ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 4 upheld a jury award of more than $550,000 for a Georgia apartment complex on its breach of contract claim against an insurer for not paying enough to replace hail-damaged shingles, finding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in any of its Daubert rulings (The Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC v. Property-Owners Insurance Company, No. 17-10264, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 217).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A company's sale of tens of thousands of units of asbestos-containing drywall in Oklahoma easily surpasses the bar for jurisdiction in the state, a man told the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 (Murco Wall Products Inc. v. Michael D. Galier, No. 17-733, U.S. Sup.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California appeals court on Jan. 5 affirmed the dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), fraud and other claims asserted against lenders and a loan servicer, finding that borrowers failed to show that their original loan was void (Andrea E. Lucas, et al. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, et al., No. G053165, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 114).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 8 found that purchasers of allegedly defective dive computers sufficiently alleged facts to allow their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) to survive dismissal, but granted the maker of the equipment's motion to strike a third-party complaint against it (Ralph A. Huntzinger, et al. v. Aqua Lung America Inc., et al., No. 15cv1146, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3222).
EL PASO, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 4 held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a church and its president against a $475,000 consent judgment for their violations of the Texas Election Code, finding that a recall election notice posted on the church's website failed to constitute an "advertisement" under the insurance policy (Word of Life Church of El Paso, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-00049, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1688).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A commercial general liability (CGL) insurer on Jan. 4 moved for summary judgment in California federal court in a coverage dispute with Yahoo! Inc., arguing that its duty to indemnify was never triggered in underlying privacy lawsuits over the internet firm's former email-scanning practices because no damages award was levied against Yahoo (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 5:17-cv-00489, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 declined to hear an appeal filed by a former airline customer service agent alleging that he was improperly fired after he allegedly stole money from a customer's lost purse (Carlos Clemons v. Delta Airlines, Inc., No. 17-597, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A June 2017 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse, for a second time, a Pennsylvania federal judge's award of attorney fees on behalf of a prevailing patent defendant will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari in the case Jan. 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court (All-Tag Security S.A. v. Checkpoint Systems Inc., No. 17-519, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Jan. 5 announced that a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements for employee disability benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will go into effect on April 1.
LOS ANGELES - Although a defendant's law firm did not comply with its ethical duty to notify the plaintiff upon its receipt of privileged materials, a California appeals panel on Jan. 4 found that a trial court referee did not err in declining to disqualify the firm because the plaintiff was not greatly damaged by the material's disclosure (1100 Wilshire Property Owners Association v. 1100 Wilshire Commercial LLC, No. B281127, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 100).
SAN FRANCISCO - The organizer of the annual "Life is Beautiful" festival tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 5 brief that an artist's trademark claims related to that phrase were properly dismissed due to unclean hands and a failure to use the asserted marks in commerce (Amusement Art LLC v. Life is Beautiful LLC, et al., No. 17-55045, 9th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A federal district court probably erred in admitting a fingerprint analyst's expert testimony in a woman's deportation case, but the error was harmless considering that there was plenty of other evidence to identify the woman, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 5 in affirming the woman's conviction for illegally re-entering the United States (United States of America v. Stephanie Lois Watkins, a.k.a. Stephanie Harrell, No. 16-17371, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 316).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 8 decision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Nevada federal judge's determination that a third-party software support company committed copyright infringement when it relied on a license granted to one customer to copy software from the Oracle USA Inc. website to provide services to other customers who had no such license (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., Nos. 16-16-832 & 16-16905, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 463).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 said it will not reconsider its Nov. 6 ruling that a federal judge did not err in granting a motion for class certification filed by shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit even though the judge erred in applying the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States (Joseph Waggoner, et al. v. Barclays PLC, et al., No. 16-1912, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former Federal Election Commission (FEC) attorney who claims that she was wrongfully fired in retaliation for allegedly blowing the whistle on a nominated commissioner (Marne K. Mitskog v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 17-6479, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied two tobacco companies' petition for a writ of certiorari and upheld a finding that using the original Engle findings in Engle progeny suits does not violate due process (R.J. Reynolds, et al. v. Theresa Graham, No. 17-415, U.S. Sup.).
PHOENIX - The Geo Group Inc., the operator of the Central Arizona Correction Facility and Arizona State Prison-Florence West Facility in Florence, Ariz., will pay $550,000 and provide other relief to settle sexual harassment and retaliation claims filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office, the EEOC announced Jan. 8 (The State of Arizona, et al. v. The Geo Group, Inc., No. 10-1995, D. Ariz.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals panel on Jan. 8 reversed a trial court judge's ruling that a special causation standard applies to companies accused of being responsible parties for contamination under the Polanco Redevelopment Act, finding that a plaintiff must show only that the manufacturer's improper instructions on disposal were a factor in the contamination (City of Modesto v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. A134419, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Calif. App. LEXIS 13).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge erred by failing to construe "extended release coating" as the term appears in two drug delivery patents as requiring a continuous outer film, in light of intrinsic evidence, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4 (Aptalis Pharmatech Inc., et al. v. Apotex Inc., et al., No. 17-1344, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 201).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employee seeking a ruling on noncompete agreements under the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws (Christopher Ridgeway, et al. v. Stryker Corporation, et al., No. 17-556, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the wife of a deceased railway conductor arguing that the policies of her husband's employer regarding remote work and contacting emergency services caused him to die at a remote worksite after suffering a heart attack (Crystal Sells v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 17-384, U.S. Sup.).