SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 granted a motion to remand a former assistant store manager's wage-and-hour class complaint to state court, finding that the employer failed to show that the federal amount in controversy requirement was met (Payal Patel v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., No. 14-851, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98918).
HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut appeals court on July 24 affirmed a trial court's decision that a lawsuit filed by a condominium owner and his tenant seeking damages for water leaks and mold was barred by a statute of limitations, finding that the case was untimely (Panfilio Gugliemi, et al. v. Willowbrook Condominium Association Inc., No. AC 35557, Conn. App.; 2014 Conn. App. LEXIS 343).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 22 issued an order dismissing an insured's bad faith claim against an insurer for failure to pay on a flood insurance policy after Hurricane Sandy, ruling that the claim is preempted by federal law (Mark Damiano v. Harleysville Insurance Co. of New Jersey, No. 13-7239, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97988).
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel held July 22 that a commercial general liability insurance policy's contractual liability exclusion does not preclude coverage for underlying claims arising from the insured's servicing of the University of Michigan's central power plant in Ann Arbor. (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Peaker Services Inc., No. 315070, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 1360).
TACOMA, Wash. - A Division II Washington Court of Appeals panel on July 22 affirmed a $755,314.71 jury verdict entered against the manufacturer of allegedly defective siding, ruling that while the trial judge erred in providing the jury with a failure-of-essential-purpose instruction, the mistake was not prejudicial to Louisiana Pacific Corp. (LP) (Canterbury Apartment Homes LLC v. Louisiana Pacific Corporation, No. 44545-0-II, Wash. App., Div. 2; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1804).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurance policy's "your work" exclusion precludes coverage for the cost to remove and repair the taping work done by an insured subcontractor, a South Carolina appeals panel affirmed July 23 (Precision Walls Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 2013-000787, S.C. App.; 2014 S.C. App. LEXIS 197).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 dismissed a technology liability insurer's lawsuit challenging coverage for a $347,854.58 judgment against its Internet consultant insured, finding that the applicable considerations weigh in favor of abstention (Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Tonya Donahue, et al., No: 8:14-cv-829-T-30AEP, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100320).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 denied a petition for mandamus by Nokia Inc. and Nokia Corp. (Nokia, collectively), which would have compelled the International Trade Commission to consider arguments regarding noninfringement of two patents relating to cellular telephone technology (In re: Nokia Inc. and Nokia Corporation, No. 14-133, Fed. Cir.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An asbestos-related lung cancer death is an indivisible injury not subject to apportionment, Maryland's top court held July 21 in a divided opinion affirming more than $4 million in verdicts (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 84, September Term, 2013, Md. App.).
PHOENIX - An Arizona man's misrepresentations about his ownership of an underground storage tank (UST) that leaked gasoline, thereby requiring the tank's removal and remediation of the property, defeated his argument that a lawsuit brought against him by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) was barred by res judicata, a state appeals court panel held July 22 (State of Arizona ex rel. Henry R. Darwin v. William M. Arnett, et al., No. CA-CV 13-0420, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2014 Ariz. App. LEXIS 125).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A patent infringement plaintiff was ordered to pay Amazon.com Inc. $130,046 in attorney fees on July 23, after a Delaware federal judge found that the plaintiff's proffered construction of a disputed claim term was objectively unreasonable (Technology Innovations LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 11-690, D. Del.).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on July 23 ruled on various motions in relation to counterclaims asserted by a landlord that his tenant made negligent misrepresentations about her living conditions and credit score, granting the tenant an extension to file a motion to dismiss the complaint (Natalie Meredith v. Douglas Weilburg, No. 3:13-cv-00277, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100365).
SAN ANTONIO - A post-removal defendant need not file its own notice or join in the original notice to keep an asbestos case in federal court after dismissal of the removing defendant, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held July 23 (John Calvin Humphries v. Elliot Co., et al., No. 14-30182, 5th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A request for a declaration of trademark rights by plaintiff Benihana of Tokyo (BOT) Inc. was rejected July 22 by a Delaware federal judge acting in response to a motion for summary judgment by defendant Benihana Inc. (BI) (Benihana of Tokyo Inc. v. Benihana Inc., No. 10-1051, D. Del.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 21 granted preliminary approval of a $504,000 settlement to end a wage class complaint filed by employees of a spa franchise, but he cautioned that prior to final approval, the parties must either explain why he erred in calculating the maximum recovery to be more than $6 million or why such a low recovery was warranted (Yvette R. Balderas, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, No. 12-6327, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99966).
TACOMA, Wash. - Plaintiff and co-worker testimony regarding work with asbestos-containing insulation and other testimony establishing a defendant as an "extensive" supplier of those products to the jobsite creates genuine issues overcoming summary judgment, a Washington appeals court held July 22 (Jack Don Kennedy and Sandra Kennedy v. Saberhagen Holdings Inc., No. 43941-7-II, 45381-9-II, Wash. App., Div. 2).
PHILADELPHIA - Seven retired National Football League players filed a petition June 21 seeking leave to appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the class-certification order that led to a settlement of brain-injury claims filed by retired players against the league (In re: National Football League Players Concussion Industry Litigation, No. 14-8103, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on July 23 reversed rulings by the bankruptcy judge in the Chapter 11 case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC sealing evidence and filings and excluding the news media from the hearing to estimate Garlock's liability for asbestos personal injury claims, finding that the bankruptcy judge erred in issuing broad protective orders that prevented public access to the hearing (Legal Newsline v. Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, No. 13-464, W.D. N.C.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on July 22 found that Alex Energy Inc. was liable for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), ruling that three environmental groups provided sufficient evidence to show that discharges from the company's mines contained excessive levels of selenium (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition Inc., et al. v. Alex Energy Inc., No. 13-20571, S.D. W. Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99322).
CHICAGO - A long-term disability (LTD) insurer wrongfully denied a claimant's request for benefits because the insurer refused to consider the claimant's medical evidence in support of the claim, an Illinois federal judge said July 18 in remanding the claim to the insurer for a proper determination of disability (Joseph Mirocha v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 13-5724, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98025).
SAN FRANCISCO - Seven minor league baseball players filed a class complaint on July 21 in California federal court accusing 30 major league baseball clubs and the commissioner of Major League Baseball (collectively, MLB) of colluding to violate federal and state wage-and-hour laws and state unfair competition laws (Yadel Marti, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 14-3289, N.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on July 21 granted conditional certification to a class of directly employed individuals and contract workers seeking wages for time spent donning, doffing and showering (Shane Bowman, et al. v. The Doe Run Resources Corp., et al., No. 13-2519, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98333).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 18 refused to dismiss suits by merchants that opted out of the $7.25 billion class action settlement between approximately 12 million merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks, which allegedly fixed the price of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation $(All Opt-Out Cases$), No. 14-md-1720, E.D. N.Y.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Parties in a religious employers' challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate briefed the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby (Southerrn Nazarene University, et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burewell, et al., No. 14-6026, 10th Cir.).