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Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 8th Circuit Panel Again Reverses, Sends Ex-Workers' Bias Claims To Arbitration

ST. LOUIS - After a rehearing, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 11 reversed and remanded a Minnesota federal judge's ruling denying General Mills Inc.'s motion to compel individual arbitration, again finding that 33 laid-off General Mills workers must have their age discrimination...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Exclusion Of Expert In Whirlpool Oven Action Sinks Class Certification

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 9 denied class certification in a product liability case involving overheating Whirlpool Corp. kitchen ovens after finding that the plaintiffs' engineering expert failed to offer an opinion on whether there was a common defect in the ovens (Beth Kljajic...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 7th Circuit Orders Judgment Vacated Due To Mootness In Police Tattoo Dispute

CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 instructed a trial court to vacate its judgment in favor of a police department in a class dispute over covering police officers' tattoos as moot after the matter was resolved in favor of the officers by an arbitrator (Daniel Medici...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - $2 Million Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Green-Lights Expert Opinions In Bad Faith Insurance Action

TAMPA, Fla. - Experts for both a driver injured in a crash and an insurance company accused of acting in bad faith in not settling the driver's claim can offer their opposing opinions based on their qualifications and sound methodology, as long as the opinions are not legal in nature, a Florida federal...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Restaurant Managers' Wage Suit Survives Dismissal Motion, Is Transferred To Missouri

PEORIA, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on May 12 ruled that a class complaint accusing a fast food restaurant of failing to pay managers overtime survives dismissal because its claims are sufficiently different from another wage suit filed first in Missouri federal court against the same defendant;...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - All Expert Testimony Trimmed In Negligence Suit Over Motorcyclist's Death

HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 11 limited the testimony of all four expert witnesses in a lawsuit filed by the estate of a deceased motorcyclist alleging that the truck driver that hit him and the driver's company are liable for the biker's death (The Estate of John Arama v....

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Legal Conclusions Out, Rest Of Testimony In, Judge Says In Coverage Row

MOBILE, Ala. - The legal nature of the opinions of one expert witness for an insurer in a coverage dispute over underlying trademark infringement claims precludes the expert from testifying about such opinions, but the expert's other opinions, and those of a second expert for the insurer, are admissible...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Summary Judgment Denied In Medical Record Charges Class Suit

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on May 15 denied a motion for partial summary judgment and response in opposition to a class certification motion filed by one of four defendants in a proposed class complaint alleging overcharging of patients for copies of their medical records (Ann McCracken...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - D.C. Circuit Upholds Legality Of Deal Settling Indian Farmers' Bias Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed in a divided decision that an amendment to a class settlement of discrimination claims by Native American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which money left over after a second round of...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Class Certification In Suit Over Corn Mill Hazards

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 12 upheld a trial court's certification of two subclasses of homeowners suing a nearby corn processing company for allegedly emitting hazardous chemicals and damaging their use and enjoyment of their properties (Laurie Freeman, et al. v. Grain Processing...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Rejects Venezuela's 4th Request To Disqualify Arbitrator In Treaty Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 15 rejected the fourth request filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to disqualify an arbitrator in a case filed by two Venezuelan entities who assert violations of a...

Mealey's IP/Tech - D.C. Circuit Dismisses Backpage.com CEO's Appeal Of Senate Subpoena As Moot

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Because a U.S. Senate subcommittee no longer seeks to enforce an investigatory document productions subpoena on Backpage.com LLC, a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on May 16 dismissed an appeal of an enforcement order brought by the firm's chief executive...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Declines To Strike Expert's Interest Analysis For Tribe's ERISA Claims

BAY CITY, Mich. - If an Indian tribe prevails on its claim that its health care plan administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by charging hidden fees and pursues prejudgment interest, its expert on calculating the interest amount can offer his analysis at trial, a Michigan federal...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Artist's Wife's Testimony Excluded As Unreliable In Copyright Infringement Case

ATLANTA - A restaurant owner was awarded summary judgment in Georgia federal court on May 18 on an artist's copyright infringement claims over a drawing he did of the restaurant, with the artist also losing his bid to have his wife testify as an expert witness (Floyd Anthony Fey v. Panacea Management...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Newspaper's FOIA Suit Over Officers' Mug Shots Denied Certiorari

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its May 22 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a newspaper's petition for certiorari over privacy rights connected to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for booking photos, letting stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found an FOIA exemption...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Split 9th Circuit Panel Rejects Remand To Narrow Class Definition

SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs may not seek to narrow a class to escape federal jurisdiction after a complaint has already been properly removed to federal court, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 18 (Broadway Grill, Inc. v. Visa Inc., et al., No. 17-15499, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 8th Circuit Reverses, Says Report On Spread Of Fracking Waste Is Reliable

ST. LOUIS - A federal court wrongly excluded an expert witness for an Arkansas couple accusing a hydraulic fracturing company of trespass and improperly awarded summary judgment to the company based on the couple's lack of sufficient evidence, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 22...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio Appellate Panel Reverses Class Certification In Traffic Camera Suit

CLEVELAND - The lead named plaintiff in a class complaint accusing the city of Cleveland of using traffic cameras that violate the notice requirements of Cleveland Codified Ordinances (CCO) 413.031 is precluded from seeking judicial review and does not meet the requisite typicality requirement that would...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Birth Defects Claims Against Drugmaker Doomed By Insufficient Expert Opinions

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Two medical experts lack the qualifications and reliable methodology to opine that a mother's use of an anti-epileptic drug linked to birth defects caused her son's severe birth defects, so summary judgment for the drugmaker is warranted on the mother's failure-to-warn claims...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Injunctive Relief, Warranty Claims Dismissed In Supplements Labeling Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 19 denied motions to strike and granted in part and denied in part dismissal motions in a herbal supplement labeling suit, finding the plaintiffs may rely on testing conducted by the New York attorney general (NYAG) (In Re: Herbal Supplements Marketing and Sales...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Immigration Order Class Suit Is Stayed Pending Hawaii's Appeal

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 22 stayed a class suit filed by three minors objecting to President Donald J. Trump's immigration-related executive orders pending a ruling in Hawaii v. Trump, No. 17-15589 (9th Cir.) (Juweiya Abdiaziz Ali, et al. v. Donald Trump, et al., No. 17-135, W...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Coach Will Pay $1.75M To Settle Meal Break, Rest Period Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 22 granted final approval of a $1.75 million settlement to be paid by Coach Inc. and Coach Services Inc. (collectively, Coach) to end multiple class wage-and-hour claims, including one brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Mary...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Drillers' Wage-And-Hour Class Suit Is Settled For $3 Million

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement to be paid by an industrial service company to end claims that it improperly classified directional drillers as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime wages and meal and rest period...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Woman Loses Bid For Habeas Relief Based On Fire Expert's Arson Finding

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on May 25 upheld the conviction of a woman for setting fire to her house to collect insurance money after rejecting her challenge to an expert's opinion that the fire was caused by arson (Audrey Pruitt v. Anthony Stewart, No. 2:15-cv-10812, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S...