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Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Vizio Smart TV Owners' Wiretap Act Class Claim Survives Dismissal

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A previously dismissed Wiretap Act putative class claim against Vizio Inc. survived a second dismissal motion July 25, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged interception of communications via Vizio's purported use of surreptitious software...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Restaurant Files Counterclaims Against Drivers In Tip-Pooling Suit

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A State College, Pa., restaurant facing a class complaint by five delivery drivers over the restaurant's tip-pooling policy denied the claims in its July 21 answer filed in a Pennsylvania federal court and brought counterclaims accusing the lead named plaintiff of fraud, negligent...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 8th Circuit Reverses Finding That Class Attorneys Abused Judicial Process

ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 25 reversed a ruling by an Arkansas trial court that found that attorneys for both sides of a class action insurance dispute violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and abused the judicial process when they stipulated to the dismissal...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Certification Denied For False Advertising Claims In Apple App Privacy Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiffs in a putative class action over the sharing of contact information on devices made by Apple Inc. saw their class certification motion denied July 25, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish the necessary predominance factors in their...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Police Expert's False Confession Opinions Barred In Wrongful Conviction Case

CHICAGO - An expert in police practices for a woman suing Chicago police after being wrongly convicted of murdering her young son cannot testify at trial about coercive interrogations and false confessions because he is not qualified to offer such testimony, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 27 (Nicole...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Attorney's Estate Entitled To Client Emails In Fees Dispute, Texas Panel Rules

DALLAS - The estate of a deceased attorney was properly granted access to his emails related to a lawsuit at the heart of an unpaid fee dispute, a Texas appeals panel ruled July 25, finding that attorney-client privilege did not bar discovery because the estate stood in the attorney's shoes (In re...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 4th Circuit Rules On What Defendant Must Provide To Show Federal Jurisdiction

RICHMOND, Va. - A cellular service provider seeking to establish federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) must provide a federal court with enough facts that it can find "that it is more likely than not that the class action belongs in federal court," a Fourth Circuit...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 6th Circuit Reverses Exclusion Of Heat Stroke Diagnosis In Man's Death

CINCINNATI - Relatives of a man who died in his 93-degree apartment who sued a utility company for wrongful death for denying the man utility services due to lack of a photo ID can present testimony from a medical expert that the man died from "probable heat stroke," a divided Sixth Circuit...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Lockheed Martin's $22.8M Race Bias Settlement Is Rejected By D.C. Federal Judge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A proposed settlement under which Lockheed Martin Corp. would pay $22.8 million to end a class complaint accusing the company of engaging in a performance appraisal system that discriminates against African-American employees was rejected July 28 by a District of Columbia federal judge...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio City Residents Certified In Class Suit Over Inspection Fees

CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on July 28 certified a class of Bedford, Ohio, residents suing the city and various city officials for imposing point-of-sale inspection fees but denied the plaintiffs' oral motion for a temporary restraining order as moot since the city has since amended its ordinance...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 8th Circuit Finds Court Must Decide Whether Class Arbitration Is Permitted

ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 28 ruled, in a case presenting a question of first impression in the circuit, that a court, not an arbitrator, must decide whether an arbitration agreement allows for class arbitration (Catamaran Corporation v. Towncrest Pharmacy, et al...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Drug Detection Testimony Properly Allowed, 11th Circuit Panel Says

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 upheld the convictions of five men on cocaine trafficking charges after affirming the trial court's allowance of expert testimony by a U.S. Coast Guard officer on technology used by law enforcement to detect trace amounts of drugs (United...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - D.C. Circuit: Identity Theft Risk From Data Breach Is An Injury-In-Fact

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The plaintiffs in a putative negligence class action against their insurer sufficiently alleged that the access of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a data breach created an increased risk of identity theft and, thus, an injury, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S....

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Credit Reporting Expert Excluded For Lack Of Proper Opinions

DETROIT - A Michigan federal magistrate judge on Aug. 2 excluded the opinions and testimony of an expert witness for a man alleging unfair credit reporting after finding that the expert's opinions are improper legal conclusions and his methods are unreliable (Ibrahim Barakat v. Equifax Information...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Court Delineates Rules For Vetting 1 Expert Substituting For Another

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands - A Virgin Islands trial court erred in deciding a motion to substitute one expert for another by sua sponte looking at the qualifications of the first expert and not examining the qualifications and methodology of the substitute expert, the Virgin Islands Supreme Court held...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Deficient Expert Witnesses Doom Storm Damage Claims, Judge Rules

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 4 awarded an insurance company summary judgment on claims for additional coverage for storm damage after finding that the business owners' expert witness disclosures "were clearly deficient" and that even if they weren't, the experts'...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Again Finds Fault In Expert Witness Rulings In Water Contamination Row

PASADENA, Calif. - A federal trial court abused its discretion twice when making two expert witness decisions against a California city, and the errors were prejudicial to the city in its claims that its groundwater was polluted by a chemical in a company's fertilizer products, the Ninth Circuit...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Testimony In Patent, Trade Secrets Action Allowed By Federal Judge

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts' opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Axes Expert's Late Report, Dismisses Negligence Claims Against Doctor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on Aug. 8 awarded summary judgment to a doctor and his employer on an estate's wrongful death claims after excluding a late-filed expert report as untimely and, therefore, prejudicial (John Faure v. Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 5th Circuit Finds Arbitrability Questions Must Be Decided By Arbitrators

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 9 affirmed a decision in favor of Chevron USA Inc. and others to deny a motion to remand a company's claims for fraud, finding that the court did not err in finding that a confidentiality agreement's arbitration provision...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Extended Warranty Company Deemed Not Liable For Marketing Calls That Violated TCPA

SAN FRANCISCO - A company that provides vehicle service contracts (VSC), also known as extended warranties, cannot be held vicariously liable for telephone calls by telemarketers from All American Auto Protection Inc. (AAAP) that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the telemarketers...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Federal Judge Finds No Injury Dooms FACTA Class Suit

DALLAS - A lead plaintiff's class suit under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) that accuses a supermarket of not properly truncating customers' information on its receipts fails due to no showing of injury in fact, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 9 (Sumeet Batra, et al. v...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 7th Circuit Upholds Ruling For Cosmetology School In Wage Suit By Students

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 14 upheld a trial court's summary judgment ruling for a chain of cosmetology schools sued by a proposed class of students seeking wages for time spent in the schools' salons (Venitia Hollins v. Regency Corporation, et al., No. 15-3607...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Uber Seeks To Settle Unwanted Text Messages Class Suit For $20 Million

CHICAGO - Plaintiffs representing three classes of individuals who received unsolicited text messages from Uber Technologies Inc. moved Aug. 11 for preliminary approval of a $20 million settlement (Maria Vergara, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-6942, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge: Expert's Opinion On Bath Mat's Suitability Is Reliable

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A mathematician can provide expert testimony regarding the suitability of a bath mat that allegedly caused a woman to slip and fall after coming out of a shower stall in a condominium, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee ruled Aug. 11, holding that the expert was qualified and...