National News

Courts & Litigation

Texas Court Overturns Discovery Sanction in Leak Case

By Laura Castro |

The Texas Supreme Court has dismissed a $1.2 million judgment against Petroleum Solutions Inc. over a diesel spill, finding that the trial court abused its discretion by imposing spoliation sanctions against the company when there was no proof it intentionally lost or destroyed evidence.

Circuit Upholds $72 Million in Penalties Against Volvo

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A Volvo subsidiary is responsible for violating a consent decree that a separate subsidiary entered into involving the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for new motor vehicle engines, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled.

Court Says Jury Can Decide Man’s ‘Popcorn Lung’ Claims

By Lisa Hottman |

A Michigan man who alleges he developed “popcorn lung” from the buttery fragrance of at least 6,200 bags of the microwave snack over 19 years may present three products liability claims to a jury, a feder-al judge has ruled.

LK-93 Wolverine muzzleloading rifle.

Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Muzzleloader Injury Claim

By Lisa Hoffman |

Ruling the claim came too late, a federal appeals panel shot down a products liability claim by a hunter whose muzzleloader rifle unexpectedly discharged and sent ammunition and a ramrod through his hands and forearm.

Fracking operation in Texas.

$3 Million Verdict Sustained Over Fracking Pollution

By Laura Castro |

A Texas judge has entered final judgment on a $3 million jury verdict to a family for illnesses they blamed on exposure to water, land and air pollution generated by Aruba Petroleum Inc.'s natural gas drilling operations around their 40-acre ranch in North Texas.

Ninth Circuit Rejects Objections to Nutella Settlement

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal appeals court panel has brushed off objections to a settlement between a class of consumers and the maker of Nutella, ruling that an award of about $1 million for plaintiffs’ counsel was proper even though it was double the amount available to allegedly wronged consumers.

Roger Gregory.

Fourth Circuit Upholds IRS Rule on Health Care Subsidies

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday upheld IRS provisions that implement the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The ruling came two hours after the D.C. Circuit ruled against the government in a similar challenge.

Appellate Court Restores Warranty Suit Against Hyundai

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

After a trial judge granted a nonsuit in favor of Hyundai Motor America and a Hyundai dealer, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a defective sunroof constitutes a breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

Thomas Griffith,left, and Harry Edwards, right.

D.C. Circuit's Health Care Subsidies Ruling a Blow for Feds

By Marcia Coyle |

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday dealt a severe blow to the federal Affordable Care Act by invalidating subsidies to individuals who buy health insurance through marketplaces known as federally created exchanges.

Appeals Court Rejects Securities Fraud Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court finding that a pension fund failed to show that purchasers of stock in a robotic surgical devices maker were defrauded by executives’ allegedly false statements.

Judgment in Motorized Tricycle Case Affirmed

By Laura Castro |

A federal appeals court has affirmed a $95,000 judgment against Texas-based Thoroughbred Motorsports Inc. over a defective motorized tricycle, rejecting the company's challenges to the jury instructions on the Wisconsin Lemon Law and federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims.

Lawsuit Against Opioid Drugmakers Will Be Unsealed

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The city of Chicago and a group of pharmaceutical companies that make opioid painkillers have agreed that the city's complaint against them can be unredacted and unsealed.

Florida Appeals Court Upholds Tobacco Judgment for Plaintiffs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Florida Court of Appeals, First District, has upheld a judgment against two tobacco companies.

A ship floats amongst a sea of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

BP Claimant, Attorneys, Ordered to Return Settlement Cash

By Amanda Bronstad |

A New Orleans law firm at the center of an investigation into misconduct surrounding the processing of payments from BP PLC’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement must return $357,000 paid to a client based on allegedly fraudulent claims.

A Friend to Business? Maybe not

By Tony Mauro |

Business interests did not fare as well as usual before the U.S. Supreme Court in the term just ended, according to Mayer Brown's annual tally of the court's business docket.

A Friend to Business? Maybe not

By Tony Mauro |

Business interests did not fare as well as usual before the U.S. Supreme Court in the term just ended, according to Mayer Brown's annual tally of the court's business docket.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, D.C.

At 3, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Hits Stride

By Jenna Greene |

Lawyers who practice before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau agree on one thing: “It’s been good for law firms,” said Ballard Spahr partner Alan Kaplinsky. Created by the Dodd-Frank Act, the agency turned 3 years old Monday.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

<b>BETSY BENJAMINSON:</b> “I plan to vigorously represent my interests in regard to the subpoena.” Toyota wants her to come to the United States for a deposition.

A Translator Who Talked

By Amanda Bronstad |

Toyota Motor Corp. has subpoenaed a former translator-turned-whistleblower, hoping to discover how she secured access to hundreds of confidential documents that she posted on an online blog.

ATTACKED: The September 2008 bombing of the Islamabad Marriott killed 56 people, including U.S. citizen Albert DiFederico, a civilian contractor. Hashwani Hotels Ltd. owned and operated the hotel.

Marriott Fights Wrongful Death Suit in Hotel Bombing

By Jimmy Hoover |

Lawyers for the Marriott hotel say its Islamabad franchiser should bear responsibility for security against terrorism.

Judith Levy, introducing her family during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Obama Names Record Number of Gay Federal Judges

By Todd Ruger, John Council and John Pacenti |

President Barack Obama's 11th nomination of an openly gay or lesbian lawyer to a federal district judgeship reflects both his declared mission to diversify the courts and the widespread cultural shift in acceptance of gays and lesbians in public life.

Susan Alexander, chief legal officer of Biogen Idec, Inc.

Biogen Idec Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |
Glen Weinstein, general counsel of iRobot Corp.

iRobot Corp.

By Karen Sloan |
Hartford, Connecticut

The Road to Recovery is Narrow in Connecticut

By Sheri Qualters |
Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island Struggling with Stratification

By Sheri Qualters |
Boston

Boston's the Brightest Spot in New England

By Sheri Qualters |

Judge Orders Protection For HIPAA Information in Dialysis Suits

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge presiding over lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging they were hurt or killed because of defective dialysis products has approved a qualified protective order for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act information.

Propecia Plaintiffs Fight Attorney-Client Privilege Claims

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plaintiffs lawyers are objecting to what they call “unfounded claims” of attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product privilege for 1,800 documents produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in litigation over male pattern hair loss drug Propecia.

Discrimination Claim Lodged Against Northwestern Mutual

By Lisa Hoffman |

Employing the rarely used Civil Rights Act of 1866 as its basis, a Mexican-born college honors graduate claims in a putative class action against Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. that the insurer engaged in alienage discrimination when it rejected him for a job even though he has legal status to work in the United States.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Accused of Duping Customers

By Laura Castro |

Two California men are suing the national retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., claiming it artificially inflates prices of its regular merchandise to mislead consumers into believing they are getting great bargains when items go on sale.

Wheelchair Patrons Sue Pennsylvania Malls Over Access

By Lisa Hoffman |

Several malls in Pennsylvania present unacceptable obstacles to people in wheelchairs, who face difficult slopes and other barriers when seeking to patronize the shopping centers, according to a proposed federal class action against a real estate investment trust.

Antitrust Complaint Against Tablesaw Industry Rejected

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The maker of safety technology for tablesaws failed to show antitrust violations by the tablesaw industry because it was not anticompetitive behavior for manufacturers to dominate a standards-setting organization in pursuit of commercial interests, a Virginia federal judge ruled.

Pondering DOJ’s Absence in Utah’s Big Corruption Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

When Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill unveiled one of Utah's largest public corruption cases against two former attorneys general this week, he didn't mince words about who he thought should have been prosecuting.

San Quentin State Prison.

Justices Unlikely to Smile on Anti-Death Penalty Ruling

By Marcia Coyle |

A federal judge's decision striking down California's death penalty would be unlikely to receive a warm reception from the U.S. Supreme Court, which repeatedly has turned away similar challenges during the past 20 years.

Michael Millikin, executive vice president and general counsel of General Motors Company, testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance during a hearing titled, “Examining Accountability and Corporate Culture in Wake of the GM Recalls.”

GM’s GC Tells Skeptical Senators He’s ‘Deeply Sorry’

By Andrew Ramonas |

Michael Millikin, general counsel of General Motors Co., told skeptical senators on Thursday that he was "deeply sorry" for his legal department's handling of an ignition-switch defect and was working to make sure a similar scandal doesn't happen again.

FDA Pursues Injunction Against Feminine Product Maker

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking a permanent injunction against the California manufacturer of over-the-counter vaginal products because regulators say the products have not been approved for safety.

John Minor Wisdom U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit building, New Orleans, LA.

Fifth Circuit Rejects Brand-Name Liability for Generic Drug

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A sharply divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled against consulting the Louisiana Supreme Court on whether brand-name drugmakers can face liability for generic versions of their products in the Pelican State.

Culinary School Sued Over Alleged Deception

By Lisa Hoffman |

A law firm that secured a $40 million settlement for former students of the California Culinary Academy, where aspiring chefs allegedly faced a hard sell and $40,000 in tuition debt with little hope for a well-paying job, has turned its sights on another cooking school.

Spray Foam Maker Seeks $400K in Sanctions

By Lisa Hoffman |

Convinced it has been the victim of fictitious and frivolous claims, a global manufacturer of spray foam insulation wants a court to slap a New York couple and their former counsel with $400,000 in sanctions for two years of needless litigation costs.

Newspapers Move to Unseal Chicago's Opioid Lawsuit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today have moved to intervene in the lawsuit the city of Chicago is prosecuting against pharmaceutical companies over the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse.

US Tax Court, Washington, D.C.

Attorney Sees Fatal Flaw in Tax Court's Authority

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Tax Court has existed in various forms since 1924. But its most recent incarnation, now more than 40 years old, contains a serious constitutional flaw that causes its judges to be biased against taxpayers, some taxpayers and tax scholars contend.

US Tax Court, Washington, D.C.

Attorney Sees Fatal Flaw in Tax Court's Authority

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Tax Court has existed in various forms since 1924. But its most recent incarnation, now more than 40 years old, contains a serious constitutional flaw that causes its judges to be biased against taxpayers, some taxpayers and tax scholars contend.

Class Action Over Subprime Car Lending Is Time-Barred

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Class action claims by car purchasers against their subprime lender were filed beyond the statute of limitations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled.

Stanford Law School's Mark Lemley

'Alice Corp.' Is Already Making its Mark on Patent Law

By Tony Mauro |

Less than a month after the Supreme Court issued its much-debated Alice Corp. ruling on patent eligibility for abstract ideas, the decision is already making a mark on patent litigation and claims.

Stanford Law School's Mark Lemley

'Alice Corp.' Is Already Making its Mark on Patent Law

By Tony Mauro |

Less than a month after the Supreme Court issued its much-debated Alice Corp. ruling on patent eligibility for abstract ideas, the decision is already making a mark on patent litigation and claims.

Joseph Cavallo, left, with attorney John Barnett during his arraignment in Los Angeles.

California Attorneys Accused of Trying to Extort Sheik

By Amanda Bronstad |

A prominent personal injury attorney in Orange County, Calif., has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to extort a Saudi sheik by falsely accusing his son of sexually assaulting and torturing his client.

ADA Violations Alleged against Wendy’s Affiliate

By Laura Castro |

A Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers affiliate has been targeted with a proposed class action that claims its Pittsburgh-area restaurants violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because of architectural barriers that limit access for wheelchair users.

Carolyn Jones, former dean of the University of Iowa College of Law.

Circuit Revives Political Bias Case Against Iowa Law Dean

By Karen Sloan |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ordered a new trial for Teresa Wagner, who sued the former dean of the University of Iowa College of Law in 2009 alleging that the school discriminated against her because of her conservative views.

Iowa Court Finds Possible Liability in Generic Label

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a plaintiff can sue a generic drugmaker for failing to update its warning label to reflect a U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s order to the brand-name manufacturer to include a stronger warning.

Indictments for Two Former Attorneys General in Utah

By Amanda Bronstad |

Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were arrested on Tuesday and charged in a massive public corruption scandal.

Bert Rein of Wiley Rein, who represented Abigail Fisher (right) in Fisher v University of Texas, addresses the media after arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2012.

Divided Fifth Circuit Upholds UT’s Race-Conscious Admissions

By Tony Mauro |

A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday the University of Texas can continue to use race as a factor in admissions in spite of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013 ordering greater scrutiny of the university's affirmative-action program.

Ninth Circuit Sides With Truckers in Breaks Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal appeals panel has delivered a win to California workers, reversing a lower court ruling that federal transportation laws pre-empted state rules governing rest and meal breaks for Penske Logistics LLC truck drivers.

Osram Sylvania Settles Headlight Marketing Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

Osram Sylvania Inc. has agreed to pay $30 million to settle a class action accusing the company of con-sumer fraud for falsely marketing its SilverStar automobile headlights as a safety enhancement be-cause they are brighter, project a wider beam and allow better sight down the road.

President Barack Obama

Law Profs Urge Obama to Hold Line on Anti-Gay Bias

By Karen Sloan |

Fifty-four law professors have written a letter urging President Obama not to include a religious exemption in his promised executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

Intex Air Mattress.

Wal-Mart, Manufacturer Targeted in Air-Mattress Injury

By Lisa Hoffman |

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and an air mattress manufacturer have failed to free themselves fully from a lia-bility complaint brought by a Florida man who said he was injured when a new air mattress “popped” and collapsed under him.

Remington Model 700 rifle.

Remington Talking Settlement in Trigger Defect Litigation

By Lisa Hoffman |

After years of legal combat over an allegedly dangerous flaw in its most popular rifle, Remington Arms Co. is close to surrendering. The company has agreed to pursue settlement of proposed class claims and to fix a suspect trigger mechanism in its Model 700 bolt-action firearms.

Dialysis Plaintiffs Seek Disclosure of Adverse-Event Data

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A manufacturer of dialysis machines and related products should have to disclose what it knew about “adverse events,” plaintiffs argue in federal multidistrict litigation pending in Massachusetts.

With Fewer Claims, Action Against Chrysler Proceeds

By Laura Castro |

A New Jersey federal judge has refused to dismiss a putative class action against Chrysler Group LLC over alleged manufacturing flaws that cause sunroofs on several of its Jeep models to leak, although he reduced the number of claims allowed to proceed in the suit.

Appeals Court Rejects Class Action Against Chesapeake

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plaintiffs in a proposed securities class action against Chesapeake Energy Corp. failed to show at the complaint stage that the defendants acted with recklessness or intent regarding their duty to disclose material facts to investors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled.

Discovery Plan Demanded in Tainted Steroid MDL

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of health care providers in federal litigation over steroids tainted with fungus argue that a detailed discovery plan is needed because they have not yet received any discovery from the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs want to first trial to begin in May 2015.

FDA Issues Regulations About Compounding Pharmacies

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Good manufacturing practices for physicians and pharmacists that are compounding drugs and are registered as outsourcing facilities include assuring the sterility of drug products, the Food and Drug Administration said in interim guidance issued earlier this month.

Class Spiked in Litigation Over ‘100 Percent Natural’ Oil

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge on Monday tentatively denied certification of a consumer class action alleging that the "100 Percent Natural" labels on Wesson cooking oils are misleading because the products contain seeds from genetically modified plants.

David Cunningham.

Settlement Will Pay for Scholarships, Dialog at UCLA Law

By Karen Sloan |

The University of California at Los Angeles School of Law will host a daylong conference on police and community relations as part of a $500,000 settlement between the university and a judge who accused campus police of roughing him up during a traffic stop last year.

Karen LeCraft Henderson.

D.C. Circuit Rejects Guantánamo Detainee's Challenge

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge brought by Osama bin Laden's former personal assistant to his conviction by a military commission for conspiracy to commit war crimes.

justices

Did You Hear the One About the Appellate Lawyer?

By Marcia Coyle |

With a full plate of problems in its 2013 term, the U.S. Supreme Court still found some humor in its pursuit of solutions, and sometimes at the expense of the lawyers appearing before it. Here are some lighter moments that provoked outright or nervous laughter—moments that some lawyers may prefer to forget.

justices

Did You Hear the One About the Appellate Lawyer?

By Marcia Coyle |

With a full plate of problems in its 2013 term, the U.S. Supreme Court still found some humor in its pursuit of solutions, and sometimes at the expense of the lawyers appearing before it. Here are some lighter moments that provoked outright or nervous laughter—moments that some lawyers may prefer to forget.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

<b>BARRACKS BOMBING:</b> The litigation arose from the 1983 attack on U.S. Marines in Beirut, but additional claimants later joined the litigation. A trial judge entered a default judgment in 2007.

Terrorism Victims to Share $2B

By Julie Triedman |

A federal appeals court ruling paves the way for nearly $2 billion held in ­frozen New York bank accounts to be handed over to claimants who sued Iran over its role in multiple acts of terrorism.

<b>TARGETED:</b> Enforcers cited Bass Pro Outdoor World for a dearth of minority employees.

No Plaintiffs? No Problem

By Jenna Greene |

When the federal government sued Bass Pro Outdoor World for hiring discrimination, it offered statistics showing a dearth of minority employees, damaging comments from the retailer's managers, and asked for $300 million in potential damages. But the original complaint lacked one thing: named victims.

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.

Emergency Aid Won't Solve Immigration Courts' Problems

By Todd Ruger |

President Barack Obama wants to hire more immigration judges and lawyers to confront the growing humanitarian crisis on the Southwest border, but his plan would still fall short of meeting the need of the nation's overburdened immigration courts.

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.

Emergency Aid Won't Solve Immigration Courts' Problems

By Todd Ruger |

President Barack Obama wants to hire more immigration judges and lawyers to confront the growing humanitarian crisis on the Southwest border, but his plan would still fall short of meeting the need of the nation's overburdened immigration courts.

Motion to Dismiss Class Action Against eBay Denied

By Laura Castro |

A California federal judge has refused to dismiss a putative class action against San Jose-based eBay Inc. that seeks refunds for sellers who claim they were misled by the online auction company's removal policy for fixed-price listings that end early without completion of a sale.

Spotlight 29 Casino.

Tribe's Former GC Loses Right to Practice in California

By Amanda Bronstad |

A Minnesota attorney who faces five years in prison for fleecing a California Indian tribe of thousands of dollars in federal money has become ineligible to practice law in the Golden State.

HMI Industries Majestic 360 floor cleaner.

Manufacturer to Pay $725K For Defective Floor Cleaners

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

HMI Industries Inc., a Strongsville, Ohio-based maker of floor cleaners, has agreed to pay a $725,000 civil penalty for allegedly failing to report a problem with overheating in its floor cleaners, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Alabama Hospital Denies Claims Over Stolen Records

By Lisa Hoffman |

An Alabama hospital denies it was negligent in protecting the sensitive personal information of two former patients who have brought a proposed class action alleging identity thieves stole their records that were left unattended and unsecured.

Asbestos Defendant Fights Back Against Claims of Fraud

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

After a judge found evidence of misrepresentation by plaintiffs in Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's bankruptcy, the plaintiffs asked to reopen the record on the grounds that the defendant were guilty of a similar “fraud upon the court.” In a redacted court filing, Garlock's counsel said that the official committee of asbestos personal injury claimants did not challenge the court's estimate of Garlock's liability and instead is seeking to minimize the suppression of evidence by some plaintiffs just because Garlock could develop some of it on its own.

Judge Keeps Alive Health Care Workers’ Labor Suit

By Lisa Hoffman |

An Indiana federal judge refused to dismiss a proposed class action by legal foreign workers who allege the company that provides them placement as health care workers is defrauding them and violating U.S. anti-human trafficking and forced labor laws.

FTC Sues Amazon Over Kids' Charges in Mobile Apps

By Jenna Greene |

Amazon.com wrongly billed parents for unauthorized app purchases made by children, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in a suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

 Vehicle photo taken by law enforcement at the crash scene of Daniel Hollaert, 23, who died on Dec. 17, 2013, when his 2006 Chevy Cobalt crashed into a school bus in Orleans County, N.Y.

Plaintiffs Lawyers Pursue GM Defect Claims Along Two Paths

By Amanda Bronstad |

A plaintiffs firm that has sued General Motors Co. over accidents related to an ignition-switch defect is continuing to file lawsuits even as its clients prepare to make claims against a victim-compensation fund.

 Vehicle photo taken by law enforcement at the crash scene of Daniel Hollaert, 23, who died on Dec. 17, 2013, when his 2006 Chevy Cobalt crashed into a school bus in Orleans County, N.Y.

Plaintiffs Lawyers Pursue GM Defect Claims Along Two Paths

By Amanda Bronstad |

A plaintiffs firm that has sued General Motors Co. over accidents related to an ignition switch defect is continuing to file lawsuits even as its clients prepare to make claims against a victim compensation fund.

Attorney Thomas Girardi, left, smiles with David Stow, center, and his wife Ann, right, the parents of San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow, outside the Los Angeles courthouse on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

Jury Socks LA Dodgers for Injuries to Beaten Giants Fan

By Amanda Bronstad |

A jury has awarded nearly $18 million to a San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on opening day in 2011.

Private Cause of Action Rejected For Access to Generic Drug Cost-Savings

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A Minnesota law requiring pharmacies to pass on the cost-savings from filling prescriptions with generic drugs to consumers and third-party purchasers does not provide a private cause of action, the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled.

Atlanta Exotic Dancers Win Class Certification Over Fees

By Lisa Hoffman |

Atlanta exotic dancers have won class certification for their suit alleging the BJ Roosters nightclub imposes arbitrary fees on its go-go performers, fails to pay them as employees, and blackballs and threatens dancers who complain.

Redbox Reaches Proposed Deal With Visually Impaired Consumers

By Lisa Hoffman |

Visually impaired film fans in California have reached a $1.2 million class action settlement with video rental company Redbox, which has agreed to make its self-service kiosks more accessible to the legally blind.

First Circuit Reverses $12M ERISA Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has reversed a $12 million class action judgment over a life insurer's establishment of retained asset accounts, which are created by life insurers when they pay proceeds of life insurance policies or annuities to beneficiaries by sending them a checkbook to the accounts.

Texas County Sues Companies Involved in Deepwater Spill

By Laura Castro |

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed suit against 10 companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, claiming the Texas country has suffered more than $23 million in economic losses due to that spill and should be compensated.

Insurer On the Hook For Hospital's Rejection of Insurance

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A health care insurer can be sued under a law meant to prevent providers from rejecting patients' insurance and instead attempting to collect from patients the full balance owed for their treatment, the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled.

Utah Taking Same-Sex Marriage Appeal to Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

The state of Utah has decided to go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to resurrect its ban on same-sex marriages.

Sean Donahue of Donahue & Goldberg

Environmentalists Cheer Victories—and a Lawyer—in High Court

By Tony Mauro |

In spite of mixed results, environmentalists are celebrating significant victories before the U.S. Supreme Court in the term just ended—and they are thanking Sean Donahue for his major role in achieving those wins.

Justice Samuel Alito Jr., United States Supreme Court

Alito's Slap at Federal Circuit Provokes Patent Bar

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit gets little respect from the U.S. Supreme Court. Witness its 1-5 win-loss record in the term just ended.

Milk Class Action Plaintiffs Appeal Expert's Exclusion

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plaintiffs lawyers in consumer-protection class actions challenging nutritional claims made for a brand of milk are appealing a federal magistrate judge's exclusion of their sole expert.

Johnson & Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Ethicon Wants to Protect Expert's Pay From Discovery

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary facing 18,000 cases involving its pelvic mesh in federal multidistrict litigation, wants to block discovery of the compensation it paid to a non-retained expert who works as a medical-affairs director at the company.

Whirlpool Settles Arkansas Contamination Claims

By Lisa Hoffman |

Arkansas property owners in an area contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical degreaser have reached a tentative $2.9 million settlement in a proposed class action targeting Whirlpool Corp., which operated a factory there for 45 years, according to federal court documents.

Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist flushing system.

Settlement Hearing Set in Toilet Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

A hearing has been set for final approval of an $18 million class action settlement to compensate own-ers of Flushmate toilets containing a flaw that has caused more than 300 of the devices to explode.

Suit Alleges Sunoco Overcharged Gift Card Users

By Lisa Hoffman |

Sunoco Inc. says its gas gift cards can be used "just like cash," but a consumer has filed a potential class action contending that is not the case.

Former dean Lawrence Mitchell of Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Professor Settles Retaliation Claim Against Case Western

By Karen Sloan |

The Case Western Reserve University School of Law professor who sued the university and former dean Lawrence Mitchell for retaliation last year is ending the litigation, having reached a mediated settlement.

Mesh Parties Tangle Over Evidence Preservation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The parties to litigation over the alleged harm to women from pelvic surgical mesh have been fighting how best to observe a court order to preserve mesh that has been removed from patients’ bodies.

Drugmakers Face Lawsuits Over Opioid Addiction Rates

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The city of Chicago and two California counties have sued drugmakers over their alleged role in opioid-addiction crises.

Relatives of victims in GM ignition-related accidents appear with photos of the victims during an Energy & Commerce Committee Oversight & Investigations hearing looking into the GM car ignition recall. June 18, 2014.

GM Unveils Plan to Pay

By Amanda Bronstad and Brendan Pierson |

General Motors Co. unveiled its plan to compensate victims of its ignition-switch defect last week, as a federal bankruptcy judge put off arguments over whether the automaker committed a fraud on the court by concealing the problem during its 2009 reorganization.