National News

Courts & Litigation

Geithner’s Lawyer Defends Redactions in S&P Litigation

By Amanda Bronstad |

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is fighting a request by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC to turn over unpublished notes from his memoir that he considers to be “private, confidential, or sensitive materials.”

gavel_money

Florida Bar Asks Justices to Rule on Judicial Campaigns

By Marcia Coyle |

As judicial elections heat up around the country with record fundraising efforts, The Florida Bar has taken the unusual step of urging, instead of opposing, U.S. Supreme Court review of a state ethics rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting contributions.

Judge Authorizes Disclosure of Asbestos Evidence

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A judge has overruled an emergency motion seeking to block a gasket-maker going through bankruptcy from releasing information subpoenaed by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.

Linda Singer.

Drugmakers Seek to Disqualify Counsel in Opioid Lawsuit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Purdue Pharma L.P. and two affiliated companies are seeking to disqualify a former District of Columbia attorney general from representing the city of Chicago in its lawsuit against several drugmakers for allegedly seeking to misinform the public about the risks and benefits of opium-like pain medications.

Court Won’t Coordinate Birth Control Package Lawsuits

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judicial panel has refused to coordinate lawsuits filed over the 2011 recall of birth control pills that were packaged incorrectly, putting women at risk of unwanted pregnancies.

Class Action Says Phone Company Gouged Inmates

By Lisa Hoffman |

Signaling the resumption of litigation over the cost of prison phone calls nationwide, a putative class action has been brought in Arkansas against a giant telecommuncations company that plaintiffs claim has gouged inmates with exorbitant rates.

Complaint Cites Problems Shipping Home GI Vehicles

By Lisa Hoffman |

The holder of a nearly $1 billion contract to ship U.S. troops’ private vehicles home from overseas has lost track of hundreds of cars and commonly delivers others months late, a proposed class action contends.

Mary Jo White.

New SEC Rules Crack Down on Credit-Rating Agencies

By Jenna Greene |

A divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday adopted new rules for credit-rating agencies, stepping up review and disclosure requirements and adding safeguards to prevent sales and marketing considerations from influencing the ratings.

Court: 'Brutal' Cavity Search Violated Arrestee's Rights

By Amanda Bronstad |

The "brutal and physically invasive" removal of a package containing cocaine during a body-cavity search of a suspected drug dealer without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Class Action Targets Hospital in Data Breach

By Lisa Hoffman |

An organized group of Chinese hackers copied and transferred personal information kept by Communi-ty Health Systems on as many as 4.5 million people, but the company put patients at undue risk by de-laying notifying officials and publicly announcing the breach, according to a proposed class action.

Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls listed on the Commission's website.

Litigators and Compliance Experts Need to Talk More

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Does products-liability litigation have anything to do with compliance with regulations meant to protect consumers from dangerous products?

Jeffrey Fisher.

Stanford Law’s Jeff Fisher Joins Okla. Same-Sex Marriage Team

By Tony Mauro |

Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey Fisher is the latest veteran U.S. Supreme Court advocate to become involved in the same-sex marriage issue as it reaches the doorstep of the high court.

Federal Judge Dismisses Zometa Lawsuit in California

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A California federal judge has granted summary judgment against a duplicative lawsuit filed by a plaintiff alleging that part of his jaw bone disintegrated and fractured after he took Zometa.

Circuit Shields Documents That Judge Never Viewed

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Two environmental groups are not entitled to see discovery produced in a lawsuit in which several Midwestern municipalities sued Syngenta Crop Protection LLC over its herbicide atrazine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

SuperValu supermarket.

Class Action Filed in Suervalu Data Breach

By Lisa Hoffman |

Fresh from its announcement that it had fallen victim to a major cyber attack, supermarket chain Supervalu Inc. now faces a proposed class action that accuses the company of failing to protect custom-ers’ payment card information.

Fidelma Fitzpatrick.

Pelvic Mesh Bellwether Trial Gets Underway in W.Va.

By Amanda Bronstad |

The first federal bellwether trial began on Monday against Johnson & Johnson in a case alleging one of its transvaginal mesh devices is defective.

Delaware Observes Right to Inherit Digital Accounts

By Sheri Qualters |

Delaware this month became the first state to pass a law governing heirs' rights to digital and social-media accounts. Trisha Hall, an associate at Connolly Gallagher in Wilmington, chaired the Delaware State Bar Association committee that drafted the bill after reviewing model legislation and state laws governing related issues. Hall spoke with The National Law Journal about the Delaware Code amendment "relating to fiduciary access to digital assets and digital accounts."

Settlement Approved in Bubba Gump Wage Case

By Laura Castro |

A Florida federal judge has approved an amended settlement between Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants Inc. and a former employee who claimed she and other hourly paid servers were denied overtime wages and forced to work off the clock in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

FDA Issues Guidance on Pharmaceutical Labeling

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidance on labeling for pharmaceutical products and biologic products.

Coalbed methane gas production.

Class Certification Vacated in Methane Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that five class actions in which plaintiffs allege that they have been deprived of royalty payments for the production of coalbed methane gas should not have been certified.

Dismissal of Prempro Case Affirmed

By Laura Castro |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that a district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a motion seeking reinstatement of a multidistrict litigation products liability suit against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Iowa Jury Rejects Consumer’s Popcorn Lung Case

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal jury found a Michigan man, who says he suffers from "popcorn lung," failed to prove that a flavoring manufacturer was at fault for failing to warn popcorn makers of the dangers of a chemical used in buttery flavoring.

Frank Easterbrook.

Seventh Circuit Scolds Firm In Insurance Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Lawyers who refiled a putative class action against a health insurer with new clients instead of appealing the loss of their first case escaped sanctions in federal district court. But they did not escape an upbraiding by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison.

Press Seeks Greater Access to Oklahoma Executions

By Tony Mauro |

News organizations on Monday sued the state of Oklahoma for greater access to executions following the botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett in April.

Foley Partner in Detroit Loses Compensation Challenge

By Katelyn Polantz |

A Foley & Lardner partner who sued his firm for paying him less than female, minority and younger partners was rebuked by a federal appellate court Monday.

<b>VISIT:</b> AG Eric Holder Jr., left, meets Missouri State Highway Patrol capt. Ron Johnson.

Eric Holder Eyes Civil Rights Legacy

By Todd Ruger |

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. made clear during meetings with community leaders, students and officials that what happens in Ferguson is personal to him — and pivotal to his legacy as the nation's first African-American attorney general.

<b>COUNTRYWIDE:</b> Bank of America's liability stemmed from its acquisition of the lender.

BofA Deal Marks End Of an Era

By Julie Triedman and Jenna Greene |

With Bank of America Corp.'s $16.7 billion settlement over the marketing and sale of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities, prosecutors closed out the largest remaining government enforcement actions stemming from the financial crisis.

King Downing, a New York-based attorney who traveled to Ferguson, Mo., this week, hands out an educational pamphlet outside the St. Louis County Justice Center.

Bracing for Ferguson Lawsuits

By Zoe Tillman |

Clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Mo., subsided late last week, but the work for lawyers is far from over.

<b>ALLEGATION:</b> The FTC persuaded an Illinois judge that George Yemec and others ran

In Coming Down Hard on Lottery Ticket Reseller, FTC 'Got it Wrong'

By Jenna Greene |

A tale of two very different cases involving identical conduct: one a slam-dunk for U.S. prosecutors, the other, a stinging rebuke.

David Bradford, left, and Craig Martin, right, of Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block

By Marcia Coyle |
<b>FRIENDS OF COURT:</b> Thomas Goldstein filed an amicus brief, for no client, to provide data to the high court.

No Client, No Side in This Brief

By Tony Mauro |

A little-noticed brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall may launch a novel genre of friend-of-the-court filings: written by a law firm on behalf of no client — not even law professors — and in support of neither side.

Michael Olsen of Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown

By Jenna Greene |
Jim Klenk, right, and Natalie Spears, left, of Dentons.

Dentons

By Sheri Qualters |
J. Stephen Poor of Seyfarth Shaw

Seyfarth Shaw

By Tony Mauro |
David Pritikin of Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin

By Sheri Qualters |
Sari Alamuddin of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

By Andrew Ramonas |
Larry DiNardo, right, and Dan Reidy, left, of Jones Day

Jones Day

By Katelyn Polantz |
(L-R) John Shugrue, Carolyn Rosenberg & John Vishneski of Reed Smith

Reed Smith

By Sheri Qualters |
Dan Rubinstein of Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn

By Todd Ruger |
<b>GINSBURG:</b>

Ginsburg On Rulings, Race

By Marcia Coyle |

The high court was “once a leader in the world” in rooting out racial discrimination,” the justice said in a wide-ranging interview. “What’s amazing is how things have changed.”

Accused Boston Bomber Claims Jury Selection Is Unfair

By Sheri Qualters |

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moved Friday for dismissal of his indictment on grounds the District of Massachusetts’ jury selection process was flawed in general and in particular regarding the grand jury that indicted him.

Court: No Speech Protection for Officer Who Spoke with Press

By Jimmy Hoover |

A former Mississippi corrections officer finds no First Amendment speech protection after he was fired for talking with reporters about the arrest of a college football player.

Sixth Circuit Revives Lawsuit Over Novartis Drugs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has given a woman who lost part of her jaw another chance to prosecute a products liability case against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr, Courthouse in Baltimore, MD.

Fourth Circuit Rejects Jurisdiction Over Asbestos Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The tit-for-tat between an asbestos plaintiff and a defendant on whether a case should proceed in state court or federal court has ended in a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the case should move forward in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Bruce Selya.

First Circuit Sets Test for Tax Treatment of False Claims Settlements

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

In an issue of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has set out a test for the tax treatment of the millions of dollars dialysis chain Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. paid to the government to settle claims it violated the False Claims Act.

Judge Permits Claims Against MonaVie Juice

By Lisa Hoffman |

A New Jersey federal trial judge has dumped a motion to dismiss a putative class action against the makers and distributors of MonaVie, a “super juice” allegedly hawked in a nationwide pyramid scheme as a treatment for cancer, arthritis, stroke, diabetes and allergies, among other conditions.

Johnson & Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Pharma Defendants Move to Block Public Records Request

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of pharmaceutical companies have moved to block the public records request made by USA Today to access documents disclosed as Chicago investigated claims about opioid painkillers.

Asbestos Defendant Wants to Comply with Subpoena

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A gasket-maker says that complying with a subpoena for information about asbestos claims asserted against it would not violate a protocol that has been established to allow people and companies to object to the unsealing of evidence of alleged misrepresentation by asbestos plaintiffs lawyers.

Mentally Ill Prisoners Claim Denial of Health Care

By Laura Castro |

A class action civil rights suit has been filed in Louisiana federal court against the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals by six mentally ill prisoners over their continued incarceration despite being found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jurisdictional 'Gamble' Fails in Maritime Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A putative class action of mariners took a “gamble” they would be entitled to more extensive rest and recuperation under American maritime law if they sued Carnival Corporation & PLC, a dual-listed company composed of a Panamanian corporation headquartered in Miami and a British corporation headquartered in Southampton, England, a federal appeals court said.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Ruling Limits Krishna Movement’s Fundraising at Airport

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court has rejected the Hare Krishna movement’s latest constitutional battle to solicit money at a major international airport.

Tony Rackauckas.

Some GM Plaintiffs Seek a Way Around Bankruptcy Stay

By Amanda Bronstad |

A number of plaintiffs attorneys, hoping to jumpstart lawsuits over General Motors Co.’s ignition switch recalls, are challenging a court order that prevents them from pursuing their claims.

Bank of America Monitor Vows to Speed Mortgage Relief

By Karen Sloan |

Eric Green, court-appointed independent monitor in the nearly $17 billion Bank of America Corp. settlement announced on Thursday, understands that he has his work cut out for him.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Thursday announced Bank of America will pay $16.6 billion to resolve mortgage fraud claims, the largest-ever government deal with a single entity.

Bank of America to Pay $16.6B to Settle Fraud Claims

By Jenna Greene and Todd Ruger |

In the largest-ever settlement between the U.S. government and a single company, Bank of America Corp. on Thursday agreed to pay $16.6 billion in penalties and consumer relief for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities.

New York Times Building.

NYT Dropped From Class Action Over Alleged Billing Scam

By Lisa Hoffman |

The New York Times Co. has been dropped from a proposed federal class action alleging the company, Dow Jones & Co. and Forbes Inc. turned a blind eye to ripoffs perpetrated on their publications’ subscribers in a billing scam.

$650M Pradaxa Settlement Fund Created

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Providio MediSolutions LLC has been appointed to administer the $650 million settlement fund Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH agreed to over its blood-thinner Pradaxa.

Ground Rules Regarding Privilege Set in Incretin Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A protocol for handling the assertion of attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product claims has been set in litigation in which plaintiffs allege they developed pancreatic cancer from taking one of four incretin-based drugs.

Tyson Foods Loses Appeal Over Worker Pay

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal appeals panel has dealt a loss to Tyson Foods, Inc., ruling in favor of a collective class of meatpacking plaintiffs who alleged they were owed pay for time spent donning and doffing protective gear and work clothes.

Warning: Password Security Breach

LinkedIn Reaches Deal in Privacy Litigation

By Lisa Hoffman |

A security breach that opened more than 6 million passwords to online viewing and spawned a putative class action will cost LinkedIn Corp. $1.25 million to settle.

Lawyers Playing Key Roles Amid Unrest in Ferguson

By Zoe Tillman |

Lawyers from across the United States are traveling to Ferguson, Mo., to serve as legal observers, represent arrestees, educate demonstrators on their rights and perform a host of other legal services.

Bald Eagle drying out his feathers in Kodiak, Alaska.

Court Cites 'Hobby Lobby' in Fight over Eagle Feathers

By Tony Mauro |

A federal appeals court on Wednesday invoked the U.S. Supreme Court's June Hobby Lobby decision in a long-running legal battle over the possession of bald eagle feathers by members of an Indian tribe that is not federally recognized.

Anna Nicole Smith, left, arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court with her attorney Howard K. Stern, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006, in Washington.

Judge Rejects Sanctions in Anna Nicole Smith Legacy Fight

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has rejected a request for $44 million in sanctions against the estate of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith’s late stepson, despite finding that the case involved “litigants with a distinct disinterest in rules or ethics.”

Demonstrations for and against same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case challenging California's Prop 8 legislation. March 26, 2013.

Op-Ed: Memorandum for the Justices Re: Same Sex Marriage

By Alan B. Morrison |

Some early (if unsolicited) advice to help the high court frame its thinking about what to look for when the briefs start rolling in.

Goldstein & Russell's Thomas Goldstein

A New Type of Amicus Brief: No Clients, No Side Taken

By Tony Mauro |

A little-noticed brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall may launch a new genre of friend-of-the-court filings: written by a law firm on behalf of no client—not even law professors—and in support of neither side.

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Op-Ed: Justice Stevens' Six Amendments: Toward 'A More Perfect Union'

By Daniel J. Morrissey |

The justice's contribution to our constitutional discourse is hardly a futile effort; rather it is gift to our nation.

Richard Cordray.

CFPB Fines Auto Lender $2.75M for Credit Reporting Errors

By Jenna Greene |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday fined an auto lender $2.75 million for providing inaccurate information about borrowers to credit-reporting agencies.

Mississippi Ruling Revives Auto Warranty Claims

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

On an issue of first impression, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that the statute of limitations for federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims filed in Mississippi is that state's Uniform Commercial Code.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources inspecting the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.  July 2014.

Objections Emerge to Landfill Fire Settlement

By Lisa Hoffman |

Less than two weeks after a judge approved a $6.8 million settlement of a class action brought by resi-dents near the smoldering, putrid-smelling Bridgeton, Mo., landfill, objectors have filed 14 new suits against the landfill’s owner.

Classes Certified in Alleged Caribbean Cruise Robocalls

By Lisa Hoffman |

Two classes with more than 900,000 potential members who allege that Caribbean Cruise Line Inc. violated federal law by launching robocalls using a “free cruise” ruse have been certified by an Illinois fed-eral judge.

Standardd & Poor's NY headquarters.

S&P Expands Demands for DOJ, Treasury Department Records

By Amanda Bronstad |

Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC is demanding that the Justice Department and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner turn over more documents, including communications with President Barack Obama, in the U.S. government's $5 billion lawsuit against the ratings agency.

Inter Partes Challenge Filed Against Myriad Patents

By Sheri Qualters |

Following a bruising U.S. Supreme Court fight last year that invalidated two of its human gene patents, Myriad Genetics Inc. is using related patents to sue a new set of competitors—but faces an aggressive counterattack.

Inter Partes Challenge Filed Against Myriad Patents

By Sheri Qualters |

Following a bruising U.S. Supreme Court fight last year that invalidated two of its human gene patents, Myriad Genetics Inc. is using related patents to sue a new set of competitors—but faces an aggressive counterattack.

Asbestos.

Asbestos Plaintiffs Move to Block Access to Evidence

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of asbestos claimants have filed an emergency motion to seeking to block a gasket-maker going through bankruptcy from releasing information subpoenaed by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.

Alabama Court: Name Brands Liable for Generic Drugs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A divided Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that brand-name drug manufacturers can be held liable harm to patients who take generic versions of their drugs.

Plaintiff Unsuitable as Face of Background-Check Suit

By Lisa Hoffman |

A California federal judge turned down an aspiring nursing student’s putative class action alleging she lost out on a training program because of an improper background check, and deemed her unqualified to serve as class representative because of her run-ins with the law.

Tainted Cereal-Box Liner Complaint Headed to Trial

By Lisa Hoffman |

The Kellogg Co. won a round in its battle to hold a packaging company liable for cereal box liners that gave off an odor that triggered complaints that the apparent chemical smell made consumers sick.

Class Action Challenges Court Fees as Unconstitutional

By Lisa Hoffman |

An Illinois court clerk has improperly assessed more than $23 million in fines masquerading as fees in an estimated 750,000 traffic and criminal misdemeanor cases over more than a decade, according to a federal putative class action that claims the practice is unconstitutional.

Patent Showdown Over Worn Blue Jeans at the ITC

By Jenna Greene |

A family-run company in Ohio alleges in a new complaint that 17 clothing makers—including Abercrombie & Fitch, The Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc.—infringed patents to make denim look worn.

No Consolidation of IUD Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals Inc. won't be facing consolidated federal litigation over its Mirena intrauterine device, a long-term method of birth control.

Red Bull Agrees to Settle Marketing Claims

By Laura Castro |

Red Bull GmbH has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle a putative class action in New York federal court that alleged the Austria-based company and its U.S. subsidiaries falsely marketed its energy drinks as providing more benefits than alternate sources of caffeine.

Women’s Football League Sues over Wages

By Lisa Hoffman |

Add former players from the all-female Legends Football League—nee the Lingerie Football League—to the roster of putative class- and collective-action litigants from the fringes of big-league sports that are fed up with being paid more in cachet than in cash.

Coca-Cola Cases Headed to Multidistrict Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal multidistrict litigation has been formed in California federal court over allegations that the labels on Coca-Cola soft drinks misrepresent the ingredients.

Consolidation of Birth Control Cases Denied

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Centralized federal litigation has been rejected for plaintiffs suing over several forms of birth control made by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals.

Robert Gerber.

Bankruptcy Judge Delays Briefing in GM Ignition Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday delayed briefing to give plaintiffs attorneys suing General Motors Co. over ignition-switch defects time to file a consolidated complaint.

Judge Eyes Fees Award as Sanction in Patent Dispute

By Sheri Qualters |

A Connecticut federal judge expressed concern about the costs and risks of patent litigation for small companies in allowing a snap-fastener company to seek attorney fees.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

<b>ALAN GURA:</b> “Considering the nature of the case, and the results obtained, the total amount requested is low,” the litigator, shown following the Heller ruling, argued of his bill in a second gun case.

Gura Asks For $55K From D.C.

By Zoe Tillman |

Public interest cases can be "unglamorous" work, attorney Alan Gura wrote recently in court papers. All the more reason, he argued, to pay the attorneys handling those cases at the market rate.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

<b>BLAMING GM:</b> The remains of Jacqueline Gilbert's 2010 Chevy Cobalt. “We want to try our case on its own,” plaintiffs attorney Nancy Winkler of Philadelphia said.

States Offer Fast Track for GM Plaintiffs

By Amanda Bronstad |

Attorneys fear bogging down in big federal MDL.

Plaintiffs: Imaging Company Wants to Relitigate Status

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of Virginia plaintiffs suing over a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak, who lost their fight to stay out of federal court, now are protesting that a defendant wants to relitigate a state court’s finding that it was not a health-care provider.

Interior view of the New York Stock Exchange.

Eleventh Circuit Remands Regions Securities Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed it was appropriate to certify a securities class action against Regions Financial Corp., but ordered further proceedings in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent ruling on securities class actions.

Tenth Circuit Shaves Health-Care Billing Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A contract claim against a health care provider is partially preempted under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has ruled.

MetLife Settles Junk-Fax Actions for $23 Million

By Lisa Hoffman |

MetLife Inc. will be out $23 million because one of its former top salesmen allegedly violated federal law by blasting junk faxes to as many as 2.8 million recipients in an effort to drum up more business.

Chief Justice Asked to Block Same-Sex Weddings in Virginia

By ​Marcia Coyle |

As expected, lawyers for a Virginia county court clerk defending the state's bans on same-sex marriages have asked Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. to put on hold a federal appellate panel's decision striking down those bans.

aliens: Colonial Marines

Video Game Settlement Proposal Revived

By Lisa Hoffman |

Part of a proposed class-action deal—thrown off track when the lead plaintiff went to jail—is on again, with video-game developer Sega of America Inc. agreeing to a $1.25 million settlement. But Gearbox Software LLC continues to fight allegations that it unlawfully misrepresented the features of “Aliens: Colonial Marines.”

Unilever Wants Fees Slashed in Suave Case

By Lisa Hoffman |

Unilever PLC is asking a judge to slash $2 million from a $3.4 million bill for plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees in a $10 million Suave hair products class action settlement, highlighting what the company called unacceptable charges, such as $875 for “waiting around for brief” and $22,000 for communicating with the media.

Pfizer World Headquarters in New York City.

Pfizer Wins Diet Drug Case in Federal Court

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Pfizer Inc. has won a defense verdict in Massachusetts federal court against allegations that a plaintiff was not adequately warned of the risks of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension from using the Fen-Phen diet-drug duo.

Chesapeake Victorious in Second Securities Class Action in Tenth Circuit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. has won its second securities class action in about a month at the U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Daimler AG Wins Jurisdictional Fight in California

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

California courts do not have jurisdiction over the German-based Daimler AG to adjudicate a products liability case, the California First Court of Appeal has ruled.

Coal export terminal.

Coal Company Loses Challenge to Black Lung Benefits

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Despite a history of smoking, a former coal miner is entitled to benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled.