A Washington county on May 8 sued five oil companies in state court, contending that they "borrowed the Big Tobacco playbook" when failing to disclose that the burning of fossil fuels is linked to global warming and climate change that has adversely affected public and private property (King County v BP Plc., et al., No. n/a, Wash. Super., King Co.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals panel on May 8 found that an underlying complaint failed to allege a claim against an insured arising from a wrongful act in its rendering of professional services that are "solely related" to a covered product, affirming a lower court's ruling that an errors and omissions insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify against the underlying suit (Lindsey Financial, Inc. et al. v. American Automobile Insurance Company, No. E067037, Calif., App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3164).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on May 9 granted a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in a class action alleging that a retirement plan breached its duty to diversify and its duty of prudent following a spinoff of the company because the plan did not mandate that the participants' assets remain in specific stock funds created following the spinoff (Jeffery Schweitzer et al., v. The Investment Committee of the Phillips 66 Savings Plan et al., No. 17-3013, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77788).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although agreeing with adidas America Inc. that Skechers USA Inc. likely infringed and diluted adidas' "Three-Stripe" trademark as applied to athletic shoes, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 reversed an injunction entered against Skechers, citing adidas' failure to demonstrate irreparable harm (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Skechers USA Inc., No. 16-35204, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12249).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 8 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a loan servicer, finding that a borrower's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) were untimely (Ariel Barel v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, a/k/a Ditech Financial, LLC, et al., No. 17-2817, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11991).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although affirming findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that several claims of a method for remote monitoring and control of irrigation equipment with handheld devices would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 reversed the board's finding that one claim was not unpatentable (Valmont Industries Inc. v. Lindsay Corporation, Nos. 17-1235, -1288, Fed. Cir.).