NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Feb. 21 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss claims brought by a class of residents who contend that Chevron USA Inc. and related companies are liable for contaminating their groundwater with naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), ruling that the plaintiffs have a valid strict liability claim but do not have a claim for punitive damages against all defendants (Joseph Robertson, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 15-00874, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 stayed an appeal in a Cymbalta withdrawal class action pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case with a similar issue (Melissa Strafford, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 15-56808, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 17 dismissed the appeal of a trial court’s denial of class certification in a lawsuit alleging unlawful detention by an Illinois city, finding that it lacked jurisdiction after the named plaintiff accepted an individual offer of judgment (Marquise Wright v. Calumet City, Illinois, No. 16-2219, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2823).
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action suit accusing Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), Daikin Applied Americas Inc. (DAA) and Daikin North Americas LLC (DNA) of making and selling air conditioning units with faulty evaporator coils, ruling that a building owner lacks personal jurisdiction to assert claims against DIL and failed to state claims against DAA and DNA (Paws Holdings, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 16-58, S.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24684).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York man who alleges that he and other consumers were duped about the expected battery life for their laptops is bound by an arbitration clause and may not proceed with his class complaint, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 17 (Charles Andersen v. Walmart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-6488, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22862).
CINCINNATI — A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because shareholders failed to plead scienter and the defendants’ alleged misleading statements were forward-looking and protected, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 21 in affirming (IBEW Local No. 58 Annuity Fund, et al. v. EveryWare Global Inc., et al., No. 16-3445, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2925).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Feb. 16 upheld a circuit court’s certification of a class of city workers suing for breach of contract after mandated raises ended (City of Conway, an Arkansas Municipality v. Richard Shumate, Jr., et al., No. CV-16-284, Ark. Sup., 2017 Ark. LEXIS 41).
SAN FRANCISCO — A fan of the Golden State Warriors did not sufficiently allege her wiretap claim based on the team’s smartphone app, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 13, holding that she did not establish the necessary “interception” elements under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 16 granted final approval of a nearly $344,000 settlement to be paid to a class of Uber Technologies Inc. customers who allege that Uber wrongfully retained a portion of gratuity charges paid by passengers (Caren Ehret, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 14-113, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22586).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Pella Corp. says in an opposition brief filed Feb. 16 that a federal judge in South Carolina should not reconsider his Dec. 12 ruling that plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions about defects in the company’s Architect and Designer Series windows are unreliable because the plaintiffs’ arguments have already been raised and were rejected (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 15 dismissed two of four Wyndham divisions in a class complaint alleging fraud via hidden hotel charges, finding that those two divisions were not provided fair notice (Thomas Luca, Jr. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., No. 16-746, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21433).
Recent securities class action lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country include complaints alleging misrepresentations by officers and directors of various pharmaceutical companies, social media network Facebook Inc., financial institutions and a mining company.
SAN FRANCISCO — A shareholder has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain current and former executive officers over their alleged misrepresentations concerning their involvement in a generic drug price-fixing scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 15 (Greg Fleming v. Impax Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 16-6557, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22147).
CINCINNATI — Parties in a securities class action lawsuit recently asked the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in dismissing the lead plaintiffs’ amended complaint for failure to plead loss causation (Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health Systems Inc., et al., No. 16-6059, 6th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A defense technology company failed to bring its question presented on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the federal district court securities class action brought against it or an appeal in the action filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and, thus, cannot bring the question in the appeal to the Supreme Court, lead plaintiffs argue in a Feb. 8 respondent’s brief (Leidos Inc., v. Indiana Public Retirement System, et al., No. 16-581, U.S. Sup., 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4389).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — California farmers in the Klamath River basin and the United States on Feb. 16 filed a proposed order certifying a class of farmers who allege that their water rights were impaired by the federal government in 2001 and their water rights taken in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Lonney E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 01-591L, John Anderson Farms, Inc., et al., No. 07-194C, Fed. Clms.).
BOSTON — Parties in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its executive officers recently asked the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in dismissing the lead plaintiff’s amended complaint for failure to plead scienter and abused its discretion in denying the lead plaintiff’s motion to vacate the dismissal order (In re Biogen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-1976, 1st Cir.).
HOUSTON — Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company’s well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 8 granted summary judgment in favor of Honeywell International Inc. union employees who retired before the expiration of collective bargaining and related agreements that offered them lifetime medical coverage benefits but ordered a hearing on whether a subclass of plaintiffs who retired after the expiration of the agreements are contractually vested (David Kelly, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00543, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17463).
NEW YORK — A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a business intelligence and marketing automation software service provider, certain of its executive officers and underwriters of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) failed to show that the defendants violated federal securities law by failing to disclose certain trends in its customer concentration and sales growth, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 13 in granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Andrew D. Nguyen v. MaxPoint Interactive Inc., et al., No. 15-6880, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20069).