NEW ORLEANS — An asbestos plaintiff may subpoena out-of-state defendants for trial as long as he identifies specific areas of inquiry, a Louisiana appeals court held July 18 (Ronald Clark McMaster v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 2019-C-0592, La. App., 4th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of a federal circuit court’s ruling upholding the issuance of a punitive sua sponte terminating sanctions order (TSO) in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit is warranted because doing so will allow the Supreme Court to clarify that its ruling in National Hockey League v. Metropolitan Hockey Club Inc. does not authorize the use of civil sanctions to “punish or deter,” petitioners argue in a July 3 petition for writ of certiorari (Loop AI Labs Inc., et al. v. Anna Gatti, et al., No. 19-59, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2501).
SUFFOLK, Mass. — A Massachusetts justice on June 19 denied a motion to compel filed by reinsurers in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the reinsurers failed to prove that discovery regarding an insurer’s declaratory judgment action against an insured is relevant to whether coverage exists for a settlement between the insurer and the insured (Lamorak Insurance Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 1884CV00200-BLS2, Mass. Super., Suffolk, 2019 Mass. Super. LEXIS 385).
NEW YORK — A deaf man suing a New Jersey-based fitness chain for website violations of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) failed to establish any connection to New York, a New York federal judge ruled July 12, dismissing the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (Philip Sullivan Jr. v. Jersey Strong Licensing LLC, No. 1:18-cv-07753, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on July 11 granted a disability claimant’s motion to dismiss a disability insurer’s counterclaim seeking to recover an alleged overpayment of benefits after determining that discovery on the issue of the overpayment is necessary (Karen Jette v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 18-11650, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115973).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over the Zostavax multidistrict litigation on July 8 ordered Merck & Co. Inc. to produce adverse event data about alleged injuries caused by the shingles vaccine (In Re: Zostavax [Zoster Vaccine Live] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2848, No. 19-md-2848, E.D. Pa.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 10 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by an employer following a May 1 ruling that reversed a district court’s decision on an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena related to a gender discrimination charge and remanded with instructions to enforce the subpoena except as to information the EEOC says it no longer needs (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. VF Jeanswear LP, No. 17-16786, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20495).
PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky federal magistrate judge on July 3 found that the estate of a man killed in an auto accident was entitled to depose the defendant trucking company as to why it did not preserve certain records of the responsible driver, granting in part a motion to compel deposition (Estate of Austin Patterson, et al. v. Contract Freighters Inc., et al., No. 5:18-cv-00174, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111062).
NEW YORK — A consumer talc company’s subpoenas seek information it can obtain through other means, and the defendant has not shown that it made any attempt to obtain cooperation from out-of-state individuals who provided talc samples for testing before seeking court assistance, a New York justice held July 8 (Beverley Alleyne v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190295/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3565).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge overseeing discovery in an antitrust multidistrict litigation against Keurig Green Mountain Inc. on July 1 granted the coffee manufacturer’s motion to compel a competing K-cup maker to produce communications with a former attorney regarding its decision to use certain marketing terms, finding that the competitor’s assertion of a good faith defense based on its reliance on the attorney’s advice waived any attorney-client privilege in such documents (In re: Keurig Green Mountain Single Serve Coffee Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:14-ms-02542, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109805).
GREENBELT, Md. — Questioning the standing of a bank that is one of the many plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation over a data breach that it experienced, Marriott International Inc. on July 9 filed a letter in Maryland federal court requesting leave to conduct limited discovery regarding the bank’s claimed damages from the breach to determine whether it suffered a necessary injury-in-fact (In re: Marriott International Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 8:19-md-02879, D. Md.).
DETROIT — A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on July 2 ordered a nonparty attorney accused of referring individuals injured in automobile accidents to clinics that allegedly submitted fraudulent bills to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. to produce a majority of the records the insurer requested in a subpoena, holding that evidence presented by the company could support the inference that he is the center of the scheme (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Elite Health Centers Inc., et al., No. 16cv13040, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110767).
FORT SMITH, Ark. — Two employees fired for data security flaws failed to establish that their terminations were due to age discrimination, an Arkansas federal judge ruled July 3, granting summary judgment to their former employer after also finding that the ex-employees intentionally spoliated evidence by encrypting and deleting text messages (Brian Herzig, et al. v. Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Inc., No. 2:18-cv-02101, W.D. Ark., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111296).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two former employees of a plastics company have sufficiently demonstrated the need to subpoena Verizon Wireless for certain records supporting their defense against computer fraud and wiretap claims against them related to the alleged theft of company trade secrets, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled July 3, granting their motion for expedited discovery (Axium Plastics LLC v. Keith Templin, et al., No. 2:19-cv-02386, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111079).
TACOMA, Wash. — The operator of an immigration detainee center charged with minimum wage violations by the state of Washington saw its motion to compel discovery denied on July 1, with a Washington federal judge finding that the requested data on state agency work programs was already sufficiently produced and holding that the defendant did not establish that additional information was relevant or proportional to the present case (Washington v. The GEO Group Inc., No. 3:17-cv-05806, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109831).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite an appeals court ruling against them, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) moved in District of Columbia federal court on June 27, requesting summary judgment in a remanded Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, arguing that plaintiffs the Associated Press (AP) and a free speech watchdog group are precluded from pursuing their objections regarding documents the agencies withheld from production (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392 and 1:18-cv-00345, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Supreme Court majority on June 24 ruled that invoking a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption regarding the disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information requires only a showing that the information was treated as confidential by the parties involved and does not require a showing of “substantial-competitive-harm” (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 4200).
CINCINNATI — In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 20 vacated a protective order by the opioid multidistrict litigation court blocking public access to drug distribution data collected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and produced under subpoena in the MDL (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation [HD Media Company, LLC, et al. v. United States Department of Justice, et al.], Nos. 18-3839 and 18-3860, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18502).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In conjunction with a stipulation of voluntary dismissal jointly filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a U.S. Supreme Court watchdog group, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 17 issued an order dismissing the group’s claims brought against the department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in its quest to obtain certain records pertaining to Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh (Fix the Court v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 1:18-cv-01620, D. D.C.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 14 allowed the U.S. Justice Department to intervene in a civil Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against former Theranos Corp. President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani but denied the government’s motion to stay the securities case while Balwani is prosecuted in a separate criminal case (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, No. 18-cv-1603, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100335).