National News

Courts & Litigation

Mark Robinson Jr. of Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson

Focus of GM Recall Litigation Falls on Bankruptcy Court

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co.’s move in U.S. bankruptcy court to bar lawsuits seeking economic damages tied to its recalls has put the brakes on consumer class actions across the country—at least for the next month.

Schneider & McKinney's Stanley G. Schneider

Houston Lawyer Wins Supreme Court Case Without Much Help

By Tony Mauro |

Houston lawyer Stanley Schneider won partial victory in a controversial U.S. Supreme Court case on Wednesday in an unusual way: without any amicus curiae briefs filed on his side, and with almost no help from veteran high court advocates.

John Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Justices Limit Restitution for Child Pornography Victims

By Marcia Coyle |

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the amount of restitution due to child pornography victims whose images are viewed by thousands over the Internet.

Thomas G. Hungar

Ferry Dispute Reaches Back to Reconstruction Era

By Jamie Schuman |

As chairman of the appellate and constitutional law practice at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Thomas Hungar is accustomed to analyzing high court opinions. An amicus brief he wrote on behalf of six law professors in Courtney v. Danner let him delve into Reconstruction-era history.

Perfix Plug

Hernia Mesh Plaintiff Refiles Case Following Dismissal

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge dismissed allegations of injury from a mesh product used to treat hernia, saying the plaintiff failed to identify any problems with the mesh's manufacture, design or warnings.

Bethany Whisman and Blake Kenney hand out bottled water at Poca High School to those affected by the Elk River water contamination.

W.Va. River Chemical Spill Cases Consolidated

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge has consolidated more than 60 cases involving a large chemical spill into a West Virginia river so he can consider dozens of motions for remand at one time.

Stroke Patient Recovers $14 million in Yasmin Trial

By Laura Castro |

A jury has awarded almost $14 million to a Chicago woman who sued her doctor for prescribing the birth control medication Yasmin, which the woman blamed for a disabling stroke and permanent brain injury.

Junk Fax Lawsuit Survives Against Burger King

By Laura Castro |

A Maryland federal judge has refused to dismiss a class action accusing Burger King Corp. of sending unsolicited fax advertisements in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Mesh Defendant Alleges Jurisdictional Ruse

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Naming a Pennsylvania-based mesh supplier as a defendant is just a ruse to avoid federal court jurisdiction in pelvic mesh litigation, defendants Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson argued in opposition to a plaintiff's motion to remand.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Court Upholds Voter-Approved Affirmative Action Ban

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court, delivering its second major blow in less than a year to civil rights organizations, on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s voter-approved ban on the use of race preferences in admissions at the state's public universities.

Kellogg Huber's David Frederick

Aereo Case Prompts Supreme Court Debate on TV, Technology

By Tony Mauro |

The upstart technology company Aereo Inc. forced the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday into a wide-ranging debate not just about the future of television but also the fate of cloud computing and other innovations.

Aereo television streaming

Law Firms Eye Business Boon If Aereo Wins in High Court

By Katelyn Polantz |

Television broadcasters say a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the streaming Internet TV service Aereo could puncture their businesses and “threaten the very fundamentals of broadcast television,” causing them to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in subscriber fees.

University of Kansas School of Law dean Stephen Mazza

Judge Sides With Kansas Law in Student's Dismissal

By Karen Sloan |

The University of Kansas School of Law did not violate the due-process rights of a first-year student it expelled for failure to disclose numerous criminal convictions, a federal judge has ruled.

Illinois Central Railroad.

Mississippi Supreme Court Reverses $1.7M Silica Verdict

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Mississippi Supreme Court has reversed a wrongful death verdict of $1.7 million in a silica case. The court concluded the plaintiffs had not shown sufficient evidence of Mississippi Valley Silica Co. Inc.'s liability.

Oregon Court Clarifies Appeal of Jury Instructions

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Oregon Supreme Court has ordered further proceedings in a products liability case involving a little girl seriously injured when her father backed his riding lawnmower into her.

Tighter Indiana Law Applies to Sleeping Pill Claim

By Lisa Hoffman |

The manufacturer of a brand-name sleeping pill cannot be held liable for alleged injuries suffered by a business traveler who, after taking a generic form of the drug, acted erratically and lost his job, a federal judge has ruled.

Costco.

Costco Defeats Class Certification in Security Holds

By Lisa Hoffman |

As many as 30,000 Costco workers have had the door shut on a proposed class action targeting the nationwide warehouse store chain for effectively locking them in at the end of their shifts for security reasons and not paying them for the extra time.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhard & Sullivan's Kathleen Sullivan

Coca-Cola on Defensive in False-Advertising Arguments

By Marcia Coyle |

The Coca-Cola Co.'s claim that it cannot be sued by a competitor for false advertising of its Pomegranate Blueberry juice blend did not appear to win many supporters on the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer

Justices Dubious of Argentina's Immunity Claim in Creditors' Suit

By Tony Mauro |

Nobody cried for Argentina on Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court considered that nation's assertion that it should be shielded from the search for assets to pay off creditors in the wake of its 2001 default.

Jones Day's Michael Carvin

'Student Arguing Against the Teacher' in Challenge to Ban on Campaign Lies

By Tony Mauro |

If Jones Day partner Michael Carvin dials back his typically aggressive advocacy style before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 22, there may be two explanations.

The scene outside the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, after the shooting.

Defendant Shot in Utah Federal Courthouse After Alleged Attack

By Zoe Tillman |

A criminal defendant standing trial in Utah's new federal courthouse was shot multiple times by law enforcement Monday after he allegedly tried to attack a cooperating witness.

4th Circuit Overturns Sealed Case

By Mike Scarcella |

The identity of a manufacturer that fought under the pseudonym "Company Doe" to block the public from seeing a consumer product safety report could soon be revealed.

Aereo chief Chet Kanojia displays his company’s antenna and an antenna block.

Prominent Litigators Lining Up on Either Side of Aereo Battle

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 22 will hear arguments in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo Inc. — what some observers have called the most important copyright challenge to reach the high court in a decade.

How Wide the Floodgates for Whistleblowers?

By Jason M. Knott |

Until unanswered questions are resolved, private and public employers alike could face a broad variety of Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary this week's notable court decisions.

Class Action Accuses Exxon of Selling Defective Gasoline

By Laura Castro |

ExxonMobil Corp. has been slapped with a putative class action in Louisiana federal court that accuses the company of knowingly selling defective gasoline that caused damage to consumers' vehicle engines.

Settlement Reached in Class Action Against Packaging Companies

By Laura Castro |

Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) has agreed to pay $17.6 million to settle an antitrust class action lawsuit filed against it and eight other North American manufacturers of containerboard that accused them of a conspiracy to fix and raise prices of their U.S. products.

MDL Judge Restores 38 Nexium Cases

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Thirty-eight plaintiffs had their cases reinstated to the federal multidistrict litigation over allegations that Nexium, a drug used to treat acid reflux, leads to increased risk of bone fractures.

Coca-Cola Argues Its Orange Juice Doesn't Violate FDA Regs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Discovery over whether Coca-Cola's orange juice products have synthetic ingredients confirms that the plaintiffs have no case over its juice marketing, the beverage giant argued in court papers.

Class Certification Denied in Case Against Smucker Co.

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal judge has freed The J.M. Smucker Co. from facing a class action filed by consumers who challenged the truthfulness of the company’s label claims that products were healthy.

Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford Gets Access to Bankruptcy Statements in Case of Asbestos ‘Misrepresentation’

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A judge who found widespread misrepresentation by plaintiffs in a gasketmaker’s bankruptcy has granted Ford Motor Co. access to the statements that parties must file to disclose their economic interests in bankruptcies.

G.M. Airbag Manufacturer Named in New Class Action

By Amanda Bronstad |

A new consumer class action has been filed against General Motors Co. naming the manufacturer of the air bag system in its recalled vehicles as liable for defects linked to 13 deaths.

Philadelphia City Hall.

Pelvic Mesh Defendants Push to Keep Cases in Fed Court

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A battle over jurisdiction between state and federal court is playing out in several pelvic mesh cases that were filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Drugstore and Drugmaker Seek Dismissal of Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A proposed false advertising class action over two joint health supplements should be dismissed because the plaintiff failed to support her argument that the advertising was legally problematic, the defendants argued in court papers.

Defendants Call For Equal Access to Steroid Bankruptcy Docs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of Tennessee healthcare defendants in a federal multidistrict litigation say that plaintiffs and defendants have disparate access to the discovery produced in the bankruptcy case of a compounding pharmacy that made steroids tainted with fungus and that led to an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Remington Model 700 rifle.

Remington Recalls Rifles Amid Trigger Concern

By Lisa Hoffman |

Remington Arms Co. has begun a voluntary recall of its most venerable and popular bolt-action rifle because it can fire even when the trigger is not pulled, an apparent defect that is the basis of a growing number of class action and individual complaints that claim the malfunction has led to injuries.

U. S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

Judge Names Committee to Audit BP Oil-Spill Claims

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge overseeing the $9.2 billion Deepwater Horizon settlement has approved creation of a committee headed by a local law professor to audit oil-spill claims.

Josh Cull, left, and Samantha Zollman, right, prior to their accident on October 31, 2012.

Plaintiffs Sue GM Over Loss of Eye, Loss of Teeth in Ignition Switch Suit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against General Motors, LLC allege that a locked ignition switch in a Chevy Cobalt led to a car accident that cost one plaintiff his eye and the other to lose her teeth and require several facial reconstruction surgeries.

Ortho Evra contraceptive patch.

MDL Judge Dismisses Stroke Patient's Birth Control Failure-to-Warn Claim

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A plaintiff who was a teenager at the time she was prescribed a birth control patch can't sue over allegedly inadequate warnings against the stroke she later suffered, a federal judge has ruled.

False Advertising Suit Against Pasta Maker Nears Deal

By Lisa Hoffman |

A putative class action that accuses the manufacturer of Dreamfields Pasta of false advertising is all but done, and a proposed settlement filed April 14 would, if approved, require Dakota Growers Pasta Co. to pay nearly $8 million to consumers and to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Class Action Against Homeopathic Remedy Company To Go Forward

By Lisa Hoffman |

A class action which contends that children’s cold and flu products sold by a 100-year-old California homeopathic remedy company are nothing more than “flavored water” has been certified by a California federal judge.

Federal Judge Overturns Massachusetts' Ban on Painkiller

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge on Tuesday struck down a Massachusetts ban on the painkiller Zohydro ER because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug trumped the state’s authority.

Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, age 19

Judge Favors Unsupervised Family Visits for Bomb Suspect

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge said Wednesday that accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be able to see his sisters without a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent present.

Professor Paul Secunda of Marquette University Law School

Court Asked to Protect Public Worker’s Subpoenaed Speech

By Marcia Coyle |

The Roberts Court has been lauded as one of the most protective of speech rights in modern times. But there is at least one area where that praise is less effusive: speech by public employees. The justices on April 28 will revisit that area in a public employee's claim that he was fired for giving subpoenaed testimony during the trial of a corrupt state legislator.

Court Orders Identity of 'Company Doe' Revealed

By Mike Scarcella |

The sealing of the identity of a company that fought to block public access to a consumer safety report was improper, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in ordering the disclosure of its name and publication of case documents.

Mayer Brown's Andrew Pincus

A Busy Two Weeks for Court as Adjournment Draws Nigh

By Marcia Coyle |

Lying, streaming and phoning top the April argument docket of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices enter the homestretch of the October 2013 term.

Claims Dismissed Against Dialysis Company

By Lisa Hoffman |

Adding water to a compound used in hemodialysis does not make a clinic operator a "manufacturer" of the solution, a federal judge in Colorado has ruled in tossing part of a putative class action against DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc.

Grower Loses Motion to Dismiss Farmworker Claims

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal magistrate has denied a motion by a California fruit grower to dismiss a putative class action by farmworkers alleging they have not been fully paid for their work and have been cheated out of 10-minute rest breaks.

Robocall Lawsuit Survives Against Cruise Line

By Lisa Hoffman |

Caribbean Cruise Lines has failed to sink a putative class action that claimed the company unlawfully used robocalls to drum up business, but a federal judge allowed the company’s president to disembark from the suit.

Insurer Wins Access to Evidence in Asbestos Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The bankruptcy judge who found widespread evidence of misrepresentation by plaintiffs' lawyers in asbestos cases has granted access to some of that evidence to an insurer and to a cost-containment vendor for insurers.

Ninth Circuit Sustains Attorney’s Extortion Conviction

By Amanda Bronstad |

A California attorney serving prison time for attempting to extort money from the lawyer representing a rabbi in an immigration visa fraud investigation has failed to convince a federal appeals court to reverse his conviction.

A Ford

Asbestos Defendants Seek Access to Bankruptcy Documents

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Litigation over access to evidence of misrepresentation in asbestos cases is not quite over yet.

50 mg pills of Zoloft

Zoloft Plaintiffs Argue Against Limiting Expert Testimony

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A key causation witness for plaintiffs who allege Zoloft caused birth defects is not limited to testifying to the four corners of her expert report, plaintiffs attorneys argued in a court filing.

Actos.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals Faces More Actos Plaintiffs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

One plaintiff's lawsuit in Louisiana federal court over allegations that diabetes drug Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer resulted in a $9 billion verdict. What might a jury do in a case consolidating claims by two plaintiffs?

Ryobi BTS10 table saw.

Table Saw Targeted as Lacking Safety Technology

By Laura Castro |

A Pennsylvania consumer who claims he suffered severe and permanent injuries while using an "unreasonably dangerous" table saw has filed a products liability suit against the manufacturers of the device.

Students in school.

Settlements Pending for Los Angeles Schools, Homeless

By Amanda Bronstad |

Pro bono organization Public Counsel has inked two class action settlements that would reinstitute funds to struggling schools and homeless residents in the Los Angeles area affected by California’s budget crisis.

Consolidation of Diet Supplement Cases Rejected

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Two dietary supplements made by the same company don't have enough in common to warrant pre-trial consolidation, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ruled.

Forman Mills

Retailer Penalized for Children’s Clothing Hazard

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Consumer Product Safety Commission provisionally approved a $600,000 civil penalty with retail chain Forman Mills Inc. for its failure to report the sale of garments that could put kids at risk of strangulation.

A natural gas facility.

Appeals Court Pushes Judge in Gas Suit to Speed It Up

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal appeals court has directed a lower court judge to make up his mind about whether an arbitration agreement pertains to a class-action dispute over a business deal.

A debt collection notice

Debt Collection Class Action Sent Back to Federal Court

By Lisa Hoffman |

Plaintiffs in a proposed class action against an Illinois debt collector have suffered a setback in their efforts to trade a potentially greater award of damages available in federal court for a presumed friendlier state venue.

Medical bill

Employee Trust Files Antitrust Action over Hospital Costs

By Laura Castro |

A union trust fund for grocery store workers has filed a class action lawsuit against Sutter Health for violations of California’s antitrust and unfair competition statutes, alleging the unchecked, anti-competitive behavior by the health care provider and its affiliates resulted in substantial overcharges by its hospitals.

Whole Foods Market. March 25, 2009. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/LEGAL TIMES.

Mislabeling Lawsuit Against Whole Foods Proceeds

By Laura Castro |

A California federal judge has refused to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods Market California that accused it of mislabeling several food products as natural when they contain artificial ingredients.

Christine Searls, Senior Associate General Counsel of CenturyLink.

CENTURYLINK INC.

By George Erb |

The communication company's Denver legal department and the local office of Bryan Cave were instrumental in establishing a pro bono hotline for pro se litigants.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

Federal Magistrate Judge John Facciola

D.C. Judge Battles DOJ On Searches

By Zoe Tillman |

Federal Magistrate Judge John Facciola was introduced during a 2008 conference as the "Italian Stallion of e-discovery." Long at the forefront on technology and the law, Facciola is back in the national spotlight over the scope of prosecutors' power to access elec­tronically stored information.

Family members of people killed in accidents attributed to General Motors’ defective ignition switch gathered in Washington on April 1, 2014.

GM Docket Is Growing

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co.'s legal troubles have shifted into overdrive, with plaintiffs lawyers insisting that drivers of recalled cars are risking their lives by getting behind the wheel.

Attorneys David Boies, left, and Theodore B. Olson discuss the issue of gay marriage at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

Next Step for Marriage Equality

By Marcia Coyle |

Two federal appellate courts are poised to decide the constitutionality of three state bans against same-sex marriage and move the fundamental question closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hungarian Vizsla dog behind a fence

Court OKs Warrantless Animal Rescue When 'Appropriate'

By Sheri Qualters |

Massachusetts' highest court has ruled that officials may enter private property without a search warrant to rescue animals "in appropriate circumstances."

Sealed court documents.

Insurers Join in Efforts to Unseal Asbestos 'Misrepresentation' Evidence

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Two insurance companies are joining Ford Motor Company's effort to unseal the evidence that led a bankruptcy judge to find “demonstrable misrepresentation” in several asbestos cases.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel

Bayer Moves to Eliminate Mirena IUD Claims

By Amanda Bronstad |

Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. has moved to dismiss some of about 450 lawsuits filed over its Mirena intrauterine contraceptive device on ground that the cases exceed the applicable statute of limitations.

Horizon organic milk

Defendant Criticizes 'Do-Over' By Experts in Organic Milk Class Actions

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A milk company defending its labeling against seven proposed class actions said that the plaintiffs are attempting a “do-over” of their expert testimony by having their experts complete new reports.

A stack of documents

Pelvic Mesh Maker Must Provide Discovery About Hernia Products

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge has ruled that Cook Medical Inc. must disclose information about its medical devices used to repair hernias even though the manufacturer argued they have nothing to do with the pelvic mesh products plaintiffs have sued over.

A Golden Corral

Class Action Accuses Restaurant of Overtime Violations

By Lisa Hoffman |

A Florida restaurant worker alleges his bosses required him to work under his own name and also under an “alter ego” so the company would not have to pay him overtime or comply with health care reform mandates, according to a proposed class action filed in federal court.

A nursing home

Residents Allege Negligence at Nursing Home in N.D.

By Lisa Hoffman |

At least 44 residents of a North Dakota nursing home have contracted Hepatitis C through the negligence of the ManorCare facility, a proposed class action alleges.

Members of the Arkansas Supreme Court

Arkansas Supreme Court Rejects Class Action Over Medical Records

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Class action plaintiffs suing over the charges levied to get copies of their medical records are not exempt from taxes, the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled.

A vaccination

Divided Federal Circuit Rejects Vaccine Injury Claim

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled 2-1 that a claimant did not prove it was more likely than not that her son's brain injury was related to a vaccine he received.

Electronic bingo

Class Certification for Electronic Bingo Players Reversed

By Lisa Hoffman |

Ruling that a lower federal court abused its discretion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a decision granting class status to electronic bingo players suing to recover their losses at an Alabama greyhound race track.

Oral surgeon at work

Court: Testimony from Oral Surgeon Improperly Excluded

By Lisa Hoffman |

The expert testimony of an oral surgeon should have been allowed in a product liability suit brought by a patient who contends her use of the drug Zometa led to the destruction of bone in her jaw, a federal appeals court has ruled, reversing a lower court’s decision and remanding the case.

An X26 Taser

Court Dismisses Design Claim Against Taser

By Laura Castro |

A federal appeals court has dismissed a defective design claim brought against Taser International Inc. by the mother of a Missouri man who died of cardiac arrest after being shot in the chest with the device.

Anonymous user on the NOLA website

Court: Newspaper Must Reveal Commenters' Identities

By Mike Scarcella |

The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans cannot shield private identifying information about two people who posted anonymous comments on its website about a corruption probe, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Court Weighs Whether Deportation Fits Crime

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal appellate court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether immigration judges must consider whether deportation amounts to disproportional punishment for a legal permanent resident following a criminal conviction.

Department of Labor headquarters at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, DC

Judge Socks Labor Department With Costs of Failed Lawsuit

By Andrew Ramonas |

The U.S. Department of Labor must pay more than $565,000 in attorney fees to an oilfield services company it accused of wage-and-hour violations totaling more than $6 million, a federal judge has ruled.

The Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System.

Judge Reinstates Claims Against Goldman Sachs

By Lisa Hoffman |

After throwing out a putative class action against Goldman Sachs twice before, a federal judge has switched gears on the mortgage securities suit brought by Detroit police and fire retirees and allowed it to proceed.

Class Certified in Download Insurance Lawsuit

By Lisa Hoffman |

Computer security firm Symantec Corp. and one of its contractors face a certified class action brought by consumers who say the companies duped them into buying “download insurance” when the same service was available for free.

Alder Law founder Michael Alder

Lawyer Warns Against California Medical-Bill Precedent

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The California Supreme Court ruled 2 1/2 years ago that tort plaintiffs can't recover the full amounts billed by their health care providers, only the discounted amounts actually paid by health insurers.

Hebrew National beef hot dogs.

Hotdog Class Action Thrown Out of Federal Court

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal appeals panel, acting as the “higher authority” to which the maker and consumers of Hebrew National hotdogs must answer, has ruled that a proposed consumer class action challenging the product’s kosher status belongs in state, not federal, court.

Vaginal mesh

Mesh Defendant Objects to Plaintiffs' Sanctions Bid

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The plaintiffs suing Cook Medical Inc. over its pelvic mesh products have asked for sanctions because they say the defendant made a last-minute document dump that required the cancellation of a deposition of a defense witness.

W. Mark Lanier

Huge Punitive Damages Award in Actos Bellwether Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

A jury in Louisiana has awarded more than $9 billion in the first federal bellwether trial over claims that taking Actos increases the risk of getting bladder cancer.

Hearings Open Over Plaintiffs' Experts in Zoloft MDL

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has been aggressively attacking the experts the plaintiffs want to use to show a causal relationship between Zoloft and birth defects. Now the battle over those experts has moved into the courtroom, with hearings this week in Philadelphia on the admissibility of their opinions.

The Temple of Justice at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Washington.

Court Upholds $57M Class Action Against Agency

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Washington Supreme Court has upheld a $57 million contract class action against the Washington Department of Social and Health Services in favor of caretakers for people with disabilities.

Toyota

Complaint Says Toyota Ignored Oil Problem

By Lisa Hoffman |

Some of the most popular Toyota models suffer from a potentially dangerous defect that causes rapid oil burning, a problem that manifests at about the time the warranty expires and for which Toyota Motor Corp. claims no responsibility, a newly filed class action alleges.

Massachusetts state governor Deval Patrick

Judge: State's Painkiller Ban Appears 'Out of Line'

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge said Tuesday that pharmaceutical company Zogenix Inc. would likely win its bid to temporarily stop a Massachusetts state ban on its painkiller Zohydro, but postponed ruling until next week.

Courthouse News Service

Reinstatement for Suit Seeking Access to Court Filings

By Amanda Bronstad |

Courthouse News Service should be able to pursue a lawsuit seeking access to civil complaints because it “presents an important First Amendment question” for the federal courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled.

Laundry

Samsung Defeats Washing Machine Class Actions—For Now

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Samsung has defeated parts of two proposed class actions in New Jersey federal court over its front-loading washing machines.

Plaintiffs Reduce Fee Demand in Prius Litigation

By Amanda Bronstad |

Five plaintiffs law firms that originally sought $4.7 million in fees in a class action settlement over Prius headlight defects have agreed to lower their demand to $855,000.

U.S. Supreme Court building

Conservatives Plan Follow-Up Affirmative Action Attack

By Marcia Coyle |

Edward Blum, head of the one-man Project on Fair Representation, announced on Monday that he is targeting three major universities for potential legal challenges to their use of race in admissions: Harvard University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Wisconsin.

Target.

Target Data-Breach Litigation Coordinated in Minnesota

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal panel has ordered about 100 consumer class actions filed against Target Corp. over its data breach transferred to Minnesota, where lawyers in related derivative shareholder actions have moved to appoint lead counsel.

Jury box

Dallas Jury Bestows $1.2 Million to Plaintiff in Mesh Suit

By Amanda Bronstad |

A jury in Dallas has awarded $1.2 million against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary after finding that its pelvic mesh sling was defectively designed.

A Walmart in Charlotte, NC.

Court Overturns Wal-Mart Discrimination Dismissal

By Laura Castro |

A federal appeals court has reversed a Texas district court's dismissal of Stephanie Odle's individual sex discrimination claims against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., finding that the former Lubbock Wal-Mart employee's suit can move forward because it was filed in a timely manner.