SAN FRANCISCO — No matter how egregious the violation, California courts are now unlikely to address due process concerns created by a hard cap on defendants’ time to depose mesothelioma sufferers, and the U.S. Supreme Court should grant review so the problem does not “grow out of control,” two asbestos defendants tell the court in an Oct. 4 petition.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A foreign venture capital firm’s questions over a party’s ability to immediately appeal an adverse disclosure order ruling will go unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied the firm’s petition for certiorari in its Oct. 4 order list.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 4 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to weigh in on a question over whether a party seeking to modify a protective order has the burden to show good cause, denying certiorari to some of the plaintiffs in a long-running multidistrict litigation against Chiquita Brands International Inc. who wanted to remain anonymous in their claims that the banana company had violated federal law by hiring security from a known terrorist organization.
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Sept. 29 denied an insurer’s motion to compel an insured to produce documents in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking crime protection insurance coverage for an alleged fraudulent scheme through which the insured’s employee stole $1,954,329.13 in commission payments, finding that the requested documents are protected from disclosure under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — A plaintiff must produce pathology grids and results a consulting expert obtained from destructive fiber burden analysis testing of an asbestos victim’s tissue but need not produce the expert’s ultimate opinions, a federal magistrate judge in North Carolina said in partially granting a defendant’s motion to compel on Sept. 27.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Nothing suggests that an asbestos product identification witness’s recent dementia diagnosis warrants excluding or holding a competency hearing on the now-deceased man’s testimony, and his medical records are likely irrelevant and not within his daughter-in-law’s possession even if her counsel represented him at his deposition, a federal judge in Washington said Sept. 27 in granting a motion for protective order over medical records and denying a motion to exclude the testimony.
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a Sept. 24 letter to the parties, a Delaware vice chancellor laid out an eight-step process for resolving a motion to compel production of documents in a class action over allegations of a “deliberate, long-term scheme” to “bleed capital” from an insurance subsidiary that more than 1 million policyholders depend on for long-term care (LTC) insurance disability benefits.
MIAMI — Objections to subpoenas filed in the consolidated class complaint brought by estates and residents of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high-rise that partially collapsed on June 24 were filed between Sept. 16 and 20 by the company hired to conduct a structural engineering analysis of the building several years prior to the collapse, a law firm and the general contractor of adjacent high-rise.
ELIZABETH, N.C. — Calling Duke University’s motion to compel “completely unmeritorious,’ an excess insurer argues in a Sept. 23 opposition brief that Duke’s motion “is really an attempted distraction” from the university’s refusal to produce documents and information that are “actually relevant” to its lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying antitrust claims.
DAYTON, Ohio — A pizza shop franchisee and her limited liability companies named as defendants in a putative class complaint by a pizza delivery driver alleging improper reimbursement for vehicle expenses filed an opposition on Sept. 21 to the driver’s motion to compel discovery responses, arguing that the franchisee’s husband who was also named as a defendant is not an employer and so his emails are not discoverable.
CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on Sept. 13 denied insurance brokers’ joint motion to bifurcate discovery in a lawsuit alleging that they breached their duty of care because they knew or should have known that a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) was not in compliance with its structural requirements and was not financially sound, finding that bifurcating discovery “would engender delay and inefficiency, and that the attendant costs would prejudice the parties and non-party witnesses alike."
CINCINNATI — A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Sept. 16 signed a stipulated protective order placing limitations and restrictions on documents and information that will be produced for inspection and copied during Home Depot’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking damages up to the full collective policy limits of $50 million for its losses stemming from a 2014 data breach.
NEW YORK — A firm and its CEO on Sept. 17 filed an emergency motion to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking it to recall or stay its mandate affirming the use of Section 1782 discovery from them for use in a Russian entity’s arbitration against Lithuania pending their filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari.
RICHMOND, Va. — A challenge by the Wikimedia Foundation to the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) upstream surveillance activities was properly dismissed under the state secrets privilege, a divided Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 15, finding that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) does not displace the privilege.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Sept. 15 denied a petition for review challenging state law limiting asbestos defendants to at most 14 hours of deposition testimony from mesothelioma sufferers.
CHICAGO — An expert can rely on spreadsheets created by My Pillow Inc. in its attempt to prove damages the company incurred in its licensing agreement with a distributor, which is suing the company for breach of contract, but his testimony is limited to damage calculations and he cannot opine on what caused those damages, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 7.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on Sept. 10 ordered a discovery technology company to produce 17.83 million pages of documents to two remaining third-party payer plaintiffs and for the plaintiffs to pay the company $48,352 and not the $4.5 million the company quoted.
DETROIT — A Michigan trial court erred in granting summary disposition in favor of an insurer in an insurance fraud dispute stemming from a claimant’s fraudulent statements made during a deposition taken in relation to her claim for personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits because the trial court’s holding that the claimant’s misstatements were material does not follow state appellate court precedent, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel ruled in reversing and remanding on Aug. 19.
CHICAGO — An independent fiduciary on Aug. 10 filed an opposition to insurance brokers’ motion for a federal court in Illinois to bifurcate discovery in a lawsuit alleging that they breached their duty of care because they knew or should have known that a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) was not in compliance with its structural requirements and was not financially sound.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Sept. 9, landowners filed a brief in Wyoming federal court opposing a nonparty’s motion to quash subpoenas in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of mineral rights related to hydraulic fracturing in local shale plays, contending that the motion to quash has no merit because the landowner’s counsel has worked with all parties to obtain compliance.